Guest blog by Steve Jones.
Have you ever been at an employee training event and during the opening been asked “what do you want to get out of the training”? Invariably there will be someone in the room who answers “because the boss told me!”
There are many reasons to organise training for employees. Maybe there’s a legal reason for the training, for example health and safety training or the need to prove professional competence via qualification. Maybe there’s a need to update participants in new version of a software release for your CRM or training on a new MarTech system.
What’s often missing in many training environments is the need to address the mindset of any participant. Do participants only passively attend the event, or are they an active participant?
For employee training to be successful you need to address Mindset, Skillset and Toolset
- Mindset: A set of beliefs, a way of thinking, how you perceive things. Your mental attitude that determines your behaviour and outlook and how you will interpret and respond to situations.
- Skillset: Your competence and proficiency, technique or ability to perform tasks. The level of expertise in a particular task determines the efficiency and effectiveness to perform that task.
- Toolset: The tools available to hand to complete your tasks. Your methodology, gadgets, systems and frameworks that can create value in the chosen field.
When implementing a social selling or employee advocacy methodology within any organisation all these aspects have to be addressed before any training takes place. If any aspect is missing you’re in danger of preventing the individual reaching peak performance.
If you only address the skillset and toolset – participants may only passively attend and find reasons why it won’t work for them.
If you only address the mindset and toolset – participants may miss the skills and competence needed to be effective.
If you only address the mindset and skillset – participants may not have access to tools needed to allow them to do their job effectively.
To quote Confucius:
I hear and I forget
I see and I remember
I do and I understand
Is your social selling or employee advocacy training approach a;
- Pedagogy approach - lecturer led, where learning happens to participants.
- Andragogy approach - learner led, where learners take an active role in their learning.
Do you adapt to the needs of the learner to meet their preferred learning style? Can you offer a mix of classroom, remote and even self led training options? Do you offer mentoring support to all participants to embed this change in behaviour?
Great report here from Logicearth about Learning and Development skills for the digital age.
How Do You Address The ‘Mindset’ Aspect In Learning?
Some things to remember – most important; people are complex.
- Everyone’s brain is wired differently
- Exercise (repetition) improves cognition
- Stress changes the way we learn
You have to address and link the motivation of the individual. Emotions play a very significant role in learning motivation, as anything that successfully appeals to our emotions becomes automatically more interesting and engaging.
How open anyone is to a social selling or employee engagement training program is not related to age, seniority or education level. It’s a very personal thing that varies from individual to individual.
It’s therefore vital that you do not put too much pressure on any individual. Ensure you perform some needs analysis that is focused on the individual. Tribal Impact’s Social Media Impact quiz is an ideal starting point
It’s important that you outline how the program will benefit them personally, but if they decide they don’t want to participate, then that’s OK. As an old boss of mine once told me, “ you can’t open a closed mind”.
You have to allow any reluctant individual to personally accept that not only are they able to learn, but that they want to learn. When they’ve seen what other team members accomplish they will often become more open to new ideas and working practices.
Support any individuals with clear social media policies and explain best practice. Organisations need to be responsible for their people's wellbeing in terms of giving them the skills they need to deal with very type of interaction. Above all ensure that your training methodology is not one classroom led event but it also employs ongoing training and support.
Some great employee advocacy FAQ’s here that will help you address many of these concerns
Implementing any new piece of MarTech technology and only providing product training is not best practice. Learners will improve their skillset with product training and get access to new toolset to help, but do they understand & how it helps them personally
When embarking on any plan to implement a social selling or employee advocacy program in your organisation – have you considered Mindset?