Whether you’re interested in empowering your team to innovate, fostering cross-functional collaboration, or simply providing your employees with development opportunities, offering technical training can help keep your team engaged and motivated — while also having an impact on your business.
But while the value of upskilling your team may be clear, we know that adding another task to your team members’ schedules might seem like a tough ask. To help out, we’ve put together some tips on how to make learning with Skillacademy for Teams part of your team’s regular agenda, to ensure they’re able to make the most of this educational experience.
Block out time on the calendar for the entire team
When you leave it up to each employee to schedule their own learning time, it can tend to get put on the back burner when other work-related priorities pop up. Top-down support can go a long way in incorporating time for learning into the work day.
Block out time on the calendar for the entire team for a weekly power hour to make progress in their Skillacademy courses. This helps to make learning part of a regular agenda, rather than an additional task on the to-do list, and sends the message that they have permission to take the time for personal growth. You can also encourage team members to set email and Slack to “do not disturb” to make sure that the hour they carve out is dedicated to learning.
Additionally, you can include time for a quick 5-10 minute debrief afterward, so that team members can sync on what they learned that day.
Encourage group learning
Learning can take on a whole new level of engagement when it’s a shared experience among teammates. When a group of team members is working on upskilling together, it can help establish a sense of accountability to develop a consistent learning routine.
Whether your team members are working on different courses specific to their role or all learning the same skill, here’s a few things that you can do to help promote group learning:
- Set up a Slack channel: The Slack channel can be a place where teammates can ask questions, share tips, or talk about how they’ve applied their knowledge in their day-to-day. Consistent communication about the learning process can serve as a source of motivation and a gentle reminder that everyone’s working towards a common goal.
- Schedule a weekly or biweekly meeting: This can serve as a dedicated time for teammates to connect and review progress, share feedback, and troubleshoot problems together. These meetings can be casual and fun, so it’s something your team looks forward to!
Here’s what Gary Taylor, Senior BI Analyst at Motley Fool, says about his experience learning Python alongside his teammates:
“The nice thing about doing it 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.”
Check out our full case study to learn more about how The Motley Fool boosted collaboration and analytical skills through learning to code together.
Help your team build a habit with weekly targets
Even small changes, when repeated regularly, can go a long way in developing a new skill. As a leader, you can help your team build habits that help foster a consistent learning routine.
One way to do this is to encourage your team to use the “Weekly Target” feature on the Skillacademy platform. 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. This helps learners create small habits — say, logging on for 15 minutes each day — and see how well they’re sticking to them. It also makes it easier to break down large tasks into smaller bite-sized chunks.
Set realistic expectations
Picking up a new technical skill, as with everything else, takes dedication and time and it’s important to be realistic about what your team can and achieve in a given time period.
For example, here’s how Johnnie Weathersby, Senior Business Intelligence (BI) Data Analyst/Architect and the Skillacademy for Teams account manager, puts this philosophy into practice: when assigning weekly review meetings for his team members, he makes sure to allot more time around holidays and for challenging topics. Establishing a sensible approach to learning will make it easier for your team to stick to incremental goals, and will help educational efforts to be more sustainable in the long run.
If you’re ready to put these ideas to the test, you can sign up for a free two-week trial of Skillacademy for Teams. We’re excited to see how much your team can learn and grow together in two weeks!