The Superhero sidekick

Later this month sees the publication of the 2019 Workplace Learning Report and one of the main findings from the L&D professionals surveyed is the importance of using managers to promote learning. 66% of L&D Pros admitted to doing this and it made us realise once again how much success (or failure) of training is down to how engaged the participants line manager is.

An engaged, supportive manager makes a world of difference to how much learning transfers back to the day job. For us in L&D, the line manager has the potential to be a learning Superhero that we play the sidekick to.

Recently we were asked to work with a Sales team to help them hone their group selling skills. More and more of their sales interactions with customers are happening in group settings rather than 1:1’s so they wanted to make sure their skills were sharper than their competitors.

Here’s what this manager did to make sure her team got the most from the training…

Before the training

  • Engaged with us to determine the programme objectives, how best to communicate with the team before the training and confirmed who does what at the training event
  • Positioned us (the external supplier) and explained what our role was and why we were delivering the training
  • Held 1:1’s to set objectives with each team member
  • Provided a clear call to action (“Please bring along your good sense of humour, can-do attitude and a willingness to learn from each other”)

At the training

  • Introduced the programme and set the training up for a successful outcome
  • Supported the training outcomes and challenged the participants to try out new ideas

After the training

  • Set up time with team members to observe the new skills in action
  • Shared success stories with the team when they saw new skills getting great results
  • Rang us the day after the training to tell us what her team members were doing and the impact it was having on customers already (we love a good news phone call!)

The result?

Apart from the training being judged as a huge success by the participants (Net Promoter Score of 87) we had the privilege of working with a team that were ready to learn, keen to participate, happy to challenge themselves, each other (and us!) and pushed themselves to try new things, including some that they weren’t initially comfortable with.

The real result?

So what happened when they transferred these skills to their customers? We’ll let these quotes do the talking…

“I witnessed passion, active listening, inclusiveness, drawing on the positive experiences of others in the room and an opening which made every single member of the team sit up and give their FULL attention – we came away with the 6 – yes 6 – outcomes we desired.”

“The best part of the call was that the lead customer said he was glad I hadn’t just talked data to them and had actually listened to them”

We were delighted to be the sidekick to this L&D Superhero manager, and what a privilege it was to work with her team.