We know that learning something new isn’t always easy. So whether you’ve just joined Skillacademy for Teams, are making your way through a 2-week free trial, or are adding new team members to an existing account, we’ve put together a few tips to help your team members make the most of their first week with Skillacademy.
We’ll share a checklist of three things your team members should do in their first week — plus some tips that you can use to help your team stay motivated.
3 things your team should do in their first week
1. Decide what to learn
Where should your team start with Skillacademy? They may already know what they want to learn. For instance, if they’re looking to learn a specific language, they can easily find the right course in our catalog.
If they aren’t sure where to start, we recommend they get started with a Skill Path. Skill Paths organize the content in Skillacademy into roadmaps that are structured to take a learner through everything they need to acquire a specific skill. They make it easy to know what to learn and in what order.
Following a Skill Path will keep your team focused on need-to-know information and help them visualize an end goal. Check out a few of our most popular Skill Paths below and click through to learn more.
Check out our article on choosing the right course or Skill Path for more advice.
2. Set a weekly target
Sometimes the big picture can feel daunting. And when we feel overwhelmed, we’re more likely to give up on a goal altogether. Setting weekly targets in Skillacademy lets your team break a lofty goal into smaller goals to help stay committed.
To set a weekly target, go to “My Home” in your Skillacademy account. Your progress will appear in the top right corner of the screen. Select “Update Weekly Target” and enter how many days a week you want to learn. Each week, we’ll show you how many days you’ve logged into Skillacademy and how many weeks in a row you’ve met your target.
Not only does setting a weekly target help your team build momentum, but looking back on how far they’ve come can be just the boost they need when motivation wanes.
3. Dedicate time for learning
In his book Atomic Habits, James Clear says, “Goals are good for setting a direction, but systems are best for making progress.” It’s like playing a sport. The goal is to finish with the best score, but staring at the scoreboard the whole game won’t help you win. The only way to win is to get a little better each day.
Help your team reach their goals by setting them up to make continuous small improvements. Here’s how:
- Designate meeting-free code time. Work with your team to carve out time in their busy schedules. Even daily 15-minute increments add up to meaningful training time over a couple weeks.
- Make it easier to focus. Our brains aren’t so good at switching from thinking about one thing to another and then back again. Ensure the time your team has to learn is quality time. Let them know it’s OK to put up a “do not disturb” message on Slack or sign out of email.
- Set a weekly check-in for the team to share their goals. When people share what they plan to accomplish with others, it makes it harder to give up.
Tips for keeping your team motivated
Start by sharing how excited you are that they’re learning to code—it’s a big deal! Your enthusiasm will be sure to rub off on them. To keep motivation high, here are a few things you can do.
- Follow a common schedule. By learning the same topics at the same time, everyone can review the content and troubleshoot problems together. Plus, it helps with accountability.
- Get others involved. Recruit others in the company to mentor. At The Motley Fool, developers help out by answering questions and cheering learners on to the finish line. “Our devs know a lot and they love talking about what they do and teaching people,” says Johnnie Weathersby, BI Team Lead at The Motley Fool.
- Start a Slack group to share tips, ask questions, and post reminders. There are about 20 learners at The Motley Fool, but 50 people in the team Slack channel, including the devs. The larger community keeps excitement up and reminds learners that they have support.
A strong start benefits everyone
We’re excited your team is upleveling their technical skills with us — and it’s only just the beginning. As they get more comfortable with code, there are other benefits you’ll witness over time.
For starters, knowledge of code ensures a shared language for cross-functional collaboration and empowers employees to innovate on their own, boosting the quality of products and services.
The long-term benefits aren’t just product-related, either. Learning how to code develops your team’s problem-solving skills and leads to strong work relationships as they go through the process of learning together.
Helping your team get off to a good start will pay off now and down the line. What are you doing to help your team get started with code? Share your personal tips in the comments!