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Guest blog: Employing a Graduate

With a new batch of students having just completed their studies, graduate unemployment is set to rise to a new all time record. Estimations vary to just how many graduates there are currently unemployed, but around seventy thousand seems to be accepted by many. This a huge number, most of these people having got into a significant amount of debt, believing that their university degree will enable them to gain a job that merits their academic achievement. As the statistics show, this is not the case for many.

Small and medium sized businesses should look at graduate unemployment as an excellent opportunity. Here is a large group of people, who have been educated to university level and have gained many transferable skills. Naturally, there will be a number of these graduates who have specific degrees and have a set industry they wish to work in. However, there are many who completed arts or humanities courses, competences to benefit your business. These include research, analytical, interpretive, communication, written, presentational and verbal skills, in addition to many other talents, depending upon the nature of the degree undertaken.

Due to the shortage of graduates currently in employment, wages can initially be kept fairly low. Graduates recognise that competition for jobs is fierce, thus may take jobs based on the experience and opportunities they can gain, rather than for financial reasons. Furthermore, many will accept an initial internship or trial period. This allows you to make an assessment of the potential employee, judging whether or not they will be successful at the job you have in mind for them, and if they will fit into your business.

Another of the many advantages about employing a graduate is that they are willing to learn and will work hard to prove themselves. They know there are thousands of people waiting to take their job, giving them an extra incentive to be a success in their internship or trial period. Additionally, university teaches students to learn, especially in the arts and humanities degrees. This results in the fact that many continue this trait in the workplace, and will be keen to learn about your business as much as possible.

Employing a graduate in undoubtedly a risk, and as much as this blog has made a case for employing a graduate, employing an experienced person is far less risky. However, in business it is important at times to take risks. Currently graduates represent a cost effective solution to employment in small and medium sized business, so taking one on could be the best business decision you will ever make.



Source by Anthony O’Flynn

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Guest blog: ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning)

The emergence of the Internet, evolving customer demands, pressure to accelerate business process, and the need to establish more collaborative relationships with key suppliers and business partners are all pushing organizations towards ERP solution. So, what is ERP?

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is described as an “information system package that integrates information and information based processes within and across functional areas in an organization” [1].

Traditional stand-alone applications were designed for specific customers, with limited functionality, and isolated from other applications. On the contrary, ERP is a business tool that integrates all the applications required by an organization as a whole, and connects the organization to other enterprises in a network form. It is usually compromised of several modules such as: a financial module, a distribution module, or a production module. Today, ERP have added new functions such as supply chain management, product data management, electronic commerce and warehouse management. Thus, ERP opens a window of opportunity for businesses to compete globally, respond to competitive pressures, and increase revenue.

ERP Characteristics & Basic Operations:

ERP facilitates company-wide Integrated Information System covering all functional areas like Manufacturing, Selling and distribution, Payables, Receivables, Inventory, Accounts, Human resources, Purchases etc.

– ERP performs core business activities and increases customer service satisfaction.

– ERP facilitates information flow across different sections or departments of the organisation.

– ERP bridges the gap between business partners allowing ongoing collaboration.

– ERP is a good solution for better project management.

– ERP is built as open system architecture, meaning it allows automatic introduction of the latest technologies such as: Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT), Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), Internet, Intranet, Video conferencing, E-Commerce etc.

– ERP not only addresses the current requirements of the company but also provides the opportunity of continually improving and refining business processes.

– ERP provides business intelligence tools like Decision Support Systems (DSS), Executive Information System (EIS), Reporting, Data Mining and Early Warning Systems (Robots) for enabling people to make better decisions and thus improve their business processes.

– ERP tracks a wide range of events in an organisation, and plans for future activities based on these events.

ERP driving forces:

1. The need to increase supply chain efficiency.

2. The need to increase customer access to products or services.

3. The need to reduce operating costs.

4. The need to respond more rapidly and flexibly to a changing market place.

Global ERP Implementation:

Historically, most international companies have managed their systems on regional basis, because there was no single solution that was globally acceptable.

