You Quick Guide to Workplace Bullying

 

Training on preventing bullying in the workplace is crucial in creating a workplace that is inclusive and safe for all.

Your company has a responsibility to prevent bullying and its impact.

But what is bullying in the workplace and its different types? Why do people bully in the workplace? And what do you do if you or someone in your workplace is being bullied?

We answer these questions and more in the below Quick Guide to Workplace Bullying.

WHAT IS WORKPLACE BULLYING?

Workplace bullying is repetitive and excessively unpleasant actions and behaviors put on an employee or group of employees, that negatively impact health and safety in the workplace.

This type of harmful behavior in the workplace often goes unreported, mainly because of its shameful, intimidating effect on the victimized employee.

In even more extreme cases, workplace bullying may not come to light due to the victim working a lower-level position, and feeling intimidated. However, it’s not always a boss or manager who is doing the bullying, and it can very well be a co-worker on the same level as the person feeling victimized.

TYPES OF WORKPLACE BULLYING/BULLIES

There are several different types of bullying. Having an understanding of the different types of bullying can help you know when to identify it. These include:

Verbal bullying: With verbal bullying, the bully uses their words and/or writing to be hurtful or mean. This can be done via teasing, calling someone names, unsolicited sexual comments, making threats to harm, or mocking.

The aggressor seeks to achieve dominance over the victim by demeaning or lowering his/her self-esteem.

Cyberbullying: With cyberbullying, the bully uses sources such as cell phones, computers, and social media to spread false or unkind information about someone else, which can cause humiliation. Emailing and texting are two common forms used to perpetuate this behavior.

Types of Bullies: As previously mentioned, workplace bullying can come in many forms. One of these is the prankster, someone who doesn’t know the difference between what’s mean and what’s funny. Another one would be the saboteur. This is a person who tries to take credit for work that you did or go out of their way to make your job harder than it has to be.

There are also critics. These are the folks who, no matter how good a job you do, it’s never good enough for them. Some workplace bullies simply shut you out. For example, they won’t tell you when there’s a meeting among employees (where important information may be dispersed), then blame you for not knowing the proper procedure or course of action when the time comes to use that information or training on the job.

There is the boss bully, the person who controls whether or not you keep your job. This type of bully feels that you are required to agree with them about everything they do or say (job-related or otherwise), whether they are morally right or wrong. Boss bullies also may attempt to treat you like a puppet and try to force you to do tasks that are abnormal or seemingly only for their amusement.

Whether verbal or cyber, any form of bullying is detrimental to the one being bullied.

WHY PEOPLE BULLY IN THE WORKPLACE

Bullies hardly ever bully because they think they’re bigger and Badder than anyone else. In fact, quite the opposite is true, and they actually have issues with their own confidence. Below are some common reasons as to why people may bully in the workplace.

Lack of Self-Esteem: One of the main reasons that a person bullies is because they are not confident in their own abilities. The way they choose to respond to this incompetence is by being extra aggressive or belittling to others. They are very sensitive to even the smallest comments. Actions or words directed toward them that are even slightly critical of their work performance will very likely be found offensive. This is one reason some workplace bullies act out the way they do, they feel threatened by their coworkers who outperform them.

It may be a boss who is doing the bullying; they may feel threatened by a worker who is doing an excellent job; someone who could potentially replace them.

A Need to Control: Bullies can be controlling. One way they measure their productivity is by pushing others around, and by talking down to them. This person may not necessarily be someone who does the hiring and firing; they may be same-level coworkers trying hard to impress the boss. This type of bully wants the boss to see that they are in charge of workplace activities and that they are in control of their fellow employees. In a bully’s mind, this is the type of behavior they think will eventually get them promoted.

Being Bullied: Instinctively, a person will know when they are being bullied simply because of the way they feel. A workplace bully may try to make their victims feel isolated. For example, an entire office knows about a new rule, but one person isn’t informed. When that person breaks that rule (one that they didn’t even know about in the first place), they get punished for it.

A workplace bully may also try to make their victim do impossible tasks; or give them so much work to do that they could not possibly meet a deadline. When the deadline is not met, the bully may shout at the worker in front of other people, making them feel horrible and embarrassed. A bullying victim may let Human Resources know about this situation, but HR may suggest trying to work the problem out with the person. This approach will not likely be helpful, especially if the bully is in a higher position than the victim. The victimized worker feels they may lose their job if what they say to the bully is perceived as insubordinate.

