Learning a new skill online is a great way for your team to stay on top of industry trends and feel empowered to innovate. But we know motivation can be a challenge, especially when life and work get in the way. We’ve put together some helpful tips for ensuring your team stays motivated and engaged while learning with Skillacademy for Teams.
Keeping your team engaged: 5 tips
1. Make sure coursework is relevant
The best way to keep employees engaged is to make sure that what they’re learning ties into their work and aligns with their career goals.
If there’s a certain skill they want to acquire — such as analyzing data with Python or SQL — they can follow a Skill Path in Skillacademy. Skill Paths string together a series of courses that take a learner through everything they need to know to build a specific skill.
Or, if a team member wants to develop in-depth foundational knowledge for a specific job, like Data Scientist or Full-Stack Engineer, Career Paths provide a curated list of lessons, quizzes, videos, and projects to help them learn and practice real-world skills.
Once your team starts applying their new skills in the workplace and experiences the professional benefits of learning to code, they’ll be more motivated to keep learning.
For team members that aren’t sure what to learn, we’ve put together some recommendations for what to learn for different teams and roles.
2. Break large goals into manageable ones
When a goal feels overwhelming, we’re more likely to give up on it altogether. That’s why it’s important to encourage your team to break their larger goals into smaller, bite-sized goals. For example, rather than focus on building a chat bot, have your team commit to learning to code one hour a week for 6 months.
Skillacademy makes this easy. Learners can set weekly targets by going to “My Home” in their Skillacademy account, selecting “Update Weekly Target” in the top right corner of the screen, and entering how many days a week they want to learn. Each week, we’ll show them how many days they’ve logged into Skillacademy and how many weeks in a row they’ve met their target.
3. Carve out quality time for learning
Between emails, Slack messages, meetings, and deadlines, your team might feel like it’s impossible to take on learning a new skill. Try designating meeting-free code time. You may even want to encourage them to sign out of email and set their chat status to “do not disturb” so that their learning time is quality time.
Not only will this help your team manage their schedule, it also sends the message that learning a new skill is valuable enough to be prioritized alongside their day-to-day work.
Create a dedicated communication channel for learners to share tips, exchange resources, and ask questions. But don’t just limit your channel to those enrolled in Skillacademy. Invite people within the company who have knowledge and experience in the areas your team is learning.
At The Motley Fool, experienced developers participate in the team’s Slack channel by answering questions and cheering learners on to the finish line. Johnnie Weathersby, BI Team Lead at The Motley Fool, explains:
“Our devs know a lot and they love talking about what they do and teaching people.”
Building a community keeps the excitement up and reminds learners that they have support. Your team is more likely to stay committed to learning if they know others are invested in their success.
5. Set a weekly check-in
Creating some structure and accountability can go a long way when it comes to ensuring your team stays committed. One way to do this is to designate a specific time each week where learners review the course content and troubleshoot problems together.
The team at The Motley Fool follows a common schedule so everyone is learning the same topics at the same time. Then, they meet every Wednesday at 5:00 to discuss the current lesson and share feedback.
Everyone is expected to come to the meeting having completed the assigned material, which has kept Gary Taylor, a BI Analyst at The Motley Fool, on his toes. He tells us:
“The nice thing about [learning] in a group is there’s some accountability. You don’t want to let the group down. You don’t want to show up being the guy that doesn’t know what’s going on or didn’t finish that day. The group was a strong motivator.”
Learning together can help your team set a pace for working through the material and gives everyone more incentive to follow the program through to the end.
A little planning goes a long way
Technology is constantly evolving and we all have to evolve with it. As learning new languages and tools becomes the norm, be sure your team has the systems and support in place to succeed.
Ready to put some of these ideas to the test? Sign up for a free 14-day trial of Skillacademy for Teams and see how much your team can learn together in 2 weeks.