In today’s dynamic business environment there is a strong need for the organisations to become globally competitive. The key for success lies in customer satisfaction, through understanding customer needs, and providing quality goods and services in the shortest time possible. To support a global outlook, many firms implemented or are in the process of implementing Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Systems, in order to improve level of coordination among national entities of the same firm, and also with business partners. However, to achieve this level of coordination it is important to have a global market strategy, a common IT infrastructure, and business processes in place.

An analysis of past global ERP projects, highlight on the importance of aligning organisation structure with business process and business strategy with IT strategy in order to compete in the international market. ‘Threads’ is a good example of an international company that replaced its legacy system with ERP. ‘Threads’ had a national organisation structure that operates on country by country basis.

To obtain a global view ‘Threads’ decided that its time for change by transforming the company from a local to a global geographical perspective. Hence, making Europe as one market for their business operations, and also ensuring competitiveness through a focus on the quality, price, and customer service. The intended organization structure and supporting global ERP is shown in [2].

Enabling Technologies:Traditional ERP systems required sophisticated and expensive information technology infrastructure such as, mainframe computers. Nowadays, with the advancement of information technology and the cost reduction of computers it becomes possible for SME’s to think about ERP Systems. Moreover, the power of Three Tier Client Server architecture and scalable relational data base management has made it easier to deploy ERP Systems in multiple locations.

Implementation of ERP

Implementing an ERP project is a process consisted of many phases. Following, a step by step approach will simplify the process and is more likely to yield a better result. The normal steps involved in the implementation of an ERP are as below:

o Project Planning

o Business & Operational analysis including Gap analysis

o Business Process Reengineering

o Installation and configuration

o Project team training

o Business Requirement mapping

o Module configuration

o System interfaces

o Data conversion

o Custom Documentation

o End user training

o Acceptance testing

o Post implementation/Audit support

In short, implementing ERP can transform the way an organization conducts business. It helps the enterprise link its resources, utilise and allocate them in the best possible manner and control them on real time basis. For instance, in the case of ‘Threads’ the transformation from Legacy system to ERP system resulted in a reduction of data redundancy, reduction of overheads, an increase in customer responsiveness and customer service levels throughout the firm. This has been facilitated by implementing a common global ERP system throughout its European operation.

Critical factors for Success of ERP:

The successful implementation of an ERP project requires management to plan carefully, and have all needed human and financial resources in place. Below is a list of the main critical factors for the success of ERP:

1- Top Management Support:

Among the most important factors for the success of ERP project is the top management commitment and support. The role of top management includes, developing an understanding of the capabilities and limitation of the proposed system, setting goals, and communicating the corporate IT Strategy to all employees [3].

2- Project Management:

Another important factor for the success of ERP is managing the project life cycle from initiating to closing phase. The Project Manager (PM) has sole responsibility and authority for planning and controlling the project scope to meet the deliverables in the given time frame and budget.

3- Selection of the appropriate package:

Selecting the appropriate package is an important managerial decision. Analysing and evaluating the organisation needs and processes help in taking the right choice that best suits the business environment. A careful selection of the right package results in minimum modification and successful implementation and use. On the hand, selecting the wrong software may mean a commitment to architecture and application that do not fit the organizational strategic goal or business process [3].

4- User training and education:

A quality implementation can de derailed by poorly trained employees who do not know how to properly operate the ERP system. The knowledge transfer to employees is arguably more important than the quality of the system. For that reason, companies should use consultants to run training sessions on how the system works, and how they relate to the business process.

5- Business Process Re-engineering:

Business Process Reengineering is a pre-requisite for going ahead with implementing ERP system. An in depth BPR study has to be done before taking up ERP. Business Process Reengineering brings out deficiencies of the existing system and attempts to maximize productivity through restructuring and re-organizing the human resources as well as divisions and departments in the organisation

6- Dedicated Resources:

One of the main critical factors for ERP success is determining the human and financial resources needed to implement the system. This should be done at an early stage of the project. Failing to commit the required resources often result in schedule and cost overdue.

7- Project Team Competence:

Another key element of ERP success or failure is related to the knowledge, skills, abilities, and experience of the project manager and team members. The project team should work in a coordinated way to achieve one goal. Hence, it is vital for team members to have technical and business skills to complement their work.

