Jul 19, 2011, 12:57 AM
The big financial news last week was the addition of 157K new jobs in the month of June.  The financial pundits are now saying that the job growth – primarily driven by the service sector, which produced 130K of the reported new jobs last month – is an indication that the recovery has regained its footing.  As I listened to the experts, the story became clearer to me, and I think they are right.  The “soft patch” that we experienced here in the United States this spring was really the result of a couple of different phenomena.  Specifically: Oil prices peaking near $115 a barrel in the spring, driving gasoline prices over $4.00 a gallon across the U.S. have since retreated by nearly 20% to the low/mid $90 range with gasoline prices dropping proportionately.  Supply chain disruptions caused by the earthquake in Japan in March. Concerns over the economic stability in Europe, while not completely alleviated are dramatically reduced today from the levels of this past spring. The other interesting comment (made by Warren Buffet no less) was that the unemployment level in the U.S. is being held up by the lost construction jobs, and until housing rebounds, these jobs won’t return. So what does all this have to do with training?  A lot.  Many companies in the service sector today employ more people than they did 18 months ago.  That means more new employees needing training.  Also, as employment in the service sector continues to lead the recovery, there will undoubtedly be “job movement” created (where people move from one job to another for advancement, etc.).  All this new hiring and job change means one thing – lots of new people who need to develop a level of mastery in their new duties! In the current economic environment, it’s difficult to not just throw team members into the fray and rely on the old OJT – On the Job Training.  But let’s face it, personally - has that ever worked for you?  The key is to audit your current training and make the necessary adjustments to ensure that you’ve got the most efficient and effective educational experiences available to new hires, transfers and promotions – helping them compress the time to mastery of the new skills that will make them successful in your organization.  Think AAA – Audit, Adjust, and Assessments. Audit – take inventory of your current training programs and manuals.  Dust them off and give them a critical review.  Are the processes and procedures the same today as when the material was created?  Have your logos changed?  Terminology?  Does the training tie to your organization's vision, mission or values?  Did the material create the behaviors you wanted?  Adjust – making the necessary updates to the material is your next step.  Establish clearly defined learning objectives and determine the best platform to deliver the training.  What type of knowledge are you trying to transfer to your team - facts, concepts, processes, principles or procedures?  A mixture of all five?  What is the best method to transfer this knowledge, ensure it is retained, and, ultimately, change behavior?  Can you migrate portions of classroom content to an online eLearning platform? Assessments – metrics are the key to business.  If you can’t count it, it doesn’t count.  How many hours will creation/modification of your training programs take?  How much will you need to invest and what will be the finished product? How many hours of instructional design/development does it take to create 30 minutes of eLearning or 4 hours in the classroom?  How will you know that the learning objectives have been achieved?  How will you measure changes in behavior?  Most importantly – how will you measure the ROI of your efforts? If the financial pundits are right and the recovery has regained its footing … we’re headed for a second leg up!  Sure, this second leg will likely be a slower one than the initial days of the recovery, but we’re starting from a better place this time.  Today, we can be much more confident that there won’t be a “double dip.”  Today, savvy leaders know it’s time to reinvest in their greatest asset – their people.  Begin that investment the AAA way…today.  Until next time remember, take care of the customer, take care of each other, and take care of yourself.
Jul 12, 2011, 12:57 AM
 Welcome to part three of the O3 trilogy! If you’ve followed along in parts one and two, I’m sure you’re anxious to learn about the final two steps in the O3 problem solving cycle…at least until the…
Jun 14, 2011, 12:56 AM
Welcome to part 2 in our 3 part series on Problem Solving the O3 Way!   As a recap, Orgwide’s “O3” Problem Solving Process is a comprehensive approach to equipping managers with the leadership,…
Jun 14, 2011, 12:55 AM
Today, it’s not politically correct to use the term “problems” – everyone wants to call them “issues,” or “concerns” or my favorite, “opportunities.”  But, let’s face it – in business, we have…
Jun 7, 2011, 12:50 AM
We have received a great deal of feedback on our recent three-part series on Team Member Engagement. As you may recall, we defined an “engaged team member” as “one who is fully involved in, and…
May 25, 2011, 12:48 AM
There is a famous quotation about doing things differently that has been variously attributed to Benjamin Franklin, Albert Einstein, Mark Twain, and even as an old Chinese proverb. My research…
May 4, 2011, 12:46 AM
COMM 101 Greetings, readers. For those of you following our current series, today, we are exploring the second of three components to building Team Member Engagement in the workplace –…
Apr 26, 2011, 12:47 AM
Welcome to Part III in our three-part series on the “employee engagement” journey. So far, we’ve discussed two important facets of employee engagement: Trust and Communication. Our last (but certainly…
Apr 26, 2011, 12:41 AM
As I speak with managers around the globe, there is one topic that is beginning to dominate our discussion: Employee Engagement. It is so important that I am embarking upon a three part series that…
Apr 21, 2011, 12:40 AM
  If you’ve been following this series, welcome to part 3.  If you’re new to the series, you might want to take 3 minutes and review the article that started it all.  You can find it HERE.   In my…

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