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Capacity Building For Employees

Capacity Building For Employees

After the last round of performance appraisals, your human resources team suggested capacity building for employees in the sales department. While having your staff hard it work and converting new clients is your priority, you cannot underestimate the value of additional training for the sales team. Most companies will train new staff upon hiring while others require new hires to catch up on their own. On the job training saves time from hard training sessions but it can also be costly down the road.

Take an example of a poorly trained sales representative. The sales representative can only perform as far as their skills will allow them. The chances are that they will perform dismally for a consecutive number of weeks and probably make a dent in your sales numbers. This negative impact will force your hand to pay a little more attention to your sales team.

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You may be wondering, how do I train my team without halting operations? In this article, we discuss various ways that employees can partake capacity building training without interfering with their regular assignment.

Early morning

The first one or two hours of the day are suitable for training as most clients are yet to report to work. If your sales team usually report to the office first before heading out to the field, encourage them to have seminars early in the morning before the pressures of the day kick in. Driven employees should have no qualms about reporting to work a little early if this effort helps them horn their skills.

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While sales employees may have a retainer, the bulk of their income comes from direct sales efforts in the form of commission checks computed on the basis of their closed sales. A great training can turn introverts into the champions of the team.

Lunch hour

Employees are entitled to a one-hour lunch break to have a meal and stretch their legs or just catch up with colleagues. You can gather your sales staff in the boardroom for a webinar or PowerPoint presentation on the best sales tactics. Motivate them to attend this training by offering healthy snacks to the first ten sales reps to walk through the boardroom door. Alternatively, you can have a brown bag lunch in the break room or by the fountain in the yard of your office building.

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After work

If gathering your sales team during the day proves difficult due to erratic schedules and field assignments, you may want to try training them after 5pm. Any employee who understands the value of this training will hold off on excuses such as a routine dental appointment or spin class.

After-work training is likely to be more fruitful as there are fewer distractions from clients and colleagues from the other departments. What’s mire, you can have that executive boardroom and its state-of-the-art conferencing facilities all to yourself; go an extra mile and invite a training expert to give a lecture on your chosen topic.

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During weekends

If all else fails, consider training your sales staff over the weekend when things have cooled down a notch. Try Saturday mornings or afternoons for a solid training session. Be conscious of the fact that you are occupying your staff’s weekend, so avoid stretching out the training beyond the agreed duration. Make it a little fun and interactive by dividing the staff into groups and having an ideation session on a topic of your choice. Have each team put up their sticky notes on the whiteboard and go through each idea they suggest.

This way, your sales reps will share ideas on what works for them and what does not. Involving them in this scale helps them own the responsibility to deliver world-class performance through teamwork.

Conclusion

Training your employees is not a one-off exercise but rather something you should do more frequently. Make use of technology to keep the conversations going. For instance, you can set up webinars or sign them up for online training with external tutors on a quarterly basis. Remember to incentivize your sales team when they hit their targets. Incentives can be in the form of commissions, team building retreats, certificate of recognition. Incentives will boost the morale of the team and encourage competition in the team.

Featured photo credit: https://pixabay.com/en/tie-necktie-adjust-adjusting-man-690084/ via pixabay.com

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Vikas Agrawal

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Last Updated on September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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