Whether in a classroom or the workplace, at some point in your life, you have probably come across different learning styles, and likely determined your own preferred method. Every person is unique, and that means each of us has a different style for processing new information and learning new skills.
At an agency where each employee brings their own unique skills to the table, you are likely to find even more diverse learning preferences. Writers may absorb information best when reading instructions, but designers may prefer a more visual approach. While many people have a mix of multiple style preferences, a study surveying first-year medical students showed that 39% of these adult learners had one strong learning style preference. No matter what learning styles your team prefers, there are ways to support each style that will keep your agency productive and keep your employees feeling supported in the workplace.
If there isn’t proper acknowledgment and support for diverse ways of thinking, these differences can become frustrating and cause discord among teammates. For example, if the majority of the team prefers reading instructions through written communications, the auditory learners in the group may feel they are not as equipped to stay up-to-date or they may even feel unsupported by their colleagues.
In a busy agency setting, no team can be expected to meet every individual preference for staying informed, but there are ways to incorporate the different types of learning styles into the work you are already doing. By implementing these simple changes, your team can absorb new information more efficiently, which improves overall productivity. It’s a win-win situation for your agency and ultimately for your clients.
The four core learning styles are visual, auditory, verbal and physical. While there are many combinations of these four types, these components are the basis of everyone’s individual way of processing and understanding new information.
By learning more about each of the learning types, your agency can find more efficient ways to present ideas and set up projects to fit the way your team naturally processes information. This allows you to work with the strengths of your team members, not against them.
This type of learner prefers to see information clearly presented through pictures, graphs or text. They want to have a clear picture in their mind to fully understand a concept and enjoy having lots of detailed information to help contextualize larger ideas.
In an agency setting, you are likely already working with a lot of visuals, so implementing any additional visual elements will not feel like a huge shift in strategy. An easy way is to start using visual tools to track project progress. Common aids include Kanban boards and Gantt charts that help show the status of a project and help visualize the complexity of tasks across multiple teams.
A client work management platform like Accelo can offer these visual representations of your projects, along with other visual aids like identifying task assignments, showing the status of deliverables and providing a birds-eye-view to all the individual tasks being accomplished across one project. All while saving your agency time and making complex projects easier to digest.
These are the team members who prefer to talk through the details before proceeding with a new project or idea. They prefer to hear the information out loud instead of reading notes or communicating solely through email and they may want to schedule quick in-person or virtual meetings to solidify their understanding of a project or idea.
While this learning style tends to be a bit more traditional, it never hurts to consider new ways to make a typical meeting or phone call more efficient. If your agency is tracking time on tasks, phone calls and quick meetings can often be overlooked and billable time can be missed.
Empower your employees to keep communicating in the ways that make the most sense for them and their clients, but find a tool that can easily track these tasks so you can get paid for all the work your team is doing. By encouraging people to complete their work in a way that works for them, you can increase productivity and boost team morale at the same time.
Verbal learners are the readers of the group. They prefer to read instructions to fully grasp a new concept or skill. Having notes to reference is extremely helpful for keeping these learners confident and informed.
In our digital world, so much of our communication is done through written text. To keep the entire team informed of project status, your agency needs a solution for collecting and sharing these interactions. Having one centralized system to track client and team communications will help these verbal learners, and the rest of your team, understand the full scope of a project and stay informed on the status of each client. No more wasted time trying to track down the latest update before a client meeting.
These learners process information best when they are actively engaged in the process. That might mean letting them experiment with a new tool to determine the best way to use it and be physically involved during the learning process.
While many employees may get by just fine talking through a new process in a meeting, these people may prefer to have the chance to test out the new method themselves, so they can get a full understanding of what needs to be done and how their part fits into the team’s process. This is especially important during onboarding for new hires, as well as during training sessions for existing employees when there is a new process or platform being implemented.
Consider providing interactive training or access to test sites to allow these employees to explore the tools and get to know the functions through trial and error. Opportunities that allow them to explore new ideas and processes while they’re learning will ultimately give them the experience they need to feel prepared to successfully complete the responsibilities of their role.
While considering these new ideas, you will likely find that your agency has its own unique set of learning preferences to incorporate. The most important thing to keep in mind is finding the best ways to work with, not against, your strengths. Stay flexible and open to adjustment. The best way to do this, while still meeting the needs of your clients, is by implementing the right tools.
Finding a tool that can adapt to the needs of your agency and fully support your client work, will not only better support your employees, but will boost productivity and overall client satisfaction for your agency.
A client work management platform like Accelo can provide that all-in-one service for client work while empowering agencies and their teams to work in a manner that best fits their needs. Try a 14-day free trial to see the impact the right tool can have on your team.