My Personal Experience of Workplace Training… from Selling, to Attending
This article is based on my own experience of attending workplace training and hopes to articulate the real value of training to both an individual and an organisation.
However, rather than quoting statistics, business benefits and the ROI that training can provide, I wanted to approach it from my personal point of view, hopefully making it a little more interesting in the process.
Working in the Education Department at Arrow as a Key Account Manager, I fully understand the value of training to both an individual and an organisation.
My role involves supporting a range of customers across various industries, to develop training that’s closely aligned with a business’ operational needs and job function of the delegate(s).
However, not all organisations understand the real benefits and value that structured training can bring to both the individual and the business.
Having worked in the Education Department for nearly 6 years, I have been fully immersed in the world of training for both Business Partners and End-Users.
Progression in my role to a Key Account Manager has seen my involvement in increasingly complex training projects and I therefore fully appreciate just how important a highly trained team is to an organisation.
Recently my role has changed further - whilst I am still looking after Key Accounts, I have been tasked with enhancing the IBM team’s social media presence, which is an essential component to create greater awareness around IBM training to our partners and customers.
In order to be truly successful in this new aspect of my role, I quickly realised that support, research and training were going to be key.
I needed to understand the different platforms that were available, how they functioned, which ones both Arrow and our customers use, the optimal frequency and timings of posting - along with a multitude of other considerations.
Although researching online and using online tutorials was helpful initially, there were a number of shortfalls with this form of training:
- I didn’t feel it addressed my specific questions
- It was often not relatable to how I needed to use the software
- The lack of interactivity made concentration difficult for long periods
I felt I needed more formal training to fully understand the platforms and how best to fulfil my role. I settled on a combination of instructor-led and e-learning training to get the skills that I needed.
I arranged face-to-face training initially for myself and the team, with one of our Marketing Managers (who specialises in this area) to take us through the basic principles and explain in more detail the tools and applications available.
This was really beneficial as it allowed us to ask questions that were specifically related to how we would be using these tools in our own environment.
The value of this form of training cannot be emphasised enough. We had hands on experience of using the tools ourselves under the supervision of our instructor, which personally is the way I learn best.
Whilst being shown something and having it explained to me is great, if I am not able to practice on the software in a realistic environment, the learning is not reinforced.
I enjoyed the direct feedback from someone in the room, being able to work with an expert on the subject was invaluable and the benefit of being part of a classroom environment with other delegates to ask questions made the whole experience far more interesting and interactive.
Following this training, I went back to my own work environment and experimented with the platforms and tools to put into practice what I had learned on the course.
I soon realised that I needed to enhance my knowledge further and gain more of a sales perspective to what I was doing so I signed up to an online training course on Social Media Selling.
This course was delivered using a live instructor, but with delegates only able to interact via a chat function. Despite the limited level of interactivity, the course was well structured and filled the gaps in my knowledge from a sales perspective.
In addition there was a facility that allowed me to watch the course again and review the key topics. This further helped to reinforce the knowledge gained on the course.
To me and the team - this training has resulted in huge benefits to myself, the team and the business.
I feel far better equipped to perform my job and have an exciting time ahead of me as I begin to develop this new area of my role. I also feel a great sense of achievement and with the new skills I have gained I feel confident in passing on my knowledge to the team.
The Business - there was a minimal outlay to the business compared to what will be gained through the development of the role.
I am now a far more skilled and efficient employee, able to perform my role with a higher level of proficiency, whilst hopefully adding an additional revenue generating stream to the business.
I am grateful for the opportunity and investment, feeling more loyal because of it. I am also happier in my role, further driving my productivity and sense of job satisfaction.
In this case as well, the business has not had to go through the cost and time of hiring somebody new to provide an in-house social media element to the team, but has utilised and developed existing employees. This is always of great benefit to a business.
This first-hand experience of training really emphasises the benefits training can bring, and more especially, for me, the advantages of face-to-face training over other delivery formats.
The experience has allowed me to approach my role with a greater confidence, as well as helping me to drive ever greater efficiencies into what I do.
Equally importantly though, it has given me a better sense of loyalty through being valued by the investment Arrow has made in me.
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