EP 13: Measuring Corporate Training Effectiveness & Fostering Employee Knowledge

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This week on the podcast we’re joined by Megan Gutierrez, the visionary founder and CEO of Taproot Learning Connections, who firmly believes in the profound impact of education on driving positive change. From her perspective, education is not merely about acquiring knowledge but also about fostering personal growth, critical thinking, and a deeper understanding of the world around us.

Megan’s journey in the realm of learning and development has been shaped by her unwavering belief in the transformative potential of education. She has witnessed firsthand how access to quality education can open doors of opportunity, challenge preconceived notions, and empower individuals. Through her work at Taproot Learning Connections, Megan aims to harness the power of education to create a more equitable, inclusive, and sustainable future.

Origins of Taproot Learning Connections

Taproot Learning Connections was born as a “happy accident” as Megan Gutierrez fondly calls it. What started as a friend continually saying “we should start a business together” while also discussing the challenges faced in corporate training and development, quickly snowballed into a passionate pursuit of creating a better learning experience.

Megan’s entrepreneurial journey began with a simple realization – traditional training methods were often ineffective, failing to engage learners and drive meaningful results. Armed with a deep understanding of adult learning principles and a desire to make a lasting impact, she took a leap of faith and founded Taproot Learning Connections.

In the early days, Megan wore multiple hats, juggling everything from content creation to client acquisition. Her unwavering belief in the power of education and her commitment to excellence fueled her determination to succeed. Through countless late nights and relentless hustle, she built a team of like-minded professionals who shared her vision for transforming the learning and development landscape.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the Core

Taproot Learning Connections is built on a foundation of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). Their mission statement emphasizes creating accessible and inclusive learning experiences that empower individuals from all backgrounds. We believe that embracing diversity fosters innovation, creativity, and better decision-making, ultimately leading to more effective and impactful learning outcomes.

DEI is deeply ingrained in every aspect of their training development process. Carefully curating content, examples, and case studies to represent diverse perspectives, cultures, and experiences.

They offer tailored DEI training programs that help organizations build a culture of belonging and leverage the power of diversity. These programs cover topics such as unconscious bias, inclusive leadership, and creating a diverse and equitable workplace. We believe that by promoting DEI, we can foster a more just and equitable society while enhancing organizational performance and employee engagement.

Taproot Learning Connections are committed to walking the talk. The team reflects the diversity they champion, and strive to create an inclusive workplace where every voice is heard and valued. They understand that DEI is an ongoing journey, and are dedicated to continuously learning, growing, and improving our practices to ensure our training programs are truly inclusive and impactful.

The Taproot Method: Results-Driven Training

At Taproot Learning Connections, they believe that effective employee training and development should be measurable and data-driven. Their proprietary Taproot method emphasizes establishing clear Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) upfront, ensuring that our training programs are designed with specific goals and desired outcomes in mind.

Before they embark on any project, they work closely with our clients to understand their unique challenges, objectives, and desired results. They then define the KPIs that will serve as benchmarks for measuring the success of the training. These KPIs can range from improved employee productivity and engagement to increased sales or customer satisfaction, depending on the client’s specific needs.

Throughout the training delivery process, they collect data and feedback from participants, allowing us to continuously refine and optimize the content for maximum effectiveness. After the training is complete, Taproot Learning Connections conducts a comprehensive evaluation to assess its impact and determine whether the defined KPIs have been met.

This data-driven approach ensures clients receive tangible, measurable results from their training investments. By focusing on outcomes and continuously evaluating their methods, they can adapt and evolve training solutions to meet the ever-changing needs of the modern workforce.

Staying Curious and Playful in L&D

Adaptability is key in this field, as new technologies, methodologies, and best practices emerge rapidly. By fostering a curious and playful mindset, L&D professionals can remain open to exploring and experimenting with innovative solutions. This mindset allows them to stay ahead of the curve and provide cutting-edge training experiences that resonate with modern learners.

Moreover, a playful approach to learning can make the process more engaging and enjoyable for participants. Incorporating elements of gamification, storytelling, and interactive activities can enhance knowledge retention and create a more immersive learning experience. As Megan notes, “When learning is fun and engaging, people are more likely to be receptive and retain the information.”

Embracing change is also essential in the L&D realm. As societal and organizational needs evolve, training programs must adapt to remain relevant and effective. By cultivating a curious and playful mindset, L&D professionals can anticipate and respond to these changes proactively, ensuring that their training offerings remain valuable and impactful.

Advice for Aspiring L&D Professionals

For those aspiring to enter the field of learning and development, Megan Gutierrez offers valuable insights from her own journey. “The most important thing is to cultivate a genuine passion for education and a desire to help others learn and grow. This field is all about making a positive impact on people’s lives.”

Additionally, Megan stresses the importance of developing strong communication and interpersonal skills. “As an L&D professional, you’ll be working with people from diverse backgrounds and varying levels of expertise,” she explains. “Being able to effectively communicate and build rapport is crucial for successful training and development initiatives.”

Above all, Megan emphasizes the importance of perseverance and resilience. “The road to success in L&D can be challenging, but it’s incredibly rewarding when you see the positive impact your work has on individuals and organizations,” she says. “Stay focused, keep learning, and never lose sight of your passion for education and personal growth.”

Taproot’s Vision and Future Goals

At the heart of Taproot Learning Connections lies a bold vision – to revolutionize the way organizations approach learning and development. According to Megan Gutierrez, the company’s driving force is to create a shift in how businesses perceive and prioritize employee growth.

“We want to challenge the traditional notion that training is a one-time event or a box to check,” Megan explains. “Instead, we envision a future where continuous learning becomes an integral part of an organization’s culture, seamlessly woven into the fabric of daily operations.”

Additionally, Megan envisions Taproot as a pioneer in leveraging cutting-edge technologies, such as artificial intelligence and virtual reality, to enhance the learning experience. “We want to push the boundaries of what’s possible in L&D,” she says. “By embracing emerging technologies, we can create immersive, personalized learning journeys that truly resonate with modern learners.”

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