If you’re running an enterprise of any size, you know how important it is to stay current on industry trends and best practices. In fact, that’s critical to holding a competitive edge, isn’t it? If you need to keep your team’s skills ahead of the curve, you need to plan for regular training. If you’re a freelance creative, in order to compete in your marketplace your skills have to be state of the art.
Continuous training is the key. Here are what we see as the 4 key principles – our training tips – to creating a training strategy that keeps you ahead of the curve:
Training Tip 1. Track the skill-set(s) you need
Who are the trendsetters in your industry? What skill-sets are they buying? You can take a look at their jobs board to get an idea of what they view as cutting edge skills for their team. Look at your team, or your own skill-set, to see where you might have an opportunity for training to raise the level of your competitive game. For example, if you own a marketing agency, you might want to have one or two of your people become mobile app development experts, with the ability to build apps for iPad and Android devices. That would give you a solid advantage over an agency that would have to subcontract for mobile development.
Training Tip 2. Survey training solutions
What training options are available for the skills you need to acquire? Self-directed learning can be an option, but the most effective training will be delivered live, by an expert instructor, and will allow for interaction between student and teacher. If a question comes up during a canned course delivered on the web, how does the question get answered quickly, and in a way that enhances knowledge retention? We recommend that mission-critical skills training be in-the-room, or at least live via webcast, for the most effective knowledge transfer.
Training Tip 3. Buy based on value, not price
Bargain pricing is great if you’re shopping for staples or paper towels. However, when you’re buying knowledge for yourself or your team, you want to get value. When you or your team have acquired the skills you’re seeking training for, what kind of return-on-investment can you get? Using the mobile development example from Tip 1, if the training course you’re interested in is $1,500 per seat, and you send two of your people, your investment will be $3,000. The price tag for enterprise mobile apps starts at $30,000. By spending $3,000 to train two of your best brains, you’d be in position to bid on work that would give you a tenfold ROI on the first contract you land.
Training Tip 4. Unleash gamification
Spur interest in training within your team by creating some friendly competition: reward top performers with training every year, and encourage your people to research and report on developing trends in your industry. Your top performers will likely be your top reporters, which will make it easy for you to check off Tip 1, and likely Tip 2 as well. Within your industry, what kind of certifications carry the most weight? Create a challenge among your strategic partners, and even your competition, to see who can get the highest number of those certifications in a year, and make sure your team competes well. If you’re a freelancer, sport your certifications on your portfolio site, and make sure you post every industry badge you earn.
Those are our Top 4 training tips for staying ahead of the knowledge curve. And if you are looking for mobile development training, we’ve got that. And much more. Take a look at our calendar, and see how we can help grow your skill-set, and the skills of your team. And get some growth on!