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  • 06 Sep 2018 12:02 PM | Michael Frederick (Administrator)

    Our chapter is partnering with more than 40 ATD Chapters to create an online book club for L&D professionals around the country. The group will connect virtually through an online forum to discuss books related to L&D, training, organizational development and much more. You can learn more and sign up for the book club here: https://www.pbc.guru/td/. The program is completely free so feel free to pass the opportunity on to friends and colleagues.

    The book club will give participants the opportunity to:

    • Read interesting books related to Talent and Development
    • Connect with other TD professionals around the country to grow their professional network and learn from their peers
    • Participate entirely online so the program can work with people's busy schedules
    • Hold themselves accountable to reading by being part of a cohort

    The book club will be moderated by Zach Rubin, Co-Founder and CEO of Professional Book Club Guru. PBC Guru manages virtual professional book clubs for companies and will be hosting the group for the chapter. You can learn more about PBC Guru at www.pbc.guru and email Zach Rubin at zach@pbc.guru with any questions about the book club.

    Our chapter is partnering with more than 40 ATD Chapters to create an online book club for L&D professionals around the country. The group will connect virtually through an online forum to discuss books related to L&D, training, organizational development and much more. You can learn more and sign up for the book club here: https://www.pbc.guru/td/. The program is completely free so feel free to pass the opportunity on to friends and colleagues.

    The book club will give participants the opportunity to:

    • Read interesting books related to Talent and Development
    • Connect with other TD professionals around the country to grow their professional network and learn from their peers
    • Participate entirely online so the program can work with people's busy schedules
    • Hold themselves accountable to reading by being part of a cohort

    The book club will be moderated by Zach Rubin, Co-Founder and CEO of Professional Book Club Guru. PBC Guru manages virtual professional book clubs for companies and will be hosting the group for the chapter. You can learn more about PBC Guru at www.pbc.guru and email Zach Rubin at zach@pbc.guru with any questions about the book club.

    Learn more and sign up for the book club here: https://www.pbc.guru/td/



  • 14 Aug 2018 12:19 PM | Carolyn Sutton (Administrator)

    You’ve been hijacked! No, this isn’t someone hijacking a plane. It’s you. More specifically, it is a little part of your brain called the amygdala and it has hijacked your brain. You’re not alone. At times, we all get hijacked.

    Hijacked? The amygdala is the primary emotional part of your brain. It thinks not in logical reasoning, nor does it think in language or symbols. The amygdala thinks in feelings. It’s fast, very fast. Sensory inputs from our eyes and ears reach the amygdala before they reach our higher thinking area, the prefrontal cortex. This means the amygdala starts to react before our conscious is aware of the event. In the case of a triggering event (an event the causes an intense emotional reaction either positive or negative), the emotional reaction starts before the conscious reaction. This is hijacking.

     

    The good news is that we can learn skills and techniques to reclaim our brains. Is the amygdala bad? No, it is a necessary and wonderful part of our brains. Positive emotions are wonderful. Negative emotions, when handled wisely, can be beneficial too. They can protect us and help us make decisions. The trick is to learn how to take back our brains when we are hijacked so that we properly process and respond. This is part of Emotional Intelligence or Emotional Quotient, EQ.

     

    Unlike the Intelligence Quotient, the Emotional Quotient is fluid, that is it can be improved, significantly improved. (There is a growing number of neuro-scientists and psychologists that believe IQ can be improved also. The extent of improvement isn’t as drastic as is seen in EQ.) With training, skill development and work, a person can make great strides in increasing their EQ.

     

    Why should we devote our valuable time into working on this mushy stuff of emotions? Because a person’s success in life – business, relationships, family, and finances – is highly dependent on his/her level of EQ. As much as 65% of a person’s success is attributable to EQ. That’s a pretty good reason to take EQ seriously.

     

    Here are two ways to improve EQ.

     

    Identify Triggers:

    Spend some time reflecting on your day. Think about the connections between your emotions and your behaviors. Identify the things that triggered negative emotions and negative behaviors. Come up with three alternative responses for similar events in the future. Practice them.

     

    Exercise Regularly:

    There is strong link between regular physical activity and health emotions. Exercise produces chemicals in our brains that improve our moods, combat stress, and relax us. Ask yourself what types of activities do you enjoy? What are some small activities I can do during the day, such as taking the stairs, etc.?

