Learning always is happening. It could be a purposeful learning program. It could be by accident. It could be an hour event. It could be a revelation learned in seconds.
What do we do with this new knowledge and revelations? Should we capture it? Should we share it? If you are a business owner, how do you encourage your teams to keep learning? What content and training do you provide?
Be purposeful in the learning world even if a corporate trainer is not on staff to organize and promote the knowledge. Offer the ABCD of learning.
Be sure that your team members know how to use the computer applications and equipment. If an upgrade to the software or a new phone system is installed, then a hands-on training session is needed.
Empower a champion to become the power user of that program so that he or she can train and support the new tools.
Business Skills (Technical)
Many technical skills are taught at conferences or organized classes. Send your top team members to these events on a routine basis. Be sure they know that they need to bring the content home and share with their team members. There is no silo of knowledge. Share what you learned and as a team become the experts.
Does your team know what its company stands for? It is more than the company's mission statement. What are the action steps to your mission?
Formalize who you are and notify your entire team of these expectations. Stay accountable to these standards and remind your team of this requirement. Relate all projects back to these standards on a continuous basis.
How are you developing yourself? How are your team members developing themselves? Add questions to your performance reviews so that these topics are thought about and discussed. Hold performance reviews more often than once a year. That will encourage development and remind your teams that you care.
What challenges have you worked at this past quarter? What are your goals for the next quarter? What can I do to make your job more rewarding, interesting and satisfying?
ABCDs for Management
Don't forget about your managers when focusing on development. How are they developing themselves and their teams? Often employees are promoted to management because they do their technical job really well. Have you equipped your managers for their new position? Management has its own ABCD of learning.
Applications: Reports and software that management uses to track their team's performance, approve PTO and time clock.
Business skills: Technical skills of a manager include educating, delegating, coaching, motivating, recognizing and evaluating.
Customer service: What does the mission statement mean to my department? How can my department better serve our internal and external customers?
Development: All managers need to be aware of the legal requirements when it comes to hiring, firing and providing necessary leave.
Manager education can be offered in smaller doses on a routine basis, such as lunch and learn sessions. Allow for discussion in all learning sessions for all managers to learn from each other.
Encourage the learning that is happening around you. Recognize the experts on your teams. Challenge yourself to learn something new today.