Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Why Not E-learning?

I don't call myself a salesman, but running GCPLearning, I am an entrepreneur - so I'm selling all the time. Evangelizing, really, in the direction of sales.

And of course, when I'm in a conversation that I hope leads to a purchase of our training content, I hear and respond to objections on a regular basis. I find out why companies aren't already doing e-learning, and sometimes, why they aren't considering doing e-learning.

Our top competitor is good old status quo. "We're doing what we're doing - we've always done what we're doing and we probably always will."

Our second-place competitor is fear of loss of control or esteem. "When my boss sees how efficient online training is, we trainers won't be wanted or needed anymore." Of course this one is rarely articulated with such brutally frank clarity.

Third place goes to budget concerns. "We'd love to do that. But we don't have enough left in the budget to take it on." (Alternative: "We don't have a budget.")

The next objection to e-learning is lack of technology infrastructure. "The folks on the line/in the field don't have computers."

What reasons do you hear for NOT adopting e-learning? How do you respond to those objections? Feel free to post in the comments below, or join the conversation on the GCPLearning Facebook page.

None of these objections are insurmountable, and if you're trying to get your company started with e-learning, GCPLearning can help. I'd suggest that you download our free workbook, Assess, Plan and Promote Your E-learning Business Case, to assist you in realizing the improvements in your training program that e-learning facilitates.

And stay tuned - I'll write soon about more reasons people use to argue against e-learning, and explain some compelling and effective counter-arguments.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Training, Hiring, Spending Survey

There's a link at the bottom of this post, but let's just start off with our request: please take our very short survey. And now back to our regularly scheduled broadcast!

The economic downturn of the past couple years has had a significant impact on most businesses, and it has been a particularly rough patch for training departments. The old adage, “When there are cuts to be made, training gets hit first” seems to have been proven true. At GCP, we’ve heard from many clients that their budgets were slashed, and we’ve heard from plenty of prospective clients that training purchases were out of the question.

But the news seems to get better in 2011! Business, media, and government analysts report a turnaround in hiring, as seen in these news items:

"The share of executives who said they plan to hire new workers in 2011 rose to 47 percent, compared with 28 percent who forecast they would add jobs this year..."

"Companies added more workers in February than in any month in almost a year - a turning point for the economy that finally pushed the unemployment rate below 9 percent. Economists say the stronger hiring should endure all year."

"Private employers added 222,000 jobs last month, the most since April. That shows that companies are feeling more confident in the economy and about their own financial prospects. And it bolstered hopes that businesses will shift into a more aggressive hiring mode and boost the economic recovery."

"The labor market is improving slowly. On average, employers are expected to add 178,300 jobs per month this year. The economists predict that 210,000 jobs will be added to payrolls in each of the last three months of 2011."

"Small businesses have ramped up their hiring in recent months, fueled by a recovering economy and more optimistic business owners. That's a far cry from little more than a year ago, when the sector was losing thousands upon thousands of jobs each month."

Training industry reports we’ve seen indicate that this is going to be a big year in training, as well. Companies that have delayed needed training have loosening budgets that should allow them to catch up in 2011.

True for you, too? What’s going on in hiring and training in YOUR business life? Hoping that information would be helpful to you in your training decisions, we're researching for an article to be published in our next newsletter.

Please take this very short survey to help us out with some real-life data. This questionnaire should take less than 10 minutes to complete.

We'd also love to have you join our ongoing conversation on the GCPLearning Facebook page.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Dish Dawg Diaries - What I Learned Elbow-Deep in Scalding Suds

The best job I ever had was washing dishes. It's true. When I was between high school and college, I was a dish dawg and busboy at Kilgore Trout's, an upscale restaurant in Evergreen, Colorado. I was on my feet for hours, my hands were raw and wrinkled from hot water and detergent, and my mom made me leave my wet, stinky work clothes in the garage before I could come in the house after my shifts.

But it was the best job because I *ALWAYS KNEW* I was well-treated, respected, and loved by my coworkers and employers. I appreciated this more with each job I had in college and then on to the steps along the way in my career. I've applied the management principles I learned by example there when I went on to supervise people, and I have even taught my own bosses a thing or two. Or - I have quickly left the few jobs where it was clear that the company was broken in its soul.

Maybe it's because I got these lessons at such a young age, but it all seems like it ought to be common knowledge to any company, common sense even, and I've always been flabbergasted to find that things I expected at work post-Kilgores weren't even on other people's radar. The key things I learned while up to my elbows in suds:

1) Every employee has ideas that could help the business. Employees
are more than just the labor they provide.
1a) The business has to provide a mechanism to bring those ideas out.
1b) The employers have to make sure their employees know how
valuable they and their ideas are. Show them; don't just tell them.

2) Every employee can, should, MUST be held accountable for doing
their job.
2a) The business has to provide the tools to help employees hold themselves accountable.
2b) The employers have to be held just as accountable, and their performance has to be transparent to their employees.

3) Do everything with love. Love of life, love of self, love of your
customers and co-workers.

4) Train early, train often; make learning a real part of every job

Do those four obvious things, and even peeling spuds, washing pots, and peeling grease off the hood vents with the Hotsy will be fun and rewarding.

Not bad for a nutshell business philosophy, eh?

How do you keep yourself and those you supervise accountable? How do you learn from the people you work with? How do you make learning part of every job? Join the conversation at the GCPLearning Facebook community!

Thanks to Frederick Md Publicity for the Creative Commons licensed photo!