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Articles tagged "Training"

Double Your Training Take Aways

Double Your Training Take Aways

I, of course, love leadership training. However, I find it even more valuable when there’s an easy way to double your training take aways without additional cost.

At the conclusion of a leadership training project with a client recently, one of the senior managers said, “In order to keep this learning going, I’m going to pull my notes once a quarter just to see what else I should be working on.” I wasn’t quite sure what he meant by his comment. When I asked for a clarification, he provided a brilliant insight for me,

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Posted by Liz Weber CMC on August 19, 2014 in Leadership Development and tagged , ,


7 Training Tips from Laura Stack

7 Training Tips from Laura Stack


Laura Stack stopped by the blog today to share her “7 Tips for Training Small Business Employees without Blowing the Budget”.

America’s Premier Expert in Productivity™

7 Tips for Training Small Business Employees without Blowing the Budget

Employee training is an important aspect of business growth. However, with today’s major focus on cost cutting, training is often one of the first things to go when budgets are tight. However, because motivation or skill level can be impacted, which in turn affects engagement or productivity, the long-term costs of eliminating training can be much higher than the short-term cash gain.

Luckily, you can strike a balance between budget constraints and your organization’s training needs. Here are seven ways you can train your employees while staying within your budget:

  1. Use online learning platforms

    …such as udemy.com, coursera.org, and Lynda.com to provide free or low-cost training to employees through online resources and videos. Google the skills you need with “training” in the search term, and see what training opportunities you can find for low or no cost.

  2. Conduct an internal analysis of your workforce to find trainers within your organization.

    Look for people with good communication and interaction skills, who have ample experience with the desired training topic, and you just might have found an ideal trainer. Sign them up for classes or certifications to build their expertise on the topic before they start training.

  3. Arrange brown-bag lunches in your organization every week or every month to allow your employees to communicate with each other in a casual environment.

    Rotate departments, and have one group educate the others about what they do and how they contribute to the overall organization. You will be surprised at how little people in your company know about the nature of others’ work.

  4. Purchase a low-cost license from a skills trainer or author you like to pre-recorded webinars, MP3s, and eBooks.

    You can project their training videos on the screen in a conference room for much less than a live seminar with that person. If you find a particularly relevant book, you could host a book club and meet weekly to discuss each chapter and its applicability to your business.

  5. Cross-train employees by shadowing others in different departments.

    Not only will they learn about the different aspects of your business, they will have a better understand how all pieces of the organization are interconnected. This heightened awareness will allow them to see opportunities for better synergy and greater efficiency.

  6. Assign new and high-potential employees a mentor from within the company, who can train them from start to end.

    Once they are adept at one role, rotate or promote them to another department and change their mentor. This way, they will learn more and more about the company, and you’ll build your next generation of talent.

  7. Invest in skills training your employees might need in the future.

    Why would you invest money training people for something they don’t need and may never use? Because strong leaders look at the current skill sets of their team members and consider their future needs months or years down the road. They recognize when they don’t have the right people on board to meet upcoming strategic needs. But maybe they have the right people with the wrong skill sets, so they need to train them up now to be prepared when that time arrives.

By implementing these seven tactics, you’ll have a more knowledgeable, skilled workforce, and you won’t have to spend thousands of dollars doing it. Don’t miss out on your long-term growth opportunities because of short-sighted training cuts! Get creative and keep building your bench strength.

© 2014 Laura Stack. Laura Stack is America’s Premier Expert in Productivity™. For over 20 years, her talks and books have helped leaders, teams, and professionals improve output, execute efficiently, and save time at work. Her company, The Productivity Pro, Inc., provides workshops around the globe on productivity, potential, and performance. She’s the bestselling author of six books from major publishers, most recently, Execution IS the Strategy. To invite Laura to speak at your next event or subscribe to her weekly productivity bulletin, visit www.TheProductivityPro.com. Connect at www.linkedin.com/in/laurastack.

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Posted by Liz Weber CMC on June 3, 2014 in Guest Post and tagged , ,


Attract, Train, & Retain Employees

Attract, Train, & Retain Employees

With so many companies struggling to attract and retain staff who can perform well, why do so many companies do such a lousy job in training their new staff? Why do they think training is an expense and not an investment? Why do they skimp on something so critical? From my experience, the most common reason is that most companies still default to on-boarding and training new staff the way they were trained when they first started their careers: The new employees are trained on the job by the manager they were going to report to – and s/he wasn’t a trainer and didn’t have time for someone new who probably wasn’t going to stick around anyway. Given that environment, it’s not hard to understand why so many new employees just come to work, keep their heads down, try to do their best, ask as few questions as possible, and keep their eyes and ears open for a better job someplace else. So how can this sad reality be changed? How can you attract, train, and retain the quality employees you seek. It’s simple. Become smarter in how you train them.

Begin Before You Hire

First – Don’t wait until you’ve hired them to start the training process. Many organizations do this. They don’t start to train their new employees until after they hire them. That’s often too late! You need to start training your prospective employees before you interview them and especially before you hire them. Why? From their first contact with you, you should be communicating with them and training them on what kind of organization you are, what type of persons you seek as employees, what behaviors you expect of yourselves and all who work with you, and what you expect them to be able to do while they work with you. You do this so they have a clear understanding as to the type of organization they may become a part of and what skills they’ll be expected to demonstrate day in and day out. They can then decide if it’s the right type of organization and job for them – or not.

