If you want your marketing team to get the most out of training, you’ve got to keep them accountable and help them apply what they’re learning.
And there may be no better way to keep them on task and productive than team meetings.
Yep, that’s right, we used “meeting” and “productive” in the same sentence. Here’s how it works.
Tom Robinson – MediaCom Beyond Advertising Director – has developed a structure to help guide his team through the Market Motive Level 2 Fundamentals Course. He broke the training up into bite sized piece, and, most importantly, he kept the team accountable along with way with team meetings.
We’ve studied MediaCom’s success, and uncovered 7 tips for leveraging team meetings to get the most out of a training program.
1. Don’t call your meetings “meetings” – call them “check-ins”
Let’s be honest, nobody likes meetings – so don’t have them. Instead, organize “check-ins” to avoid painting the picture of endless powerpoint slides and buzzword bingo. Make sure your team knows that this is a time for them to interact with the other participants and really check-in about how the training is going and what they’re learning.
2. Schedule the check-ins regularly
MediaCom holds their check-ins every two weeks. Because they’re scheduled regularly and often, nobody is ever surprised by the expectation to finish the assigned material. The predictable pacing keeps the team moving steadily through the training, which helps for knowledge retention and prevents cramming.
3. Make the check-ins mandatory
Make sure that your team is committed to being at the check-ins. Block it out in their schedules and protect that time. Having the accountability of knowing they need to attend galvanizes them to progress through the training in hopes of having something to contribute – or at least not looking like they’re behind.
“We need to make training a priority, and we do that through the follow up classes that are a requirement for everybody, so we get that level of participation and involvement that we require.” – Tom Robinson
4. Don’t rush the time
Your check-ins won’t be effective if you’re holding them just to cross off “held a team meeting” from your to-do list and rush to the next activity. You need to make sure there’s ample time for interaction and discussion. MediaCom allocates 1.5 hours for each check-in and holds them in a relaxed environment around a table that encourages interaction.
5. Have your participants lead the meetings
The best way to learn is to teach. Help solidify your team’s knowledge acquisition by having them lead the check-ins. Not only does it keep an additional item off your to-do list, but it helps your participants reach a more advanced level of understanding of the course material. MediaCom assigns two members to lead each check-in, and they rotate through the roster as they progress through the training program.
6. Review training
Have the leaders of the check-ins briefly go through what was covered in the training, pulling out key points and and any specifically important insights. The review will help to get everyone on the same page and remind them of what information was covered.
7. Review application
One of the most important components of your check-in is that your team goes over how they’ve applied their training to their work. Not only will this put them in the mindset of “how can I apply this” throughout the duration of their training, sharing may spark new insights or ideas. Your presenters should start with specific ways they’ve been able to apply the training, and then open it up for discussion with the rest of the team.
“Theory alone is not hard to grasp, but it’s about trying to understand how best it can be applied in our day-to-day roles. That’s been really useful, having those check-in sessions and relating that back to what we do.” – Tom Robinson
Meetings are tedious. Check-ins represent progress. These seven steps will help keep your team on the same page and moving in the same direction as they improve their skills. Before you know it, your team will be looking forward to the meetings so they can share the breakthroughs they’ve had for your company or your clients.
And that’s a
meeting check-in worth having.
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