     

    You have the ability to improve your EQ and accomplish great things!

     

    Guest blog by Connelly Hayward


    Learn more about Connelly

  • 13 Aug 2018 11:59 AM | Carolyn Sutton (Administrator)

    By David Mizne

    According to Bersin by Deloitte , “employee engagement has become the top issue on the minds of business leaders, directing us to an entirely new model of management”.3 But what does employee engagement even mean?

    Few business buzzwords are more ubiquitous, yet the exact definition of employee engagement remains elusive. This becomes even more problematic when you consider Gallup’s seemingly ambiguous subcategories of not engaged, and actively disengaged.  

    I like to define employee engagement as proactively and passionately adding value while aligning with the company mission and operational goals. This can be hard to quantify, but an engaged employee wears it on their face, demonstrates it in their work attitude and in their workplace communication. Kind of like how former Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart defined obscenity: “I know it when i see it”.

    Once we know what we are looking for, we need to be able to measure it, and more importantly create more of it. Here are 7 workplace engagement trends for the coming year, and advice for you to create a more engaged workforce in 2018:

    1. Workforce engagement will go up (but just a little).

    According to Gallup’s latest poll: employee engagement has been pretty stagnant. Only 31% of U.S & Canadian workers were engaged in their jobs in 2017, a figure that has hovered around the low 30s for years. Given the other employee engagement trends below, and the fact that engagement has only risen a couple of points from 29% in 2011, we can expect to see the needle move in 2018 with the next engagement survey. But probably not more than a point or two.

    2. Millennials will (still) provide a challenge.

    In 2015, millennials became the largest generation in the US workforce. In 2017, their share of the workforce increased to 35%. That number is expected to continue to rise dramatically as more boomers retire and more graduates start their careers. Some predictions are as high as 75% of the workforce by 2030! (Although that myth was debunked in this Wall Street Journal post. It’s actually more like 44%).

    Whatever the specific number, Generation Y is now the majority. Businesses seeking to motivate employees in their work will now have to tailor their employee engagement strategies to this group. Research suggests that they are driven by open communication, a great work culture, involvement with causes, and achieving purpose and fulfillment.

    3. More compassionate leadership.

    People don’t quit their jobs, they quit their bosses.4 It turns out that the opposite is true too. An inspiring manager creates more team engagement. According to research by leadership development experts Dr. Brad Shuck and Maryanne Honeycutt-Elliott, “higher levels of engagement come from employees who work for a compassionate leader—one who is authentic, present, has a sense of dignity, holds others accountable, leads with integrity and shows empathy”.

    4. More employee feedback more often.

    We conducted an employee engagement study in 2014 and found that the vast majority of employees who received little or no feedback were actively disengaged. Workforce engagement went up dramatically when employees received examples of constructive feedback about their weaknesses, and even more so when they received feedback about strengths.

    Data is always nice to have, but the feedback/engagement connection is also intuitive. How much more engaged are you in any relationship, when you are having open and honest conversation about what matters most?

    5. Work/Life Balance will become Work/Life Blend.

    The Society for Human Resource Management, found that the best companies are embracing flexibility. For many job-functions there is no longer any good reason to require people to co1me into the office every day, or for work to be done between the hours of 9am and 5pm. (I am writing this from my kitchen table at 7:30 at night). More companies will continue on this path as long as the numbers prove it’s an employee engagement strategy that’s working.

    6. People analytics will grow.

    In his article published in Harvard Business Review last month, Sean Graber argues that it’s important to look at employees’ perceptions and behaviors and their impact on performance. Managers can then decide how to shift things to increase engagement. In Sean’s consulting, he melds analytics with qualitative feedback by looking at aggregated data from employee opinion surveys as well as self-reported behaviors:

    Over time, organizations can track how their employees’ engagement changes and how it relates to key performance indicators (KPIs), such as sales, customer satisfaction, and attrition.

    Josh Bersin also chimes in with his article, The Geeks Arrive In HR: People Analytics Is Here. According to Bersin the shift towards “big data in HR” began in 2011 and exploded rapidly. He predicts that people analytics will be its own department that will look at work efficiency, turnover, and the people-issues that drive customer retention and satisfaction. In the coming years businesses will rely on hard data to pre-empt disaster by determining when employee engagement will suffer or when people are considering leaving.

    7. Technology will focus on the employee.

    Bersin (I love this guy!) explains that the HR technology market moves in 5-7 year cycles of rolling-out, implementing, and replacing tech. We are now in a transitional phase between two cycles.

