If you’re anything like me, you probably grew up with a few phrases that are still ingrained in your brain. Most of the ones that come to mind for me are disciplinary. (“Is that as kind as you know how to be?” will forever ring in my ears.) But one phrase I carry with me has nothing to do with discipline and everything to do with preparation for the future. Which is conveniently what training’s ultimate goal is. More on that later.
A few years ago, my dad and I ran some errands together. We were chatting about our futures and what we wanted our lives to look like down the line. I rattled off about 10 billion different things I’d like to do in my life—be a great friend, build a career I loved, start a small business, adopt kids, be a grandparent, learn to play an instrument, write a ton, read even more—and that was just scratching the surface. My dad just sort of laughed and said, “Liv, you can do it all, but you can’t do it all at once.”
His words really stuck with me. There’s value in doing a lot of things in life, but there’s arguably just as much value in focusing, specializing, and prioritizing them to avoid feeling spread too thin. And, do you know what helps with focus, specialization, and prioritization? Training. The importance of training is evident in my dad’s phrase. Now that I’m at Lessonly, I’m realizing more and more that training is absolutely vital at work. It makes it so we can do it all—just not all at once. Here are three of my latest thoughts on the purpose of training:
1. Training empowers teams to focus.
The saying, “Whatever you are, be a good one.” is often attributed to Abraham Lincoln, but the jury’s still out on whether or not he actually said that. Regardless, I agree with the sentiment of these words. Whatever we decide to do, we should do so with excellence. We should focus. In the same way it takes intentionality to accomplish the things I mentioned earlier, it takes daily focus to be exceptional at our jobs.
High-quality training empowers teams to focus. Honing skills at work and truly prioritizing one objective at a time is feasible with different types of training, but a learning management system (LMS) is the conduit I’ve seen teams thrive the most with. An LMS allows team members to take lessons specific to their role. Training should look different depending on each individual employee’s training needs and areas for improvement, and an LMS provides the right combination of flexibility and customization. Gone are the days where everyone receives the same blanketed onboarding and continuous training; personalized types of training and development keep teams focused because what they’re learning applies directly to their knowledge gaps. With more empowered reps, the benefits of training and development in an organization start with focus and move to specialization.
2. Training helps teams specialize.
If you train your team well, subject matter experts will undoubtedly arise. And, that’s a good thing. While it’s important for teams, especially frontline teams, to have a breadth of important job knowledge, it’s arguably just as important to have depth, too. Depth looks like specialization, and when you have specialists on your team, you have go-to people for different tasks. You have process. You have efficiency. These are just a few reasons why training is needed for employee specialization and team growth.
3. Training teaches teams to prioritize what matters.
One of the most challenging skills in life and at work is identifying what matters most—and then taking actions and steps that match that importance. Training people to cherish their time and divide up their hours wisely at work is essential; perfect prioritization doesn’t come naturally for most. In an LMS, leaders and managers can create lessons with their best practices and efficiency hacks that’ll help newer hires identify areas to work smarter. And what is training good for if it doesn’t help us work smarter, right?
Of course, when my dad first said “You can have it all, but you can’t have it all at once.” my mind didn’t instantly go to “I have a deep need of training and development.” But I will say that his words have served as a lens through which I see my work and my life. And I know I want my work and life, regardless of what I’m doing at the time, to be full of focus, specialization, and prioritization.
Think your team could use Lessonly? We think so, too.
Building a world-class team takes both learning and practice, and Lessonly helps teams do both. Click here to get a quick look at what we do, or if you’re not sure about us yet, here are 5 things you should know about Lessonly!