To do this, simply make them aware of who you are by simply posting your Values Statement on your website, on any application portals or forms you use, in your offices, lobbies, and anywhere a prospective candidate may come in contact with your organization. Also review these values with all candidates during your interviews with them. Tell them specifically, what behaviors you expect and what standards you hold yourselves and all who work with your organization to uphold. Share with them the specific skills the job currently requires and the skills you anticipate it will require 12-18 months from now. Make it clear the candidates know they will be expected to regularly learn new skills. Next, if you decide to offer jobs to the candidates, you now provide them copies of the Values along with their specific job descriptions. By sharing the Values during their application, interview, and now job offer stages, you’ve now communicated three different times to your prospective employees – before they’re on staff – what to expect of you and what you expect of them.

Also, share with the prospective employees how they will fit into the “big picture.” Again, most organizations anticipate employees will simply “get it.” Most don’t. Therefore, you need to share with your prospective employees the basics of your organization’s strategic plan so they know how and where they’ll fit in. Share with them a few “sanitized” goals the organization has, goals their department has, and specific individual goals they’d be expected to achieve. All employees are important. Their jobs are important, and they appreciate knowing how and where they’ll fit in. This step alone helps them understand how they’ll be part of a team – and a part of something bigger than themselves. You’ve also again clarified the organization’s expectations of them. However, be aware, that by clarifying your expectations during the application and interviewing processes, you will probably cause a few candidates to self-select themselves out. That’s fine. When that happens, it enables you to focus your time on talking with and meeting with the remaining candidates who may well thrive in your environment and the specific jobs – because they know what is expected.

Orientations are Essential

Second – Once on staff, provide new staff with a helpful on-boarding and new staff training process. Provide new staff with a basic orientation to the organization. Help them learn the basic logistics of the facilities, general flow and inter-relationships of people and departments, and who to see for support and guidance. This is often the second mistake in training organizations make. They forget the orientation process and just assume new employees will “pick things up”. They will. But what are they picking up and from whom? As managers, you need to create and provide smart employee orientations to your employees and not leave this critical step to chance.

Train Specifically

Finally – Provide them either basic or very specific job skills training to allow them to successfully perform the jobs they were hired to do. Sadly, this is the only aspect of training most organizations think of or provide when they train their new employees. If this is the only element of job training you provide, can you see how you’ve created an environment where your employees only see one small aspect of the big picture? Can you see why your employees don’t provide input for solving problems within the organization? Can you see why your employees don’t have a clue what goes on with your customers and in other departments? Can you see how you’ve created an environment employees don’t feel a part of and don’t want to stay in?

If you want to start attracting and retaining good long-term trusted employees, don’t skimp on when and how you train them. Start creating an environment they want to be a part of.

Start training them before they’re your employees. Start training them to start retaining them.



Copyright MMV – Liz Weber, CMC, CSP – Weber Business Services, LLC – www.WBSLLC.com +1.717.597.8890

Liz supports clients with strategic and succession planning, as well as leadership training and executive coaching. Learn more about Liz on LinkedIn!

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Posted by Liz Weber CMC on December 3, 2013 in Leadership Development and tagged , ,


Helping Ourselves by Developing Others

Helping Ourselves by Developing Others

This past month has been an amazing time. We have facilitated planning sessions and have provided management training programs to several clients on topics ranging from Strategic Planning to Enhancing Communications. Each group, without exception, voiced their concern over their organization’s current inadequate training for new staff to those in management positions. Each group, of their own accord, acknowledged inadequate knowledge sharing from “veteran” employees to less-experienced staff. Each group independently stated their most important management role now was to focus on developing their employees and thereby ensuring the future of their organizations. In order to help themselves, they need to develop others.

What I find interesting about this is that each group understands this need and believes in it completely. Each group has made this a primary goal for their respective organizations.

Developing others and providing consistent, focused training is not just a feel-good idea they’re putting on paper and then filing away.

Each client group has determined without a concerted effort to provide better training, career growth opportunities, and an environment employees want to be a part of, their ability to attract, hire, and retain good employees will become virtually impossible.

Recent studies have highlighted the deep dissatisfaction many long-term employees in lower to mid-level management positions have stems from being over-looked and underutilized. New global studies are also showing that workers, at all staff levels, are most satisfied with their jobs when they see opportunities for growth and career development.

If employees are most satisfied with their jobs when they see future career opportunities for themselves and have opportunities to learn, grow, and do more, what has held so many organizations back from focusing on and providing training and career development programs before?

A long-held belief has been that training and career development were the responsibilities of the Human Resources Department (HR) and not of every member of the management team. The Human Resources Department hasn’t been able to do this successfully alone. HR should orchestrate the effort, but every manager and supervisor needs to be a key player in the overall training design, planning, and employee development process.

With the dedicated support of all managers and supervisors, how could a focused employee training and development program fail? With all managers and supervisors intently focused on enhancing the skills and career opportunities of their employees, how could employees not feel supported? With an organization focused on developing its entire employee population, how could it not help itself?

If your organization needs help, consider developing your staff; they are your organization’s future.


Copyright MMVI – Liz Weber, CMC, CSP – Weber Business Services, LLC – www.WBSLLC.com +1.717.597.8890

Liz supports clients with strategic and succession planning, as well as leadership training and executive coaching. Learn more about Liz on LinkedIn!

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Posted by Liz Weber CMC on March 12, 2013 in Leadership Development and tagged , , , ,


Train Your Shrinking Labor Pool

Train Your Shrinking Labor Pool

According to the US Labor Department “by 2008 the growth of the U.S. Workforce is projected to drop to near zero and remain at that level for the next 25 years. This is the consequence of a vast exodus of 79 million U.S. baby boomers who will retire from the workforce between 2010 and 2015. Hiring new employees will become more problematic as wages increase for the fewer people with the right skills.”*

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Posted by Liz Weber CMC on December 6, 2011 in Leadership Development and tagged , , ,