    One of the biggest employee engagement trends we are seeing is the arrival of a “new breed of pulse tools, feedback apps, and anonymous social networking tools”. These advanced performance evaluation methods for having regular check-ins with employees to understand where they are being challenged will eventually replace annual performance reviews.

    Business is a living, breathing entity. It undergoes change, grows and recedes, gets broken and heals. The people are the individual cells that work together to ensure that the entity is healthy, productive, and thriving.1 In 2018, the brain (leadership) has more performance management tools at its disposal to predict and improve employee engagement. Maybe in 2019 Gallup’s survey will report a positive radical shift in how people show up to work.

    Read More: https://www.15five.com/blog/7-employee-engagement-trends-2016/  

  • 06 Jul 2018 1:29 PM | Carolyn Sutton (Administrator)

    by the Career Experts at Robert Half

    Given the number of responsibilities that you juggle on a daily basis, joining a professional organization may not be one of your top priorities. After all, what businessperson has time for more meetings and activities? But such thinking can cause you to miss out on the numerous benefits that membership in a professional association offers. Whether you join an industry-specific group, a special-focus organization (for women entrepreneurs or small-business owners, for example), a neighborhood based Merchants’ association or the local chapter of a national trade organization, you’ll make valuable professional contacts and gain access a wealth of useful information.


    Basic Benefits
    Although each organization has its own unique advantages, most professional associations offer some or all of the following basic benefits:

    Exclusive online resources-The websites of most professional associations have “members-only” sections that provide access to a variety of databases and message boards, as well as list-serv subscriptions so that you can be notified via e-mail about upcoming events and special activities that may not be open to the general public. Some feature content on a variety of topics, such as running a business, advancing your career or boosting your technology expertise.

    Networking opportunities-When you join a professional organization, you’ll deepen existing business relationships and make new contacts on a regular basis. Such networking goes beyond the exchange of business cards – as you attend periodic meetings, become active on a committee or take a prominent leadership role, you’ll forge lasting ties with others who have common professional interests and similar business concerns. These relationships will be a rich, ongoing source of inspiration and ideas.

    Education– Many professional associations offer their members the chance to update their knowledge of business and trade basics or acquire new skills through seminars, workshops, break-out sessions at conferences and online courses. Typical subject matter can run the gamut from tax tips and small business financing to advice about hiring and staff management.

    Free or discounted publications
    – Membership in many groups includes a free subscription to the organization’s magazine. Some associations also offer their members free publications and discounts on CDs, journals, videos/DVDs and other materials.

    Conferences and seminars
    -Members are often given priority registration for their organization’s convention and may receive discounts on conference fees or special rates on related expenses, such as hotel reservations and car rentals.

    Beyond the Basics
    Depending on the organization, there may be additional benefits beyond those listed above. Some organizations, for example, offer access to capital for members looking to grow their businesses. Other less tangible but equally important benefits can include:

    Support systems
    -Members of professional associations can often take advantage of formal coaching or mentoring relationships with more experienced business people who provide guidance and useful insights. Even on an informal basis, such relationships can be a source of answers and solutions when you’re facing a challenging situation in your business. At the very least, the feeling that you have a support network behind you can boost your confidence when problems arise.

    Political clout– Large national organizations often have committees to track federal and state legislative developments that could have an impact on their specific business or industry.  Such organizations have a significant political presence that far exceeds that of individual members. Joining this type of professional organization enables you to tap into the group’s political influence and resources.

    Civic leadership-As an individual businessperson, you may not have the time or resources to sponsor a charitable event, partner with an educational institution or otherwise participate in community activities. But if your professional organization is active in civic and philanthropic ventures, you can become involved in many worthwhile projects. Associations contribute to their communities in a variety of ways, from providing scholarships and hosting career days for students to supporting important charitable causes. Joining a professional organization is beneficial for your own professional development and the future of your business. The connections you’ll make, the resources made available to you and the ideas and advice you’ll discover represent an outstanding return on what amounts to a modest, manageable investment of time, money and effort. It could turn out to be one of the best things you could do for yourself and your business.

