How Managers Can Ensure Their Teams Get The Most From Attending Workshops

Posted 30/01/2017

Actions for before, during and after 

We’re often asked what makes the biggest difference to ensuring teams get the most from attending our workshops, i.e. that delegate’s competency is improved, and value opportunities are maximised. 

Our response to what delegates can do to facilitate this for themselves can be found here . There is however a lot a manager can do too that will ensure the content of the workshop lands, and therefore adds maximum value to the organisation. 

Here's our starter for 10: 

Before the workshop: 

  • Category management and supplier management tools and techniques are learnt much more effectively when applied to real life situations. Therefore, if you can allocate attendees to specific categories or suppliers to work on during the workshop so much the better.
  • If you have specific learning outcomes for the team, or individuals please discuss these with them ahead of time. Where do you think they are currently for a given competency, and where would you like them to be – the more specific the better. If you don't have this conversation how will they know from all the new knowledge coming at them on the day where to pay most attention. After all, unless you tell them they may think they already know it all, or believe they have mastery in something you clearly know them to be a novice at.
  • Ensure that the content of the workshop aligns with the practices and ways of working in your organisation. That is, if the workshop content is endorsing a new way of behaving or a new process please consider how this will be positively embraced when people return from the workshop. Developing a communication or development plan will help you do this.

On the day:

  • We’d love for you to attend the workshop with your team. We’d certainly like to see team leaders or anyone who mangers those attending to be there, especially if we’re teaching new ways of working to the team - i.e. everyone in the team needs to understand the new process, and how it will be applied day to day in the organisation.
  • If you can't be there in person ensure someone is able to take responsibility to respond to or accept actions arising for Procurement or its leadership team. Nothing brings the energy down in a workshop so much as us having to say “we don't know – we’ll let them know you asked, and I'm sure they’ll let you know their response”.
  • Please consider the impact of sending urgent requests for information, or setting deadlines that result in people being distracted on the workshop. We know they still have their day job to do, and of course emergencies do happen, however distractions will impact their ability to learn. One leader recently had a laptop/mobile phone curfew each day to ensure their team’s attention was on the new ways of working not stuck in the old ways.

After the workshop:

  • Ensure your actions support the new process and tools your team has learnt - i.e. the quickest way to demotivate your team is not to change your behaviours to align with the new process – i.e. please start asking them different questions as soon as they return etc.
  • Discuss the insights they got from attending, and also ask them how you can help them embed what they’ve learnt whether that’s coaching or further development. If you are unable to this please ensure their direct line mangers do.
  • Find ways of refreshing the learning – lunch and learn lessons, 1 hour webex, clinics, coaching, agenda time on the monthly meeting. Anything that will ensure the new skills are used as soon after they've been learnt the better.

What do you need to do today to ensure you capitalise on the investment you are making in your team?

For further assistance to build, lead, learn, apply and deliver transformational procurement in your organisation please contact Allison Ford-Langstaff (Procurement Transformation Director) or Anna Del Mar (Learning & Development Director).

Tagged by topic: Learning and Development

  by Alison Smith

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