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Posts Tagged ‘training’

How soon would you be confident assigning a new employee to work with your most valued customer? When do you know a new employee is likely to stay and be a productive member of your team? When do you know a new employee can be trusted to work without constant supervision? New employees are still a gamble. Even with the best hiring process, there’s no guarantee of success. There are plenty of downsides to employees who are slow to fit in or who never really fit in.  Therefore, the goal of any successful onboarding process or program should be to get new employees up-to-speed and working with their team as fast as possible.

This webinar shows you how to apply the proven methods and techniques of the Learning Path process to speed up the onboarding process.  This webinar focuses on the following three keys to success:

  1. Helping Employees Fit in their New Work Team
  2. Ensuring that New Employees Are Fully Capable of Doing the Job at a High Level
  3. Boosting the Morale and Confidence of New Employees While They Are Learning

Date:  October 27th

Time: 12:00 to 12:45 Central

To Register Click Here

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If getting employees up-to-speed faster is a big deal for your organization, I suggest you consider bringing Learning Paths into your organization.  This is a methodology that is easily applied to any job including managers and leaders. There are several different ways to begin working on Learning Paths:

1. Learning Path Consultant

We can lead one or more Learning Path projects and assist with the development of activity descriptions and any additional training required.   Typically a Learning Path project for a single function can be complete in 60 to 90 days.  The Learning Path consultant will work with an internal Learning Path team in order to gather the required expertise and build support and consensus.

2. Certification

We are know offering Learning Path Certification in a 2-day workshop.  These are done both internally and as public workshops.  The workshops prepare participants to lead a Learning Path project in their organizations.  Additional follow-up and coaching is offered to help ensure successful Learning Path projects.

For those who need more information to make a decision on how to bring Learning Paths to their organization, we are always available to do a 1 hour Learning Paths webinar that presents the basic concepts and the path forward.  There are also a number of whitepapers on the Learning Paths website.  Here is the contact information you will need.  Steve Rosenbaum, 952-368-9329 or steve.learningpathsinternational.com.  Our website is www.learningpathsinternational.com

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We are launching a new certification program in Canada in November.  It’s going to be great.  We’re doing both Hamilton and Toronto.  You can go to our website at Learning Paths International or call Arupa Tesolin at 905- 271-7272.

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I’m continuing to research webinars.  It seems that around 10 people or less people have found ways to do almost every type of activity that you can do in a classroom.  This is particularly true if this is an internal session where you know everyone.  If you do this sessions a lot with the same people, they get to know the functionality of the technology and how you like to run certain types of sessions.

So the bigger challenge is running larger open sessions.  In reality if you have a 50 person classroom session, you still have a lot of people multi-tasking or not paying attention to everything you’re doing.  That’s why you have to repeat directions several times to get everyone to do an activity.  However, I think with a little creativity you can do a wide range of activities and add some entertainment value.

For example, video has become something that’s very easy to add.  Services like Vyew.com and others allow you to upload Youtube videos.  This gives you access to all the Youtube videos include you videos that you upload to Youtube.  Small one and two minute videos provide a break from staring at PowerPoints and make great conversation starters.

Another idea to get a little more discussion going, is to create a four or five person panel to discuss a question or topic.  They can also be armed with the typical questions you expect to be asked.

I’m going back to my list of icebreakers to see how you would do some of them in a large web setting.  I’ll post some of the up.

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The worst type of classroom training are long PowerPoint presentations with limited interaction.  Transforming this type of training into a webinar because it easy and cheap, doesn’t make it good training.  Adding a few discussion questions or a quick poll might make it more interesting, but does it really make it more effective.  Most of what’s written about webinars relates to choosing technology and various features of different providers.  However, there is very little written on how to turn webinars into great training.  Therefore, I’m going to start a series of posts about instructional design concepts for webinars.

I think the first place to start is to consider what type of training is well suited for webinars and what isn’t.  Audience size and make up can make a big difference.  Hosting a webinar with five or six coworkers can be highly interactive with lively discussions.  A two hundred person public session is very different.  Only a few people will actually ask a question and it’s difficult to let more than a few people talk.  Designing these sessions to be more than a one-way data dump or sales pitch is difficult and requires a lot of creativity.  In general, here’s a quick list of what I think webinars can do well and what they’re not so good at.

Best Uses of Webinars

  1. Kickoff Sessions (Big Picture Overviews of What’s Going to Happen)
  2. PreWork (Substitute for reading assignments or self-study before coming to a class)
  3. Just-in-Time Information and Communication (When there isn’t time for anything else)
  4. Lunch and Learns (Quick overviews of topics in series)
  5. Introductions (Replaces things like department visits)

Worst Uses of Webinars

  1. Skill Building (Anything that requires a lot of practice and feedback)
  2. Action Learning (Anything that requires a lot of people working in teams to discover new ideas and techniques)
  3. Coaching Sessions (Most good coaching is one on one)
  4. Longer Activities (Some activities require an hour or more to complete, a lot of dead time on the phone)
  5. Role Plays and Simulations (Tough with more than a few people)

These aren’t hard and fast rules but general guidelines.  Often logistics and budgets restrictions will lead to more webinars and doing something is often better than doing nothing.  I think webinars can be particularly effective when they are part of a blended learning solution.

In my next post, I’m going to try to dig into the actual design of a webinar and share some best practice ideas.

Photo by DimDim Web Conferencing

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I’ve noticed that there are two different backgrounds for trainers and training managers.  First, there are those who are good at a particular job and they get promoted into training.  This is very common for sales forces, call centers and manufacturing.  Their knowledge of the job and often on-the-job training is high and their knowledge of anything formal about training tends to be low.  The second are those with a training background but have limited work experience.  The know education models and theories but often not how business works or other business models.  Hopefully over time, they begin to close these gaps.

The role of mentoring for these trainers and training managers often involves closing some of these gaps quickly while reducing a lot of mistakes and certainly conflict.  Often one of the most challenging things for new trainers and training managers is leading groups and teams of more senior level people without getting run over.  This is a particularly good place for a mentor.  Here are some of my ideas on some of the best things mentors can do:

  • Connect trainers with the appropriate associations and networking organizations
  • Show trainers how to find training resources
  • Provide tools and templates
  • Allow trainers to job shadow especially with higher level meetings
  • Review work and provide feedback especially at the design level
  • Involve trainers in other business initiatives such as quality improvement
  • Work with trainers on building business cases and the finance side of the business
  • Sit in on classes and provide feedback

There are many more this is just a start.  Helping training managers establish their role and learning leaders is an additional challenge you might want to help them with.

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A lot of sales training is built around a sales process.  Here’s a quick test to see how effective your sales process is.  Ask the salespeople in your organization to list the steps in their sales process.  If they can’t fluently answer this question, it’s likely they aren’t following the process.  This is an indication that work needs to be done.

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