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Team Training

How to Get Your Team to Complete Courses (Even with a Busy Workday!)

7 min readView all articles
By Lauren Rosenthal
Jul 31, 2023

In a constantly evolving landscape of cutting-edge tools and technologies, one thing remains crystal clear: learning & development opportunities are critical to success. Need proof? Just ask the 87% of job seekers who believe a strong development program is important or the 80% of CEOs who state that their biggest business challenge is the need for new skills. It’s obvious that providing these opportunities is essential.

But hang on a minute, it’s not just about any old learning and development; it’s about unlocking access to the right learning and development. Astonishingly, 70% of employees report that they don’t have mastery over the skills they need to do their jobs. And as if that wasn’t jarring enough, only 12% state that they apply new skills learned in L&D programs to their jobs – 12%!

In order to close these gaps, it’s clear that employers need to make learning and development a priority, and that means it should be meaningful, personal, and accessible to their teams.

This is where Maven Analytics comes into play. We’re uniquely positioned to be able to share what works and what doesn’t work when it comes to data analytics with our comprehensive L&D platform. We’re excited to share our favorite tips and tricks that we’ve learned on how to get your team to complete courses even with a buddy workday.

1. Make It Meaningful

Champion Learning

Communicate the value of upskilling and reskilling to your team. It’s important to convey to your team the benefits and importance of learning new skills. As the data analytics world continues to expand, it’s even more necessary to make sure that your team recognizes the evolution of the tools they are using or have used, and how that evolution impacts their work.

Align learning efforts with your team’s goals and values. Make sure that what you’re asking your team to learn is directly related to their objectives. Consider your team members’ skill levels and what their day-to-day work involves. This also means considering how your organization is set-up. Do you have people who specialize in certain tools or are your data analysts generalists who need to know the basics of multiple tools?

Encourage a growth mindset within your team. Encourage your team members to not only embrace challenges, but also learn from failures and be willing to approach an old task in a new way. By creating a culture of continuous learning and refinement, you empower your team to meet future challenges head-on, and foster innovation, growth, and success for the entire team.

Make sure your team has the tools, software, time, and space needed to learn. A gap in resources, whether it’s tangible, like access to computers or software, or intangible, like insufficient time, creates a barrier to learning. Removing those barriers creates time and space and helps your team engage in learning.

Concrete steps: Book a conference room for an hour a few times a week to allow team members to come together and learn collaboratively.

Be available to help. Offer help and guidance, clarify content, answer questions, and generally support your team. Remember that it’s okay if you don’t have all the answers, you just need to help and support your team. Being able to point a team member in the right direction is just as valuable.

Concrete steps: Provide ongoing support via weekly Q&As, offers to connect with more knowledgeable members in your company, or a Slack channel dedicated to learning.

Lead by example and don’t fall for the old adage, “Do as I say, not as I do.” If you want your team to see learning as beneficial, show them! The team needs to see that you're promoting a learning environment because it's what you find valuable.

Offer Personalized Learning Paths

L&D isn’t one size fits all. Depending on skill level, department, and job duties, L&D may not look the same for everyone. Personalized learning can be more meaningful and impactful than standardized learning. At Maven Analytics, we offer personalized learning paths that allow team members to focus their efforts on skills and tools that matter to them and their position.

Concrete steps: Use Maven Analytics’ practice skills assessments to determine your team members’ interests and strengths in the data analytics and business intelligence space and build out a personalized learning plan.

Provide Feedback

Effective feedback is crucial for your team’s L&D growth and progress. Remember that L&D is an ongoing process and providing constructive (not critical) feedback to team members within your training program is a valuable way to support their professional growth and development.

Concrete steps: Set clear and tangible goals, provide specific examples of what they’re doing well and where improvements can be made, follow up regularly, encourage self-reflection, and consider each person’s individual learning style.

2. Make It Personal

Build Time Into Your Team’s Schedules

Emphasize the importance of learning by building it into the workday. One piece of feedback we consistently hear is that team members don’t have time to engage in learning. By incorporating learning opportunities directly into the workday, you can create a culture of continuous learning and development within your team. Allocating this time allows employees to better manage their time and not feel guilty about dedicating a portion of their time to learning. It also means you’re not asking employees to learn on their own time.

Concrete steps: Make learning and upskilling a priority by building it into the calendar on a weekly or monthly basis. Set aside 1-2 hour blocks that are meant for learning. Consider making this an opportunity for your team to come together either virtually or in-person and engage in learning.