8- Clear goals and objectives:

Setting clear goals and Identifying the Objectives of the ERP Project is the third most critical success factor. The initial phase of any project should begin with a conceptualization of the goals and possible ways to accomplish these goals. It is important to set the goals of the project before even seeking top management support [3].

9- Ongoing Vendor Support:

Ongoing vendor support represents an important factor with any software package. ERP systems require ongoing vendor support to keep them up to date with the latest modules and version. In addition to this, vendor support provides technical assistance, and maintenance.

10- Interdepartmental communication:

Good communication is a key component for the success of ERP. Hence, it is essential to communicate effectively between team members and the rest of the organization, in order to keep everything working properly.

To conclude, ERP implementation could become a complex and risky process, if not managed properly. Organizations need to identify the critical issues that affect the implementation process. Such as: selecting the appropriate software package, securing commitment and support from top management, cooperation from business partners, having adequate knowledge among team members, training employees and keeping them informed. All those issues and other more can minimize the failure of ERP project and maximizes the success of ERP implementation.

References:

[1] Kumar, K. and Van Hillegersberg, J. ERP Experiences and Evolution, Communication of the ACM, (43:4), pp. 23- 26, 2000.

[2] Holland C. and Light B. (1999) Global Enterprise Resource Planning Implementation Retrieved August, 27, 2005 from: http://csdl2.computer.org/comp/proceedings/hicss/1999/0001/07/00017016.PDF

[3] Somers T.M., and Nelson K. (2001), The Impact of Critical Success Factors across the Stages of Enterprise Resource Planning Implementations, published in 34th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences 2001, Hawaii

[4] Holland C.P, and Light B. (1999), A Critical Success factor Model for ERP implementation, IEEE Software, May/June 1999, pp. 30-36

[5] Hammer M. and Champy J. (1994) Reengineering the Corporation, New York, Harper Business.

[6] Kerchevak M. (2005) Five Steps to an ERP Solution, Retrieved September 3, 2005 from: http://archives.tcm.ie/businesspost/2005/06/05/story5254.asp

[7] Robinson S. (2004) A Developer’s Overview of ERP, Retrieved September 1, 2005 from: http://www.developer.com/design/article.php/3446551



Source by Nidal A. Bousaleh

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Guest blog: Learn How to Engage Government Employees

In Engaging Government Employees, Robert J. Lavigna argues that getting public sector employees to engage fully with their work can transform organizations and enact important change. Believing that organizations where employees are engaged are more successful than organizations where engagement is low, Lavigna presents a compelling argument for actively tracking and improving engagement in an organization. The core of Lavigna’s book centers around his five-step plan to measure and improve engagement, though he admits there is no “one-size-fits-all” approach.

In decades past, government work was considered a noble calling, and a career in public service was something to be proud of. These days, however, public opinion has shifted. Many members of the public perceive government workers and the organizations that employ them as inefficient.

Lavigna explains that:

• Employee engagement is a concept many organizations struggle to define. The U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board defines employee engagement as “a heightened connection to work, the organization, the mission, or co-workers.”

•This matters because organizations where engagement is high consistently perform better than organizations where the employees are not engaged. Despite this fact, common sense does not always equal common practice, and many organizations do not prioritize employee engagement.

• There are multiple ways for organizations to measure employee engagement. These include public sector surveys developed by the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board and the Office of Personnel Management, as well as the Gallup “Q12” survey.

• There are five simple steps to improve the employee engagement process: plan, conduct an engagement survey, report and analyze the results, take action, and sustain engagement while re-surveying.

• There is no “one-size-fits-all” approach. Each organization must tailor its approach based on employee survey results, as well as its mission and core culture.

• This should be a fundamental concern to all members of an organization. That said, Human Resources (HR) plays an integral role in the process and should act as a guiding force.

• Employee engagement is a key component of making public sector jobs effective and meaningful. However, the public sector has a lot of room for improvement when it comes to boosting employee engagement.