    Read More: https://www.domesticmanagers.com/the-benefits-of-professional-association-membership/ 

  • 29 May 2018 4:44 PM | Carolyn Sutton (Administrator)
    Wednesday, May 23, 2018 

    love the Olympics. I love that Olympic athletes have been toiling away in relative obscurity for much of their lives, training for the ultimate moment. I love seeing them finally get their recognition when their amazing talents are brought into the light for the world to see.

    For Olympic athletes, the quest has never been about money, as most of them never see a dime from their sport. Their drive is simply wanting to be the best. And I completely get it.

    I've been an amateur athlete my entire life, most recently in an ultra-endurance team sport called adventure racing. In adventure racing, we never won more money than it took to cover our plane ticket to the race. But over 17 years, my teammates and I competed in more than 40 of these six- to 10-day, nonstop, multistage gruel-o-ramas.

    As you can imagine, the question I’m asked most often when I speak to corporate clients about the teamwork and leadership skills we learned from adventure racing is, Why? (Or really, “Why the hell?”).

    And the answer is the same as Olympic athletes: Because we were inspired to be great. To be the best in the world at something. To cross the finish line with and for each other.

    We have similar challenges in the corporate world. We're always trying to find ways to motivate our employees to greatness. But what if we could tap into the employee’s internal inspiration instead of relying on external motivation? We often talk about compensation plans—but what about inspiration plans?

    The Pay Paradox

    Yes, we all need and appreciate money. But for consistent peak performance, money can’t be the sole driving force. You’ve probably noticed that simply throwing more money and bonuses at people can be a short-term motivator, but not a long-term driver of performance or results. In other words, increased pay is not completely correlated with increased performance.

    You probably also noticed that there are certain people in your organization who will never, ever stop striving to be the best they can be, regardless of whether they see a bonus check or not. They simply want to be great for the sake of being great.

    How do we light that kind of fire inside our team members? I think the Olympians and amateur athletes of the world can offer us a few insights.

    Here are three important ways we can inspire our team members:


    1. Work With Their “Why”
    As leaders, we have to tap into our team members’ “why.” That’s the most powerful and consistent driver of people’s action. What inspires each member of your team to come to work and be great every day?

    You’ll have as many answers as you have people. You might hear, “I need to send my daughter to a great school.” Others may say, “I’d love to move into leadership someday.” For some it might be, “I genuinely care about our customers” or “I just want you to be proud of me and recognize my contributions.”

    Even if people answer with something related to money, it's rarely, if ever, for money’s sake—it's always to buy or do something that’s important to them or someone they love. In other words, they need the money to get their why.

    The more you know about your team members’ why, the more creative and powerful your incentive plans can be. Help people get closer to their why through their work, and you’ll have a fully engaged employee.

    2. Prepare the Path Forward
    Part of what inspired us as kids in school, athletics, art, music, or whatever our chosen endeavor was the drive to get to the next level.

    For example, in a sport like gymnastics, you have Levels 1-10 to chase: State Championships, College Titles, and maybe even the World Championships or the Olympics. The drive to get to the next level is inspiring; it proves to us and the world we’re making progress, and it’s a genuine source of pride when we achieve that next milestone.

    To engage our employees, we can create a similar path forward, with different levels and skills to be achieved, big milestones to celebrate, and lots of recognition along the way. If we build it, they will rise to achieve it.

    3. Create a Culture of Coaching
    Most of us will recall someone special in our lives who believed in us growing up, someone who saw our latent skills and talents and helped us achieve success to the best of our abilities. In the corporate world, leaders are often reticent to play coach and mentor, believing that, as adults, we don’t really need that kind of inspiration. But we do.

    Inside every adult is a kid who wants and needs to be recognized, believed in, and inspired to reach our full potential. And just as much as we want a mentor, we also want to share the knowledge we acquire in a leadership role.

    Can you imagine what a wonderful world it would be if each person in your organization took someone under their wing and helped them fly? When you create a culture of coaching in which each employee is inspired to teach, you will have not only more engagement but also a truly world-class team of people who will cross the most challenging finish lines—not only with each other, but for each other.

    Read More: https://www.td.org/insights/how-to-create-a-winning-culture-of-engagement


  • 01 May 2018 8:20 AM | Carolyn Sutton (Administrator)

    Poll Everywhere welcomes Richard Eason from evaluationfocus.com as the guest author of this post.


    Why should we bother to evaluate our training? Well, it seems to me that we would effectively be blindfolding ourselves by not doing so. When I’m asked why we should evaluate corporate training, I respond with my three principle reasons for training evaluation:

    • It will help you improve training for future participants.
    • It will help you confirm that you’re getting your training right.
    • It will help you prove that the training is adding value.

