Cogo Strategy Blog

    The Art of Effective Skills Transfer

    Nov 20, 2017 9:53:41 PM Gabrielle Guidero Alignment, Marketing and Sales Alignment

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    To understand the art of an effective skills transfer, you first need to understand what a skill transfer really is and understand the purpose behind one.

    A skills transfer is the method in which we teach an employee how to perform a new task or skill.

    The key to an effective skills transfer is that the individual transferring the skill needs to understand and be able to translate this particular skill to their peer.

    1. Understanding the Skill: Performing an effective skill transfer requires a good amount of preparation beforehand. It’s important to first identify the skills gap that is impacting an employee’s performance. If there are several gaps (i.e. the representative is having difficulty lowering the customer’s resistance and has above average handle time) target the skill that will be more impactful for the representative and your team. You need to be prepared to demonstrate the skill at an exemplary level. It is always recommended that you practice the skill until you can comfortably demonstrate the skill and the desired outcome.

    2. Explain: No matter what your job role is, everyone will perform at least one skills transfer, so it’s important to understand and be able to explain the skill to your employee. Communication plays a vital role throughout the entire process. In most cases, a skills transfer session should be conducted off the floor. This gives the representative a comfortable learning environment where he/she can practice and improve without being inhibited by fear of making mistakes. Begin each session by explaining what you are training, why it is important, and how you will be training it. Communicate why the skill is important and tie it back to the business need. Effective leaders get buy-in by explaining how the skill will help make the representative successful, and in most cases, more opportunity and money.

    3. Demonstration: It’s your job to demonstrate what the skill looks like when performed correctly. Remember, the level at which you demonstrate the skill process is the level at which your representative will apply it. Without a demonstration, the person learning the new skill won’t visual see how it’s done.

    4. Practice with Coaching: Once the demonstration is done, it’s essential to have the person practice the skill until he/she is successful in applying it. An easy way to assess how the practice is going is to use your own demonstration as a guideline. You can never practice enough times. One of the best things I’ve heard is that practice doesn’t make perfect – perfect practice makes perfect. So use this time here to tweak and adjust so that your peer is perfect in their practice. The important thing to remember here is to be active in providing positive and constructive feedback each and every time the representative practices.

    5. Observe: Once you feel the other person has gotten used to the new skill, let them run through a demonstration of the skill on their own. If they hit a snag, come back to it at the end – let them know what they were doing and demonstrate the correct way to put the skill to use. Again, don’t just focus on the errors – be sure to highlight all the things they did well. If not, they’ll just feel like they’re only doing things incorrectly, and will make them lose their motivation.

    6. Feedback/Accountability: I know I’ve stated it before, but you cannot give enough feedback – motivational, appreciative, constructive, etc. It’s important to let the other person know the good things they’re doing, the things they need to improve on, and to pass along encouragement to make sure they understand the skill completely. At each step, it’s also critical to hold them accountable for perfection. You gave them the steps and set your expectations, and they must maintain them.

    All this takes time, and it won’t happen overnight. Have patience, and if you follow these proven tips, you and your team can and will achieve and exceed any desired objective. 

    Gabrielle Guidero

    Written by Gabrielle Guidero