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Investing in Team Development Pays Off And It Doesn’t Need to Be Expensive

General Assembly, an education brand, specializing in modern and in-demand skills.

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Increased Throughput and Job Efficiency

Sometimes, the most beneficial training one can receive teaches them to do things faster. Consider the example of a self-taught designer that finally takes an Adobe Illustrator course. The course teaches them new keyboard shortcuts and faster ways to perform design techniques that previously they’d been hacking together. The same goes for community and event managers. 

Often training will introduce coworking staff to software, tools, and resources they never knew existed. After training the coworking staff member can do things faster, which means they get more done and your coworking business grows.

Employee Job Satisfaction and the Mastery Effect

Daniel Pink wrote about the three elements of intrinsic motivation in his book, Drive. These motivators are autonomy, mastery, and purpose. Let’s focus on mastery.

Mastery, the urge to get better and better at something that matters, is something I think we all have. For some people, it’s the desire to be a better writer. For others, it’s coding iOS applications. The point is that we derive pleasure in achieving new levels of mastery, whatever our craft is. 

Coworking staff members are no different. Yet so often coworking jobs are dead-end jobs because there’s no room for growth. This reality can make for sad and bored coworking staff members. Likely they’ll quit one day because the things that excited them about joining your team, such as the possibilities for growth and learning and opportunity, are no longer available.

Instead of letting them jump ship, either to a new career or a coworking space that will invest in their development, give them the opportunity to grow and get better. This will excite them again. It will give them new challenges and new tools to hone their craft. Help inspire mastery.

Staff Loyalty

Particularly in the coworking business where the schedule can be overwhelming, and work can easily take over one’s life, it’s important to make sure staff members feel invested in both the success of the space and in the quality of the work. 

Lavinia Iosub, the manager at Livit Spaces and Project Getaway is a firm believer in the value of investing in team development. “Over the past few years, we've invested in our former operations assistant, mostly via 1-on-1 coaching and mentoring, as well as seminars and webinars.

She's been extremely committed to her own development, and she now runs the show as Business Support Manager. It has been no doubt 100% worth it for the organization. We run a coworking & coliving, completely chore free facility, so great, loyal people are the absolute key to good services.” Overworked staff members that haven’t been invested in stop caring. When they stop caring the quality of their work degrades and the community notices. 

It should go without saying that the community manager is the most important person to keep loyal for the sake of your membership business and the event manager is the most important person to keep loyal for the sake of your events business and brand.

Opportunities for Unique Content

Do you want the world to think you’re a hip space that cares about their team and their members and that is at the forefront of workplace trends? Well, supporting a team member in learning their skill development is an excellent source of authentic, original content.

Have them write articles about their progress and learnings, interview your team members for a video about your team development practices, start a podcast about the importance of team development, have your staff re-teach their newfound skills to your members at a lunchtime workshop.

It doesn’t have to be expensive.

Does the $900 example above scare you? Luckily there are cheaper options. In fact, any good coworking space should be ripe with learning opportunities because of the shared skill sets of all the space’s members. 


Christoph Fahle, CEO and founder of Betahaus in Berlin, doesn’t think employee training and development needs to be expensive or formal. “I'd say the biggest opportunity regarding education in a coworking space is that it is better than a university if you want to learn something. It is faster, cheaper, and more fun,” says Christoph. 

“Because being in a coworking space, how I understand it, means [you] develop yourself,” continued Christoph. “And this also applies to the central part of the community which is the Community Manager. If you look at it too corporate in terms of employee education programs, it misses the point of a coworking space. [The team members] just ask coworkers to sit down with them and give them a workshop. Then they learn the rest on the internet.”

Kasia from Hubud agrees. “It’s not just through its personal development program that Hubud offers [development opportunities] to its team, but also through its open and flexible organizational culture and the learning possibilities available at Hubud,” she explained. “I literally have a free access to hundreds of colearning events here, from Facebook marketing to productivity tips to hacking happiness. Last year alone we organized 430 events at Hubud! Where else could I get that?”

Christoph and Kasia bring up good points. It’s not all about about investing in employees monetarily. Perhaps what’s more important is supporting their choice to learn new things and giving them the time to do so.

Don’t wait for them to ask.

Maybe you’ve never had a staff member ask for you to pay for a $900 course before. Maybe they’ve never even asked for time to sit down with one of your members to learn something that could benefit the space. So what?
Don’t wait around for them to ask. Team and skill development is in your space’s and community’s best interest, not just the employee who receives the education.

Make it a point to create a personal/career development program for all of your team members. It should be as important for them to develop and grow their skills as it is to do their everyday jobs. If you adopt team development as a practice for your organization, you’ll up your game and secure your place as a top coworking space in your region, maybe even the world.

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About the author:

Ryan Chatterton founded Coworking Insights and works as a Marketing Director for Habu. Coworking Insights is a coworking media platform focused on delivering unique and in-depth insights for coworking founders and their teams. Habu is a simple and robust software platform for managing shared workspaces. Formerly with Impact Hub and Parisoma, Ryan now has over 4 years of combined experience in a variety of roles in the coworking industry, including marketing, events, operations, sales, software, and partnerships. Connect with Ryan via LinkedIn or email.

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