Viewing Posts for: Jacqui Higgins
Back in the day, sales organizations would identify the need for training, schedule a learning event, conduct training, and then wonder why nothing changed. The trouble is many companies still do this. The problem then as now is lack of sustainment of learning. And the answer then as now is engaging the sales leader in the transformation process. Sales organizations continually fall short in this area. And if sales leaders are not engaged in the training and in changing behavior in the field, they can either sabotage the training or watch as the learning is quickly forgotten and old ways return.
Most often sales leaders were exemplary sellers who were promoted for their selling skills. If they’re not actively engaged in change—if they don’t see what their people are learning and understand the desired new behaviors and skills—they tend to default to how they did things way back when: “You know, this is not how I learned to do things. I’ve had a lot of success with the old way, and it got me where I am today, so we’re going back to the way that worked for me.”
When that happens, any attempt at transformation is thwarted. So what was the point of the training exercise?
Turning Sales Leaders into Sales Coaches
Today’s workplace is now composed of a majority of Millennials, along with Gen Xers, baby boomers, and traditionalists. Training millennials presents a challenge for sales organizations, and especially the Learning & Development group, because there are a mix of generations and learning styles to address.
To be most effective, training programs need to meet employees where they are in terms of learning styles and preferences. This means stepping back and rethinking ways to personalize and address how different employees learn.
Training Millennials Requires a Mix of Training Tools
It’s not that instructor-led training is wrong or going away, because it still has great value. The point is to personalize the learning journey on behalf of the individuals who are taking it, adapting to the cognitive style of learning that’s based on the generation. When training millennials, delivery of instructor-led training should be in smaller increments, complemented with more social collaboration. Videos should be added to the mix along with online modules that include an element of gaming to make learning more interesting.
For training across generations, include a menu of options to supplement instructor-led training, so participants can pick and choose what works best for them. The questions for Learning & Development to consider are these:
How does this group of employees learn best? How can we, as an organization, deliver the type of training that enables all of our diverse groups » Continue Reading.
In case you missed it, last year marked a significant turn in the workforce. That was when millennials—those born between the early 1980s and late 1990s—became the largest segment of employees in the nation. This boom in the millennial generation in the workplace has a significant impact on organizations, both from a management perspective and a training perspective. That’s because millennials, as a whole, have quite different ideas about the meaning and purpose of work, work-life balance, and the integration of technology than previous generations.
Training the Millennial Generation in the Workplace
Millennials approach learning and training in different ways, and that has implications not only for continuing development, but on-boarding as well. Many millennials entering the workforce tend to be well educated, but not always in business-relevant ways. When they first came out of school, the job market was slow, and so many went back to school. Now they may have one or more degrees, but they don’t necessarily know how to apply their knowledge in a business environment. Or, what they learned is school is not applicable to the field where they’re now pursuing a career.
How to Engage ‘New Learners’
The question facing sales organizations today is: “How do you train and engage these ‘new learners,’” as we call them. Millennials grew up hardwired to technology, conducting most of their social life online, and multitasking along the way. They prefer collaboration and team-oriented projects.
They learn best » Continue Reading.