Training up your staff when the goal posts move

James Wilson
Source: Getty

Becoming a great football striker needs a lot of practice.

Players spend hours upon hours perfecting their craft, ensuring that they can kick the ball at any angle and make the goal, but once you’re a great striker – how do you remain a great striker?

After being in a job for several years, you start to feel comfortable performing your daily tasks, and it can be easy to think you’ve learnt all there is to know.

But what happens when the goal posts move and you have to approach things differently?

And how do you know when to be a team player and kick the ball to someone else?

Whether it’s football or work, the answer is that you have to learn and adjust to the new position to make sure that you can meet the new goal.

So other than continuing to practice, there are other methods you can use to help staff deal better when their targets change.

Time to tackle

While classroom learning is still effective in continuing professional development, it’s not the most practical, convenient, or memorable method.

To be more effective, learning needs to fit in with our busy schedules, which is where eLearning comes into play. YouTube or independent platforms offer a swathe of options to help staff continue their professional development, while some providers are even able to curate the most relevant content.

One winning feature is that many platforms are mobile-friendly, meaning staff can learn when they’re on the move. And rather than being an educational endurance test, online courses allow staff to complete sessions in quick bursts, speeding up the learning process.

One-two pass

Like football, business is a team game, so encourage staff to learn from the people around them. This is particularly crucial when expectations change.

Success starts from the top-down, so make sure you’re sharing your own knowledge. Being a manager is ultimately about inspiring the team.

You might also like to try "lunch and learn" sessions with your team to teach a topic or skill you’re an expert in.

The main thing is just to start and see what works, remembering to kick the ball to others, while allowing them to give new ideas.

Track your performance

Finally, with all of these initiatives, it’s important to track the success throughout and ensure these micro-learning moments contribute to a fuller career development plan for employees.

While it’s good to keep track as an individual of what is helping you learn and enjoy the most, companies need to take on this responsibility and help map personal development plans for you.

Like Liverpool’s 4-0 comeback against Barcelona during the Champions League, change can be difficult to predict, so it’s important you’re prepared and have a plan when targets or job roles change.

Ultimately, the learning and goal-setting never stop.