It is easy to think of our educational days as being over. Some of us have left school very recently, while some hold their college years in high nostalgic regard, but whether your last day was months or years ago, everyone generally has the same view of school: man that was fun but I finished in my 20's or 30's and now I'm beyond my learning years. What a lot of people don't realize, because it is an underutilized resource, is that there are still ways to incorporate that spirit of educational betterment into your life long after you have departed your alma mater. This is the world of training, and it's time to jump back in.
Onboarding new employees can be a cumbersome task, and you need a well developed plan in order to bring people into the company and get them up to speed. Most companies have some form of structured onboarding training for new general level employees, but what about new managers? In interviewing managers across department and industry for an upcoming guide, we have found that the stance on manager training varies wildly from business to business.
Some places have a substantial and exhaustive training regimen, giving their managers all the tools and techniques they need to succeed. Other places have less cohesive plans, relying on the managers to figure things out for themselves, or even go so far as to create their own MBO (Management by Objective) programs, and monitor their task completion processes manually.
Now, manager training really hinges on the manager in question - new managers really should be given access to mentorship guidance, training and educational services, and departmental resources so that they can be as confident and effective in their new role as possible, whereas seasoned managers probably don't need basic training when they arrive.
But that doesn't mean they shouldn't also be trained and developed; there are plenty of high level management training courses out there that would be well worth the time and money to investigate. Investing in your managers is a smart move, as it supports the company at large.
In addition to training managers and employees internally, it is important to, when applicable, have an integrated, supported, and well developed training department for your products and services. This customer-facing entity is your true point of contact with the people who pay for your services, and it is valuable to develop training collateral that warrants their time and expenses.
Your training department is a really interesting opportunity to position your company as a true thought leader, as you are passing along information directly to the customers in the space, who will then disseminate this information around their companies and industries. Training services establish your company as an expert in your field like no other effort can, and it sets you and your company up for success, as people will actually know how to use your product correctly, eliminating lots of work on the customer support side. .
Customer training is an incredibly important and tactical resource, and not leveraging that potential is a real missed opportunity to produce meaningful, inspirational, and enviable content and positioning.
We've talked a lot about how incentives can be used to inspire students at school, but what if training itself could be leveraged as an incentive? Every generation has had a thirst for learning in its own way, but the rise of the Millennial generation, as it coincides with the advent of new technology, has created an interesting environment in which there are lots of new things to learn, and lots of fresh faces who want to learn about it.
This presents business across every industry with a unique opportunity - in addition to monetary or celebratory recognition as incentives, you could offer training as an incentive for performance. The experience of training is invaluable, as it offers the enjoyment of discovery and learning, the opportunity for personal development, and the potential for unfettered new growth.
But not everyone will take the time or the effort out of their day to seek out training personally - life is busy enough as it is. If you offer paid training events or access to new training resources as an incentive goal, you will be demonstrating to your employees that their personal growth and development is important to the company—which carries the additional benefit of strengthening your workforce and keeping employee loyalty and engagement up.
To learn more about how you can leverage training to build a better organization, check out our educational services page!