I believe that hope, along with faith and love, are essential to life. Hope is what you do when you have no control. But a strategy is made up of actions and tactics that convert visions to results for those who can make things happen. The title of this book was chosen to accentuate the differences between positive attitudes and positive actions and the flaw of counting on on without the other.
Saturday, December 26, 2009
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Friday, December 18, 2009
Monday, December 14, 2009
Sunday, December 6, 2009
An interesting paradox is seen in two surveys reported by Madbury, N.H.-based NFI Research.
According to Chuck Martin, NFI CEO, fully 87% of 2000 senior executives and managers surveyed responded that the top characteristic they look for in new hires is "willingness to learn." (Only half of the respondents went on to say that most of their current executives, managers and employees were willing to learn, however. )
Interestingly, two thirds of respondents to a subsequent NFI survey complained that employees are not actively participating in learning opportunities that are provided to them. "Although the level of learning provided is high in many organizations, the number of individuals taking advantage of these opportunities is lacking," Martin notes.
So... executives desire a trained workforce. The training is available. But in many cases, employees are not getting that training. Where is the disconnect?
According to Rebecca Hefter, Senior Vice President for Training at Boston-based Novations Group Inc., time is an important barrier to getting training done. Corporate trainers are under increasing pressure to limit the time employees spend off the job. "The trend is toward reduced classroom hours, more training done on-the-job and greater reliance on e-learning."
E-learning, however, can be its own "tough sell" in many organizations. Pull people off the job for a classroom session, and there they are in the classroom – a captive audience. But make training available "anytime, anywhere" via online means? Many busy learners will avail themselves of the training "sometime, somewhere" – but probably not here and now, given their overloaded schedules.
Perhaps one of the most important solutions to this problem lies in internal marketing of crucial training programs. The research that goes into an internal marketing plan is the topic for a whole other article, but at the core of the effort is the communication that is critical to getting the word out.
GET THE WORD OUT!
At GCPLearning, we have years of experience with clients who purchase our content and then need help to get their e-learning program going. We've created a 33-page workbook we call Maximize your E-Learning Investment with Change Management that spells out in detail the 10 well-documented critical steps you can implement quickly to maximize effectiveness and eliminate the costly mistakes so many organizations make in launching e-learning. We sell this workbook for $299, but I'm making it available to you, faithful readers, through the end of the year - click HERE to download it for free.
One of the key topics in the workbook is planning for communication to get your e-learning program off the ground. Here, briefly, are some of the key techniques for effective communication to get that training done, not sometime, somewhere, but here and now:
E-mail announcing the e-learning initiative – A clear and concise message showing management’s support and expectations for e-learners
Brochures, posters, payroll inserts, and articles in the company newsletter – Don’t rely exclusively on electronic communication to communicate your training themes and priorities. Also, market both the subject matter and the change in medium to e-learning.
Scrolling message on your learning center homepage – This brief message should be updated periodically.
Publicize new and revised courses – Let people know whenever your library is updated.
Develop a training calendar - Consider developing a training calendar, for example, “January is Safe Driving Month.” This is one of the best ways to maintain the momentum once your e-learning initiative has gotten off the ground.
Buddy system – Peer support is a leading factor in the success of e-learning programs. Buddies can be assigned or self-selected. The buddy system gives e-learners someone to turn to if they encounter uncertainty while becoming accustomed to e-learning. Buddies also encourage and remind each other to complete their training on schedule.
Attend departmental meetings – Speaking at departmental meetings provides an opportunity to obtain valuable feedback, clear up any misconceptions, and recruit new e-learners.
Form a training advisory committee – By assembling an advisory committee, you’ll establish credibility, show that you value the input of all stakeholder groups, and gain perspective on future needs and trends.
Contests – When multiple groups or facilities are involved in your e-learning program, a little friendly competition might spice things up. For example, a competition could focus on course completion rates.
Find new, appealing ways to reward those who complete training on time – By rewarding users for the completion of training, you are reinforcing the value of training and providing motivation to continue.
Keep communication 2-way – Publicize the excitement and accomplishments of your e-learning (e.g., higher-than-expected enrollments, outstanding course evaluations, and student and management testimonials). But also be sure to provide opportunities for your learners to discuss both the pluses and minuses of the program. By having a voice, your employees will feel a vested ownership in the training program and will be more likely to participate actively and even enthusiastically.
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
This is an exciting development at GCP. We've had a free training program for the past several years, which we hosted at acrosspublishing.com. It has been a big hit - we've provided training at no cost to way more than 10,000 registered users in over 100 countries around the world. At first our thinking was that people in other countries (who would never be our clients) ought to have access to safety (and other) training, and it costs us very little to put some important courses up on our website and let those folks at it.
What we discovered was that this was an even better idea than we'd imagined. Word spread, links sprouted, and you saw the numbers above. Without doing any marketing of this site whatsoever, it's become known globally as a place to go for free training that isn't just a demo or throwaway stuff - it's actually courses that will send you home from your job with all ten fingers and both eyes intact, or will send you to a performance review armed for getting a promotion.
And not just overseas, as we'd imagined. We get people from US companies registering and taking our free training as well. We recently discovered that a large construction company in the South has a direct link to our free training from their training portal. (You know who you are... and we maintain hope that you'll become a client and get access to more of our courses as well as all the perks of owning your training content, tracking your employees' training, etc.! ;o) Meanwhile, as I said above, the important thing is that people who need this training - who might not have another source for it - are getting it.
One of the cool things about the old site was that we got letters from grateful trainees worldwide. What we should have recognized from the start was that we ought to have been giving these people access to each other rather than just corresponding with us - we had the seeds for a worldwide training and environmental health and safety community, and we weren't doing anything with it.
Thus: www.GlobalTrainingPeople.com. We've redesigned the site, gave it a new name that actually has something to do with what the site is, and built in several networking and community tools. There's a Story Wall where people can post feedback on the courses, a Photo Wall where people can personalize the site a bit, and a discussion forum where we have finally planted the seeds of that professional community we should have been building for the past couple years.
We're very interested to see what happens with one other aspect we built into the site. All our training (except for a 30-title library of safety training in Spanish) is in English. What if we gave people an opportunity to localize the training so that it would be more useful in Uganda, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, and all the corners of India where our learners come from? What if we set up a way for entrepreneurs around the world to start a business spreading this training around so more people work more safely and productively? We are already getting some interesting emails from folks exploring the possibilities of partnering with us to expand this thing out into the world in a big way. I can't begin to tell you how exciting this is for us!
Please drop by! Take some training, post a photo, give some feedback, join the community, and spread the word!