Training News

  • Training Top 125 Best Practice: Aetna Inc.’s Service Without Borders Initiative
    The initiative required not only training to learn new workflows, but also a culture shift for employees to trust their own decisions by doing what is right for the member.Article Author: Edited by Lorri Freifeld Aetna Inc.’s Service Without Borders initiative training began in April 2017 and continues today with ongoing training. It consists of all of Service Operations, including but not limited to the following departments: Calls, Claims, Complaints and Appeals, Clinical, Provider, Business Transactions, Workforce Management, Quality, and Training. Service Operations is helping achieve Aetna’s corporate strategic goal of improving consumer health and engagement by living the health insurance company’s common purpose and advocating for its members’ best health through this initiative. The Service Without Borders initiative puts the member first in every decision while building a culture of individual accountability, trust, ownership, and empowerment. The initiative required not only training to learn new workflows, but also a culture… Read more »
  • The 5 Fatal Flaws that Will Kill Your Change Initiative
    Change does not come naturally, but identifying and building a strategy around potential pitfalls early on can make the process as painless as possible.Article Author: Brian McDowell, Vice President, Sales, SocialChorus As the workplace continues to evolve and employee expectations shift, HR and internal communications teams are rapidly adopting new initiatives to better integrate, retain, and inspire employees. Change management teams spend a lot of time figuring out how to implement the “soft side” of organizational changes, going over the goals and objectives, strategy and tactics, and basic changes to roles and processes. However, several internal system and structural challenges can make it impossible for even the simplest change initiative to be successful. According to McKinsey, a whopping 70 percent of change programs don’t reach their stated goals. Here are five key elements organizations often ignore that can doom a change initiative before it even starts.  1. Communication The importance of communication… Read more »
  • How Gamification Allows Companies to Improve Workforce Development and Retention in a Competitive Labor Market
    Gamification a two-way street for both employees and employers. It provides data-driven insights for employers while helping employees meet their goals and provide training feedback in real time.Article Author: Omer Erel, Head, Performance and Quality Management Solutions, NICE The unemployment rate is hovering around 3.7 percent, which is one of the lowest rates in U.S. history. This means it’s getting more difficult to recruit and hire new talent as competition for qualified candidates heats up. According to the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, approximately 3.3 million workers voluntarily left a job in March 2018 alone. What’s furthering this problem is the fact that 70 percent of high-retention-risk employees say they’ll have to leave their organization to advance their career, according to a report from Willis Towers Watson. This makes it crucial for organizations to ensure they’re meeting the needs of employees and helping them grow their careers.  One of the best ways to… Read more »
  • The Power of Pessimism
    Author: By Margery Weinstein I was watching one of my favorite shows last week, Shark Tank, when the sharks noted what an entrepreneur was lacking: self-doubt. She was overly confident and sunny about her prospects. The sharks said a little self-doubt, and fear that you aren’t going to make it, can be keys to success. The ability to see a potentially bad outcome keeps entrepreneurs on their toes, at their best. Some leadership and executive development emphasizes the importance of positive thinking, but I prefer optimizing pessimism. I’m a natural pessimist, and it makes me better prepared than I would be if I were an optimist. It drives me to save money, to reach out to more sources for articles than others would (knowing many will fall through), and pushes me to consider possibly disappointing or upsetting outcomes, so when they happen I’m mentally prepared. I found an article from The Atlantic last year that… Read more »
  • 7 Tips to Maximum ROI in Overseas Training
    Multinational companies should prepare instructors and translate their training materials carefully because it is an unfortunate and avoidable waste of money when they get it wrong.Article Author: Jon Gornstein, President, Persona Global Many U.S. multinational companies get their overseas training wrong. One of the main reasons this occurs is that often both the purchaser and the trainer selected have little experience training overseas. Sometimes the trainer and the content have not been prepared sufficiently (or at all) to meet the language and learning culture of the overseas target audience. As a result, training efforts will not be optimized and can be a wasted investment. For the best results, international corporate trainers need to do their language and cultural homework ahead of time and know where to look for the best resources. Teaming up with local facilitators (or at least speaking with one) can be invaluable to ensure the translation and the… Read more »
  • Managing Employees and Social Media: Where Is the Line?