Encourage L&D Initiatives

Be open to hearing about L&D opportunities that your employees have found. When employees discover relevant learning opportunities on their own, it demonstrates a proactive approach to personal and professional growth, which in turn, increases engagement.

Team members who feel that their input is valuable can help promote an “always learning” culture and motivate colleagues to do the same. Additionally, make sure you share your team’s or company’s overarching goals and strategies so employees know what types of L&D opportunities may be beneficial to the team.

Concrete steps: Create a Slack channel, suggestion box, shared document, or email group dedicated to employee-driven L&D ideas. Regularly talk about L&D opportunities during team meetings and encourage your team members to discuss opportunities they’ve found with you.

How we know it works: We ask our teams where they originally heard about Maven and often it’s directly from team members. Having learning advocates on your team is a great way to increase engagement in L&D. Check out what Starlyn Danley from J.B. Hunt has to say about her experiences with Maven.

Incorporate L&D Into Goal Setting

When L&D is linked to a team member’s objectives and overall performance evaluation, it becomes a tool for both personal and professional growth. Setting specific, measurable learning goals gives employees clear expectations and a roadmap for their skill development. It also benefits the organization; defining specific objectives can help track an employee’s progress over time, identify skill gaps, and where they excel.

Concrete steps: Set SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-bound) learning objectives that are tailored to your team’s goals and strategy, employee’s role, interests, and areas for improvement. Regularly review these goals and update them as needed; it’s a great weekly 1-1 topic.

3. Make It Accessible

Use Microlearning Opportunities

Microlearning is popular for a reason. Microlearning is short, “bite-sized” content that can be consumed quickly and easily. That means that employees can fit learning into a busy schedule, during downtime, or even on a commute. Microlearning also often focuses on specific skills or techniques, which means employees can immediately apply what they’ve learned to their own work.

Employ On-Demand Training

Always available learning opportunities can increase employee engagement, globally. On-demand training allows employees to access learning materials and courses at their own pace and convenience. They can choose when and where to engage with the content, making it easier to fit learning into a busy work week. This makes it easier for companies that have teams located throughout the world to ensure that employees receive the same level of training and knowledge, regardless of their physical location.

Learn From Each Other

Your employees are your greatest asset; use them! Create a collaborative and knowledge-sharing environment with your team or organization where employees can learn from each other in many different ways. Establishing a collaborative culture can help employees feel encouraged and supported to learn from one another. An additional benefit: a collaborative culture promotes a sense of camaraderie and builds stronger teams!

Concrete steps: There are many ways to accomplish this! Here are just a few: initiate regular knowledge sharing sessions, establish a mentorship program, host “Lunch & Learn” sessions, use a dedicated Slack channel to promote peer-to-peer learning, implement cross-team challenges and projects (you can use Maven’s Data Playground as a jumping off point for challenges or contests!).

Don’t Gatekeep

Gatekeeping refers to actions and policies that limit certain employees’ access to L&D opportunities. Instead of limiting what certain employees’ can access based on their title, department, manager, etc. create an environment where everyone has the same opportunities to participate in training programs, skills development, and learning initiatives.

If people show interest in learning a new skill that doesn’t necessarily connect to their job, let them explore the skill. When employees are empowered to seek out and pursue learning opportunities based on their interests it ultimately creates a more engaged employee and team.

Offer Learning Incentives

People like rewards and recognition. Offering learning incentives to your employees can have several benefits for both the employee and the company like, increased engagement, higher job satisfaction, attraction and retention of employees, enhanced skills, future proofing your skillset, making your skill set more adaptable, increased productivity, and much more.

Concrete steps: Celebrate milestones, issue performance-based awards, provide internal growth opportunities, and give out learning stipends.

Final Thoughts…

Peter Baeklund quote I love this quote because it simply highlights the whole L&D challenge. Companies need to properly invest in their employees' learning and development and make sure they have professional growth opportunities.

Without access to training and skill development, employees may feel stagnant in their roles, unable to reach their full potential, disconnected, or feel like they can do the bare minimum and just skate by.

Help your teams and employees realize their full potential, invest in them, and make L&D meaningful, important, and accessible in your teams and organization.


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Lauren Rosenthal

As an Account Exec and Data Analyst on the Maven Team, Lauren plays an integral role onboarding & supporting our B2B teams, helping analyze our key success metrics, and producing great content.

As an Account Exec and Data Analyst on the Maven Team, Lauren plays an integral role onboarding & supporting our B2B teams, helping analyze our key success metrics, and producing great content.

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