You’ve heard it in the gym, on the field, and in the classroom: the right training is crucial to your A game. For companies that rely on keeping up with new information (aka all of them), outdated training practices are keeping you on the sideline — but the grass is definitely greener on the other side.
If you’re spending more time explaining tools than doing your job, you’re doing it wrong.
But don’t take my word for it. Bridge by Instructure recently hosted a webinar featuring Lance Pendleton, Director of Education & Training at Sotheby’s International Realty, who reiterated just how important it is to nix old L&D practices and embrace the smart way to train (e-learning).
Sotheby’s story: Buh-bye complexity, hello better...everything
The average age for agents in the real estate industry is 61, so you can imagine the major need for teaching agents how to use tools, software and technology to do their jobs. The biggest catch? The company can’t mandate training for independent contractors, so it had to implement optional training that would be engaging and effective.
When Sotheby’s implemented e-learning, the old process was buried without a tear. The switch to using a user-friendly LMS transformed everything from talent management to sales.
Here are six changes you’ll see in your company when you finally implement the right training program:
1. You’ll save brain energy (and time) — Lance was spending 80 percent of his face-to-face time with agents going over how to use tools with only 20 percent of time spent going over sales strategy. And when he’d travel state to state, office to office—only to find agents who were unprepared—his frustration level was at 110 percent. Once e-learning entered the scene, he could:
- Deploy training then review analytics to see if agents had taken vital courses before scheduling in-person meetings (translation: no homework completed, no meeting with Lance)
- Easily create courses using already-available or newly created content (without getting the IT team involved)
- Diversify courses for his employees in different stages (i.e. new agents versus existing staff)
When there’s less one-on-one time going over how to use tools, you get more time spent on building up your teams (you know, your job). Lance’s time management flipped to now 20 percent tools training and 80 percent sales training.
2. Your training will be scalable and customized for your workforce — In the land of state-by-state regulations like real estate, training agents across the board can be a bear. With e-learning, those boundaries are no biggie, especially when courses can be customized for regional standards or even independent contractors without the blood, sweat, tears and precious time of the L&D staff.
3. Your people will be more engaged — Employees don’t always look forward to training (probably don’t have to tell you twice). As a former exec at Apple, Lance knew that to keep employees engaged (and the tools used), training must be simple. When comparing LMS providers, he knew Bridge’s lack of confusing, unnecessary whatchamacallits was exactly what his workforce needed. In fact, the company’s other software tools had an adoption rate of 8 percent over three years while 77 percent of agents (both active and inactive) used the Bridge LMS to learn how to use other sales tools. Imagine what that could do for a full-time workforce.
4. Busy employees can fit it in — You know who your can’t-take-on-one-more-thing people are. Sotheby’s knows the feeling — 20 percent of agents bring in 80 percent of the company’s income. In other words, the busiest agents are busy. With an LMS that is mobile-compatible for anytime, anywhere learning, these rockstars can fit in training courses between home showings or during a lunch break from their laptop, phone or fancy new smart refrigerator (well, maybe not that yet). You can even delegate (and raise the bar for other reps) by having your MVPs create courses in your LMS.
5. You’ll experience better retention and competitive recruiting — No matter what industry you’re in, talent is your greatest asset. When you are able to train employees, engage them and ultimately retain them, you’ll be saying, “look out, haters.” Sotheby’s experienced this throughout in every stage of talent management: it doubled its recruiting rate, had faster onboarding and increased focus on creating a VIP employee experience.
6. ROI will shine — What’s a better workforce without a little (or a lot) extra moolah? Making the case for clicking the refresh button on your training isn’t too hard when people are more productive and stay longer. After implementing e-learning, Sotheby’s agent sales were up 28 percent while the market was down 33 percent.
Training doesn’t have to suck the life out of you or your employees. An e-learning program with an LMS like Bridge by Instructure could be the difference between wasted breath and breathing new life into your sales force. To learn more about the transformative power of the right training from Sotheby’s Lance Pendleton himself, watch to the webinar here.