Unable simply to standstill, the media industry like so many others has been forced by the pandemic to adapt its onboarding, training and professional development work to suit homeworking and social distancing. Ours is a trade requiring numerous distinct and rapidly developing skillsets, and to let Covid prevent us from moving forwards would be an extremely costly and problematic mistake.
In March 2020, many of us had to suddenly adapt quickly to our new home working environments, continuing our roles with as little disruption as possible. We had to embrace the concept of working in a new way, with video conferencing technology as our key connection to visual contact.
For many, in particular new employees, this came as a challenge on its own. Brand new to a company, you spend your first few months settling into your new working environment, bonding with your team, learning systems, processes and generally learning the ropes. However, with a situation none of us could have planned for, at Space & Time we needed to quickly adapt and overcome, to minimise the impact the pandemic would have on the settling in phase for new starters.
Being personally responsible for all offices’ system and process training, one of my focuses during lockdown was to settle new staff in remotely. With the blessing of fantastic technology and screen sharing, I have been able to carry out my training sessions and introductions remotely, effectively sharing good practice and processes. With no sign of when we will return to offices, I have adapted my teaching method and approach so that we can continue to grow staff regardless of working environments, no matter how long lockdown continues.
Whether you have been with a company a few months or decades, the importance of keeping up with the evolving digital world cannot be overstated. Holding strong relationships and partnerships with media owners, Space & Time’s experts have been able to leverage these relationships to ensure continued development throughout the pandemic.
With our Google Premier Partner status, Google have delivered some insightful YouTube training sessions tailored especially for Space & Time. We see these not only as an opportunity to learn, but also an opportunity to speak directly to the product experts and grow our experience. These sessions are always well attended by channel specialists and client services colleagues alike.
For their part, Facebook have delivered multiple Blueprint Live training sessions covering a range of planning and optimisation topics, as well as the offering of creative workshops. They have also developed a four-week training module focusing on their products and practices, demonstrating how they can drive efficiency and effectiveness.
Space & Time entered lockdown in a relatively privileged position with regards CPD, thanks to employees’ access to our award-winning learning and development programme ‘’Space Academy’’. Throughout lockdown all staff have had the opportunity to access external courses, in-house pioneer training sessions and courses from leading teaching platform, LinkedIn learning.
Lauren’s five top tips for training during lockdown.
- As a trainer, remember to keep your own knowledge fresh. Try to learn something new every day, whether joining a webinar, training session, or simply reading a blog. Feed your brain like you feed your body.
- If you are delivering training sessions, keep them short, clear and entertaining. With interruptions at home such as children, pets and washing machines, attention time spans can be short. Be accommodating and prepared for these disruptions.
- As a trainer, continue to teach as if you were face to face. Prepare slideshows, presentations and be organiased, make sure your technology is working effectively ahead of the session. Check in with your learners beforehand to make sure they are also set up correctly.
- Make it social: instead of a phone call, set up a video session, this will allow screen sharing and is as close as we can currently be to visual contact. It is always nice to put a face to a name and this assists with building a relationship with the learner. This is particularly important when working with new recruits; any opportunity to help them develop a relationship with their new company and their peers is essential.
- Make the content of your teaching relevant to your learner. This will ensure that they get the most they can from the session. If they receive knowledge and skills appropriate to their job role, they are likely to stay more engaged with the training session.
Here at Space & Time, professional development and learning must continue, even in difficult circumstances and we will not let a worldwide pandemic obstruct us from being the best media experts we can possibly be.
Lauren Gale, Client Services Specialist