Name: Robert Rathje
Position and Employer: Leadership Development Specialist, UFG Insurance
How long have you been with your employer and/or in your position? Less than 1 year
How long have you been a member of ATD Hawkeye Chapter? 2.5 years
What is a typical workday like for you? Currently, my main focus is on designing, developing, and delivering an end-to-end soft skill development program that aligns with our strategic initiatives and goals. With COVID-19, this blended learning program contains eLearnings, virtual instructor led sessions, and self-directed reinforcement tools/resources that can be leveraged between each of the 5 modules. Additionally, I spend time working with our “Future of Work” and “Enterprise Change Management” teams to help identify performance gaps, define strategy, establish programs and processes, and other projects/tasks as needed.
What is your favorite part of the learning and development field? Helping the learner get one step further than they were when they entered the session. Being the person who can help them learn, apply, and practice the skill that will take their game to the next level. I am deeply passionate about helping people develop their capabilities and skills, so they can achieve what they are truly capable of.
What are your greatest strengths, and what are your current development goals? I believe one of my strengths is the ability to take a complex idea/concepts and simplify it in a way someone can learn it. Additionally, my current development goals will be to work towards my APTD and eventually my CPLP. Furthermore, I would like do more research on Performance Improvement, Data & Analytics, and Future Readiness within ATD’s Capability Model.
Who is currently one of your favorite speakers or authors, and why? Trevor Ragan, who is the founder of Train Ugly. I had the chance to meet Trevor at Tedx Cedar Rapids in 2018, where he spoke about overcoming fear. My favorite thing about Trevor is his passion of discovering, understanding and sharing the science of how to become a better learner. In the future, “learning how to learn” effectively is going to be one of the most critical skills a person can have. The rate of change is increasing exponentially within the world around us, which means we must be ready to continuously learn and adapt. Therefore, Trevor shares key information that not only we can use, but can also pass along to our learners in the classroom.