A Toxic Work EnvironmentA toxic work environment can feed into a cycle of workplace bullying. This can stem from anything from unhealthy power dynamics to gossip to poor communication. If employees feel burnt out or unhappy in the workplace due to toxicity in the workplace, it can cause further decreases in self-esteem or a need to regain control, which can lead to bullying in the workplace.

WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE BEING BULLIED IN THE WORKPLACE

Would you know if you were being bullied at work by a co-worker? And if you were, what would you do about it? Below are our tips for what to do when you feel that you are being bullied in the workplace.

Seek Support: After being bullied at work, you may feel hesitant to seek support due to embarrassment or shame. It’s important to remember that personal health (physical and mental) should be prioritized when dealing with these types of situations, especially if they had been going on for a long period of time. It’s okay to see medical professionals, mental health specialists, or to seek therapy. It is important to not isolate yourself.

Speak Up: Speaking up to a bully is likely the hardest thing for a victimized employee to do. Confronting your bully alone is a good method to get straight to the point. In this conversation, the victim should be completely honest with the bully about how the situation affects them. If this private conversation doesn’t work, and the bully doesn’t back off, then the next step would be to talk to upper management.

Document/Report: Documenting incidences of workplace bullying can help you better identify it. Being able to provide evidence of consistent bullying will help you build a case when you report it. If you don’t know who to report workplace bullying too, you should ask your human resources department, supervisor, or even just a trusted colleague.

WHAT TO DO IF YOU WITNESS SOMEONE BEING BULLIED AT WORK

The actions you take when you witness someone being bullied are just as important as the ones you take when you are getting bullied in the workplace. Below are some things to consider when you see someone in your workplace get bullied:

Support Victim: If you find yourself sitting on the sidelines overhearing or even bearing witness to someone being bullied on the job, the best thing that you can do initially is pull that victim to the side and ask them if they realize that they are being bullied. It’s important to establish this knowledge because sometimes they may not even realize that the way someone is continuously aggravating them, isolating them, gossiping about them, or treating them badly in other ways is actually labeled as workplace bullying and that actions should be taken to stop it.

Document/Report: When you witness the bullying, pull the victimized person to the side and encourage them to document these incidents. They may be hesitant to do so, but let them know that without proof there will be no record or building of a case against the bully. Offer to help them as a witness or to support them when they report the case to a supervisor.

CONCLUSION

Workplace bullying happens a lot more than people actually realize. It doesn’t just affect the person being bullied, but can make the entire workplace toxic. A strong first step to reducing this behavior in the workplace is providing effective training. Get a head start on this with our Workplace Bullying Workshop today!

The Corporate Trainer’s Guide to Staying Organized

 

As a corporate trainer, you have many wheels turning at once. From identifying training needs, organizing logistics, preparing, delivering, collecting feedback, and more, there are many different things that need to happen to pull off good training.

Corporate trainers require many different soft skills such as emotional intelligence and the ability to set and meet objectives. However, one of the most important skills a corporate trainer must have is excellent organization skills. Staying organized between implementing all the components of your training before, during, and after a session will be a major factor in its success.

Are you looking to improve your organizational skills when it comes to your corporate training? With our tips, you can boost your credibility with well-prepared and executed training workshops.

FOCUS ON OBJECTIVES

When taking on big projects like putting on training workshops, it can be easy to get caught up in the logistics of it all and lose sight of your objectives. This can cause you to not prioritize properly and fall into finding yourself unorganized.

Some questions to consider when setting your training objectives:

  • What are the most important things your trainees should know by the end of the session?
  • Why is what your teaching important?
  • How can you check your trainee’s understanding of the topics being covered?

Once you set your objectives for your training, be sure to bring yourself back to them when organizing tasks and working towards the development and implementation of your training program. By having a strong understanding of what you are working towards, you can better manage each step to get there. Knowing your “why” will help you prioritize your time more effectively.

LISTS

There’s no debating that our brain loves to-do lists. And while they aren’t the end-all-be-all for being organized, they certainly help. According to psychologist and author, Dr. David Cohen in an article from The Guardian, to-do lists have the power to reduce anxiety, provide structure/a plan to stick to, and prove what we have achieved that day, week, or month.

The article also discusses a research study by Wake Forest University that shows that simply noting a planned activity before doing it improves performance compared to those who didn’t. However, the article states that notes should be clear and detailed. They should also be realistic and reflect the amount of time you have. Understanding how long it takes to complete tasks with some wiggle room will allow you to make more useful to-do lists you can actually have the satisfaction of completing in the future.

