Training News

  • Make It Easy for Customers and Employees—Regardless of Channel or Platform
    Excerpt from “WOO, WOW, AND WIN: Service Design, Strategy, and the Art of Customer Delight” by Thomas A. Stewart and Patricia O’Connell (HarperBusiness, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, November 2016).Article Author: Thomas A. Stewart and Patricia O’ConnellWhen you make it hard for customers to work with you, they leave. When you make it hard for employees, they take shortcuts—and customers leave. And when offerings across multiple channels create more confusion than value, you have turned what should be a sponge into a leaky hose. Reduce Customer Effort People try to measure customer service in many ways: How quickly was the call answered? Was the customer’s problem resolved on the first call? Was the customer satisfied by the result? Would you recommend us to others? These are good questions, but they skirt around the central issue: How much of a pain are you to deal with? In our experience, it is better to measure some-... Read more »
  • How to Develop Truly Blended Learning
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    Brandon Hall Group’s Learning-Performance Convergence Model makes companies look at all their learning—even formal learning—through an agile lens.Article Author: By David Wentworth, Principal Learning Analyst, Brandon Hall GroupOrganizations have been talking about delivering a blended learning experience for years. Until recently, however, “blended” typically meant some mix of classroom training and e-learning. Within the greater context of how people learn, this mix isn’t truly blended at all. It is 100 percent focused on delivering formal learning experiences. Now, organizations finally are beginning to come to grips with the fact that formal learning represents a relatively small percentage of how people learn. The most common principle cited is the 70:20:10 model, which states that people acquire knowledge in this ratio: 70 percent experiential, 20 percent informal, and 10 percent formal. If you combine this with the Ebbinghaus Forgetting Curve, which states that people forget about 75 percent of what they learn in a formal... Read more »
  • Creating Meaningful Learning and Performance Improvement in Twitter Time
    Twitterization causes micro-fragmentation of work and development, stripping meaning, and, therefore motivation, from both.Article Author: William Seidman, Ph.D., CEO, Cerebyte, Inc.It seems like we’re working harder and faster than ever. Yet why does it feel as though we’re not as productive as we should be? While there have been many initiatives aimed at increasing productivity—including the adoption of lots of technology—productivity has declined. Recent reports suggest the best way to improve productivity is to help people work smarter, not just harder, which requires giving employees meaningful development experiences. But in today’s fast-paced, “what have you done for me lately?” business environment, what I call the “Twitterization” of the workplace, it’s difficult to create meaningful learning experiences. In our Twitterized world, few companies are willing to devote the time and resources necessary for employees to work smarter, grow, and become more productive. Is the decline in worker productivity simply a feeling or is... Read more »
  • Training Top 125 Best Practice: Postgraduate Certificate in Clinical Trial Management at PAREXEL INTERNATIONAL LLC
    Within the six months of lectures/seminars/training and a three-month practical working assignment, participants perform role-plays, independent research, and task-based learning activities.Article Author: Edited by Lorri FreifeldWhile clinical trial volumes increase globally, not enough qualified, experienced clinical research staff, especially Clinical Research Associates (CRA), are available to support and monitor the trials. The shortage has been identified as a growing issue in the clinical research industry and has evolved within the last 10 years. Neither biopharmaceutical sponsors nor research organizations were able to provide sufficient skills training to meet the drug industry’s research needs. To address that shortage and prepare students for careers in the biopharmaceutical industry, as well as strengthen the commitment to the global biopharmaceutical workforce, PAREXEL founded the PAREXEL Academy in Berlin in 2001. Today, the PAREXEL Academy has locations in the United States, Europe, and Asia, offering a wide range of learning programs tailored to fostering clinical research management... Read more »
  • Will We Fly Blind into the Future of Work?
