Training News

  • Training Top 125 Best Practice: MasTec Utility Services Group’s Crew Leadership Academy
    The training center and 38-module program were specifically designed to support high-potential field employees in their effort to advance toward a leadership position.Article Author: Edited by Lorri FreifeldIn December 2015, MasTec Utility Services Group, a provider of utility infrastructure construction services to the electric, telecommunication, and oil and gas industries, launched a pilot of a new Crew Leadership Academy. The purpose was to set up a training center and program specifically designed to support high-potential field employees in their effort to advance toward a leadership position. The pilot targeted learners in the Carolina division because MasTec had a strategic need for several foreman positions to be filled. The objective was to fill many or all of those positions with internal candidates whose skills and abilities would be taken to the next level with focused training. Program Details The Crew Leadership Academy pilot was made up of 38 training modules. This consisted of 15... Read more »
  • Collaborating with the Dead
    There are many brilliant minds of the near past and the soon-to-be-past that could be tapped as digital learning and problem-solving resources for generations to come.Article Author: Terence Brake, Director, Learning & Innovation, TMA WorldI’ve been thinking a lot about mortality recently; a scary diagnosis for a loved one will do that to you. Nothing makes my own date with destiny more starkly visible than when I must select the year of my birth from a scrolling window on a computer screen. Ouch! The scrolling seems to go on and on and on, until eventually my year appears and I click! Note: Websites that use this input methodology need to call a user experience designer, right now! Will my last breath be the final interaction I have with anyone? It depends, perhaps, on the meaning of “I.” Certainly, my flesh and blood body won’t be interacting with any other human being (although... Read more »
  • Are Your Leaders Doing Only Half Their Job?
    Don’t leave the quality of your work culture to chance. Make values as important as results with an organizational constitution.Article Author: S. Chris Edmonds, Founder and CEO, The Purposeful Culture GroupHow do you gauge the effectiveness of your leaders? If you’re like most organizations, you measure, monitor, and reward the results that a leader—and his or her team—generates. Results—and profits, for those organizations in the for-profit area—are certainly important. Sustained results mean you’re likely generating greater revenues than expenses. That can help the enterprise continue its existence in this hectic, global marketplace. However, results aren’t the only important thing. In fact, managing results is exactly half the leader’s job. The other half? Managing the quality of the work culture. Yet most leaders—and most organizations—don’t make culture a priority. The good news is that culture—the quality of the work environment, how people treat each other, the norms that guide daily behavior and activities—is growing in importance. According... Read more »
  • Up Was Never for Everyone
    Excerpt from “Up Is Not the Only Way: Rethinking Career Mobility” by Beverly Kaye, Lindy Williams, and Lynn Cowart, with permission from Berrett-Koehler Publishers (2017). Article Author: Beverly Kaye, Lindy Williams, and Lynn CowartCareers used to be predictable. There were paths and ladders. The hierarchy worked—for some. As downsizing, restructuring, and delayering took hold in the late 1980s, old ladders became largely inaccessible. Some rungs disappeared. The space between others became leaps. Individual aspirations and company needs were evolving. Terms such as “work-life balance” were overheard. Organizations began to weigh breadth of experience against depth of expertise during talent reviews. The world of work was changing. Careers today happen in that world—a world that continues to change. The environment is more global, more multigenerational, more dispersed, diverse, and complex than ever. Hierarchies continue to flatten. Organizational structures flex. The value people place on work is changing. Employees play multiple roles—from individual contributor to peer to leader... Read more »
  • Occupational Medicine: How Companies Can Cut Costs and Help Employees Avoid Wait Times
    Urgent care centers can treat a wide variety of problems that employers may need to address with their workforce—from sprains and back injuries to broken bones—much faster than an ER or a regular doctor’s office.Article Author: Dr. Jack Cornwell, Medical Director, CareWell Urgent CareCompanies are responsible for the health and wellness of their employees while they are at work. This means that if an employee is injured on the job, the enterprise is required to help them receive care for that injury. Additionally, businesses need to make sure their employees can physically preform the tasks the job requires, such as heavy lifting, repetitive motion, and constant bending over. Occupational medicine focuses on the prevention and treatment of work-related illnesses and injuries. Urgent Care vs. Emergency Room When an occupational health expert is needed, employees often are taken to the emergency room. However, if the worker does not have a life-threatening issue, the... Read more »
  • How Do You Express Anger to Employees?
