Judy from Guide to Academy Lead

GSU Community Stories May 29, 2020

Judy’s association with GetSetUp began in November 2019 when she was casually looking for her next project. She had taken a year away from her software product director role to work on a family business.

She happened across GetSetUp’s Guide program and applied. She said, “I thought these guys are doing something pretty cool. I met with Neil and they were still in the early phases of development at the time — nothing much happened. To be honest I thought it was a pie in the sky idea and they weren’t really going anywhere. In February an email came through saying they were looking for Guides again and I thought what the heck.”

Judy started her Guide training on a B2B product called Copper CRM. She also trained on a Shopify course, but she let cofounder Neil know her niche was B2B. Neil knows how to utilize his team’s assets so he said, “Sure why don’t you focus on that.”

Before she knew it Judy had trained and passed her mock class. She was now training learners on the tool.

“It all happened so fast I’m not even sure how it evolved. They were bringing on more and more guides, and they approached me to see if I wanted to work more,” said Judy. Based on her project management experience, she started at 20 hours and it quickly grew to a full-time position managing the Guides as Academy Lead.

Ensuring Guide Quality

Her biggest mission now is to ensure Guide quality and that GetSetUp is delivering great learning experiences for their clients. She works on building, mentoring, and leading a world-class team of GetSetUp Guides. Her whole role is more robust then it was previously. While she is still teaching some classes to test new courses and curriculums, her focus is on assuring that GetSetUp delivers the right mix of classes through exceptional Guides and evaluating new initiatives.

Most importantly Judy believes in GetSetUp’s product, classes, and approach. She says, “I think this is a good product for two reasons. It has both supply and demand components. On the supply side, you have a talent pool of people who are not working right now but have abilities and want to use them in some capacity. Essentially, you have human resources that are going to waste and now we are putting them to work. On the demand side, there are many people who want and need to learn about technology and how to use it in their lives. Most importantly it is socially redeeming. It is a win for the Guide and the person receiving the Guide’s knowledge.”

Guides are helping with onboarding and digital adoption in a senior-to-senior empathetic self-paced class environment. This helps to create social connections and community, especially during a time when many seniors are feeling disconnected from others and lonely.

Fighting Senior Disconnect and Loneliness

This is particularly troubling because The National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, & Medicine published a Consensus Study Report on Social Isolation and Loneliness in Older Adults, that stated, “A substantial body of evidence demonstrates that social isolation presents a major risk for premature mortality, compared to other risk factors such as high blood pressure, smoking, or obesity. As older adults are particularly high-volume and high-frequency users of the health care system, there is an opportunity for healthcare professionals to identify, prevent, and mitigate the adverse health impacts of social isolation and loneliness in older adults.”

It is up to healthcare systems to start to use tools such as learning as a benefit to reduce adverse health issues and diminish social isolation. GetSetUp has the ability to bundle their current classes into those most relevant for healthcare systems’ communities. Furthermore, they can customize curriculums quickly for specific services like helping fill in SNAP documentation, understand and apply for Medicare, or fill in other health plan documentation.

Companies can do their part by customizing their training for their senior employees just like GetSetUp provides customized training for each new tool Guides learn and teach.

Just because a person is getting older doesn’t mean they don’t want to or can’t learn.

“It is a different world out there and GetSetUp can come in and immediately help by offering training that people need for their situations. It might be a person in social isolation who wants to use video chat to connect with her family or a teacher that finds themselves in a completely different environment and needs to learn how to use tools to teach online. It is rewarding to see them say ‘oh wow’ and ‘I can do that!’ ” explained Judy. She believes that part of the appeal for the Guides is that GetSetUp is trying to give back.

“There is a huge difference between watching a pre-recorded class versus having someone speak with you directly, hold your hand as you learn and say ‘now let’s look at your screen and click on the button on the right.’ To me, instructor-led education is very different from more static led videos. That is one of the biggest differentiators — the live instructors that you can talk to, have one-on-one coaching, and support for whatever it is you are supposed to do.”

These opportunities for personal growth are a cornerstone of GetSetUp. Guides and learners have these opportunities and some Guides like Judy move up to more key leadership roles to help empower others.

#Makeyourmark #OAM2020

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