WORKING PARTNERS – by Adam D. Lewin, MPA, CMR, PMC
Our remote world opens new doors for training
Is it time to rethink how – and where –we spend? Picture it: 2020. The world is remote. Marketing, meetings, conventions and travel are significantly curtailed or stopped altogether due to a pandemic no one saw coming.
This major social change not only highlighted the need for training, but also created a seismic shift in the methods of training delivery and added new items to the list of training needs. Suddenly, face-to-face encounters ceased, and those same skilled representatives needed to be retooled to manage and deliver invitations to virtual calls, present polished, effective messages over the web and provide resources – all while meeting promotional, regulatory and compliance demands.
Coaching needed to be done remotely as well. How do you coach through a monitor? Or upskill on coaching and development remotely?
Back to Business
Now it’s 2023 and the world is reopening. Meetings, travel and resources are back in-person. Access to customers is reverting to face-to-face encounters, but some still prefer virtual interactions. Skills that were utilized regularly pre-COVID may have dulled as we all adapted to the pandemic world.
How are training departments supposed to dust off or update pre-COVID materials, and maintain COVID materials, while still building and funding new initiatives?
Add this to inflation and increasing costs — how can the training dollar keep pace with the volume of training needs? How can training departments deliver robust training while managing costs? Is it possible to spend less and do more?
A World of Opportunity
In a face-to-face world, working across franchises or even operating a company happened because of daily, physical proximity to one another. Maybe, just maybe, this remote world of the pandemic opened another opportunity. Since we are now used to working virtually, perhaps it is time to think about how to better align globally with our training counterparts across continents.
Is there really a difference in disease states in the United States, Europe, Latin America or Asia? Anatomy, physiology and disease pathways remain the same. Diagnosis metrics may differ across countries, but a good supplier should be able to recognize those differences and make those changes programmatically.
The issue is not insurmountable. It may add to the overall cost, but that small shift should still be less than if each country built similar content independently.
The same goes for translating training content into multiple languages. Perhaps it is time to see where alignment around the globe exists, not only clinically, but in upskilling as well. Are there differences in selling or coaching skills? If the company uses the same selling and coaching model, then why does each country build its own programs, duplicating the cost?
Some countries may prefer a flat PowerPoint presentation. Others may desire something more “high tech.” Why not share the cost of the “flat” and add on the “tech”? The net result would be financially beneficial and provide more dollars for training content. Is it time to work internationally with your company partners?
Together, you may build a team that has a breadth and depth of experiences, can discern content differences and deliver across multiple pathways, can share costs and metric findings and create uniformity to training around the world.