Monday, August 31, 2009
From increasing your webinar effectiveness to coaching and even growing your business, their list is a great place to get back into the learning groove after a long, hot summer.
Upcoming eLearning Events from eLearning Learning.
Friday, August 28, 2009
Corporate gardening is one of the latest trends in employee motivation, and for many companies it’s proven to pay off in the hearts (and stomachs) of employees.
“Some small companies seeking an extra benefit for their employees are turning to their backyard for inspiration: a vegetable garden.
After laying off an employee, cutting hours and discontinuing raises, Sheryl Woodhouse-Keese, owner of Twisted Limb Paperworks LLC in Bloomington, Ind., invested $600 last fall to create a 1,500-square-foot garden outside the recycled paper-products company's office. Now, her four employees can take home their pick of 10 herbs and 22 vegetables.
"The garden really is a nice benefit, saving them on their food bills," said Ms. Woodhouse-Keese, who estimates the garden has meted out $2,400 in produce this season, from tomatoes to potatoes.” (WSJ.com)
Gardening at work can be an affordable and simple way to boost employees’ morale and give a ground-up boost to the company’s wellness program.
It’s also a great way to build employee camaraderie without ever leaving company grounds – no retreats, seminars or off-site meetings needed. All this retreat needs is a pair of gloves and a garden hoe.
If you’re a small business looking to attract new employees, access to a flourishing vegetable garden can be an attractive asset. So whether you have a spacious rooftop or a grassy patch of land behind the building, plant a few seeds and see what grows...
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
“It used to be that formal learning programs in a corporate environment could be a week long. People would pack up and spend an intensive five days in a dedicated facility and immerse themselves in a new skill set.
Then the tolerance by employees and middle managers for a formal learning program shifted to two days. Then one day. Then half a day. Then one hour. Now it is probably about fifteen minutes,” according to Simulation Designer Clark Aldrich on his Simulations and Serious Games blog.
Of course, technology has improved instructional design, significantly reducing the amount of time it takes to complete training and learning courses. And since the advent of Google, we’ve been trained to find and learn information using the fastest methods available.
Whether it’s in response to the recession or not, training has gone from weekly retreats to days of on-site training, to an hour-long webinar. We’re trying to get the most bang for our buck by racing through a mountain of information as quickly as possible.
What do you think? Is it possible that we’re losing out on quality because we’re so focused on efficiency? Are we trying to squeeze too much training and learning into a window of time that’s way too short?
Is cramming it all into 15 minutes ever a good thing?
Monday, August 24, 2009
passing in the hall
My boss: "I volunteered you"
Me: [biting my tongue]
my first cubicle
decorated it myself
looks like IKEA...
starting the work day
wondering when it will end
fighting for friday
These fantastic workplace poems come courtesy of the Jobacle blog, whose authors are on a quest to find the best haiku about work. Read the whole list and enter a haiku of your own over at the Jobacle blog today.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
The Carnival of HR has made it’s way to Training Time. We got our hands on some fantastic submissions this week and would like to say thanks to everyone who contributed.
Just one thing before you enter – please ride the Screamin’ Swing before you visit the funnel cake vendor. Thanks.
Looking for a new job? Want a new position at the Tilt-A-Whirl instead of the Gravitron?
Laurie at Punk Rock HR reminds us that “we are who we pretend to be – even on our resumes,” so be careful.
For all those “Moms” out there, Kelly at Fistful of Talent has some recommendations on how to find a job that meshes well with your family life.
Don’t underestimate your social media connections, says Lance aka. Your HR Guy. Value your connections, learn new things and apply those new things to make personal improvements.
Listen to Michael VanDervort’s advice at Human Race Horses on how to interview like your in show business and you may have a shot at the carnival’s main stage next year.
Amit Bhagria the Young HR Manager has some tips for coping with a corporate layoff.
And The HR Store is asking recent interviewees, “What are you doing about the interview feedback you receive?”
One carnie short of the perfect carnival? Looking to fill a position?
Visit Recruitment 2.0 and read Susannah Cesar’s three part series on recruiting graduates in a recession.
If you’re looking to save money, you can always skip the carnival games, or listen to Melanie Quinn’s advice on how retaining human capital makes sense and saves cents.
We learn by doing, but taking the “sink or swim” approach to promoting an employee to management can be dangerous. Instead, use some management transition tools suggested by David Giffin from i4cp.
When the time comes to choose new leaders, why not take a look at some other tried and true methods, asks Wally Bock at Three Star Leadership.
When you’re ready to formulate a leadership development program, head on over to Benifys HR Solutions where Vishveshwar Jatain will get you started.
Someone call security, we’ve got problems
Broken Ferris wheel again? It’s safe to say a bit of human error was probably involved. Sharlyn Lauby aka. the HR Bartender examines why some people get desperate when faced with failure.