In Engaging Government Employees, Robert J. Lavigna presents a dense, inspirational tome that aims to reinvigorate and engage public sector employees. Designed to be read cover to cover, the book includes numerous appendices, document templates, and real world examples of engagement practices found in the U.S., Canada, and the UK. A must-read for any manager who works in the public sector, this book provides actionable, tested advice for getting government employees to engage with their co-workers and organizations.



Source by Alyssa Gigliotti

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Guest blog: How to Create an Employee Retention, Recognition & Reward Program (2018)

THE INDUSTRY

1. $46 billion industry Incentives and other cash rewards which have doubled in the last 10 years. U.S. organization spent over $77 billion annually on them.

UNFORESEEN COST

2. Company Intangible Assets are knowledge, reputation and human talent.

3. The cost to replace employees is high and turnover rate has been increasing. Not to mention the time to hire due to the talent war has a huge impact on hiring.

4. Job satisfaction measured between 1987 to 2018 is at 61% meaning we are coming close to half of the employees that are unhappy at work.

“The average retention today, where employees spend is around 2 years 2 months in a company”

MIND THE GENERATION GAP

5. How to bring Millennials effectively into the workforce is a major question that many CEOs and business leaders have

  • Traditionalists or Silent Generation: Born 1945 and before
  • Baby Boomers: Born 1946 to 1964
  • Generation X: Born 1965 to 1976
  • Millennials or Gen Y: Born 1977 to 1995
  • Gen Z, iGen, or Centennials: Born 1996 and later

EMPLOYEE ARCHETYPES

6. 4 Human Drivers or archetypes in any organization.

  • The Hoarder: Collects resources and typically has the most incentives.
  • The Socialist: builds and fosters relationships.
  • The Contender: motivated to defend what is theirs.
  • The Seeker: desire to contribute to something bigger in creative ways.

EMPLOYEE RETENTION ROADMAP

7. Feedback Loop to listen, capture survey data to uncover insights and trends and take data-driven action and mentorship enabled.

8. Components of the survey should entail questions that tailored to the following parameters: empowerment, management, innovation, reward, collaboration, communication, purpose, leadership, culture and on-boarding experience.

“Gallup survey found 51% of the workforce is not engaged. What’s more, 51% of workers are looking to leave their current jobs.”

9. Reward points system based on the company goals and employee value proposition for innovation, patents, ideas for improvements or successful on-time & on-budget projects delivery.

10. One Technology Platform to help you gamify, manage On-boarding, Rewards, Incentives and Loyalty Programs seamlessly and fosters collaboration in the community.

11. Key Metrics to Measure:

  • Top Talent Referral
  • Employee Turnover
  • Retention
  • Absenteeism
  • Time to fill Open positions
  • Cost of Hire

12. Senior Management Team and HR has to be on the same page with a clear understanding on the key metrics that bridges the gap between talent management and business strategy by contextualizing employees’ work ad reward around a company’s vision and goals.

IS THIS ALL I KNOW?

I have only scratched the surface on what it takes to make a successful ecosystem within an organization, continuously seeking great methodology, systems, tools and platform that adds a strategic high-value proposition in the marketplace.



Source by Wayne Fonseca

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Guest blog: Records Management Made Easy

In order to build a successful records program, you first need to understand what a record is and that every record goes through a life cycle.

Definitions:

Record – Any recorded information, regardless of medium or characteristics, made or received and retained by an organization in pursuance of legal obligations or in the transaction of business. (ARMA glossary 4th Edition)

Example of records:

•­ Customer

• ­Financial

• ­Medical

•­ Policies and Procedures.

•­ Employee files

Records life cycle:

  • Creation
  • Distribution
  • Use
  • Maintenance
  • Disposition

Basically a record is born, it lives and then it dies.

Records information management (RIM) – is a corporate area of endeavor involving the administration of all business records throughout their life cycle.

Characteristics of records program

• Records –

Should be identified, protected and readily available.

Program should specify purpose, assign roles and responsibilities, allow staff training and be continuously audited.

