Lesson

Always Learning and Ready for Change

Lesson Progress:

Announcing Our Move to a New CRM

From: Vincent Lopez, Director Human Resources
To: Learning Lot Customer Service Employees

Greetings All,

As you may know, the company has decided to transition from our current Customer Support system to Zendesk. We are making this shift so that we can capture more information from our customers, as well as integrate all of our support tools into a single system.

We know this will involve some disruption for everyone in Customer Services, but we want to keep the disruption to a minimum. With that in mind, here is the schedule for the Zendesk rollout with Week 1 starting next week.

Week 1: Data Services will import all existing customer support contacts and information into the Zendesk platform.

Week 2: Zendesk training for Customer Service team members. This training will take approximately three hours. At management’s request, we will offer the training on three separate days.

Week 3: Customer Service team will work with Zendesk email and chat for all new contacts. Data Services will complete phone support integration.

Week 4: All Customer Service activity taking place in Zendesk, with all data transferred successfully.

Based on initial training and practice with team leaders, we think everyone is going to enjoy the new tools Zendesk offers. Human Resources be sending out a sign-up calendar for the training sessions later today.

Thanks, everyone.

-Vincent

Learn More About It

 

Read: Becoming a Learner at Work

Overview

When asked, many people say they don’t like change, at the least, not too much of it. They would prefer if everything could stay just the way it is.

After all, if you’ve spent five to ten years learning all the requirements for a job, you’ve probably become pretty comfortable and efficient at your work. Change could mean inefficiency, more work, and having to learn new information.

But the reality is, being a successful professional necessarily means learning new things. It also means being willing to grow with your job and adapt to changes in your company.

The Importance of Being a Learner at Work

DecorativeOne of the easiest ways to grow professionally is to become a learner at work. Committing yourself to ongoing learning will make you more flexible and increase your value as an employee. It will also give you greater confidence in your day-to-day work.

Being a learner at work means embracing every opportunity to expand your knowledge about your job and your company. Such opportunities can come in many forms, ranging from formal workshops to learning by watching more experienced employees do their jobs.

Benefits of Being a Learner at Work

Learning at work keeps you current — Change at work is often about improving products and services. Companies introduce new tools and procedures to keep up with the competition. Learning everything you can about these things keeps you up to date with the company’s priorities. Staying current lets your manager know you are invested in the company and can be counted on when new opportunities arise.

Learning at work keeps you motivated — People who say they dislike their jobs often complain about monotony — doing the same thing over and over again each day. Taking time to learn new things at work is a great way to avoid this kind of boredom. Learning adds new areas of interest to your work and introduces you to new opportunities. Instead of being bored, you’ll be motivated by these opportunities and look forward to work.

Learning at work helps you grow your network — Learning isn’t only about developing new personal skills. Learning inevitably means meeting new people at work. It leads to an expanded set of relationships, a larger professional network. The network will be an important source of information and can lead to new job opportunities at your current company or your profession.

Learning at work makes it much easier to stay employed and find new jobs — Learning new skills and knowing more information means that you can perform more tasks at work. It will also make you eligible for different, higher paying job positions. This makes you harder to replace and, consequently, more valuable to your current employer.

Learning at work gives you confidence — The more you know and the more you can do at work, the better you’ll feel about yourself. As you grow through learning, you will find yourself speaking up confidently in team meetings. You’ll feel comfortable taking leadership roles on projects. Your increased knowledge will also raise people’s perception of you and lead to greater respect for your ideas.

Strategies for Being a Learner at Work

There are a variety of strategies you can use to embrace learning at work. Here are some of them.

DecorativeThink like a learner — Be curious. Ask questions. If you don’t know something, you must ask questions to learn about it. And, when it comes to learning, there aren’t any stupid questions. Show up to work every day curious about how things work. Ask why your company does things a certain way. Ask how the company makes decisions. Ask questions about how the business works. Ask your manager what you need to do to be considered for promotion. The more you ask, the more you’ll learn.

Learn from those who know more than you do — From the very beginning, make your goal to seek out people at work who are more experienced and knowledgeable than you. Identify the people that others at your workplace respect. Take note of those who are assigned leadership positions. Watch them. See how they go about their day. Study them and learn what makes them good at their jobs. Notice how they handle themselves in meetings and in their interactions with other employees.