    The world needs “an integrated information strategy” to respond to dramatic shifts in technology and labor markets. One key element of this strategy would be a public-private collaboration to develop new tools for measuring and monitoring technology, jobs, and skills.Article Author: Terence Brake, Director, Learning & Innovation, TMA WorldI grew up in the UK, in the county of Shropshire to be exact. Shropshire sometimes is called the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution because it was there, starting in 1779, that Abraham Darby III built the world’s first cast iron bridge. It spanned the River Severn in the village of Coalbrookedale, and is still standing as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The British Industrial Revolution sparked a period of radical economic, social, and political disruption that no one could accurately foresee or manage. With advances in metallurgy, machinery, and steam power, mass production became possible and work moved from houses to factories. Factories... Read more »
  • Writing to Teach: How to Harness the Power of Text in Online Courses
    A quick 5-step primer that clarifies the aspects of writing most critical to online learning. Article Author: Emily A. Moore, M.Ed.Instructional designers wear many hats during the course of the typical project: researcher, interviewer, project manager, user experience designer, graphic designer, videographer, and—often—writer. But while there’s a wealth of resources available targeted at boosting instructional designers’ skills in the technical aspects of instructional design, support for good instructional writing often is overlooked. And that’s a shame. Because for audiences who can read, well-written and well-presented text is the single most effective learning medium (for many situations; keep reading for the handful of exceptions). And even in today’s online world of feature-packed handhelds and cloud computing, text remains the single most reliably supported digital medium—the fallback content delivery approach of designers everywhere whose audiences occasionally experience bandwidth and hardware challenges (for example, rural, low-income, public school, and international audiences). When images won’t download, videos... Read more »
  • On Board with Onboarding?
    Author: By Margery WeinsteinAbout a month after starting my current job, my boss asked me to assemble a graphic that would require skills beyond my abilities. When I asked who at the company could help me, he answered: “Kristen.” I then asked, “Who’s Kristen?” He replied irritably, “She’s in the art department. She’s been here for years,” as if I should know. My boss isn’t the smartest person you ever met, but that aside, I bet this situation arises often after a new employee starts at a company. Managers, and other long-time employees, assume the new person will magically know things he or she has no way of knowing. This belief in the magic of new employees knowing without being told came to mind when I saw results of a recent CareerBuilder survey: More than a third of employers (36 percent) do not have a structured onboarding process, and many are reporting costly consequences. Forty-one... Read more »
  • A Balanced Score Card Approach to Measurable Learning Interventions
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    This approach has four perspectives: learning and growth, internal processes, customer, and financial.Article Author: By Nimish Gupta, Global Head L&D (Tech), Tech Mahindra ComputersA CEO once asked a CLO, “I spend $X million on the Learning function, but what’s the ROI?” Can a Learning leader confidently say that there was an impact of, say, $X million on the topline, Y percent increase in profitability, and Z percent reduction in attrition, as a direct result of learning in an organization? The answer is, “Yes.” Though Kirkpatrick’s Level 4 Kirkpatrick Model: http://www.kirkpatrickpartners.com/OurPhilosophy/KirkpatrickFoundationalPrinciples/tabid/304/Default.aspx and http://www.businessballs.com/kirkpatricklearningevaluationmodel.htm However, the missing link is to relate and calculate the impact of the learning intervention on profitability and revenue. Some of the challenges in measuring the learning outcomes are: The current mindset on measuring learning on soft parameters Detailed requirement analysis Linking to business outcome Converting the outcomes to an actual dollar value The Balanced Score Card (BSC) framework clearly links the learning interventions to the business... Read more »
  • Leading to Higher Performance
    Enhancing the relationship and communication between managers and employees is fundamental in improving teams’ performance.Article Author: Camila Horst CorreaDid you know that subordinates’ performance is intricately connected with managers’ actions? Let’s explore five classical Human Resources concepts pertaining to this correlation to help new managers increase their teams’ performance and understand the importance of the manager-subordinate relationship. Concept #1: The Hawthorne Effect The Hawthorne Effect is a concept named after an experiment that was designed to measure productivity in different circumstances (illumination, working hours, rest break). When improving the working conditions, researchers tracked an increase in productivity. However, when the conditions returned to the original status, productivity surprisingly still continued to increase. This study concluded that, despite the changes, the increasing productivity happened due to the attention given to the employees, which had a motivational effect on them. It could be evidence that not only physical conditions can affect productivity, but so can the... Read more »