    Author: By Margery WeinsteinIs there a way you can express anger to employees without alienating them, or doing irreparable damage to the manager-employee relationship? Even the word, “angry,” is frightening to hear from a boss. When I was a young writer, in my first job—a part-time job as a writer and photographer for a local newspaper—my boss told me she was “disappointed” to hear that I had worn casual clothing to interview a prominent member of the community, and I’m embarrassed to say that I cried about it on the drive home that day. I was frustrated that she was “disappointed” in me, especially since, ironically, I had experienced a great rapport with the person I had interviewed, and I felt she had been left with a favorable impression of me. My boss’ disappointment felt unjust. Now, consider how it feels to be yelled at, or even berated, by a boss. I thought... Read more »
  • Managing the Art of Tough Conversations
    Managing the Art of Tough ConversationsArticle Author: Karin Hurt and David DyeEven seasoned leaders can find feedback conversations about negative performance tough. Yet, 92 percent percent of people agree that, if delivered appropriately, negative feedback is effective at improving performance, according to a study by Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman published in the Harvard Business Review. An appropriate feedback conversation is a short, specific talk that:  Draws attention to the performance issue Facilitates mutual discussion Inspires and confirms commitment to new behavior To begin and guide such a conversation, leaders can use the I.N.S.P.I.R.E. feedback script: I—Initiate Initiate the conversation in a respectful manner. Traditional feedback models often start with the person giving the feedback asking for permission. For example, you might ask a colleague, “Can we talk about what happened this morning?” Feedback is best received when you’ve been welcomed to provide it. Sometimes, though, the conversation isn’t optional. You may need to be more direct. Even... Read more »
  • Using Company Culture to Shift the Employee Mindset from Job to Career
    By getting workers away from their computer screens, business leaders can help create a workplace environment that encourages teamwork, innovation, and personal growth. Article Author: David Dourgarian, CEO, TempWorks SoftwareToday, there are countless articles to explain how company culture is changing the way employees operate. However, until recently, there was little research available to prove the accuracy of these claims. In December 2016, a study conducted by IZA World of Labor proved that happy workers are more productive. Additionally, Surrey Business School released another study that claimed people’s energy toward their colleagues has a major influence on how likely they are to leave their job voluntarily. Company culture is a must-have for businesses that want to maintain a happy, productive workforce that enjoys coming to work on a daily basis. Especially with the Millennial generation, company culture is a main factor people look for when it comes to finding an ideal job.... Read more »
  • Applying Training Principles to Teaching Photography
    Ask open-ended questions such as: What did you like most? What would you tell your friends about this learning experience? What would you change or modify?Article Author: Eli Vega, Photo ArtistBefore becoming a photo artist, my former life was Human Resources, with an emphasis in training and learning. I worked for several large employers with more than 3,000 employees. I am a certified facilitator. I have been able to apply my corporate training skills and principles to achieve success as a photography trainer. Starting with my photography training results and student feedback, I use a 5-point evaluation scale. 1= Poor 3= Good 5= Excellent My students evaluate me on seven items: Knowledge of subject area Effectiveness of presentation Preparation and organization Enthusiasm Materials and resources Allowed for student input and questions Knowledge or skill gained from instructor  I also add open-ended questions: What did you like most? What would you tell your friends about this learning experience? What would you change or modify? I believe... Read more »
  • Training Top 125 Best Practice: Johns Hopkins Community Physicians’ Manager Report Overview Course (MROC)
    The training course targets managers who underutilize the Performance Reports based on electronic health record (EHR) data.Article Author: Edited by Lorri FreifeldJohns Hopkins Community Physicians (JHCP) provides primary care, hospital, and specialty care for 250,000 patients at 40 sites in the Baltimore-Washington area. The organization’s Manager Report Overview Course (MROC) is a training course targeting managers who underutilize the Performance Reports based on electronic health record (EHR) data. This underutilization has multiple effects on the overall performance of the organization. Leadership identified a need for a training program to address these issues, and the MROC project then was initiated in November 2015. Program Details A collaborative group consisting of Training, Leadership, and Operations representatives created and implemented the MROC. A written survey of managers was completed to assess needs, and these were reviewed in focus groups. An outline of four core learning areas was developed, and a team including a subject matter expert... Read more »
