…and other duties as assigned.
– Every Job Description Ever Written
This past week I have been training several new employees to the company who are going to be working in unique departments ranging from Sales to Implementations. In addition to training these new employees, several experienced employees took advantage and sat in to get a refresher on various software system areas they felt like they needed a brush-up on. Having a group this diverse in training presents plenty of challenges, but it also creates a unique opportunity to foster cross-departmental connections and communication.
According to the job description for the position I hold, my job is to educate customers and new employees on our core software program, and I specialize in one major area of the program in particular. So I spend a good chunk of my time creating and maintaining documentation for these courses, creating curriculum and delivering that training for our customers and new employees either in person or via webinar. We have an expanding e-learning component to our educational offerings as well, and creating and maintaining those e-learning courses takes up most of my non-teaching time.
But what I really enjoy doing is creating cross-department connections, and I have found ample opportunity to take advantage of that during internal training. The Sales employees are looking at the system from their perspective: How does the system compete? What are unique features they can highlight? What can we do to help positively impact our customer’s workflows? Implementations employees also look at the system from their perspective, which is typically a much deeper dive: What fields affect other fields? How do fields, pages and sections function together? How is existing workflow for new customers going to be impacted?
These are easy questions to address in a typical training session, but I also view it as an opportunity. I take advantage of it to talk more about how the new conversion cycle works. Starting with Sales, I talk about the typical things that they need, and where they can go for more information or assistance when they are working their sales cycle. Then, I discuss the hand-off to Implementations and the typical things they will experience as they work on the conversion process. I talk about where Education fits in, I fill them in on how our customers experience the process, and how things are handled after the conversion is complete. I also bring the new employees up to speed on the org chart and where they should go if they need help with things.
It not only helps illuminate how they fit into the puzzle as new employees, but it also builds connections across departments. These kinds of connections are vital for improving both existing projects and new projects. This is a VUCA world: a Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous world where businesses must be flexible and open to change if they are to survive.
The key for identifying the need for change is to be able to see where pain points exist, which is extraordinarily difficult to do if there is not collaboration or if collaboration is limited to a certain group of people. In my role as an Educator, I am also a bridge builder. By spreading knowledge and creating relationships with people in different departments, who each work in a different stage of the New Conversion cycle, the opportunity for impact is immense. It is so much more than being a Software Education Specialist; it’s about creating the relationships and bridges that are necessary to create progress.
That is where my passion lies. In doing what needs to be done to make sure that progress is created every day.