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How To Keep Your Agency Team Skilled Up

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Have you ever wondered why some companies get stuck in routines and stop developing? This could happen to your team.

New trends and technologies are introduced to this world every minute. And it’s your job to keep your team skilled up and make sure that they are up-to-date on latest technologies. Because if you don’t, then your company will stop innovating.

Here are a few things you can do to keep your team on the right track.

Encourage Your Team To Attend Conferences

Conferences are not only a great method of learning about emerging technologies, it’s also a great way of networking and making new connections.

Conferences also offer great opportunities for career development while making learning more exciting and enjoyable for the employees.

Of course, getting your team to attend a conference wouldn’t be easy. Let’s face it, who would rather go to a conference when they can go to a movie or spend time with their family on the day off.

But, there’s a simple trick you can use to get your team all excited about conferences: Let your team pick the conferences they would like to attend.

Ask your team to make a list of conferences they would like to go to. Discuss the choices and let them decide. This way, your team will be excited to attend the conferences and they will also be eager to learn from them as well.

Get A Company Subscription For An Online Training Platform

Teaching new skills to your team is a great way to improve their abilities, but teaching these skills without forcing them to learn is the hardest part. The easiest way to do this is to get a subscription for an online learning platform.

Lynda.com is a great platform you can use to get this job done. Lynda.com has a special subscription plan for small businesses that gives your team access to valuable training programs like, the science of sales, project management fundamentals, introduction to graphic design, Microsoft Word essentials training, and much more.

lynda

Lynda.com is one of the biggest online learning platforms on the web today with over 4000 courses taught by world’s leading experts. It’s also being used by over 10,000 organizations, including Penton, Schawk!, Oxford University Press, and more.

“The lynda.com online training library is the best source of training we’ve ever had,” says Ron Tonkin, Production Manager at Time Warner.

With access to an online training platform, your team will be able to learn at their own pace and keep learning new skills whenever they want. It’s the best investment you can make for your team.

Encourage Side Projects

Most big brands and companies sign contracts with the employees to prevent them from working on side projects while working at the company. This is a terrible practice that you should avoid implementing to your agency.

Thinking of side projects as a distraction is a mistake that most companies make. Instead, allow your team to run wild with their passions and let them explore new grounds, even during a workweek.

Dustin Moskovitz and Justin Rosenstein worked on their side project, Asana, while working at Facebook. Today, Asana is valued at $600 million. Asana is not the only successful side project out there. Facebook, Gmail, YouTube are some of the other popular side-projects that became huge.

Who knows, maybe those tiny side projects could someday save your company. So, encourage your team to work on side projects.

Don’t Be Afraid To Use New Technologies On Client Projects

Just because your competitors in the industry use the same software and tools, don’t be afraid to try out new technologies.

Sure, it takes time and a lot of effort to transition from one technology to the next. But, taking risks is also an important part of building a successful business.

Take Photoshop for example. Design agencies are so comfortable with the software that they don’t even bother to look for a better alternative. In the meantime, a few small agencies are discovering Sketch, which is much better than Photoshop in many ways.

sketch

Think different and find new ways to do things differently. And wow your clients each time you present results.

Have A Library Of Design, Dev, And Business Books

Books are still the number one source of knowledge, even today in the digital age. And, believe it or not, libraries are still quite effective. Results from a recent PEW survey showed that more than half of all Americans used a public library in the past year.

library

Find some space in your office to set up a library of books, a small bookshelf could also work, and let your team members borrow these books.

Saent, a tech startup from China, is one of the many companies that have a big library for employees. Not only that, the company even hired a librarian to work at the company. Because they believe that organizing their “information well will be a strategic advantage down the road.”

Contrary to popular belief, you can’t find everything online. Some of the best and the most valued information are still stored in books. Having some of these great books in your office library will come in handy when your team is researching for a new project or trying to learn a new skill.

Building a library for a startup won’t be easy and it will certainly take time. But it will prove useful in the long run.

Finding a diamond in the rough is not enough, you also have to cut and polish it up to make it shine. When you have a great team in your company, do what you can to encourage them to keep improving their skills and to make sure that they excel at their jobs.

Male University student in library

posted by David Appleyard

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