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Submitted by jkballentine on


I am going to use 30-mins per month to do staff development and professional training. I do not want to use this time to train them deeper in their roles, but for their own personal and professional development.

What resources would you recommend?  Books? Blogs? Magazines?  Particular MT postings?




GlennR's picture

I spent five years heading up my division's training department. Here are my thoughts.

  • There is no "one size fits all." One of our star performers doesn't like to read and hasn't read a book since college.Yet he exceeds expectations and has risen through the ranks. Others don't read blogs. There are three types of learners, audio, visual, and kinesthetic. Your team probably contains all three.
  • Consider asking your team what topics should be presented. This will give them greater buy-in to the process and to the topics.
  • Consider focusing on those topics that can be taught by your star performers. For example, how your star performer manages his or her priorities and calendar may be of interest to the rookies on your team. Also, the information will be far more relevant than some off the shelf video or book that contains examples from outside your industry. Downside: Just because you're a star performer, doesn't mean you're a star trainer. Two entirely different skill sets. (Avoid death by powerpoint at all costs, or your team will run from these presentations.) Review the presentation beforehand from your team's perspective to make sure they're likely to stay engaged.
  • Training is not the silver bullet to all problems. "Our customer service stinks. Let's put everyone through a customer service course." I cannot tell you how many times I've seen that happen. But training is not the source of the problem, it's the organization's culture, policies, or processes that need to be changed first. Before you try training, be darn sure that it's the solution to your problem. If that solution lies elsewhere, say in policies that inhibit customer service, then you won't solve your problem.

Overall, I like your idea. If anyone pushes back, feel free to use one of my favorite sayings, "You pay for your training whether you do it or not!"

Good luck,