Lacking feedback from your manager? Dan McCarthy at Great Leadership shares his advice on coaxing feedback out of a reluctant manager.
Or maybe it’s an accountability problem. Denise O’Berry at Ask the Team Doc says assigning people specific roles is worth it and will help your team.
Spend ten minutes with Naomi Bloom, in a post by Melissa Prusher of The Devon Group, and learn from her successful project management tips.
Bad employees are very similar to smelly diapers, just read Suzanne the Evil HR Lady would handle Mr. Stinky. If you can’t change it, get rid of it, she says.
From smells to bad attitudes, Susan Heathfield from Guide to Human Resources hears countless horror stories of the way employees were treated by their HR staff person.
Wondering why everyone is walking around with masks? The swine flu has hit the carnival, and India. Read B.P. Rao ‘s common sense advice on minimizing your flu risk.
While we’re on the subject of health... Evan Falchuk of See First Blog explains why he thinks health care reform is going badly.
Don’t be afraid to put your foot down and take a stand when problems arise, says Ben Eubanks of Upstart HR in his rules for new HR professionals.
Maybe it’s time to revamp your required carnie training courses. Use these tips from yours truly at Thoughts from Training Time to reinvigorate your training programs.
The carnival is getting high tech these days
In order for collaborative communities to thrive in the workplace, you’re going to need three necessary conditions, says Steve Boese of Steve's HR Technology Blog.
Gireesh Sharma of Talent Junction explains the importance of HR data for a CEO, especially when you’re an entrepreneur pitching to investors.
Sakib Khan, of HR with Sakib Khan, explains how Google Wave can improve collaboration and HR.
And take a deeper look at the power of sticks and carrots at Prasad Kurian’s Blog on HR.
Integrating your networking and collaboration tools with enterprise systems might improve your chances of influencing behaviors that improve performance, says Mark Bennett of Talented Apps.
Also think about how a rollout plan could ease the integration of a new analytics initiative into your HR and business culture at Infohrm.
Of course, you gotta have some fun at the carnival
Invite your team to a “Night Out in August,” says April Downing of Pseudo HR. Set the budget, pick a restaurant, and set aside some time for your team to discuss what’s going on at work.
Or use Drew Tarvin’s tips from Humor That Works on how to build a better global team.
Sometimes you just have to accept that work is largely out of your control. So, find one thing that revives your sense of freedom this summer, says Mark Stelzner of Inflexion Advisors.
Monday, August 17, 2009
It’s also a great time for businesses to start checking off their lists to see what areas of employee training and development need a boost.
Here are some tips for reinvigorating your organization’s training programs:
Survey employees. What do they want out of the company’s training programs? What topics would they like to see? What would get them more involved?
Take a look at your budget. Where are you spending too much? Where could you be spending more? Which programs could use some financial tweaking?
Get creative. Try training naked or take advantage of the sunshine and enjoy a team building exercise outside. Find creative ways to get employees excited about training.
Refresh your training materials. PowerPoint looking a little dated? Books and training CDs getting a little worn out? Shop around for some new, fresh training materials.
Have fun. Find new ways to have fun within your training programs. Are there any new training games you’ve wanted to try? Or new, challenging team building activities you think would work?
Train the trainer. Turn existing employees into in-house trainers who can share their expertise with their coworkers. Not only will it save the company some money, but it can also help build teamwork.
Friday, August 14, 2009
With Kersten’s “It Could Be Worse” program, all of those “silly” employee complaints seem to disappear.
The video below demonstrates how you, too, can rid yourself of complaining employees with his simple, yet effective demotivation strategy. Watch and learn:
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Dogs are some of the best role models for us to emulate on the job, according to Matt Weinstein, founder of international consulting firm Playfair.
When you think about it, working like a dog is what we should all look for in the perfect job. Here are just a few reasons:
- Dogs don’t know the difference between work and fun. It’s all fun.
- Everything is new and exciting.
- They’re dedicated, loyal, disciplined (for the most part), sensitive and loving.
- Their enthusiasm for life, fun and work is never diminished.
- They live in the present.
The next time you’re wondering why there’s no fun in your work, try thinking like a dog. Listen to Matt explain it in his own words:
Monday, August 10, 2009
Can you sum up your job description in three words or less? Think you could describe yourself or your personality in only three words?
Give it a try the next time you’re preparing for job interviews, recommends UK management advisor Colin Beveridge (via Human Race Horses). You may find the exercise to be a powerful self-evaluation tool, he says.
But if you’re not interviewing anytime soon, try the idea out as a quick ice breaker idea at your next meeting or event. We’ll call it the Three-Word Challenge, even shorter than the six-word ice breakers we shared late last year.
Simply start off your meeting by asking everyone to describe their job, what makes them happy, or even an interesting, unknown fact about themselves. Give them a few minutes to mull it over, then go around the room and have everyone share.