  • Top 5 Uncommon Sales Tactics that (Actually) Work
    Tips for solidifying effective and ongoing sales processes.Article Author: By James Hanoosh, Director, Sales; Strategic & Enterprise Accounts, ZoominfoSome of you may know that my company’s annual conference, The 2017 Growth Acceleration Summit, is just a few days away (September 13 and 14 in Boston). Personally, I love attending these events—and not for the expected reasons that may come to mind. Sure, I’m in sales, and I enjoy networking, but I like being your everyday attendee, hearing and learning from motivational speakers. However, as much as I enjoy the learning process, it is also important to share, as well. As such, here are five go-to sales tactics for solidifying effective and ongoing processes: 1. Have an additional touchpoint. You’ve established a connection, and there’s a deal in the works. Then, crickets. The sale goes dark. The sound of silence exists for several reasons: The prospect doesn’t have an update, the deal is in... Read more »
  • Getting Your Boss to Provide Clear Guidelines and Boundaries…
    …Even if you’re doing creative work or know more about the work than your boss.Article Author: Bruce Tulgan, Founder and CEO, RainmakerThinking, Inc.Most people want to be free to make some decisions at work. You don’t want to operate like a soldier all day. In fact, you may even be expected to be a little bit creative in your job, which requires you to take some risks and make a few mistakes—and you like it that way. How is it possible to get clear expectations and directives from your boss, especially if your whole job is about creating something new and different? The more creative you want to be in your work, the more critical it is for you to be 100 percent clear about what is expected of you and, in particular, what is and what is not within your discretion. You need to understand exactly the parameters within which you... Read more »
  • Front-Line Management 101: Change Your 10%
    When I was in the military, I was taught to “change your 10%”—which means to focus on the areas of your job and your life you can control, the ones you can affect and change. Article Author: By Ashley Prisant Lesko, Ph.D.How many items are on your to-do list right now? Your project plan? Your “nice to have if I ever have time” list? More than 10? Chances are, you are managing many people, places, and things—on your own team, on other teams indirectly by influencing others (such as business partners), your leader, or your leader’s leader. These people could be adjusting or changing too slowly for your liking. When I was in the military, I was taught to “change your 10%”—which means to focus on the areas of your job and your life you can control, the ones you can affect and change. It doesn’t mean ignoring the areas you dislike, or... Read more »
  • Your Office May Be Like a Bus Depot
    Author: By Margery WeinsteinI was on the elevator last week with a man who looked sheepishly down as we rode together to the 14th floor of the building where my office is located. If I weren’t a shy, introverted person, I would have said hello and introduced myself. “Hi, I don’t think we’ve met, I’m Margery. Are you new to the company or just visiting someone?” But I’m not the kind of person who typically does that. On top of shyness, I’m usually not in the mood to open the lines of communication, beyond a smile and a nod, to a stranger on an elevator. I’m an introverted person with an inordinate ability to spend vast amounts of time alone with a cat—and be content—but even for people without my talents for alone time, saying hello and introducing yourself to a stranger can be a challenge. Often, even extraverts aren’t in the... Read more »
  • 5 Ways to Prime the Learning Pump with Curiosity
    Curiosity opens the door to learning. It creates an appetite for and receptivity to new ideas. It transforms routine activities into relevant, performance-enhancing opportunities.Article Author: Julie Winkle GiulioniLearning professionals today—like those who have come before them—work tirelessly to help elevate the capability and contributions of individuals and organizations. They also work tirelessly to find ways to optimize their own contributions and efforts by helping to ensure that participants get the most from training. They’ve focused on such strategies and qualities as: Relevance: Making sure that content offered directly affects a person’s ability to perform a task. Motivation: Helping employees find their own “whys” and building the inspiration to learn and change. Expectations and pre-reflection: Letting participants know in advance what will be taught so they can consider how it will support their performance and success. Content co-creation: Partnering with employees to contribute to the content (which supports relevance, motivation, and clear expectations). Management support: Drawing on... Read more »
