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As a leader, there comes a time when you find yourself stuck with an energetic, motivated and self-driven teams. Other times you’ll find yourself stuck with low skill but a potentially powerful team. In such instances, it is your responsibility to build up the skills sets of your team for them to be able to achieve the tasks set ahead of them. It is your job to map out the skill gaps and decide on the best way to fill up those skill gaps.
I. If You Have A Need, Train.
It’s often easier to train someone to acquire a new skill than to bring in fresh blood from outside. Therefore any time you notice there are particular talents needed that are not available on the team, then pick one staffer and train them to perform those tasks. You’ll be able to empower the team at a far much lesser cost. It will also be easier to affect that skill since the said employee already understands how the office culture functions.
II. Foster Passion and Autonomy.
Your role as a leader is to assist the learners to be less dependent and more self-driven. Help them assess their needs and then show them the options available and let them decide the best course forward. Let them figure out whether they need a beginner’s class or refresher and whether it is online of face to face. They can also decide which specific knowledge they require to be able to improve on the said skill.
III. Foster a Culture of Learning.
Lots of older team members tend to be less receptive to new knowledge and skills. That’s why you have to nurture a spirit of curiosity and continuous exploration. Let them know that you are ready to support them in their quest to improve their skills sets and productivity. Most team members could make do with a certain measure of external motivation and encouragement from their leaders.
IV. Training has to improve quality of life.
The taught skills have to improve the lives of the members. Therefore the lessons have to impact their worldview or enable them to get higher compensation. It has to make them valuable to the team or company as well as to the world out there. Skills that improve the quality of life of the member as well as their family and community are more exciting than rote learning.
V. Teach Practical Course.
The only way to make the team members receptive to learning is to ensure that the skills taught can be directly practiced and applied. This way they are able to measure the real world value of the new knowledge. Abstract and data-driven learning that has no real world implications can be draining and downright demotivating. This approach starts with helping the team member figure out where they are going to apply the skills that they are pursuing.