What do I mean when I say include detail? Well, if you are tackling a major undertaking for your training, such as preparing your content, simply writing “prepare training content” isn’t going to get you much further from where you started. Instead, break down your content preparation into smaller tasks. For example, instead of “prepare training content” for your task that day, write down what specific aspects of that you’d like to achieve such as “Review training slides” or “Incorporate industry-relevant examples into instructor guide.”

These specific, actionable tasks will help you better break down your objectives and get things done.

Some general things to break down in your corporate training to-do lists:

  • Content
  • Advertising/recruiting trainees
  • Book venue (if in-person training)
  • AV Equipment preparation
  • Consider electronic platform if training online
  • Feedback collection plans

Each of these categories should be broken down to into lists that have more specific tasks to tackle these broader aspects of corporate training.

USE A CALENDAR SYSTEM THAT WORKS FOR YOU

Anyone can tell you to get a calendar or planner to stay more organized. It’s sound advice. But as we have all quickly learned at some point in our personal or professional lives if you are trying to stay organized with a system that doesn’t work, you will eventually abandon it and not benefit from it.

For example, if you tend to prefer using technology and don’t like to write notes by hand, you may not feel compelled to glance at a physical planner or calendar. You also may not feel motivated to write in it in the first place. But if you are already using technology regularly, consider a google sheets document to organize tasks, or use the calendar on your phone.

And the opposite is also true. If you are more drawn to looking at physical copies and writing notes helps you remember things, then a physical calendar planner may be for you.

The way you organize your tasks doesn’t matter except for one condition – it works for you and keeps you consistently aware of your tasks and commitments for each day. It may take time to find a system that works for you, but with some experimentation, you will find it in no time, and be better for it.

PREPARE CONTENT

At a minimum, the below pieces of content should be prepared for your training workshops:

Instructor Guide – This is your handbook to all the content/topics you will be covering in detail. It should also include any pre and post-test/module quiz questions and answers.

Quick Reference Sheets – Quick Reference Sheets are great to highlight important points in your workshops that you want your trainees to take with them.

Slides – PowerPoint slides will walk your participants through your training content in a visual, structured format. They should provide the perfect balance of space and content to keep your trainees engaged.

What do all these things have in common? They, along with other pieces of content, are all included in each of our course kits. Our training materials allow you to spend less time creating content from scratch, and more time getting organized for your training workshop. With our baseline of over 140 courses, simply review and revise the materials to your liking and practice your delivery. This allows you to go from spending hundreds of hours developing and preparing training content to as low as just a few hours.

TEST ELECTRONIC EQUIPMENT

Now more than ever, virtual instructor-led training or VILT is the most common way to provide training. Providing online training presents unique challenges that must be considered in order to stay organized. Like an in-person training session, there is a significant amount of prep work that must be put into ensuring logistical issues won’t get in the way of your participants’ learning. To ensure this doesn’t come up, be sure to test your computer, microphone, speaker, and system you are using (Zoom, Microsoft Teams, etc.) before your training workshop. Consider asking a colleague to log into your workshop as if they were a trainee and see if they have any difficulty prior to your workshop. This ensures that logging in and getting settled into the workshop will be smooth. Ask them if they can hear you properly and if you can hear them if you plan on getting your trainees to participate.

Small prep tasks such as these will make a major difference in the flow of your training, and boost your reputation as an organized trainer.

CONCLUSION

We hope this blog post will help you improve your organizational skills for credible and effective training workshops.

Posted by Katelyn Roy

Determine Your Training Needs – A Complete Guide

Determine Your Training Needs – A Complete Guide

Have you ever felt like you could see the potential of providing corporate training, but didn’t quite know where to start?

One of the first steps of providing corporate training is deciding what training topic you want to cover.

This is a mindful process that requires time and attention to get right.

Below is our detailed guide to conducting a needs analysis to determine what kind of training workshop you should conduct

PERFORMING A NEEDS ANALYSIS

In order to help you identify your training needs, the first thing to look at is how to perform a needs analysis. This will provide you with the answers to a few basic questions and help you to understand your audience. This research will help you develop a basic outline that can then be used to help create your training program.

A needs analysis is performed when there is a lack of knowledge, skills, or attitude that is negatively affecting a group of employees, customers, etc. It is the process of identifying and evaluating training that should be done to improve a current situation. Challenges are defined and opportunities noted; a needs analysis will help the trainer set goals and priorities and decide which method to use to deliver the message. The information gathered will become the basis of a well-delivered workshop.

