Reason #1 Why Training Materials Aren’t Just for Training: Inspiration!

Time to Redefine “Training”

There’s no question that having well-designed training materials for employees is beneficial.  By putting together courses, videos, online activities, and print materials, an employer can make sure that everyone knows the technical aspects of his or her job, and is on the same page with respect to company policies and procedures.  However, training materials can serve a number of other functions, and over the next few weeks, we’ll be highlighting a few of them.

Encourage Innovation!

Have you ever considered developing training materials geared toward inspiring new ideas from your team?  Chances are, your office is filled with great minds with new ideas, and designing the right creative training program can really make room for them to be heard.  Although this kind of “training” requires an investment of your staff’s time, finding new and innovative ways to approach your products or services can yield fantastic long-term results.

Some General Suggestions:

  • Provide your team with an occasional “creative whack” exercise.  This can include brainstorming, free-association, and even play-based training.
  • Create an online forum, a Pinterest page, or even an old-school pin-up board, where employees are free to share examples of work, video clips, quotes, web links, or pictures that spark new ideas.
  • Establish a lunchtime discussion group.  Choose a book that takes a “bigger picture” look at your industry, or a relevant TED talk, and share ideas.
  • Hold a visioning session, and ask your team questions like “How would you like our company to be recognized?” or “Where do you see our team in 5 years?” or “In a perfect world, how would you see this project going?”

As with any sort or training, make the creative stuff objective-based.  Explain in advance why you’re doing these exercises, and what you hope to achieve with them.  Training like this doesn’t have to take up a great deal of time, but allowing your staff to take a step outside of everyday procedures, even just for a little while, can make a world of difference.  Not only will it allow them to go back to routine tasks mentally refreshed, but it will give them a greater sense of why they’re doing what they’re doing.

Amy Leask is VP of Enable Education.  She’s constantly amazed and inspired by the people she works with.  

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