    Training evaluation enables you to identify ways in which you can improve your training

    Gathering feedback and data on what participants thought of the training, how they performed in the assessments that were part of the training, and how they were subsequently able to transfer that training into the workplace, will enable you to identify ways in which improvements can be made.

    We all have a drive to continuously improve the way we do business.

    This applies to training as much as any other area. Trainers can contribute towards the bottom line by developing the training we deliver. Conducting effective training evaluation enables us to gather data upon which we can base our decisions for change – ensuring that the way we develop training enhances its value.

    Training evaluation enables you to determine whether it’s aligned with business objectives

    Improving the training that we deliver is one thing, but are we 100% sure that we’re delivering the right training? Evaluating the training that our personnel receive enables us to check that we are effectively equipping them with the right skills and knowledge to carry out their respective roles.

    Continuing to train people on processes or systems that are now obsolete (and I have seen this in big organizations) is simply a waste of time. Letting people leave training with gaps in their skills and knowledge can, at best, limit productivity. And, at worst, it can be dangerous.

    In order to ensure that your training remains aligned with your business objectives, you’ll need to measure its output in some way. There are a range of training evaluation techniques that enable you to achieve this.

    raining evaluation enables you to demonstrate the value that training is adding


    In 2008, the UK collectively spent £38.6 billion on training. I’m not sure exactly what has happened to that spend over these last few years, but the fact is companies spend a huge amount of money on training.


    You might intuitively know that you are getting your training right, but can you prove it? In increasingly tougher financial times company leaders will want to ensure that all areas of the business are offering value for money. They’ll probably base budget allocation decisions on the information they are presented with.


    Do you have management data that you can use to convince others within the company that the training department offers value?


    Providing a strong body of evidence in the form of training evaluation results can help prevent short-term thinking when budget cuts are required. Significantly reducing training budgets has the potential for negative impacts on the company further down stream. Of course, the impact of budget cuts may affect more than just the company. Reductions in budgets often mean a reduction in personnel. If, in a reduced-budget environment, the training department is now conducting less training, presumably it needs fewer people?!




    Those are my reasons why. What about why not?


    Even if you agree with all the reasons why you should be evaluating training, you might find that you are still prevented from doing so. Does anything in this post ring true for you: 5 common obstacles to conducting training evaluation.


    It is undeniable that training evaluation needs resources to be conducted effectively. You should be intelligently focusing where you commit your resources and as such you may conclude that there are valid reasons why you will not evaluate certain elements of training. This post may help with deciding were to allocate your resources: How to prioritize training for evaluation.

      Read More: https://blog.polleverywhere.com/why-bother-with-training-evaluation-2/  

    • 15 Feb 2018 1:21 PM | Carolyn Sutton (Administrator)

       February 5, 2018    By Rick Lepsinger

      Businesses that invest in the training and development (T&D) for their leaders are investing in the future of their company. Not only can training employees enhance their performance in their current job, it also can help drive employee retention and engagement.

      T&D is a key part of any succession management plan because it helps ensure that high-potential employees have the right skills, improving rates of future success.

      Since training and development is so important to the future success of a company, it shouldn’t be surprising that many organizations want to maximize the ROI of their T&D programs.

      But, what do the most successful T&D programs focus on?

      Some highlights include:

      1: Emphasis on Developing Future Leaders

      Many companies are concerned with their succession management strategy—which is why leadership development is one of the biggest topics in training and development today.

      Organizations of all sizes in all industries need to have a solid pipeline of leadership candidates in place to fill the shoes of leaders who may be preparing to leave. This leadership pipeline provides a safety net for organizations that helps ensure the continued smooth operation of critical business functions.

      Keeping this pipeline full of high-potential candidates, however, is often challenging for organizations without a leadership development process in place. To make the most of their leadership development process, businesses need:

      • Competency Models and Assessments. The organization needs to define what success looks like for a given role, and create a set of tools to measure a leadership candidate’s potential against those criteria—including personality tests, feedback from the candidate’s direct reports and managers, and even simulations of real challenges faced by leaders in the desired role.
      • A Customized Program Based on Desired Outcomes. Every business’ needs are different, and each leadership role may have unique demands as well. So, a “one size fits all” leadership development solution may not produce ideal results. Customizing training based on desired outcomes—i.e. that the candidate possesses specific leadership competencies and technical skills—is key for maximizing training ROI and preparing leaders for success in their new roles.

