Nothing stays the same for long in the world of digital marketing. As technologies and tactics evolve quickly to support market demands, the results we produce for our clients depend largely on how well we as a team can adapt.
However, keeping up with the latest trends and changes in our field has proven to be quite a challenge. In fact, while 63% of marketers believe that the sector is experiencing rapid evolution, only 28% believe their companies have successfully adapted to the change.
So the question is, in the face of all these changes, how can we align each team member’s training time to the information they need most? How much time will this training require? Which resources should we use that are best aligned with our company and client goals?
Read on to find out the solutions and tactics we used to overcome these hurdles as a digital marketing brand.
The Importance Of Training
According to Tortal Training, 25% of employees leave their job because they don’t have a full understanding of their role and aren’t provided any kind of on-the-job training. On the other hand, companies that offer training and development to their employees see their revenue increase by a staggering 26% per employee.
Think about that. How would your business look if it received a 26% increase in revenue per employee, multiplied by every line of business in your company?
This stat alone should be enough to make you consider implementing a training program for your business.
Developing A Kaizen Mindset
Here at New Perspective, one of our core values is “the Kaizen mindset”, which is a sino-Japanese mentality that embodies the concept of continuous improvement. We strive to better educate and enlighten our team members so we can provide the highest quality results to our clients.
Kaizen is the Japanese word for “good change” (Kai = change, Zen = good). It’s not just a methodology—it’s a whole new mindset that involves a commitment to eliminating overproduction, becoming more efficient, improving the quality of our service and reducing unnecessary activities. It’s this passion for improvement that drives us to be the best we can be at what we do.
The Solution: Breakthrough Day
If we wanted to give our clients the best possible service, then we knew that making time for professional training was a necessity.
After banging our head against the wall trying to find solutions, we decided to run a test called Breakthrough Day, a day where we shut down the office and dedicated time solely to learning. That means no meetings, no client deliverables, and no calls for a whole day.
In the past, each team member would have their own individualized growth plan and set quarterly rocks, which consisted of individual goals we intended to complete by the end of the quarter. These goals would take on various forms: completing training, earning certifications, etc. However, this approach came with its fair share of challenges:
- Finding The Time: We are a growth agency. Most of our focus is on essential aspects of our business, such as research & planning, execution, and assessment/analysis. With so much in our hands, training and education would often get pushed off to “later”, since it was never our main priority.
- Setting The Right Goals: It’s great to set up quarterly goals, but what if we weren’t able to prioritize and finish the training until the end of the quarter? Would the goal we chose to be the most pressing thing to get done three months after we set it, or would there be something new we’d like to learn about?
- Dedicating Company Resources: Personal dedication was not enough to achieve our quarterly goals. How could New Perspective provide us with the resources we needed to grow?
Breakthrough Day came as a response to all of these issues. We reasoned that a day committed to professional development, growing our skills and learning about the latest tactics (unique to each employee’s growth plan) would empower our team and, most importantly, provide value to our clients.
Without a solid plan, shutting down the office for a day wasn’t going to do anyone any good. How would Breakthrough Day’s success be measured for each team member? What dependencies did we have? Which resources would we use to accomplish our objectives?
A few weeks in advance, we began to plan out everything for our big day. Here are the important steps each team member had to take in order to take charge of their learning:
Since we all have different roles in the company, not all of our goals for Breakthrough Day were the same. Some wanted to learn about the newest research on a marketing tactic, while others wanted to know how to best address some recurrent issues that were affecting our clients. Based on our individual plans, we took the time to deeply analyze the things we wanted to improve so we could select courses accordingly.
Selecting Training Materials
Once we knew exactly what we wanted to get out of the day, now was the time to search for reliable, up-to-date training material to help us. As HubSpot partners, we have access to HubSpot Academy, which contains a wealth of marketing courses and certifications about marketing. From basic overviews of inbound marketing to in-depth explorations of specialized topics, we could learn about every topic imaginable. Outside of HubSpot academy, we also explored:
Updating Our Clients
We needed to let our clients know that we would be unavailable for the day. We explained to them how Breakthrough Day would be a win-win situation for both of us, as strengthening our team would ultimately benefit our efficiency and effectiveness in delivering results for them.
Finding The Best Work Environment
To make the day flow as smoothly as possible, we were all given the option of working from home or in the office—and everyone chose to work from home. This allowed us to complete our training material at our own pace, in the comfort of our own home, without the distraction of a ringing phone or the temptation to chat with a coworker.
Sharing Our Wins
Just because we weren’t in the office together didn’t mean we couldn’t celebrate each other’s accomplishments. Throughout the day, we kept in touch with a Slack channel dedicated to Breakthrough Day. This was where we posted interesting facts or quotes—and where we made announcements if and when we completed any new certifications!
Breakthrough Day turned out to be a resounding success. Not only did it give us an opportunity to develop our skills, we were able to rethink our strategy to adapt ourselves to the changes in digital marketing. Here are the key things we got out of the experience:
- Time To Digest New Information: Having the whole day dedicated to nothing but training gave us the opportunity to digest and absorb new information without feeling rushed to get through it. It allowed us to think critically about what we were learning and how we could best use it in the future.
- Improved Satisfaction And Morale: The investment New Perspective made in training us showed that we were valued as employees. The company shut down the office, taking time that could have been used for billable work and instead dedicated it to professional development and growth. This created a supportive environment where everyone was rooting for each other and forced us to get out of our comfort zone to challenge ourselves.
- Tackle Shortcomings: In any company, every employee has their shortcomings and solid training helps iron them out. By addressing our shortcomings and weaknesses, we became more confident in our roles, boosting our performance as a result.
- Increased Productivity: Dedicating a whole day to training and development got us up-to-date with new technology, taught us how to use existing tools and strategies better and allowed us to discard the outdated ones. This goes a long way when it comes to getting things done more efficiently.
Don’t just take it from me, check out what our inbound marketing consultant Erin had to say about the experience:
“I think it’s really important for us to take training seriously. And the fact that the agency was willing to make the investment in time for all of us and give us the opportunity to take a full work day to really be able to lean into something that’s not only going to help us, but it’s really going to benefit our clients, that was really rewarding.”
After the amazing success from our first Breakthrough Day, where do we go from here?
Breakthrough Day is not a one-time event—it’s something we plan to repeat on a quarterly basis, to ensure we continue to grow as a team and provide max value to our clients. After a successful trial run, we are determined to make next quarter’s Breakthrough Day even more rewarding than the last.
Want to learn more about our Breakthrough Day experience? Watch the video to hear some comments from our team!
Are you interested in growing your skills at New Perspective? Take a look at our Careers page; review the available job postings and see if you’re a good fit for our team.