As mentioned in our most recent blog, professional development is a big deal. Organizations that lack effective professional learning experiences are becoming increasingly unsure of technology management – how do you identify issues? How do you evaluate potential solutions? And how do you implement strategic changes?
While some enterprises are hesitant to invest in something that may not net immediate ROI, many others consider their job done by simply offering employee education – regardless of its quality or how impactful it is in inspiring growth, development, and overall business success.
However, this mindset isn’t acceptable any longer. Now more than ever, telecom, mobility, and IT management professionals demand learning experiences that help individuals accomplish personal goals and contribute in meaningful ways. If you spot any of the following five trends where you work, it probably means it’s time for a change…
Professional Learning Means More Than PowerPoint
We’ve all witnessed bad PowerPoint presentations – whether you can recall an experience off the top of your head or have to work to pull it out through years of mental blocks put in place to protect your sanity. But even the best slideshow can’t be an effective teacher for your technology management team.
While presentations like this can be a good way to present information, professional learning needs to take teaching another step forward. It’s hard for employees to make progress unless this knowledge comes equipped relevant, real-world tools and scenarios to apply it.
Content > Credentials
Learning lessons from industry experts is an ideal scenario – but not every title or certification is created equal. While some professionals may manage millions of devices single-handedly or lead digital transformation efforts for multi-billion dollar enterprises, these experiences don’t always make them the most effective teachers.
Impressive names and credentials will get your employees’ attention, but if the content of your education experience leaves much to be desired, don’t expect positive business outcomes to result anytime soon. Therefore, any potential solution you put in place should be judged primarily on what it contains – not who is saying it.
Remember the Golden Rule
Whether you’re in class or at work, nobody likes to be belittled. Yet so many of today’s learning experiences are quick to make examples out of people that give the wrong answer or misunderstand concepts. It may sound obvious, but it’s important to remember that you’re teaching professionals with technology expertise – not children.
While that’s not to say you can’t have fun or take advantage an enjoyable education experience, time-consuming activities or over-the-top icebreakers between coworkers of 15 years often deter employees from feeling motivated to continue their training. At the end of the day, the most effective options prioritize new skills, strategies, and information above all else.
Time is Money
We all know how much work there is to do every day – and how little time there is to do it. The difference between successful organizations and everyone else is their commitment to treat professional learning like an important business commitment.
In fact, training works best when it’s treated like a formal meeting. Too little time devoted to the task makes employees question the commitment and expertise of their business; but too much can inspire ‘in one ear and out the other’ syndrome. It may be a delicate balance to strike, but nonetheless it’s an essential one that’s worth the effort required.
Honesty Truly is the Best Professional Learning Policy
You’re unique – no two professionals are the same. And that means assumptions should never play a part in employee education. No, not everyone agrees that policy is unnecessary. Or that this device is essential to completing everyday tasks.
We’ve all been lied to, spun to, and deceived. If your training isn’t honest about the challenges and struggles you’re likely to face, then how can you trust its teachings – much less retain them well enough to apply the knowledge to real-world situations?
However, your professional learning experience doesn’t have to – and shouldn’t – settle for anything less than the best. After all, you, your career, and your future deserve it. Experience the difference AOTMP® University’s tools, training courses, and professional learning resources can make today!