• Risk assessment conducted and discuss if offsite storage is needed, if records should be duplicated or stored at an alternate way if an event occurred and records would need to be reconstituted. (Example disaster)

Stages

1st Stage

Educate­ (research state and federal laws and your organizations policies and procedures)

Understanding Lifecycle (learn about the cycle records go through and what happens at the end of the Lifecycle)

Identifying records and indexing (situate how you will classify each record and how it should be inventoried and assess how many records you have and what type they are)

Create an inventory and decide wich records can be destroyed. Then conduct a risk assessment to decide whether off site storage is needed.

2nd Stage

Organize Team – roles and responsibilities

May consist of an individual from every department, may have an outsourced third party, or just one single person. You, should design your program with the following in mind.

Senior Level ­- leadership directive, helps to direct, enforce and maintain program.

IT/RM – Must be willing to allocate resources and willing to work together.

Legal/Finance/HR ­- able to conduct training and audits. Ensure compliance and implement retention schedule.

Individual Departments ­- Employees informed and follow program.

Stage 3

Begin your policies and procedures in writing making sure the policies and procedures coincide with your organization’s policies and procedures.

Create a retention schedule, disaster recovery, business continuity and secure destruction methods.

Stage 4

Training Auditing Updating

All new hires and employees should trained and know the role and importance of implemented records program. Program should be continually audited and updated. Compliance should be ensured and consequences for non­compliance should be made clear.

Most Important Tool

Your records management program will be the most important tool.

Poor management of records can lead to other problems a successful records program will put everything into place and when followed correctly will allow for the search and retrieval of the records needed.

Remember a records program will be successful if it is realistic, audited and enforced.

Knowledge is power, Communication is key



Source by Rachel Torres

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Guest blog: What is the Perfect 5K Training Schedule?

If you’ve decided to take part in a 5k this year, then you’re going to have to spend some time and effort on your training which means ideally you’ll need to keep to a 5k training schedule.

Your mind is determined on your target, you’re ready, willing and able, but what’s your next move?

This is the point at which many people would search online for a free training schedule. You won’t struggle finding one, there’s a lot around that you can download from most running or charity websites, they’ll as a rule give you a a chart with a collection of numbers relating to distances or times you need to to run each day

But the problem with these free programs is that you’ll discover absolutely nothing about running and this lessens your chances of success and increases the likelihood of suffering from injuries.

Any respectable training schedule should contain all the following: –

  • Nutritional support, you can’t wish to function well if you are filling up on the wrong type of fuel, after all you wouldn’t put diesel in a petrol car…Would you?.
  • New training techniques which improve fitness levels. Advanced training methods have advanced dramatically. Using them means it’s unlikely that you will overuse the same muscles and joints which can lead to progress stopping injury.
  • The advanced strategies in my new guide – ‘5K Training For Beginners’ will rapidly increase your fitness levels and minimise the time spent training.
  • The best way to decide on running shoes and the right options of clothing to choose.
  • Purposefully placed rest days that take in to account the level of effort of the previous days training.

Perhaps the most important thing an effective training schedule should teach you is exactly how your body adapts from the beginning of your training right up to race day, meaning you’ll see exactly what it is you’re aiming to do. You’ll know when and how to change your training to boost your progress and quickly see the signs of overtraining and sidestep incapacitating injuries.



Source by Jago T Holmes

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Guest blog: Effective Restaurant Training Techniques: Jump-Start Your Training Program Today

I have seen different types of training techniques for restaurant staff. Some restaurants send new hires to their corporate training school; others hire experienced staff thinking they already know how to work that position. I think all new staff members should receive quality training regardless of previous experience.

Each role in a restaurant is important for the restaurant’s success!

Management must be able to work in every position. Their knowledge of each job is vital. Managers must step into those other roles to maintain customer service. Some reasons could be if there is a call-out, or if the sales are higher than projected.

If people tell you that managing a restaurant is easy, they are dead wrong. In-fact it is the most difficult position in the restaurant. Running a restaurant is challenging; management needs to be able to multitask, give direction, and follow-up on that direction. Managers must be able to retain large amounts of information and make quick decisions and be ready to step into any position.

Managers are not born to run a restaurant; they are developed into that position. The same goes for the rest of the staff. Train the management staff, then the trainers. Management will oversee the trainers as they train the rest of the staff.