Teach and mentor others — Ask any teacher: the best way to become an expert at something is to teach it to others. Anytime someone new joins your team, volunteer to teach them your team’s tools and processes. Make it a goal to know enough about your workplace company to be able to give tours to visitors.

Make your professional learning your responsibility — Your company and manager will offer some opportunities for learning, but if you really want people to see your potential, you need to take charge of your own growth. You need to create your own learning plan for professional growth. What skills do you need or want to develop? What activities or training will be required? What resources are available to you through work or other sources? What are the possible benefits for you and the company? What can you accomplish in the next three months? Who can you ask to be a mentor and guide you as you learn?

Reflect: Taking Responsibility

Poll

Expand: The Importance of Being Flexible and Adaptable

The world of work is changing at an ever increasing pace. Companies are looking for employees who can adapt to changing circumstances and environments. They want great employees who embrace new ideas. They want workers who are resourceful and adaptable.

The Benefits of Adaptability

Here are a few benefits of being flexible and adaptable as an employee.

DecorativeYou will be more valuable to your employer — Employers are looking for good employees who can bring value to the company today and as things change in the future. That’s why an employee who can do only one thing has less value than one who can do many things and is always willing to learn more. In addition, an employee who can adapt easily and readily is much more valuable than one who cannot.

You will handle changes at your workplace more easily — An adaptable employee isn’t bothered when their company announces changes. They embrace the challenge when their manager tells them they are being assigned to a new position. A flexible employee can go with the flow of change and also make the transition quickly.

You will bounce back more quickly when things don’t go well — Things don’t always go as you hope they will at work. A product can fail. An event you’ve spent months planning can turn into a failure. Your team can underperform and face criticism. Adaptable employees take such things in stride. They are able to experience problems at work and make the adjustments necessary to keep themselves and the company improving.

You will be a better, more resourceful leader — Developing leadership skills is important to career growth, and adaptability is a core skill for any leader. As a leader, your adaptability must extend not only to job-related tasks, but also to the people you lead. How do you adapt when new members are assigned to your team? How can you adjust your team and remain productive when someone on your team quits and no replacement is provided?

Demonstrating Adaptability

So, you want to be more adaptable. But, how do you know you’re becoming more flexible and adaptable? Here are some characteristics of highly adaptable employees.

Adaptable employees are happy to accept alternative solutions — It can be hard when your solution to a problem is rejected in favor of someone else’s solution. However, an adaptable employee is able to go with the flow, accept the alternative solution, and embrace it as if it were their own.

Adaptable employees accept surprises — Surprises are common in any workplace, and can range anywhere from getting a new copier to the company being sold and your job being transferred to a new city. Adaptable employees spend little time complaining about such surprises and instead move quickly to figure out how they need to adjust to continue being productive.

Adaptable employees adjust easily and quickly to new roles — While taking on more or different responsibilities at work is generally good for your career, some employees find such change difficult. They often enjoy the predictable routine of their current role. By contrast, adaptable employees embrace new roles and responsibilities. They see the change as an exciting opportunity for professional growth and learning.

Adaptable employees can improvise and take action without a well formulated plan — Sometimes change occurs quickly and dramatically. There’s no time to spend formulating a careful plan. Things need to happen, and they need to happen quickly. Adaptable employees adjust well to such situations. They are willing to improvise and come up with a plan on the fly, while they take action. In times of crisis, they don’t sit around and wait for someone to tell them what to do.

Adaptable employees anticipate change — Adaptable employees aren’t simply good at reacting to change. They understand that change is common in the modern workplace. They know it’s going to happen sometime and spend time thinking about how they will react. They stay informed about happenings at the company and look for signs that change might be afoot.

Activity:  Try It Out

 

What Would You Do?

Read the following scenario and then make a decision about what you would do. Each decision you make will present you with a consequence related to your actions. When there are no more decisions to make, you have reached the end of the scenario, and can then “Submit” your responses.

Lesson Resources

License and Citations

Content License

Lesson Content:

Authored and curated by Rob Reynolds, Ph.D. for The TEL Library. CC BY NC SA

Media Sources

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