      2: Flexibility and Adaptability

      Being able to successfully adapt to new situations is a must-have skill for many leaders in today’s ever-changing business environment. In fact, one OnPoint survey of hundreds of managers revealed that the ability to “continue to learn and gain competence is a characteristic that often sets exceptional leaders apart from their counterparts that hit a ‘performance plateau’ earlier in their careers.”

      Leaders who can keep growing and adapting to new circumstances are more likely to excel in their role over the years than their less adaptable counterparts. So, many organizations are beginning to focus on adaptability and continuous learning as core competencies to be developed in their T&D programs.

      3: Mobile-Friendly Training

      Self-directed learning, or SDL, is a major focus of the employee training and development industry. It empowers employees to complete training on their own time while focusing on the subjects of greatest interest to them—which helps improve engagement with the training. 


      Read more at https://www.business2community.com/human-resources/4-hot-topics-training-development-02003699

    • 22 Jan 2018 4:08 PM | Carolyn Sutton (Administrator)

      Here’s wishing all our readers – ‘A Happy New Year’. The beginning of a year is a great time to take stock of the year gone by and plan for the year ahead. In this blog post, we will have a quick glimpse of what we believe would be some of the key trends in workplace learning this year.

      AR and VR

      Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality – these two topics have been on a number of technology trend lists for the past four to five years. But it was 2017 when the AR and VR bandwagon really got a big push with technology companies providing affordable VR/AR accessories. Innovative AR and VR solutions are helping medical students become qualified surgeons and trainee engineers become qualified aircraft maintenance engineers. AR- and VR-enabled learning solutions are beginning to make a mark in workplace learning as well. With a steady decrease in the manufacturing costs of AR- and VR-enabled devices and smartphone apps simulating the learning environment on the phone screen itself; exciting times lie ahead.

      Artificial Intelligence

      Did you notice the smart reply tags that are getting auto-listed in your Gmail service? Did you spend some time to check how Facebook prompts you to set up a reminder for an event when you are having a chat on FB Messenger? Well, these are some of the simplest forms of AI in play today. Full-function chatbots have been built using AI. We have Google and IBM building programs that can help predict weather trends. Programs are beating people at games like Chess and Go, predicting top-performing stocks, and making tougher and complex jobs in the manufacturing sector easier by streamlining activities. Imagine a scenario wherein your corporate LMS has an in-built bot/learning wizard that guides you to pick up a certification when you are assigned to a specific project? Yes, this is possible and it is the way forward as data-crunching, project-mapping, and resource management unite to power learning at the workplace.

      App-Based Learning

      Who would have thought that Nokia the ubiquitous market-leader in telecom would be relegated to an ‘also-ran’ and Apple’s iPhones and Google’s Android OS would completely change the game? If someone would have predicted that one could book a train or movie ticket by fiddling with a phone a decade ago it would have evoked laughter. Today ‘apps rule us’, be it travel, food, cinema-tickets, stock-market tips, GST, fitness tracking, mindfulness, or yoga; there’s an app for every conceivable task. In such a scenario, it is inevitable that a major chunk of workplace learning moves fully to smartphones and tablet devices. Yes, the LMS will not die; it will continue to exist but the mobile learning ecosystem will keep growing. Stay tuned for mobile-only learning content!

      Bite-Sized Learning

      “Small is beautiful!” This applies to learning as well. Learners need precise and crisp just-in-time learning solutions that can be accessed with ease. A combination of instructional video capsules and mobile learning has ensured that the popularity of bite-sized learning keeps increasing. Easier to build and deploy and requiring a smaller budget to create; organizations around the world are actively incorporating ‘bite-sized learning’ into their learning strategy. The added advantage of using these ‘learning nuggets’ is that one can update them easily.

      Are you ready to tap into the benefits of bite-sized learning?    

      The Video Revolution

      The 2017 LinkedIn Workplace Learning Report states that “7 out of 10 organizations are starting to incorporate video-based online training into their learning cultures.” This opens up a whole new world of possibilities. In sync with app-based learning, a number of organizations are creating video-based learning nuggets that employees access via mobile devices. With ‘YouTube’ becoming the ‘go-to resource’ to learn by seeing how things are done; video-based learning has a great future in 2018. There is room for innovation wherein interactive video simulations can be used as an effective training tool to boost learning outcomes.

