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How to get the most out of training your team

Team training is more than just “set and forget.” Learn how to make the most of training your UX content team to achieve lasting results.

Training your entire team in a specific skill can be an economic decision as much as a strategic one. But hiring managers and team leads aren’t getting as much out of their training as they could.

With hiring budgets tightening up, getting the most out of your team is essential. Training is a great way to achieve that, but it’s not just a “set and forget” decision. 

A lot of the time, the journey to a training session tends to be pretty front-loaded. Here are the typical steps:

  1. The team or team lead identifies skill gaps
  2. The team lead identifies a training provider
  3. Training commences
  4. There usually is no step 4 because there probably wasn’t a solid plan for closing the loop and ensuring goals were set—and then met—after training

Sending your entire team to a training session might not be enough. It’s only a third of the battle. You’ll also want to prepare for the session itself and follow up to ensure success. Set goals and create a helpful environment around training to get the most out of it.

Over the past four years, we’ve trained dozens of teams—from a few content designers to well over 50 at a time. From small companies to Fortune 500. There’s a clear difference between those teams who see good results and those who see great ones. 

Sure, you can send your team to a session and not do any of these things. You’ll probably still get good results! But if you want to get the maximum value for money, here’s what we’d recommend. 

Identify motivation for each team member

Sometimes we’ll see teams where 8 out of 10 people want to be there and get a lot out of it, but the 2 remaining members might not see a clear connection to their work. 

We recommend speaking with those team members beforehand and identifying key areas where this training is going to actually improve their work. Speak with the training provider to see how the session can focus on real, specific problems your team faces day to day. 

Communicate with the provider! Tell them about the 2 people who may have specific thoughts and challenges. If you have a good provider, they’ll create unique exercises or material to address those specific needs.

Create goals and circulate them

Think carefully about what you want to get out of your training session. Identify a skills gap and come up with specific examples where you want to see improvement. Share them with the training provider to give them full context about your own goals. 

It’s much more engaging to start a training session with someone who knows that your content designers are having trouble with developers, product managers, or dialogues. The more specific the use cases and examples shared in the training, the better. 

Share insights

After the training session, get together with your team for a recap or a debrief. What did the team think about the session? What did you learn? Were there any learning goals that weren’t met? Did your team find inspiration where you didn’t expect it? What type of inspiration did you find? Organize a debrief to share ideas and learnings. Circulate notes and have them handy for everyone to access. 

Make space for the training

Create some headspace for your team to take this training and make it valuable so they’re not thinking about work deadlines, emails, or Slack messages the whole time.

It might be impossible to get 100% free time blocked on the calendar but encourage training attendees to hand off work, move meetings around, let people know deadlines might slip, and provide the space for the training to happen without added stress. 

Identify key return-on-investment goals

Sometimes, team leaders can organize a training session and then expect everything to instantly improve. But such a broad goal is setting yourself up for failure. We prefer using MAD goals for your training:

  • Measurable: Can you measure impact?
  • Actionable: Does your team know what to do to improve?
  • Deliverable: Are your goals realistic? Can they be achieved?

If you have a goal for your training, then you should also have a point at which you’ve demonstrated relevant impact. Is it error messages? Can you see a decline in the number of feature drop-off rates or an increase in feature completion rates? Requests for support? In-product purchases?

Create a way that you reasonably think can show improvement based on the training, then measure it within a reasonable timeframe. 

Create opportunities to practice

Are you revisiting training after the fact? Training shouldn’t just be setting and forgetting. You should be revisiting that training and making sure that your team is implementing everything they learned into day-to-day work. 

Don’t waste your training benefit

Team training has a huge payoff. But it’s not just about setting a workshop and letting everything run its course. Have a goal for your training, develop it alongside your team, and follow up after the training to make sure you see lasting results. 

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If you’re ready to give your team skills to succeed, we’re here to help. Continue learning about how we can help, or get in touch via the form below.

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