  • Onboarding and Collaboration with the Content in the Cloud
    Transitioning onboarding and collaboration from the physical form to the digital leads to a reduction in cost, an increase in company knowledge, and instantaneous accessibility.Article Author: Blake Beus, Director, Learning Services, Allen CommunicationsThe digital age has changed how businesses operate. Even as we speak, e-mails are sending, pictures are posting, and programs are updating. Because we have become so connected to the world through our technology, instantaneous access has become essential to business operations. The cloud is an asset businesses need to capitalize on to maintain that level of connectivity. While we see the benefits between client and company, we need to look inward and focus on the benefits between company and staff. By making the most out of the cloud by transitioning onboarding and collaboration from the physical form to the digital, there is a reduction in cost, an increase in company knowledge, and instantaneous accessibility. The skills learned in improving... Read more »
  • Creating Positive, High-Performance Cultures
    Excerpt from “From Bully to Bull’s-Eye: Move Your Organization Out of the Line of Fire” by Andrew Faas. Article Author: Andrew FaasThroughout my career as a manager and executive, creating positive, high-performing cultures has been critical to my success and, by extension, the employees I was responsible for, and the organizations I represented. During and since the release of my book, “The Bully’s Trap—Bullying in the Workplace,” I have received a lot of pushback from executives who discount the value of a positive culture and consider cultural initiatives as Human Resources gobbledygook. I do agree that when cultural initiatives are not tied to performance, it usually is gobbledygook. Throughout the 2016 U.S. political election season, on prime time, we have witnessed a cultural revolution against political establishment, largely because the mood and emotions of the nation have been misread. Based on interviews with more than 600 people on bullying in the workplace, I... Read more »
  • Training Top 125 Best Practice: Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s Leadership Development Program
    A competency model and curriculum exist for every level of leadership: Individual Contributors (leading self), Group Leaders (leading projects), Managers (leading people), and Executives (leading organizations).Article Author: Edited by Lorri FreifeldThe leadership development program at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC)—an independent bureau of the U.S. Department of the Treasury that charters, regulates, and supervises all national banks and federal savings associations—is founded on the belief that every employee can lead. A competency model and curriculum exist for every level of leadership: Individual Contributors (leading self) Group Leaders (leading projects) Managers (leading people) Executives (leading organizations) Program Details In 2015, OCC developed a two-day classroom course for all employees: “Leadership Foundations” (LD101). This is the cornerstone of OCC’s leadership development program, designed to realize Comptroller Thomas J. Curry’s vision for institutionalizing leadership development into the agency’s culture. This course is designed to be the first step in employees’ leadership development journey. The program builds on... Read more »
  • Managing Your Boss When They Don’t Have Enough Time
    Pay close attention to the boss’ routine. If you handle them right, you can turn ad hoc one-on-one meetings into regular ones.Article Author: Bruce Tulgan, Founder and CEO, RainmakerThinking, Inc.Some bosses are convinced they are too busy to meet with you. Or maybe they are convinced it’s just not necessary and they simply do not want to meet with you. If this is the case with your boss, you might have to do some convincing. Hopefully, that isn’t the case for you, but if your boss seems resistant, remember that it’s nothing personal. Stick to the business case. It’s as simple as this: When you don’t meet for regular one-on-one conversations, then the work you are doing becomes susceptible to: Unnecessary problems that are more likely to occur Small problems that could be solved easily, but that turn into bigger problems Resources that are less likely to be optimized and more likely to be wasted Low productivity... Read more »
  • The Myth of the Natural Leader
    The best managers are people—natural or not—who learn proven techniques, practice those techniques diligently until they become skills, and continue practicing them until they become habits.Article Author: By Bruce Tulgan, Founder, RainmakerThinking (www.rainmakerthinking.com)There is a widespread myth that some people are natural leaders and, therefore, the best managers, whereas others are not natural leaders and are destined to be not-so-great managers. What is the reality? The best managers are people—natural or not—who learn proven techniques, practice those techniques diligently until they become skills, and continue practicing them until they become habits. Is there such a thing as natural leadership ability? Of course. Some people are visionary, charismatic, articulate, filled with ideas, and unusually energetic. People want to follow them. But that doesn’t necessarily make them good managers. More often, these great leaders succeed precisely when they are smart enough to hire great managers and let them do the crucial management part of leadership. I... Read more »
  • From White Collar Sweatshop to Progressive Employer?