Be prepared to give good examples to get them started. Michael VanDervort at Human Race Horses recently shared these great three word self evaluations:
- Help people think (Beveridge)
- Make information useful (VanDervort)
- I think differently
- Evaluate, encourage & execute
The possibilities are endless. Try the Three-Word Challenge as an ice breaker and let us know how it goes.
How would you describe your job in three words?
Friday, August 7, 2009
This second job doesn’t pay in dollars (it actually costs him money to do it), instead Jorge says he gets paid every time he sees a smile on the face of the people he serves.
Jorge spends about half of his salary, about $700 a week, to prepare and serve food to hungry people under a subway stop in Queens.
"The smiles on their faces, when see they got something to eat....aaaaah, [We're] feeding [more than] a hundred people," Munoz says passionately. "If you change the life of one guy, that's enough..." (Huffington Post)Here’s a video of his story:
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Here are some snippets from the August issue of Training Trends from TrainingTime.com:
Can Training = Fun?
Ways to make your training more enjoyable
Have you ever facilitated a training session and found that one or more attendees caught up on sleep the entire time you spoke? Let’s face it, training has the potential to be boring, for both trainer and employee. The last thing you want are employees trudging all the way to the training room feeling doomed to a session of uncomfortable introductions, awkward silences and yawn-worthy material.
As a trainer, there are ways to engage your employees with fun, worthwhile training that will relay useful and important information in a way that will stick. Take the initiative and use these suggestions to give your training an extra boost of enjoyment. (more)
Six strategies for unlocking employee creativity
Embrace creativity, create a competitive advantage
A few lucky companies are beginning to rebound from the recession, but most of us are still feeling the pressure. Employees and executives are stressed; budgets are tight and businesses are hunkered down. Though every business goes through natural ups and downs, stagnancy is something no business can afford right now.
Studies have shown that companies that emphasize employee engagement and encourage creativity will attract high-performing job candidates and retain loyal employees, giving the company a competitive advantage. Try these six strategies and unlock employee creativity in your organization today: (more)
Project management refresher
Skills to help manage your projects more efficiently
It’s Monday morning and, unlike your fellow employees, you’ve got your feet up in a lounge chair on the deck of a cruise ship. The sun is shining; a gentle breeze is blowing through your hair, and an ice cold beverage sits in the cup holder next to you. Then, exactly one week later, you find yourself dragging your sunburned heels across the company parking lot toward the entrance in a pre-coffee daze, still dreaming you’re on that cruise ship…
With all the distractions that come from the summer vacations, it’s a good time to brush up on your project management skills so you don’t fall behind schedule. If you have a team working with you on projects, it wouldn’t hurt to give them a refresher as well. Here are some basic things to keep in mind when managing your next project... (more)
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Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Slightly more than one-quarter (26%) of senior executives report reductions in their company’s professional development programs in the past 12 months, according to a new survey.
Though many companies are cutting training out of the budget, another 28% of the 150 senior executives surveyed by Accountemps said their company has expanded their training initiatives.
When asked, “Compared to 12 months ago, how, if at all, have your company’s professional development programs changed?” Their responses were:
- Expanded significantly – 9%
- Expanded somewhat – 19%
- No change – 45%
- Been reduced somewhat – 17%
- Been reduced significantly – 9%
- Don’t know – 1%
"While employers may be tempted to eliminate or scale back training in challenging times, they should think twice before making these cuts," said Max Messmer, chairman of Accountemps. "Skimping on employee education can dull your firm's competitive edge and undermine your recruitment and retention efforts."
"Providing targeted training enables staff, particularly those who have taken on new or expanded roles, to become more versatile and increase their contributions to the firm. In addition, employees who feel their company is invested in their careers will be more motivated to perform at a high level and less likely to resign when an improving economy spurs new job opportunities," he added.
Has your company been able to hang onto employee training during the past 12 months? How have your professional development programs changed?
Monday, August 3, 2009
Officials last month discovered a fake safety training certificate, complete with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) logo, trainee’s name and trainer’s signature, at a violation-troubled construction site. (NY Daily News)
Joao Dias, the card’s owner told officials that he had never received any OSHA training in return for the card, had never even met the “trainer” who signed it, and that a site foreman gave him the card.
The city of New York is no stranger to problems related to OSHA training. A New York Daily News investigation published earlier this year exposed a widespread network of fraudulent construction safety programs.
The list of alleged offenses include trainers teaching 10-hour federal OSHA courses in two hours and students taking classroom breaks with a beer or two at the bar.
New York city has since pledged to crack down on the “dangerously negligent” attitude toward mandatory safety training, but the problem may be more widespread than officials thought as fraud-related violations resurface.
Cutting corners when it comes to safety training is always a risky road to travel. Read some of our related posts on the dangers of cutting safety out of the budget and how to save money on employee training:
Investing in leadership development during a downturn
Recession-proof employee training tips
Is our economy causing more workplace injuries?
Employee training and the 2009 budget battle