  • The 24/7 Professional
    You represent yourself and your company 24/7, not just from 9 to 5. Your actions outside of work can affect you at work.Article Author: By Peter Post, Director, The Emily Post Institute One of my favorite moments teaching etiquette in a seminar comes when I sum up the day’s learning. I do this by asking, “What would you do in this situation?” While driving to work one day, you are cut off by another driver as you enter an intersection. You mumble a few epithets and toss a universally understood rude gesture at the other driver. Later that morning at work, your new boss comes by to introduce himself and you both recognize each other from the earlier encounter. What do you do? Not surprisingly, a couple of times over the years I’ve had seminar participants raise their hands and admit, “I had that happen to me.” When I ask them what happened next, they... Read more »
  • Sharpening Soft Skills With Situational Learning
    Developing soft skills requires the most authentic context possible.Article Author: By Roy Saunderson, Chief Learning Officer, Rideau Recognition Solutions Getting along well with others and having good interpersonal skills requires a high level of emotional intelligence. Soft skills such as good communication abilities, dealing with interpersonal conflict, and self-promotion skills do not come naturally to everyone, but they are vital in the workplace. Indeed, some 77 percent of HR professionals believe soft skills to be as important as hard skills, according to a 2014 Career Builder Survey. LEARNING HARD VS. SOFT SKILLS There’s a subtle irony in learning hard skills vs. soft skills. Hard skills are relatively easy to learn, while soft skills are often hard to learn. Hard skills are specific, teachable abilities that include technical proficiencies and are easily defined and measurable. You usually obtain a degree or diploma when you have these skills, such as software programmer, mathematician, accountant, tool-and-die maker, forklift driver,... Read more »
  • Deliver Results, Not Just Training
    Helping your company get results can win support for your training.Article Author: By Bob Pike, CPLP Fellow, CSP, CPAE-Speakers Hall of FameLack of support has killed more than its share of promising training programs—and sent many disenchanted trainers in search of new careers. We all probably could complain eloquently about this problem, but if we want strong support for training, we have to earn it. One way to do that is to run the Training function as a true business. Like any department in a company, Training has clients who first and foremost want results. In their minds, training is only a means to an end, even if they don’t clearly express that sentiment—even if they come to us demanding programs we know won’t solve their real problems. S.W.O.T. IMPLICATIONS The most important aspect of running Training as a business is understanding the needs and focus of the company’s customer base, and the strategies... Read more »
  • Use Games To Practice Strategic Thinking
    The well-defined goal and distraction-free environment within the game space create a rich incubator for fostering skills such as preparing for the unexpected, problem solving, and critical thinking.Article Author: By Karl Kapp, Ed.D., Professor, Instructional Technology, Bloomsburg University While games might seem childish and inappropriate for use in a corporate setting, many organizations that deal in life and death frequently use games for training. Military organizations use war games to help generals learn various battlefield strategies. In the medical industry, games help future healthcare providers develop diagnostic skills and uncover disease states based on the presentation of various symptoms. In cyberwar exercises, games are used to help identify and correct security vulnerabilities. Games provide a safe place to practice strategic thinking, preparing for the unexpected, and resource allocation. An advantage of using a game to teach strategic thinking is that the act of playing a game requires players to remove themselves from... Read more »
  • Productive vs. Generative Learning
    true
    As we move from a “find-it-out” world to a “figure-it-out” one, our focus must shift from increasing the efficiency of productive learning in the classroom to also enabling the effectiveness of generative learning in the workplace.Article Author: By Tony O’Driscoll, Global Head, DukeCE LabsIt is said Einstein did not know his own phone number. Not because he wasn’t an intelligent man, but because he did not want to clutter up his valuable grey matter with information he could easily look up when needed. The vast majority of us today do not know any phone numbers. Not because we are all budding Einsteins, but because we have become victims of learned helplessness due to smartphone functionality that enables us to call others by simply clicking on their name or picture in our digital address book. Today we inhabit a digitally pervasive web of networks that afford us unprecedented access to information. For example, I... Read more »