3. Match the learning environment to the skills to be learned
Creating a great learning culture isn’t just about involving the right people at the right times. As Brendan explains, it’s also about adapting the learning environment to complement the full range of skills and capabilities you’re trying to build.
“At Google, we’re fortunate to have several different learning organizations,” says Brendan. “There are some that focus on management and leadership, and others focused on creating a safe and positive work environment. Our sales people really benefit from the opportunities to learn a lot of different skills. Some of these skills are transversal.”
For Brendan, Google’s culture of continuous learning is all based on using every one of these different learning environments to develop new hires.
“People are learning a lot about different subjects, from compliance to leadership to negotiations,” says Brendan. “They need to see how it all fits together. That’s why we give them a mix of learning opportunities in different environments.”
“For example, with product knowledge, we don’t need to bring our new hires into the classroom. Instead, it’s easier for them to learn in an online environment. In other cases, we have teams working together to collaborate on e-learnings and practice the knowledge as they go. But when it comes to core sales skills, the best environment is the classroom.”
Being flexible with these training environments is a key part of what makes Google’s learning culture so great. It gives Google’s sales reps all the context and confidence they need to make their mark.
“By using a mixture of training environments, we give our sales reps the frameworks they need to excel in their roles,” says Brendan. “Between the different types of training, and the different formats, we see people really making the step up. They feel more confident, and frankly, they’re more capable as sales people.”