Personal Growth as Route to Great Client Care

Inspire Cloud Concept

At a party, I asked a teacher if she was planning to take any courses this summer. The response was, “I’m at the top of my pay grid” – I was shocked!

As a professional, I pride myself on continuous learning and improving my craft through books, courses and I expect others do the same. Some professionals, like engineers, doctors, social workers, and many others, require annual continuing education credits to maintain their professional status. And coming from that history, have simply sustained the practice.

And who is responsible for this training? I think it’s a shared responsibility.

Certainly, when I was employed by non-profits, money was a concern and that limited their ability to offer as much training as they would have liked. And many organizations go to great lengths to ensure the best possible level of training they can offer their employees. I happily went to conferences and training –when costs were shared, and even when it was on my dime. And I valued every moment of the training.

What are your team members expecting?
Is it a requirement of their profession to have continuous upgrading?
Is this discussion part of an annual review process?
Do you expect employees to engage in training and development opportunities in your organization and on their own?
Are you able to cost-share by covering some of the expenses, or perhaps by giving them paid time off to attend?

Hopefully, training is not linked to the pay grid – but is linked instead to the mission of your organization and the individuals work. Let’s make it about offering the very best client service!

Here are some ideas to ensure continuous education and development of your team:

  • Create a short survey to ask your team members what they want to learn. What areas do they want to develop within themselves? Then seek resources to fill that need.
  • Hire a trainer that has expertise in those areas.
  • If your budget is really tight, you might see who in your team is knowledgeable in the desired areas and if they would be willing to do a lunch and learn.
  • You might ask one of your team members who place a high value on learning to research and present the material.
  • Consider having a book club where you read a book every month and discuss it (perhaps over a potluck lunch or have lunch provided if you have the budget for it).
  • Encourage your staff to spend 1 hour per week researching podcasts and online videos that focus on self-improvement and/or a key area in your work.
  • Look at cost-sharing opportunities – perhaps mileage, time off, or shared enrollment.
  • Have those that go out for training share what they learned – either in a presentation or at a team meeting.

I have a strong bias for the need for continuous growth and development (and a passion for the same).

How might you encourage your staff to engage in the lifelong pursuit of learning? It will truly be of benefit to their career, your organization, and your clients.

P.S. You can check out www.onpurposeconsulting.ca to see the training and coaching opportunities that I offer.

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