Scheduling training and mentorship sessions is a popular use case for our Calendar API. Why? Because they can make huge differences to employees and businesses.We decided to delve a little deeper into the benefits and talk to our team about what training warrants the investment to help employees learn and develop their skills.
Scheduling training and mentorship sessions is a popular use case for our Calendar API. Why? Because they can make huge differences to employees and businesses.
We decided to delve a little deeper into the benefits and talk to our team about what training warrants the investment to help employees learn and develop their skills.
Adam (CEO and Co-founder): Developing oneself is a key tenet of my approach to life. Be it personal or work life I can’t help but reflect on how I could improve anything. It can be slightly exasperating for others. I guess that’s part of why I’m entrepreneur. Entrepreneurship is a constant process of pushing yourself, reflecting and trying again in areas in which you have little experience or where you’re breaking new ground.
I don’t think this approach need just be the prevail of the entrepreneur. By constantly striving for an improved and broadening skill set you set yourself up for new opportunities. The most successful people at work, especially in knowledge industries, are (or should be) curious people with a strong desire and capability to improve. Developing that trait can take your career in all sorts of interesting directions.
Alex (Senior Account Executive): If I want to go up the ladder, I see learning new skills and enhancing my existing skill sets as critical, not only for improving my own capabilities but also with supporting and advising colleagues.
Amy (Designer): Personal growth is important in and outside of work. In a quickly developing industry it is vital to stay knowledgeable. Making sure you’re efficient and effective in your job role produces valuable results for you and the company you work for.
It’s also important to grow through esteemable acts and learning for personal development. These soft skills create a harmonious lifestyle which is beneficial in all aspects of life.
"By constantly striving for an improved and broadening skill set you set yourself up for new opportunities."
Garry (CTO and Co-founder): It’s always been the case that it is important, but being a co-founder in a start-up exaggerates it. As you grow professionally you’ll encounter new and different problems, those problems require different skills to solve them. If you want to continue to grow, you need to acquire new skills to solve these problems, so you can move on to the next ones!
Jeremy (Marketing Manager): Jobs that keep people motivated and invested aren’t static. They evolve with innovations and new trends. This means that you you have to constantly adapt your skillset to stay efficient in your role and to progress your career. If we take managerial skills as an example, it isn’t something that people can just develop in their day to day job. They need help and guidance and what they learned need to be constantly updated.
But developing your skills for yourself is even more important than doing it because your role requires it. There is a real sense of accomplishment when you master a new skill.
I also believe that learning to learn is a skill in itself. It is key in building a successful career. You might even find learning a new skill really useful if you want a career change.
Kristina (Content Marketer): To me, developing skills isn’t just important at work – it’s important outside of it, too. Everyone knows something you don’t know, so it’s important to learn from as many people as you can. The more knowledge you collect, the stronger your skills are and the more confident you are in and outside of work. Some of the least confident people I know are the people who graduated university and think that that means they know everything they need to know. Formal education may end, but expanding your knowledge never should.
It’s essential to stay on top of the new innovations and ideas in the field.
"It's essential to stay on top of the new innovations and ideas in the field."
Stephen (Senior Developer): As someone who is heavily invested in technology it's essential to stay on top of the new innovations and ideas in the field. However as I’ve grown as a developer my desire to learn skills outside of my immediate field has grown and I’ve seen unexpected benefits to my day to day working. It’s important not to become too siloed into one set of thinking.
Adam: The closest I’ve come to training is an external executive coach. Everything else I’ve done has been self taught from resources or by learning as I went alongside other colleagues. The few training courses I attended really early in my career were generally unmemorable and only useful if you got to apply the knowledge straight away.
The coaching is a recent development for me. Given the nature of coaching an external perspective appears to be a lot more beneficial.
Alex: Having experienced both, I lean more towards internal training. Mainly because it’s more personalized and I believe inside knowledge sharing works better for me. Having said that, working one on one with an industry expert who can share experiences could be highly valuable.
Amy: There’s value in both. Internal training gives great insight into company values and dynamics, that external training could never match. Your co-workers can detail intricacies because of their own personal experience of your company.
On the other hand external training can be perfect for new technical skills. No one’s time is wasted on training others and external trainers are often vastly more knowledgeable and have a very different viewpoint.
"If you need training on using the products that your company is selling then you will be better served by being trained internally."
Jeremy: I really think that it depends on what you are training for and the profile of the trainer more than on external vs internal training. If you need training on using the products that your company is selling then you will be better served by being trained internally. Same thing if one of your colleagues has a proven track record of being great at training new team members. But if you are trying to learn a new skill it is best to look for training opportunities outside of your team and company. It could be that you are looking to learn how to manage and Adwords account or implement a new sales process. There is also a reason why we need professional trainers – not everyone is good at passing down or sharing knowledge.
It is also extremely valuable to get a fresh view on things or discover new ways of doing things. It can range from a negotiation technique to learning about a new marketing software. Getting out of the office always offer a new perspective!
Kristina: It depends on what it’s for. If it’s to do with the brand or using a particular software, internal is fine. External training is good for getting a fresh perspective on how you do things. I’m currently doing a copywriting course and the lessons I’ve learned from it have proven to be invaluable both at Cronofy and other projects that I’m working on.
Alex: Internal training sessions with sales manager and team: we listened to sales calls/demo and dissected how the call went, where I or other colleagues slipped up, missed a valuable piece of information, or when we asked good/poor questions. The best training method I have experienced. (Something I would like to see happen at Cronofy).Amy: My most valuable training came from a mentor. As we had a friendship she cared for both my professional and personal development. She reassured me when I was most apprehensive and helped me transition from just another graduate to a respected to co-worker who can stand on her own two feet.
"We listened to sales calls/demo and dissected how the call went, where I or other colleagues slipped up, missed a valuable piece of information, or when we asked good/poor questions."
Jeremy: I have attended a lot of training sessions and workshops throughout the year. Mainly to develop my marketing skills or learn more about management. But the most valuable course I went to was actually a sales session where I learned about the SPIN methodology. This methodology is based on learning prospects’ requirements through asking very open yet specific questions and it is something I have found very useful in all aspects of my life. It also helps getting to know people better and building stronger relationships!
Copy School has made a big difference to my confidence as a writer. It’s cemented some of what I learned at university, while also teaching me more about the psychology of the sales process. One of their messages that stands out for me is that your copy should be your ‘virtual salesperson’. I try to remember this when writing copy – my aim is to make Alex and Adam Bird’s lives a little easier!
Alex: Making sure that everything you discuss is specifically of value to your prospect or relevant to the team member you are talking with.
Amy: That if you don’t show up, you deny others the opportunity to learn from you. Everyone is valuable and it’s no good to place yourself on a pedestal. You should show up for your team and empower them with your skillset too.
"If you don’t show up, you deny others the opportunity to learn from you."
Jeremy: There is no shame in not understand something. Just don’t keep it to yourself as it can hurt you or your company in the long run if people around think you are all on the same page. Raise your hand, ask a question and get your answer now and then.
Self-care is important. You’re useless to friends, family, and colleagues if you don’t look after yourself first.
Every six months Cronofy organises a companywide meet up. This May, we met in Amsterdam to give our teams the chance to see our recently opened office and the sights this wonderful European capital has to offer.
Developing how your company describes and represents itself is a challenging and enlightening journey. You have to revisit long held assumptions and confront the reality of what your customers and the market value. I absolutely believe that you can only do this effectively with outside help.