    If you allow employees to use social media to conduct business, it is a good idea to require employees to get company approval first. Article Author: Katherine P. Sandberg, Associate, Andrews Kurth LLP Social media is modern society’s most popular form of communication, but it is a double-edged sword for employers. The average employer might use social media to learn background information about applicants; get the scoop on what competitors are doing; keep their finger on the pulse of the marketplace and trends; and learn who employees may be contacting.  Nonetheless, there are risks, as well. Many companies require or allow employees to make company-affiliated social media accounts, and it may become unclear who owns the account. Employees may use these accounts to make disclosures that damage customer relationships either by revealing information they should not or by disparaging the company’s products. Along those lines, if employees are disparaging another company… Read more »
  • 5 Essentials When Implementing Mental Health Training
    The goal of mental health trainings should be to open conversations about mental health; to normalize its prevalence in the workplace; and to equip people with tools to create a safe, engaged, productive workplace.Article Author: Bernie Wong, Senior Associate, and Jen Anderson, Chief Operating Officer, Mind Share Partners Mental health training is not compliance training—it’s culture-change training. Without accepting attitudes and a supportive workplace culture, learning skills or rules won’t be effective. Of course, while confidentiality laws such as the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) and crisis management protocols are essential topics for mental health in the workplace, they are just the tip of the iceberg. In fact, they’re the bare minimum. The goal of mental health trainings should be to open conversations about mental health; to normalize its prevalence in the workplace; and to equip people with tools to create a safe, engaged, productive workplace. However, these discussions can be… Read more »
  • Training Top 125 Best Practice: Walmart’s Pathways
    Pathways is a comprehensive development program for entry-level associates that can be completed in as little as 60 days.Article Author: Edited by Lorri Freifeld In 2016, Walmart CEO Doug McMillon gave the following call to action: “There will be no better place in retail to learn, to grow, and to build a career than Walmart.”  As such, the company has committed to providing its associates with consistent, relevant tools for meaningful professional growth. Nowhere is this commitment more evident than Pathways, a comprehensive development program for entry-level associates that can be completed in as little as 60 days. Pathways empowers associates to create their own opportunities. It went from an idea brainstormed on a napkin to an initiative cascaded to more than 1 million Walmart U.S. associates. The program provides visibility and career progression opportunities. Program Details Prior to the implementation of Pathways, less than 10 percent of entry-level hourly associates… Read more »
  • Redefining HR’s Role in the Manufacturing Industry
    Company culture impacts nearly everything in your business. Take time to invest in it.Article Author: Jacob Wilson, CEO, Morrison Industries It’s no secret that one of the largest challenges in manufacturing today is workforce development. Specifically, recruiting and retaining high-quality employees who fit and thrive within a company’s culture is an issue for businesses of all sizes. My family started a manufacturing business in the mid-1990s when I was in elementary school. From that early age, I had the incredible opportunity to be exposed to all facets of the business and learned many valuable lessons over the years. The most important lesson is to have empathy for and accommodate the challenges of your team members. In our business, this means our attitude and approach with our employees is aligned with our company’s attitude and approach with our customers. I’ve learned that without the right employees, your customers will not have the… Read more »
  • The 5 Factors Making It Harder to Manage People Today—And What to Do About Them
    Most managers move into positions of supervisory responsibility because they are very good at something, but not usually for the reason that they are especially good at managing people. And once promoted, most new managers receive very little in the way of effective management training.Article Author: Bruce Tulgan, Founder and CEO, RainmakerThinking, Inc. I know that for most people, being hands-on and highly engaged requires a fundamental rethinking of the manager’s role and the management relationship. Indeed, many people tell me, “Nobody has ever given me permission to manage, to be the boss.” At the same time, to many people, this probably sounds like common sense. Of course, managers need to manage! But managing people in the real world is very, very difficult, and there are no easy solutions. Most managers are under a tremendous amount of pressure. Most managers move into positions of supervisory responsibility because they are very good… Read more »
  • The Blue-Bag Opportunity: Interpret Outside Events
    Excerpt from Chapter 3 from “Management Made Simple. Ideas of a Former McKinsey Partner” by Mickey Huibregtsen.Article Author: Mickey Huibregtsen Most creative business propositions have not come from brilliant inventions but from keen observation and creative interpretation of external events, yet many companies focus on refining their proposition or solution for a business challenge and defending it from outside invaders. Ideally, they should be continuously screening thehorizon for totally new opportunities to deal with the customer need the product or service satisfies, and they should be prepared to destroy their old solution and replace it with a totally new one. In virtually every company, the external changes—in terms of evolutions or discontinuities in market needs, technology, or distribution—are staring management in the face, but management has not interpreted the implications of such changes into new product/service solutions. The idea of Blue Bag Opportunities stems from one of the most famous discontinuities in the sports world: the Fosbury Flop. The high… Read more »
  • Is Money the Top Motivator of Your Employees?