      Podcasts

      Podcasts continue to fascinate us with their ease of setting up and the sheer amount of knowledge that gets disseminated through them. Thought leaders across industries are using podcasts to build a steady fan-following and are creating an online brand identity of their own. This interesting infographic from Concordia University – Saint Paul shared on the MarketingProfs website shows that educational podcasts make up to 40% of podcast listeners in the USA.

      Organizations can use podcasts to share product training, marketing insights, and best practices knowhow effectively. Podcasts are seen as an extension of mobile learning. Being relatively less expensive to set up, L&D teams around the world are looking to harness the power of podcasts effectively. A number of BPOs in the Asia-Pacific region have used podcasts effectively to improve the English speaking skills of their employees. Podcasts are here to stay!

      Read More at https://www.elearninglearning.com/2018/trends/

    • 05 Dec 2017 11:11 AM | Carolyn Sutton (Administrator)

       Five Tips for Success When Using Games in Training by: Rachel Miller 

      Studies have shown that the use of games in training serves two purposes:

      1.            Resetting participant concentration and energy levels. The human mind can only absorb so much information at one time. Successful training is commonly segmented into blocks of approximately 20 minutes followed by group problem solving, open discussion, and games. Using games in this way increases knowledge retention and keeps attention spans high.

      2.            Reinforcing the practical application of new skills. The effectual execution of games plays a large role in knowledge retention. When used during training, games provide an enjoyable way of reinforcing knowledge and skill use. And when used after training as part of on-the-job reinforcement, games provide a quick and fun refresher of what was learned during training.

      Games break the ice, energize, and most importantly, reinforce and review learning. Game-based learning activities build confidence, lift morale, spark enthusiasm, and ultimately, achieve results. When you’re considering whether or not to use a game in training, ask yourself if the game will do one of the following:

      • provide social interaction
      • energize the group
      • reinforce learning.

      If a game you are considering does not meet one of these crucial requirements, rethink your selection.

      Why Social Interaction Is Important

      When employees are gathered together for classroom training, they are often meeting face-to-face for the first time. Beginning class with a game that encourages social interaction can create common bonds between employees and make them more comfortable, which promotes open speech and increased sharing.

      A simple, effective, game to encourage social interaction is the “Penny Date” activity. It requires very little preparation–simply hand-out a penny or other small coin to each participant. It is helpful if the dates on the coins are in a suitable range for participant ages. Group participants into pairs and ask them to exchange basic information and share a favorite memory from the year stamped on the front of their penny. After a few minutes, ask participants to share their partner’s information. Sharing creates an immediate bond and assists participants in feeling comfortable in the group training environment.

      Energize Class Participants to Reset Focus

      Mixing in a game or two during extensive class time is an ideal way to rejuvenate employees and get them back on track and focused on the important material you’re teaching. Games that allow participants to stand up and move around–perhaps even laugh a little–are great ways to keep everyone fresh and focused.

      Adding a competitive edge to a game is a surefire way to engage employees. “Alphabet Improv” is a variation of a popular party game in which participants have spontaneous conversations by beginning each statement with a particular letter of the alphabet. Divide the class into pairs and tell them to imagine they are in a typical work setting and are to have a conversation by alternating each statement with a consecutive letter in the alphabet. The pairs can practice and then play in front of all class participants with the winning pair receiving a prize or play less competitively in pairs. Be warned that there is usually a lot of laughing as employees struggle to begin conversations with the correct letter.

      Example:

      Advertisement

      Employee #1: All next week, our 2012 products will be on sale.

      Employee #2: Bet that will be a busy week!

      Encourage employees to play quickly and spontaneously and not think too hard about what to say next.

      Games to Reinforce Learning

      The use of role playing games increases not only knowledge retention but also understanding by a significant rate. Training that incorporates real life scenarios for the participants makes the class experience more relevant and more likely to assist in long term behavioral change.

      When creating role-playing activities, select story lines that benefit the majority of learners. Clearly state the objectives of the employees participating in the role playing exercise.

      One game to reinforce learning is Luck of the Draw. Ahead of time, prepare slips of paper with a question and answer related to the material covered (include a few trivia questions). Put the slips of paper in a hat, bag, or bowl. Be sure you have enough question and answer slips so that each team has an equal number of opportunities to score points. For example, if you have 3 teams, you’d want 15, 18, 21, or 27 questions. Determine a reasonable amount of time for teams to answer questions.

