On The Job Training – Like Getting Back To The Gym.
January 23, 2012 1 Comment
This blog post is about inspiration. It’s about developing a training plan that is equally beneficial to you and your company. Because I believe that if on the job training is good for you – it will be good for your company.
Now is the perfect time for you to plan on the job training that will make the ‘You Brand’ even better. For example:
- Attend a skill building workshop
- Organize a team building event
- Study for a professional certificate
- Get back to the gym
Whatever staff development you choose – as soon as you start planning it you and the people around you will start to benefit from the excitement. Even a few small changes can have a noticeable result on your personal and corporate brand value and competitive advantage. But any on the job training is just like getting back to the gym – the full benefit will take a bit of time to realize. Most great things need practice to experience amazing results.
Because I know email writing training and email etiquette really well, let me use that as my first example. In this world of electronic communication as much as 90% of our communication is by email or instant message (IM). Our writing habits often are the first impression we make and reinforce our ongoing relationships. That wasn’t always the case – as little as 10 years ago most of our communication was face-to-face or over the phone.
The numbing reality is that most business people receive and respond to between 100 and 200 email each day; this staggering number has taken its toll on relationship building and customer care. We’ve transitioned away from managing people’s expectations – not because we don’t care… we’re just so busy, and were never taught easy methods to effectively manage this volume while protecting our reputation and our relationships.
But there is still a universal truth that business success depends on being able to:
- Demonstrate your personal uniqueness
- Demonstrate your corporate advantages
- Take care of your customers
- Differentiate you and your company in your market
How does communication training work?
Good communications skills are as much a competitive advantage as a five-star sales representative and a product like the latest iPhone©. Good communication skills turn every employee into a brand advocate and a customer service expert. Even people in departments without direct customer contact (like Accounts Payables and Purchasing), have direct impact. Consider: they do:
- Make an impression on outside influencers
- Have an influence on the moral and productivity of employees from other departments (like Sales and Customer Service)
But as I said earlier, I believe any investment in self-improvement and on the job training benefits the ‘You Brand’ and your company success.
I’m currently experiencing my own learning curve – I’m moving from PC to Mac©. Thankfully, I am receiving professional training and support from employees at the Apple© store – but in the end… I have to practice. It takes a bit of time – and sometimes I just want to go back to the old way because I can ‘get it done quickly’. But in the long run I know my time investment and practice will pay off.
I must say I’m amazed at the quality of service I receive. The employees are thoughtful – polite – curious – energetic – present (not looking like they want to be somewhere else). Why is that? Is it because they are paying these kids 6-figure salaries? No.
As a corporate trainer I’m sure these kids (mostly Millenials – who have a reputation for being ‘hard to motivate’), are engaged because Apple invests in staff development – so these happy employees treat their clients with respect. Every employee knows how to represent the corporate values.
The same thing happens at Starbucks™ where it’s easy to see ongoing on the job training. Positive energy and corporate investment helps create proud, talented employees who in turn believe in their employer, product and customer… and it shows.
Evey employee and every company is worth the time and commitment that comes from a solid training plan. And, your clients will reward you with purchases and loyalty.
As soon as you upgrade your skills the people around you will notice something is different. They may not know what it is… but they will ‘feel’ something good has happened – and this will help your reputation… as well as productivity. The same thing happens when my clients start writing better email. Their clients get better customer service as their expectations are consistently met.
Take a class – invest in you – develop a training plan – look for on the job training opportunities. Over time things will start to change. You’ll be managing your expectations, your client expectations and even co-worker expectations better.
But remember it’s important to be patient and to practice. It takes time to manage and experience full benefit… like learning a new routine at the gym makes a great difference in your health and how you feel.
Another opportunity to take full advantage of staff development is to consider is team training. Team training also provides motivation and support from your co-workers. And, giving everyone the same resources and knowledge promotes:
- Peer support (seeing how your co-workers are using new techniques)
- Knowledge sharing and best practices
- Learning by example (seeing how your co-workers are using the new skills)
Happy communicating… Happy training.
Click here to join our priority list of people who receive our latest Business Communication blog posts.
If you enjoyed this post we think you’ll like:
- Email Etiquette: Should You Reply To My Email?
- Improve Your Time Management Skills
- Generational Differences Training
- Effective Business Email Writing Training
- Mindfulness At Work
- 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Habit 1
Bruce Mayhew Consulting facilitates courses including Email Etiquette, Managing Difficult Conversations, Multigenerational Training, Time Management and Mindfulness.
Find answers to your Professional Development questions / needs at brucemayhewconsulting.com.
Give us a call at 416 617 0462. We’ll listen.
Click on the image to watch us on Canada AM.
I’d enjoy reading your comments on this post.