Employee training and skills
Traditional skills strategies result in unhappy learners, unhappy managers and terrible datasets. It's time to upgrade to something better.
Mark Ward Co-Founder
Why managers should focus on continuous learning to improve their adaptability and resilience.
Al Thompson Head of Content & Partnerships
When it comes to continuous learning for management, it's easy to eschew it in favour of experience.
"They have so much experience, they used to be a manager at that shop down the road for 20 years before they sold it and took some time out."
They would have some really valuable experience, but could they manage a Tesco Extra superstore?
A lot can be said for experience. It's important, of course. Whether for work or life, our experience shapes us, teaches us and helps us know how to respond or make decisions for the future.
But the world changes, and fast. You have to be present and forward-thinking and experience everything that happens around us in the current time. We won’t know everything and everyday is a learning day, right?
What does that mean for us managers and why is putting effort into continuous learning important?
Take yourself to a working day in February 2020. Where were you? What were you doing and how were you doing it?
Maybe you were sat in the office surrounded by your leader and your team, perhaps you were enjoying a working from home day to get your head down and really focus on a particular project or task.
How were you completing that task? Perhaps you had done some research at a local library or had a meeting or a coffee with an expert for some good old face to face conversational knowledge sharing.
What did you do when you moved around between the office and home? Maybe you put your coat and scarf on, nipped to the loo, washed your hands and jumped on transport home with just the usual thoughts we have when we left the workplace and headed home.
Thinking about how our day went, satisfied with the work we had achieved and looking forward to the next day and tasks. Thinking about the faces of who we had seen that day, smile at a funny moment that happened whilst making coffee in the kitchen with your peers.
How is that remote meeting going?
How are you ensuring your team are really ok? Maybe one of them has been at home alone a lot since the pandemic. Perhaps people are struggling with the latest software rolled out which is now in place, as there was a more efficient way of completing something when we were thrown into lockdown.
Oh god, not more Covid-19 talk, we are so over this now!
Yes, most of us are, but continuous learning fundamentals are the same and as managers, more important to be able to adjust and support our teams. How do you behave if a big change is coming within your organisation? How do you approach this with your team?
Do you think ahead about what challenges this may present you, your team, your customers and your organisation?
How do you ensure you really know any new reports you have hired during the pandemic?
When working remotely, how are you motivating your team and knowing they are there?
It's one of your direct reports. How strange, why couldn’t they just use the Teams chat like normal?
Something must be wrong. Do you feel nervous about taking the call? Do you ignore it and hope they WhatsApp you instead? Or are you comfortable taking the call and knowing whatever it is, you know how to respond to whatever might be happening?
Do you have empathy?
Are you emotionally intelligent?
Do you know how to support this person and are you aware of the related company policy which you may need to confirm now?
You might have experienced what this person is going to say before.
But what if you haven’t?
This is why as managers and leaders, we should seek to understand, almost predict what we might need to know in the future and ensure we know how to deal and work with it.
Try asking yourself these questions to see if you can look at learning something new:
We might be good at our day-to-day, but what about if this suddenly changed tomorrow?
Here is your next learning opportunity, welcome to the world of resilience.
Consistently brilliant. Often unsung. Support teams contribute so much to customer happiness, and at THRIVE, that’s never rung truer.
Ben Cooper Awards & PR Specialist
Innovation and inspiration
Evolving your skills strategy from top down to bottom up ⬆️
Cassie Gasson Chief Marketing Officer
Sumo scooped silver in 'Best Use of Digital Technologies' at the 2022 UK Employee Experience Awards.
Ben Cooper Awards & PR Specialist