David Brownlee is a CEO and one of the most watched customer service trainers in the world. He’s trained over half a million people from all over the world. And he’s here to share ideas on what’s next to help your employees continue leveling up.
(upbeat music) - Training is an ongoing and necessary part of every organization, as we know. I mean, we have entire learning and development teams dedicated to it. But now, training's different. Travel's restricted, so are large group gatherings so it's time to figure out what's next. What does training look like, moving forward? Hi, I'm Kelly Ruda for LinkedIn Learning and David Brownlee is here today. He's a CEO and a Customer Service Trainer who has trained over half a million people. He's here to share some ideas on what's next to help your employees continue leveling up during this time. David, welcome. - Hey, thanks for having me. - You bet. So when we're talking about training, obviously, it's different than it was, before. Can you talk about some of the differences that you're seeing? - Yeah, well, as we all know, when we were training before, we would all be together. We'd be in the same room, we have energy, we can do team-building exercises, group exercises, and there's an energy that was there, together. But now, when you start thinking about, "Gosh, how is this changing?" We're working from home. So a lot of the training we're doing is virtual or even if we're back in the office, you know, we might be wearing masks or six feet apart. So that whole landscape is changing and it continues to change, and we're trying to navigate our way through it as it's changing. - And what's the impact on the training, itself? - Yeah, so there's a lot of different things. The first thing is the delivery is different, and that's the biggest difference because you have people who are trainers, like myself, and you know we're used to a live audience. We get that immediate feedback. So now from a training standpoint, as a trainer, that all changes. And as a learner, you're used to being there being able to ask questions in real time, get your questions answered in real time, as well. So now, it's just a little bit different. So instead of raising your hand, you know, you're raising your hand virtually, and you're typing in your question. So different things have changed. We're trying to keep everything as similar as possible, that experience, trying to keep the engagement up, but it's definitely changed in a big way. - Yeah, for sure. So when we're thinking through these changes, like you said, that we're seeing, are you seeing new skills being needed by employees and managers, and different people? - Absolutely. The biggest change are things like company procedures because now, people are working remote, you can't just ask somebody, you know, at the water cooler to answer the question for you. So company procedures. Companies are becoming a lot more diligent about, "Okay, what are the procedures "now that you're workin' from home?" Now that you've got kids maybe running around, maybe you're home-schooling, you know, you got your dog barking in the background. What are those procedures look like? Leading through adversity, you know. These are crazy times that we're in. So those types of skills are definitely needed. And then your soft skills for your sales and customer service. How do you do that in a new way when you're used to being on a plane, maybe, and flying to go see clients, for example. And now you're doing that same sales meeting over a Zoom call. You know, it's a very different dynamic and we all have to learn to adjust. - Yeah, so how do you implement that new training when your seeing those particular new skills that you just talked about? - Yeah, the very first thing is a lot of businesses were facing a lot of chaos. And the first thing we had to do was stabilize our businesses. We had to figure out, "Okay, well what do we need to do?" Unfortunately, there's been, as you know, layoffs and furloughs and cost-cutting. So once that business is stabilized, it's up to the leaders and the managers to decide the skills that are going to move them forward because a lot of companies, that's the same skills that their employees needed before anything had changed are the same skills they're going to need, but then now we have to actually prioritize. Are those new skills something that's going to take us into the future? And so that's going to change from business to business. But you've got to stabilize the business, decide what skills are important, and then prioritize those skills. - And do you have an example from any of your clients or companies that you work with that are doing a particularly good job at this, or are figuring that out right now, those new skills they need? - Yeah, absolutely. For example, I have a client and we were going to do a training for their retreat, for their executives and their managers, and it was on an island. So just imagine it's summertime on an island, everybody's doing team-building and working together to innovate and create together, and the part that I was playing was I was coming in to teach leadership. And the leadership training that I have deals with a lot of different cultural issues, especially as our workforce is so diverse nowadays. And unfortunately, because everything that's going on, that got canceled. But they just reached back out to me. We had a great conversation last week. We are going to do leadership training. We're going to do it virtual. But this time, it's going to be diversity and inclusion leadership, right? Because this is something that's so important and everybody's thinking about, right now. So it shifted just a little bit from leadership to wait, it's going to be diversity and inclusion leadership for managers. So you can see how things are changing and morphing and we're not going to be doing it on an island. I'll be doing it from right here. But the value's still there, the skills are getting transferred and we still have those learning goals that we're going to accomplish. - Yeah, it sounds like adaptability is a big part of that. They saw, you all together saw a need and shifting that learning. So once a company has done that and they've gone, "Okay, these are actually the skills that we need "at this point," what should leaders do next? - Yeah, so next you want to figure out how you're going to deliver the content. How are you going to deliver the training? So it could be a recorded training, like our LinkedIn Learning Library where there's so many great courses in there that are ready to go, right? And you can put your team in there and they can test their skills, they can learn their skills. So that's one way. Another way is to have somebody in your company, whether it's a trainer, or whether it's an executive, or a manager, or even one of your employees do a training live, so via Zoom. And you guys are, we've all been on the Zoom meetings lately, but really structure it as a training so that there's interaction as well as teaching that's going on at the same time. And then, you know, like I say, I've got a client that's I just heard from today, actually. They're starting slowly to bring people back into the office. So I know initially, I'll be doing it as on call, but there may be a point in the near future where I'm in a room where people are socially distanced, checked for COVID-19 before they come in the room. So it's all going, we're all adapting, that's a great word to use, and we're going to see where we land from it. - Yeah, and with this, I guess kind of a big question that perhaps leaders will have is how do we know that it worked. So we've shifted the training, we've come up with a new skill, we're working towards it, we might be back together doing this training, how do we know that it's working? - Yeah, so that's why the beginning process is so important to figure out what is our focus. What is the result that we're looking for? So that result might be increased revenue, it might be a specific technical skill that you want your team to have. It might be some of the soft skills like customer service and you're going to look at your customer service surveys or how are you doing. So it's really clear because you have to be really clear because every company is going to have a different goal, different nuances. They're going to be in different places in their journey. But the benefits that we're startin' to see are really good, because online training, you don't have to pay for somebody's airline ticket, you don't have to pay for the hotel, and the per diem and stuff like that. So there's a cost savings there. - Great, I love it. I love that you pointed out that there's the cost savings, there's the travel savings, there's so many things that I feel like companies have been considering for a long time, but this really proved, "Hey, we can do this virtually." - Yes, absolutely, absolutely. And like anything, if you track and measure the result that you're after, you know if you did it or not. And so it's such a difficult time for all of us but if we can really dial in and look at the positives that are coming out of this. One of the positives, for me, personally, here in California with quarantine, I was spending a lot of time with my kids. My kids loved it, I loved it, I wasn't on a plane, I'm at home, so I'm really embracing that time, and training is my passion. So now when I look at training, it's like, "Okay, well, I'm not live in the room with somebody," but we can do things like this and still add value to our customers. I'm just so glad to be able to do this for a living. - Yeah, for sure. Well David, thanks so much for joining us and sharing your perspective today, and really kind of helping give that vision for the future. - Excellent, thank you for having me. - Now, to hear more from David, you can go to his Website RockstartCustomerService.com. You can connect with him over on LinkedIn and also, you can check out his courses right here on LinkedIn Learning. Thanks so much for spending time with us today, as we look at reinventing training to really help your employees keep growing long-term.
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