The most effective restaurant training techniques are:

  • Show-Do-Review: The trainer shows the staff member how to do the task. Then the trainer observes the trainee actually doing the task. After completion, they review the task together and the trainer gives feedback to the new hire. The Show-Do-Review technique is especially effective in learning recipes, kitchen duties, cleaning tasks, or service tasks.
  • The Memory Game: Once the new hire has some understanding of their new job, the trainer shadows the staff member and helps the new hire remember different key components of the job. Periodically the trainer will ask the trainee a question. If the trainee does not answer the question correctly, then the trainer will provide the answer. The trainer will continually repeat the question all throughout the day or night until the trainee answers it correctly. The purpose of the exercise is getting the staff member to retain the information. The Memory Game can be used to remember important food time and temperature, menu and recipe knowledge, service steps, or even manager responsibilities.
  • Role-Playing: Role-playing is one of the most effective training techniques to use in creating top-notch performers. Existing staff members and new hires experience real life situations and “learn by doing”. The trainees will experience “real life” situations in a simulated and controlled environment. This technique allows the trainer to evaluate the trainee’s strengths and areas to improve. This also helps to develop an action plan so that the trainee can overcome any obstacles to their success. “Practice make perfect.” This technique allows the employees to see different perspectives, build confidence, and form good habits. The trainer will observe the role-playing and my correct the staff members periodically to ensure they on the right path. Role-playing is a great technique for service staff and managers to learn the proper way to handle customer questions or complaints, how to approach a table, and the steps of service.
  • Shadowing: The trainee shadows the trainer, and the trainer shows the trainee the correct procedures in completing the assigned task. The trainer should ask open-ended questions in reference to the task. Once the trainee is more comfortable, then the trainer will shadow the employee. Communication between the staff members is crucial in developing the trainees. Shadowing could be used for nearly any role, especially on the first days and last days of training.

Once the trainer evaluates the staff member and determines that the employee has mastered that position, then that person is ready to work independently.

Management should observe or be involved in the training process to ensure that employee is receiving quality training. The general manager/owner oversees the managers. The general manager/owner may have the final say in whether a new employee is ready to work solo.

Utilize any tool available to help achieve the training goals. During the training process using feedback or assessment forms can help track the quality of the training. Documenting the progress of the training and reviewing it with the employee will help the employee to know your expectations. It also gives you a paper trail of that particular employees training.

Using a variety of training techniques for your restaurant is useful in getting all your staff on the same page. It also is more interesting than sitting down with someone and reading a scripted presentation. It will help you retain staff, because too many people are thrown into their jobs without the proper training and get frustrated and quit. Having a training program that is easy and effective is important in your restaurant’s success.



Source by Jeffrey Schim

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Guest blog: Paperless Employee Onboarding With Electronic Forms

Human Resource professionals across all industries deal with the Form I-9 every time they hire and onboard new employees. However, this form is only one of the several paper forms new employees are required to fill out and human resources is required to organize and store.

Whether an employer is verifying residency and employment eligibility, initiating benefits, or distributing a massive paper-bound new employee handbook, HR departments go through thousands of dollars of paper just to onboard a few new employees.

The trend to go paperless and automate onboarding processes, making these new hire forms electronic, is catching on. More and more companies are seeing the benefit and the costs savings of eliminating most of the paper process while allowing new hires to complete these forms online and even provide an electronic signature. And organizations that preach a “Go Green” message are trying to find ways to change their internal systems to be more environmentally friendly. Cutting the paper in the HR department is just one way to achieve that goal.

Companies implementing these Web-based onboarding management software applications can even allow employees access to their personalized onboarding portal to complete the new hire paperwork before their first day on the job! With electronic forms centrally managed, its easy to ensure compliance and retrieve the information more easily, from anywhere in the world.

Implementing an onboarding management system saves organizations thousands of dollars in the cost of paperwork and also helps HR professionals easily track and maintain who has and hasn’t filled out forms in order to stay in compliance with government regulations. The cost of continuing to maintain an onboarding process via paper is simply too high to not automate.



