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Invest Wisely In Your Future

As we continue our series to help you emerge stronger in the next normal, we want to focus on how to invest wisely in your future.

There is a critical difference between the companies that will survive and those that will cease to exist post-COVID-19 – a growth mindset. It is the belief that through learning we can overcome any challenge.

At Butler Street we say, – “I reserve the right to get smarter.”

Think about how freeing this is, not having to know everything. I’ve never been through a global pandemic before, have you? By reserving the right to get smarter, we are curious, open, and flexible. As a result, we adapt, no matter the circumstances.

Fast forward into the future and think about how the CEO’s of successful companies will answer this question, How did you manage to thrive in 2020?

Most will credit their business’s ability to pivot.

How will you ensure future success?

We believe it all starts with learning. Learning through formal and informal settings, when done well, has the potential to increase engagement, spark innovation, and arm your team with the skills needed to drive performance.

With the current economic climate and cloud of uncertainty hanging over us, one thing remains true, companies with engaged employees succeed above and beyond those without.

Gallup, the authority on employee engagement, defines engaged employees as those who are highly involved in and enthusiastic about their work and workplace. They are psychological "owners," drive performance and innovation, and move the organization forward.*

One critical driver of employee engagement is providing opportunities to learn and grow.

When employees do the same things every day without a chance to learn something new, they rarely stay enthusiastic about their jobs. In contrast, when people feel like they are learning and growing, they work harder and more efficiently.**

Have you recently said to your team, “We need to think creatively about how we do business! I need you to come up with innovative ideas!”

Learning fosters this type of thinking. When we learn or hear something for the first time, our brains light up in new places, building pathways for innovation. By engaging in new experiences and being exposed to new ideas, we increase our capacity to be more creative. Say yes to that virtual conference. Start that business book club. And invest in formal learning programs to address key skills.

With sales, leadership and recruiting, the impact of new skills, processes, and behaviors won’t hit your revenue until later in the year. The time to invest in learning and development is now.

As you read this, your competition is getting better, stronger, and faster. This is a time to lean into change, open your eyes to opportunities, and carve out your future success.

What type of learning will be the most impactful for my team?

Without retention methods in place, you will forget most of it quickly. The Forgetting Curve, hypothesized by Hermann Ebbinghaus in 1885, shows memory retention is 100% at the time of learning. However, it drops rapidly to 40% within the first few days. Yikes!

eLearning, self-paced, web-based lessons typically administered through an LMS (learning management system), are particularly useful in introducing concepts. eLearning allows learners to choose when/where they learn, is easily repeatable, and, therefore, scalable. Learners can review material as needed and have time to reflect.

This is coupled with instructor-led, virtual sessions that simulate live training. For the best virtual training experience, be prepared to use your webcam and only invest in programs with high levels of interactivity like learner polls, knowledge checks, role practice, and partner/small group work.

And when leaders are also involved and role modeling a growth mindset, accountability, and engagement, employees feel more connected with one another and the company’s purpose.

True learning and behavior change are impossible without practice and application of concepts. Use it or lose it. Your team should be learning skills that are immediately applicable to everyday tasks and business initiatives. For example, if a sales rep learns how to leave an effective voicemail, given the opportunity to practice in a safe setting, and then spends the next several days repeating these behaviors, you’ll have a stronger likelihood of the new behaviors sticking and becoming a habit. Take that Forgetting Curve!

Overall, blended learning offers an economical way to grow your people with less disruption and better retention.

At Butler Street, our growth mindset led us to create a highly effective blended learning experience. We provide shorter bursts of learning alongside opportunities to practice. We offer engaging eLearning, highly interactive virtual training, and structured practical application in between sessions. We also deliver continuous improvement sessions to boost long term retention. Contact us to learn the option best for you.

Tara Hurley is a Senior Learning Consultant for Butler Street

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