How We Launched Our Team in Record Time with myTrailhead
One of the unique features of our program this summer is the way we’ve adopted myTrailhead, Salesforce’s customizable training platform. Through myTrailhead, we’ve been able to create a standard onboarding process that’s easy for new developers to follow. By the team’s fourth day of work, our new developers already felt like they’d been able to take the training wheels off and start pushing towards real progress.
1. Offered relevant training
Like many things in the Salesforce world, one of the beautiful things about myTrailhead is the fact that it is completely customizable. While trailhead.salesforce.com already has a ton of great resources for how to use Salesforce well, each business and institution will have its own special procedures and skills. Having customized training is especially important in higher education and other sectors that don’t necessarily have a traditional “product” to sell.
Adeline, who joined the CATLab earlier this month, said that the Westmont-specific trails “speak in a language that we really understand.” She especially appreciated that “the examples they use when describing the concepts are things we have at Westmont. For instance, they’ll give an example about the Chapel project. It makes more sense than just having the general, nonspecific trails.” Not only did myTrailhead’s relevance give Adeline the practical knowledge she needed to do her job, but it also made the process much more engaging.
2. Built in flexibility
Another reason myTrailhead has been a success right out of the gate is how the platform works in tandem with a developer or admin’s day-to-day projects. This means that Trailhead quickly gets people into real projects: Once you’ve learned the basics, you don’t need to complete every single recommended module. People can complete trails whenever they’re relevant, rather than being bogged down by training for their first few weeks. As one of our new developers Monty put it,
“I have access to stuff when I need it and I’m not just sifting through busy work.”
Part of why we can be so flexible in using myTrailhead is that it is always available for reference in case a developer suddenly needs to learn a new skill or to refresh their knowledge of an old one. Kim Shifley, a supporting staff member who has spent much of her previous summers with the CATLab training incoming students, made a similar point: “It has been helpful to have a resource that can not only teach a new subject, but also reinforce old skills, and be used as a reference that I can point colleagues back to.”
Encouraging people to use myTrailhead at their own pace has a couple of distinct advantages. First, it allows the more confident members of a team to dive straight into projects and start getting things done. Second, it improves team morale because no one is stuck to a one-size-fits-all training model but can instead do whatever is most helpful for them.
3. Created a sense of fun
The very language of “trails” conveys a sense of exploration and ties into the idea of flexibility—this platform is all about finding what’s going to help you on your particular journey. myTrailhead isn’t about slogging through dry training materials—it’s about having a helpful guide as you embark on an adventure. The badging system is also a great way to build enthusiasm and motivation. Kim pointed out that myTrailhead is fun for both the people being onboarded and the staff members who are leading the process:
“It’s been awesome getting to teach with a tool that is so fun, engaging, and gamified—who doesn’t love earning points?”
On top of the language and packaging, another thing that makes Trailhead fun is how it encourages interactivity. To start with, Trailhead contains opportunities for built-in practice. Adeline reflected that it was much more engaging to have a way of “practicing what you just read” instead of sitting down and simply trying to digest a list of instructions or documentation.
These are just three things that we’ve loved about using myTrailhead, but it’s not just the CATLab that stands to benefit from this great platform. Many other departments at Westmont College, such as the Admissions team, have started using it for their training. Right now there is only one other higher ed institution taking advantage of myTrailhead, but we hope to see it take off in the future. Keep an eye out for another post from us soon with tips about using myTrailhead in your own organization!
Follow us on all our platforms!