It can be very difficult to get the time, money and resources needed for valuable training for an in-house department. We recently created a low-cost, low time intensive opportunity that was a halfway meeting of the minds between management and our team.
Called DG University, it’s a series of lunch and learn programs focused on design, design business topics and our industry which is greeting cards. It takes place during – you guessed it – our lunch break, with additional time added on beyond the normal break.
We’re tapping into many resources for the programming. I’m presenting some of the lectures I originally created for various conferences. Some members of our team are preparing presentations on topics on which they have expertise ranging from the apps we use to typography. We’re researching online videos relevant to design and our industry (we even found a comedy routine by Kevin James on greeting cards that offers excellent insights into our customers’ buying behavior). Time is also set aside after each presentation for discussion.
There’s compromise here both on the part of our team and management. Our designers can choose to spend their lunch in a conference room attending what are hopefully educational and inspiring presentations and management has “donated” some work time to the venture. (Our manager, actually, was so pleased with the proposal that she offered up dollars for speaker honorariums to allow us to secure presenters from outside our group.) In today’s hyper-budget conscious environment, I look at this as a win-win.