    Author: By Margery Weinstein A friend shared with me last week how her colleagues at a financial trade publication shot down an idea for an article on serving many small investors rather than a small pool of large investors. They noted that it didn’t make sense from a financial perspective because it was known to be more profitable for financial advisors to have a smaller number of wealthy clients than a large number of middle-income clients. We both saw the potential flaw in that thinking: It presumes that financial advisors’ primary motivation is money. It might seem that as financial advisors, money would be the biggest driver of career decisions, but with the heightened focus of Millennials on finding a greater meaning in work and having work-life balance, that assumption may be too one dimensional. Money is a motivator, but not necessarily the whole story in the career choices that even a financial… Read more »
  • We’re All Leaders. Let’s Be Good Ones!
    If certain leadership behaviors were learned and recognized early and often, how great would our workplaces be? Let’s pinky pledge to do our best every dayArticle Author: Dawn J. Mahoney, Owner, Learning in The White Space LLC Ever wondered why there are so many leadership models and books on leadership out there? Models and stories are fine. And they certainly sell books. But does any of it make a difference? There are many models to choose from crafted by well-meaning people, I’m sure (for example, formal, primal, situational, servant, and informal leadership). I think there are so many because we each have at least one story about a time when leadership was “done” to us—and it wasn’t good. Am I right? Without even realizing it, we all crave leadership—in whatever form. We need to know the general direction the team is expected to go and at least some vague notion as… Read more »
  • Trust Me…I’m Your Leader
    Understanding how to facilitate successful results between groups of people.Article Author: Roy Saunderson, Chief Learning Officer, Rideau Recognition Solutions Do you trust your immediate supervisor or manager to do what is right? What about your CEO? Before you answer those questions, let’s understand what trust really is. Trust in a person means you have a firm belief in his or her reliability, truth, ability, or strength. Trusting also means you have confidence in a person and you feel physically and emotionally safe with him or her. And there is also one other fact about trust: It takes time to build trust between people but only a few seconds to lose it. According to the 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer, a global survey on trust in leaders, institutions, government, and the media, only 47 percent of employees rate their CEO as a credible source of information. While this percentage may seem low, it… Read more »
  • Webinar Wisdom
    The principles of developing and leading an effective Webinar are the same. How you apply them may be different.Article Author: Bob Pike, CSP, CPLP FELLOW, CPAE-Speakers Hall of Fame Do you do Webinars? That’s still a fair question these days. Not all trainers do. But Webinars are becoming ubiquitous. It’s like e-mail. There was a time when people asked, “Do you have an e-mail address?” Now the question is, “What’s your e-mail address?” We simply can’t conceive that anyone, at least in the business world, would not have one. But conducting a Webinar—and leading it effectively—are two very different things. Today, I lead all kinds of Webinars—many for learning, but also for lead generation to sell a particular product or service. The principles of developing and leading an effective Webinar are the same. How you apply them may be different. PREPARATION AND POINTERS I was at an ATD TechKnowledge Conference, speaking… Read more »
  • Training: An Awesome Responsibility
    Learners put tremendous trust in us, because, as trainers, we spend their most precious property—their time.Article Author: Michael Allen, Chairman and CEO, Allen Interactions What is most precious in life? Ask anyone. I’ll bet you’ll hear, expressed in one way or another, how important time is. Time with family. Time with friends. Time for accomplishments, experiences, hobbies, helping, dreaming. Time is precious and needed for everything. All our joys, aspirations, loves. We need to use it wisely as we can never get our time back once it’s been spent. No Returns or Exchanges As trainers, we need to recognize, accept, and manage the awesome responsibility we have as trusted custodians of learners’ time while they’re in training. With no returns or exchanges possible, learners put tremendous trust in us as trainers as we spend their most precious property. As if that weren’t onus enough, employers have great requirements of us, as… Read more »