    Author: By Margery WeinsteinA few years ago, after reading a disturbing New York Times article, I attempted to boycott Amazon. I call it an attempt because I can’t say with 100 percent certainty that I haven’t ordered from the company since the boycott began. But I think I did pretty well at avoiding it, which isn’t easy considering that now it even is developing its own shows. I would even try avoiding links to Amazon to buy books mentioned in articles or blogs. I would send readers instead to the author’s Website or a Google Books page. But my boycott might be over. I noticed two articles in last week’s New York Times about Amazon’s treatment of its workforce that impressed me: Amazon to Share New Building with Homeless Shelter in Seattle and Forget Beanbag Chairs. Amazon is Giving its Workers Treehouses. In the article that shocked me a few years ago,... Read more »
  • Industry Insight: Three Ways to Make Your Workplace Learning Stick
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    To effectively reinforce what sales and service professionals learn at work, organizations must insist their training and development initiatives include delivery in bite-sized chunks, a focus on coaching, and investment in sales and service managers.Article Author: By Byron Matthews, President and CEO, Miller Heiman GroupSPONSORED BY           Remember when you first learned to drive a car? If you were like me, you were a bit shaky the first few times you sat behind the wheel. And you probably needed constant guidance and reassurance from the parent or guardian who was brave enough to drive with you. But after a while, you got the hang of driving and started to gain more confidence as you practiced. Your next step was Drivers Ed. This is where you learned the rules of the road in a classroom setting and drove dozens of miles with an instructor. Next, you had to pass the actual written and driving exam,... Read more »
  • 4 Tips to Help Motivate Your Retail Staff
    Many retail staffers report feeling overworked and underappreciated, but it needn’t be all doom and gloom. If they are learning, then they have goals to work toward.Article Author: Ali Newton, Marketing Executive, The Display CentreRetail can be a hard industry to work in. Long hours and high targets can weigh down some employees. Many retail staffers report feeling overworked and underappreciated, but it needn’t be all doom and gloom. Here are four tips to help you keep your retail staff motivated. 1. Paint the bigger picture. When staff members are given an idea of where a company is headed and what the focus is for the month, they can help work toward it. If staff members are kept in the dark, it is going to be difficult for them to help you achieve your goals. In addition, when you paint the bigger picture to your staff, they feel more valued and respected.... Read more »
  • Moving from a Control to a Commitment Strategy for Safety’s Sake
    Both managers and employees must cope with ongoing changes and work together voluntarily to establish the wanted relationship. As such, both parties must be open and flexible.Article Author: Paul Gilbert Health and safety is considered to be one of the keys to organizational success and sustainability. Since many new and revised laws concerning safety have been circulating in the business and workplace sector, organizational groups encourage the business sector to integrate safety into their management system to ensure they are proactive, not reactive, in situations like this. As they say, prevention is better than cure. More often, businesspeople don’t realize they can minimize their costs on health insurance coverage and the like if their employees are fully committed to workplace safety. The question now is how? Approaches to Workforce Management A company’s success and sustainability depends mainly on how management approaches the workforce. Most of the time, two well-known strategies are used: control... Read more »
  • Commitment—The Fuel of Success
    Excerpt from “Mark of an Eagle—How Your Life Changes the World” by David McNally.Article Author: David McNallyIf you play or are a fan of golf, you may have been one of the hundreds of thousands who were delighted that the Spaniard, Sergio Garcia, won the recent Masters Tournament, arguably the most prestigious event of the season. The delight, however, was more than about golf. It was witnessing a person who appeared to have never lived up to his own or others’ expectations finally break through and achieve a long-envisioned goal. Stories of perseverance and transcendence inspire us. Garcia burst onto the scene at the age of 19 when he first challenged Tiger Woods in another major tournament—the PGA. From that time, he won many other tournaments but never a major. The pundits suggested that, as the years went by, it was his mental approach that sabotaged his success and, unquestionably, in interviews,... Read more »
  • 5 Tips for a Successful Return After Taking a Pause in Your Career
    Networking and building relationships are always good for your career, especially when you are looking to return after taking a pause.Article Author: Ellen Kalis, Public Relations Lead, Canada and the Midwest, SapientRazorfishOne year ago, I made the choice to return to work after staying home for four years to be an advocate for my son who has cerebral palsy and to dabble as an entrepreneur. When I left the workforce, I was a confident, driven, and successful career woman, so I was surprised when I made the decision to return that I felt nervous and was second-guessing my abilities. But I knew I had to get past this and focus on what I had to offer instead of what I felt was lacking to be able to get past what most HR departments saw as a gap in my career. Luckily, I found an opportunity with a company that values diverse skills... Read more »