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Archive for September, 2012

Training Mojo: 10 Steps to Create Your Training Dojo

By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On September 27, 2012 No Comments

Summary: Are you challenged with creating a new training department? Here are ten steps to help you create a Training Dojo, a place where employees go to learn about their jobs, progress to higher career levels, and discover how to become better managers and leaders.

A dojo is a martial arts training center – the place where learners come to absorb technique and wisdom. You can create a Training Dojo in your organization, a place where employees come to learn about their jobs, progress to higher career levels, and discover how to become better managers and leaders. Follow these 10 steps to create your Training Dojo.

One: Create a culture of development. Many organizations lack a culture that will allow training and development to grow. You must show the organization the benefits of training, from functional knowledge to career development. Explain that a training organization can lead to increased efficiency, lower turnover, higher retention, and a culture that allows learning to happen everywhere – not just in a classroom.


Training Alchemy: A Path of Excellence for Corporate Teams

By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On September 20, 2012 No Comments

A well-developed and well-rounded training program will create a “path of excellence” that impacts the bottom line as well as individual careers. If you are mindful of leadership and function in your training programs, you can see your path of excellence develop in five ways.

First, your functional or job-based training will create expert functionality. From the new hire level into the advanced levels, a skills based program helps employees progress career-wise, and helps the organization build a functional talent pool. To make this happen, your training has to go beyond the new hire level and address each career level in a particular job family. With this type of program, you’ve always got talent filtering through the pipeline.

Second, the leadership side of your training program imparts the skill and knowledge necessary to build functional leaders into organizational leaders. As your employees progress up the skills based training curriculum, be sure they have leadership, coaching, and management courses to go with it. The combination of job function and leadership produces supervisors and managers who can think beyond the function – a person who can analyze issues and create solutions. With this type of leader in your functional areas, senior managers can spend more time focusing on their issues instead of focusing on the front line. (more…)

Training Mojo: How to Align Training Metrics with Company Metrics

By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On September 13, 2012 No Comments

Summary: Training metrics are vital to your department’s operations, but if they aren’t aligned with the company, you’re creating confusion and an inability to measure. Follow five steps to help you align your department’s metrics with the company’s metrics.

Measuring your training department’s performance and efficiency is very important. But, if your metrics do not align with the company’s overall metrics, how can you measure your department’s actual contribution? Once you align your department metrics with the company, you’ll not only be able to impact the business, but you’ll also be able to better calculate your department’s Return on Investment. Here are a few simple steps to help you align your metrics with the company.

First you have to know what the company metrics are. It’s simple, but it’s surprising how many training managers really don’t have a connection to the big picture at the company. You can start by analyzing the company’s mission, values, and strategy – is growth in the plan? Are new products being introduced? Is customer loyalty the number one metric? Along these lines, be aware of how employees are measured throughout the company – are your frontline employees reviewed on length of time spent with a customer, production, efficiency, or error reduction? You must take the time to determine the company’s metrics – from the mission level down to the employee level.


Training Mojo: How to Measure Your Training Department

By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On September 6, 2012 No Comments

Summary: It’s time to start measuring your training department. Start with these five items and you’ll get a good picture of what’s going on.

Measuring training can be difficult, especially when you consider all of the “angles”. You can measure for money, ROI, immediate success, or delayed success (or failure). When it comes to measuring your Training Department, there are five important ways to obtain a good picture of what’s going on and make corrections if necessary.

First, you should measure immediate reaction to training. This measurement method is often referred to as a “smile sheet” – a quick measurement that may take into account the fact that the class is still smiling. After all, they haven’t been back to the job to really apply what they’ve learned, have they? The argument against immediate reaction is just that: you get an immediate reaction only. But think about what you really are measuring: do the participants feel good when they leave, or were they uncomfortable with the instructor, the material, or the training experience in general? Do they feel their time was worthwhile upon first glance? Do they feel that the material is appropriate on first glance? These are all helpful ways to determine how well your instructors and training developers are doing. A first impression is usually fairly accurate, so use immediate reaction surveys after each course, for both in class and online interventions. But don’t use this method by itself. (more…)



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