  • Profound Learning: Creating The “Edge Effect”
    The “Edge Effect” is the creativity generated where two ecosystems or cultures meet. Like the ocean meeting the land—new life systems and ideas emerge.Article Author: Neal Goodman, Ph.D., President, Global Dynamics, Inc. How do you achieve a profound learning experience, one that will be life changing and bring about insights that will generate the pathways to new insights and creativity? What can you do to get the edge on innovation and creativity, and maximize your potential and that of your associates at work? In a previous column, we examined the five steps organizations can take to improve innovation ( &p=58#{“page”:58,”issue_id”:422693}). More recent research on individual and organizational innovation demonstrates that an intense interpersonal experience with those who are different is one of the most important supporting factors. What happens when we encounter “strangers” in our lives? What are the impediments, barriers, or challenges that prevent effective working relationships, and what are the… Read more »
  • Learning from EVA
    EVA, the enterprise voice assistant, takes notes in meetings, listening for what’s important, and activates it for you and your team.Article Author: Phylise Banner I recently installed Voicea’s EVA assistant on my computer, although I wasn’t sure what the result was going to be. I do that—install applications I know little about so I can “bang” on them to see what the benefits, challenges, etc., might be. To see how I might use them and predict how you might use them. With EVA, I was hoping to have my meeting notes captured. Anything more than that was going to be a bonus. According to its site, “Voicea is a voice collaboration platform. Voicea provides EVA, the enterprise voice assistant, to take notes in meetings, listening for what’s important, and activates it for you and your team.” In recent years, voice-activated digital technologies have replaced personal assistants. Many of us rely on… Read more »
  • Get Managers To Coach After Your Training
    One of the best ways to do this is to send managers a coaching map— instructions that speak directly to the subject matter and provide specific techniques and strategies to assist in reinforcing the materialArticle Author: Tim Hagen, Chief Coaching Officer, Progress Coaching One of the toughest things trainers face is getting managers to reinforce training by coaching employees. One of the best ways to do this is to send a map. A coaching map is a set of instructions that speaks directly to the subject matter and provides specific techniques and strategies to assist in coaching and reinforcing the material. For example, if you’re going to lead a session or deliver content on negotiating, you can send a follow-up coaching map to the managers to reinforce the negotiation tips and best practices provided in the training. A coaching map can include the following: Questions: When we give managers sample questions,… Read more »
  • Choose the Best Learning Path
    How organizations, managers, and learners can maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of the learning effort—for each individualArticle Author: Ross Tartell, Adjunct Associate Professor, Psychology, Columbia University In a 1997 Harvard Business Review article, “The Living Company,” Arie de Geus declared: “In the future, the ability to learn faster than competitors may be the only sustainable competitive advantage.” Today, that statement could not be truer. In a VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous) world, the crucial competency that enables an organization to adapt and survive is learning how to win at learning. Training professionals, in partnership with line managers, must guide individuals to the learning methodologies that best fit their needs. But many issues make today’s learning environment uncertain. New and emerging training technologies proliferate. A recent global study by the Gartner Group found that less than two-thirds of managers think their employees are able to keep pace with future skill needs.… Read more »