Source by Jaclyn Branch

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Guest blog: Why Was Classroom Training Rated So Poorly?

In “The Changing Nature of Organizations, Work, and Workplace,” Judith Heerwagen of J.H. Heerwagen & Associates and Kevin Kelly and Kevin Kampschroer of the U.S. General Service Administration note that work is now more: cognitively complex; team-based and collaborative; dependent on social skills; dependent on technological competence; time pressured; mobile and less dependent on geography.

Managers and employees need new skills to effectively manage these challenges- and they require learning and professional development options that go beyond traditional classroom training.

This is validated by the results of a 2017 survey of Learning in the Workplace conducted by Jane Hart, the Founder of the Center for Learning & Performance Technologies. Over 5,000 managers and employees were asked to rate the importance (value/usefulness) of 12 work-related learning methods as either: NI = Not Important; QI = Quite Important; VI = Very Important; or Ess = Essential.

The results of the Survey are identified in rank order below, with 1 being the highest ranking learning method. The methods were ranked by their combined VI+Ess (Very Important and Essential) scores. (The VI+Ess total is in parentheses after the method):

1. Daily work experiences (i.e., doing the day job) (93)

2. Knowledge sharing with your team (90)

3. Web search (e.g. Google) (79)

4. Web resources (e.g. videos, podcasts, articles) (76)

5. Manager feedback and guidance (74)

6. Professional networks and communities (72)

7. Coach or mentor feedback and guidance (65)

8. Internal resources (e.g. documents, guides) (60)

9. Blogs and news feeds (56)

10. E-learning (e.g. online courses for self-study) (41)

11. Conferences and other professional events (35)

12. Classroom training (31)

As you can see, the survey results reveal that the least valued way of learning in the workforce is classroom training!

We don’t know why the respondents give classroom training such a low rating. There can be many reasons, such as:

  • Content focused on theory rather than on practical application.
  • Too general one-size-fits-all examples difficult for the participants to translate and apply to their own work situations.
  • Ineffective training methods, such as a predominance of lecture with PowerPoint.
  • Lack of useful job aids.
  • The wrong people received the training, due in part to a need to ensure a sufficient number of butts in seats.
  • Inconvenient scheduling.
  • The time commitment and high cost of registration and travel for off-site classes.
  • Poor content, either outdated or irrelevant to real work needs.
  • Poor instructors, lacking effective presentation skills and/or classroom management skills.
  • No follow up by supervisors to reinforce the learning.
  • A lack of support for implementing any new learning.

Since I design and deliver classroom training, I would like to believe that it is not classroom training per se that the respondents rate so negatively- just poor curriculum design, delivery and facilitation.

What do you think?



Source by Deborah Laurel

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Guest blog: 6 Principles of Customer Service Etiquettte

Customer service etiquette principles should be integrated into every facet of your organization because providing superior customer service is the most effective way to differentiate your business from the competition.

Many employees will walk onto a job with little or no knowledge of how to interact or communicate with customers and without any appreciation of the importance of delivering exceptional customer service.

Employers have a responsibility to set and effectively communicate the ground rules for how an employee should operate within their company. Often an employee is issued a manual or orientation without any formal training on the company's unique culture or way of conducting business. With this lack of understanding, you have employees in effect defining the company policies based on their social norms, which leads to the loss of productivity, morale, and profitability.

Empower your employees by teaching them the six principles of customer service etiquette. Properly train and educate your employees on how to interact and communicate with customers to deliver superior customer service, cultivate long-term relationships with clients, build customer loyalty, and differentiate your business from the competition.

6 Principles of Customer Service Etiquette:

  • Smile and demonstrate good manners. Teach employees to smile, leading by example. Establish a culture of high quality customer service and commit to deliver superior service whether over the phone or face-to-face.
  • Make customers feel comfortable, valued, and appreciated.
  • Treat customers with respect, empathy, and efficiency.
  • Listen actively to be responsive and exceed customer expectations.
  • Effectively resolve the customer's problem.
  • Say "Thank you" and "Please" graciously.

Build prosperous relationships by treating customers as you want to be treated.



Source by Shawn Gilleylen