The results of the research will help to answer the following questions:

  • Who is the audience with the problem or need for change?
  • What tasks and subtasks does an expert perform to a work process?
  • What gaps exist between experts, average, and poor performers of a work process?
  • How do we translate the needs into objectives to promote a positive learning outcome?

1. WHO IS THE AUDIENCE WITH THE PROBLEM OR NEED FOR CHANGE?

The first step in conducting a needs analysis is asking yourself what you know about your audience. Your audience should determine the content and approach of your training. Find out what they know; use their words and terms and better your understanding of where your trainees are at.

Understanding your audience also helps you determine what training format may be best. A group of youth interested in entrepreneurship won’t experience the same presentation as a group of senior entrepreneurs.

Ask yourself:

  • What is the aim of my training?
  • What do I want the audience to do after my presentation?
  • What will your audience learn?
  • What happens afterwards?
  • What outcomes should be expected?
  • What changes in the workplace should occur?
  • Who will implement these changes?

These are all questions you should ask yourself when better understanding your audience. Continually referring to these questions as you build your needs analysis (and training workshop in general) will help you stay on track and focused.

2. WHAT TASKS AND SUBTASKS DOES AN EXPERT PERFORM TO A WORK PROCESS?

In order to be able to provide contextual training, you must understand the roles of your trainees. Learning the objectives of your trainees and their process for meeting them gives you the ability to list their tasks and subtasks.

For example: Consider this in the context of a call center. Although the call center reps are empowered to assist customers, several are not solving callers’ product problems. Instead, they are passing them on to the Escalation Desk, creating a bottleneck, and unhappy customers. The needs analysis identified a task called “Resolve customer complaints”. Some of its tasks/subtasks are:

  • Handling a Call
  • Answer call
  • Listen to customer’s problem
  • Express empathy for the trouble
  • Open a new support ticket
  • Resolve the complaint per the list of allowable resolutions
  • Documenting Call Resolution
  • Document the resolution in the call notes
  • Close support ticket

While some of this information may be common knowledge to you, don’t assume someone else’s tasks/subtasks. Make sure you communicate with employees and let them tell you their tasks/subtasks. Getting this info directly from the source ensures you aren’t misinterpreting certain aspects of their roles and that you didn’t forget any crucial tasks that could help you better identify their needs.

3. WHAT GAPS EXIST BETWEEN EXPERTS, AVERAGE, AND POOR PERFORMERS OF A WORK PROCESS?

So, you have identified the problem and the people involved in the process where issues are arising. You have communicated with them to understand the tasks and sub-tasks involved.

Now it is time to identify the gaps. Consider the experience level of all the employees involved. Do some people have higher levels of training/expertise than others?

Note what systems are being used that may be out of date or less than efficient. Are there new systems that your team should be trained in?

Think about what employees are involved in this process but may not be communicating with each other. Is a lack of communication causing preventable mistakes or deadlines not being met?

Even better, ask the employees involved some of the following questions to also identify gaps:

  • What are the department needs?
  • What are some problems your department is experiencing?
  • How long has this been a problem?
  • What would indicate to you that the problem has been solved?

Once you have evaluated this, simply note the gaps you see in the processes that are contributing to the problem. If you are having difficulty finding these gaps, or are worried you missed something, consider explaining to a third party the process, the tasks/subtasks, and the people involved. Get them to ask you critical questions and see if they can poke any holes in it. If you can’t adequately answer certain questions or account for their critiques, those may be areas to examine for gaps.

4. HOW DO WE TRANSLATE THE NEEDS INTO OBJECTIVES TO PROMOTE A POSITIVE LEARNING OUTCOME?

Now that we have identified the gaps, we can finally set our objectives and identify our specific training needs.

How can we fill the gaps we found in your organization’s processes? Fortunately, since we have done all our prep work to identify these, the objections should be fairly clear by now. For example:

If the gaps lie in inconsistent training levels between employees, perhaps there are employees that need to receive training that others already have. Or maybe a refresher training session is required.

If the gaps lie in outdated or inefficient systems, it may be time to revamp these and give everyone updated training on the new system/policies.

If the gaps lie in a lack of communication, then soft skills training will help your employees improve their communication skills, emotional intelligence, and teamwork skills.

Translating the gaps and needs of your team into objectives will ensure better learning outcomes for your training.