      Divide the class into the predetermined number of teams. Ask one member of the team to come to the front of the class and select a slip of paper. This person is to read the question to their own team. The trainer keeps score. If the team gives the correct response, they get 2 points. If the team can’t answer or answers incorrectly, the next team in rotation gets an opportunity to provide a correct answer for 1 point. This game is a fun way to both reinforce learning and energize the class.

      Five Tips for Effective Game Use in Training

      1. Make it relevant. Align chosen games with training goals, keeping all activities on topic and engaging to participants.
      2. Consider your audience. When selecting games, keep company policy and participants in mind. Will prizes add excitement and encourage participation or cause the class to segment and become unruly?
      3. Optimize the environment. Be considerate of how employees learn, and set up games accordingly. Maximize the opportunity to learn by tailoring game usage to make even the most timid wallflower flourish.
      4. Watch your timing. While it is important to watch the clock – do not overdo it. Allow time for 90% of participants to finish before officially ending the activity. Ending the activity too soon will lessen its effect and allowing too much time will give opportunity for employees to lose focus.
      5. Create movement. Keeping a room full of people engaged for hours on end is not easy. Choose games that require movement to rejuvenate the class and get them ready for more learning.

      To be proficient on the job, employees must not only understand what is being taught, they must be able to demonstrate their ability to use the knowledge in a simulated, on-the-job environment. Simple, relevant games enhance traditional training methods by creating a comfortable environment for learning, keeping participants energized, and encouraging early adoption of desired performance.

      Read More at: https://www.td.org/Publications/Blogs/L-and-D-Blog/2012/10/Five-Tips-for-Success-When-Using-Games-in-Training

    • 09 Nov 2017 9:36 AM | Carolyn Sutton (Administrator)

      Think of a conversation that you need to have that scares you. Perhaps it is a conversation with your boss about something she is doing that is not helpful. Or a conversation with a peer about what you are noticing that is not working for him. Or taking it home, perhaps it is a conversation with your spouse or family member to discuss something that you do not feel the other is willing to talk about.

      Ok, do you have a conversation in mind?

      Does the thought of this conversation make you want to evaporate? Or run out the door? Or go on vacation? If so, that's a good sign. These are the conversations I am talking about.

      I do understand the fear. There are legitimate reasons to be scared about having these conversations. Some people do not react well when confronted, regardless of how eloquent and thoughtful you are. Sometimes, certain discussions are not career-enhancing, depending on your colleagues and boss. These are realities.

      What is equally a reality is that the cost of not having the conversation is much greater than the risk of it going badly. No one will die in this process. And your mental health and wellbeing are at stake here. These needed conversations weigh you down. You know this. Science tells you this. We all know this, yet we justify our way into carrying unneeded weight around.

      So, here are three tips to overcome the scary nature of some exchanges: 

      1. Embrace the nervous energy. One of my prior bosses once told me that the butterflies you feel before a tough conversation are an indication of how much you care about the person. I like to think of it that way; put a positive spin on it. Ultimately, if you don't care about a relationship or a person, you wouldn't bother having the conversation. So come to terms with the way you feel and expect some nervousness. See it as a good sign instead of wanting to flee.
      1. Prepare accordingly. Whether it is a feedback or confrontation conversation, preparation is key for having the conversation align with your intention. Here at fierce we teach the preparation piece for various conversations, and oftentimes, people tell us that it is our magic. The goal is to make your conversations authentic and drive the results you want. So, prepare by scanning some of the tips from this blog. Set aside some unadulterated time to focus and think through the conversation. Take some notes.
      1.  Practice with someone. Many conversations do not go the way we want them to, because we are not clear and direct. Once you have done some preparation, find a friend or partner to practice with. Ask the person how they felt with your delivery. Ask for feedback. It is not necessary to do a role play situation, but rather, use the practice time as an opportunity to make sure you are not laying blame or using inflammatory language that could trigger just about anyone.

      These tips definitely can help you stay focused. Ultimately, though, you are the one that has to make the choice to have the conversation. 

      And for your own sake, I really hope you do. You have more to gain than you can imagine.

      Do you have any tips for our audience about dealing with fear around  conversations?

      Read More at: https://www.fierceinc.com/blog

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