Behind the Scenes: How We Practice For Better Performance

Without consistent practice, it’s hard to improve at your craft. If recently-learned information isn’t consistently applied to real-world scenarios, there’s only a small chance of seeing returns on your training efforts. That’s why Lessonly champions the learn, practice, perform model as opposed to only learn and perform.

Practice is essential for high-performance—just ask any sports team. And as Lessonly grows, we’re wholly committed to driving consistent performance across every single one of our teams. The ideas of practice and continuous rapid improvement aren’t just important to our success: We’re dependent on them.

This focus on practice isn’t just an internal effort, we’re investing in the idea of practice for our customers too. The launch of Video Response is one example. When testing this feature, we explored how it helps customer-facing teams perform better by testing it out on our own team.

As we practiced real-world skills and situations with Video Response, we learned a few key takeaways that any team can apply to improve their own results:

Separate learning and practicing

We’ve always included the idea of practice in our lessons via questions and interactive elements. But, we also discovered two problems. First, it’s easy to answer a question on a topic we learned about five minutes ago. With a longer delay between learning and practice, long-term recall increases. Second, combining learning and practice often muddles both. However, when a learner has one key focus, the lesson leaves a greater impression. We’ve found that creating separate, specific learning and practice lessons is a great way to add practice opportunities in training, while making each experience more engaging.

Tactical Tip: Mix in a practice-specific lesson after every 4 or 5 learning lessons to break things up, keep the experience interactive, and solidify recall.

Practice new skills monthly

Lessonly lives by the mantra of continuous rapid improvement. This means that every single employee is committed to asking thoughtful questions, honing on their craft, and helping the tide rise for every team—not just their own. Practicing one new skill or ability each month helps focus our efforts and push us beyond everyday learning. Practice doesn’t overwhelm our team with more work or take too much time away from our actual jobs, but it’s enough to be meaningful and keep topics relevant.

Every month, we receive a few practice lessons that offer context around a problem, followed by role play scenarios using Video Response. Our managers provide personalized feedback in Lessonly and additional coaching during weekly one-on-one meetings.

So far, we’ve practiced telling better customer stories and pitching our product. And that’s just the beginning—we have lots more practice to do.

Tactical Tip: Create a monthly practice cadence around a different topic or skill to foster continuous rapid improvement on your team. Bonus points for using feedback criteria to provide more specific coaching to learners.

Use real business scenarios

It’s worth pointing out that there’s some nuance to cultivating a culture of practice—making practice relevant for employees requires intentionality and planning. Start by looking at your team’s performance data: What KPIs are underperforming? Is there a particular reason why? Perhaps that should be next month’s practice topic!
Also, be proactive with practice instead of just reactive. Rolling out a new feature, new messaging, or a change in policy over the next quarter? Offer the team more opportunities to practice ahead of time to support project or campaign rollouts. If your business is seasonal, consider what skills are relevant and important to practice in preparation for the coming months.

No matter what skills your team practices, linking lessons to tangible business realities will always drive higher training engagement.

Tactical Tip: Match team objectives, KPIs, and relevant business or industry happenings to monthly practice to keep it relevant.

Improve rapidly and continuously

Lessonly’s customer facing-teams practice constantly. This posture of continuous rapid improvement prevents stasis, boosts performance, and prepares our team for the everyday challenges of doing better work. Not only does practice benefit business performance, but it also reduces stress. When employees feel confident about their skills and jobs, the pressure decreases and their lives improve. That’s a worthwhile mission to be a part of.

Hopefully, these tips provide the same benefits for your business as they have for ours. Start doing better work with Lessonly’s learn, practice, perform model, and take a tour today!

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