CONCLUSION

One of the best parts of conducting a needs analysis is that once it is done, it has likely produced much of the supporting content required to build your training program. So, if you are hesitant to do a complete needs analysis, remember how much time it will save you later, and how much better your training will be for it.

We hope that our outline for conducting a needs analysis will help you better understand your training needs.

Posted by Katelyn Roy, Corporate Training

E-learning

 

 

What Exactly Are Human Skills or Soft Skills?

We prefer the term human skills to soft skills as they are the personal attributes, personality traits, inherent social cues, and communication abilities needed for success on the job. Human skills characterize how a person interacts in their relationships with others both on and off the job.

Human skills include public speaking, stress management, adaptability, attitude, communication, creative thinking, work ethic, teamwork, networking, decision making, positivity, time management, motivation, flexibility, problem-solving, critical thinking, and conflict resolution.  All skills that can be learned and practiced.

Hybrid skills are related to human skills in that they include a combination of non-technical and technical skills.


Why Employers Care About Human skills

It’s easy to understand why employers want job candidates with a particular hard skill set. After all, if you are hiring a plumber, they need skills in plumbing.

However, human skills are important to the success of almost all employers. After all, nearly every job requires employees to engage with others in some way. Therefore, being able to interact well with others is important in any job.

Another reason hiring managers and employers look for applicants with human skills is that human skills are transferable skills that can be used regardless of the job at which the person is working. This makes job candidates with human skills very adaptable employees.


Also, because human skills are acquired over time

as opposed to those acquired in a short time during a class or training program—people with human skills are often seen as having a unique and broad background that can diversify a company and help it run more efficiently.

Human skills are particularly important in customer-based jobs. These employees will typically be in direct contact with customers. It takes a number of human skills to be able to listen to a customer and provide that customer with polite helpful service.


Tips for Highlighting Your Human skills

First, make a list of the human skills you have that are relevant to the job you want. Look at a list of human skills and circle the ones that you have. Then, compare your list of human skills with the job listing. Which of these human skills are mentioned in the listing? Which of these do you think would be most useful in this job? Make a list of three to five human skills you have that are also needed for the job.

Then, include some of these human skills in your resume. You can add them to a skills section (or a section titled “Transferable Skills”).  Attach the certificate that you will receive from our programs to your resume.

You can also use them as keywords throughout your resume, mentioning them in places such as your resume summary, and in descriptions of your duties for each job in your “Work History” section.

You can also mention these human skills in your cover letter. Pick one or two human skills you have that appear to be the most important for the job you’d like. In your cover letter, provide evidence that shows you have those particular skills.


Finally

You can highlight these human skills in your interviews. You can mention examples of times you have displayed some of these skills in the past at work. However, you can also demonstrate your human skills during the interview. For example, by being well-spoken, friendly and approachable during the interview, you’ll show your ability to interact with others. And by paying attention while the interviewer is talking, you will show your listening skills. These actions will demonstrate your human skills clearly to the hiring manager.


How we can help

We will be adding new human skills courses to our offerings at regular intervals as we build our inventory.  You will be able to study these courses at your convenience and apply these new human skills at home and at work.




YOUR QUICK GUIDE TO CREATING A POSITIVE COMPANY CULTURE

YOUR QUICK GUIDE TO CREATING A POSITIVE COMPANY CULTURE

What do I mean when I say “Company Culture?” What started as a trendy corporate term has developed into a crucial idea that involves establishing and implementing organizational values. If your mission and vision is putting your organization’s values into words, company culture is taking action on those and demonstrating how you live it.

The newest generation of employees value the culture of the company they are working for more than ever. There is no better time to work towards demonstrating your companies values to improve your workplace. Cultivating a positive corporate culture also helps your organization build a trustworthy reputation with its external publics and stakeholders. Below is our quick guide to building a positive company culture.

BENEFITS OF BUILDING A POSITIVE WORKPLACE CULTURE

Building a better workplace culture has a variety of different benefits. Knowing these benefits can be a motivating factor as you understand and implement organizational values. Below are some improvements in your organization you may notice when working towards your workplace culture:

SAFETY

Employee safety is a major part of creating a company culture where people feel comfortable going to work everyday. Making safety a priority will significantly reduce the number of on-the-job accidents, which is an excellent way to contribute to a positive workplace culture.

Consider workplace safety in the context of your industry. What kind of safety values should you consider? Some of them may be:

  • Fall Prevention – Keeping areas clutter free, and taking care of spills quickly to reduce the amount of falls.
  • Chemical Safety– Proper use of chemicals used in the company, this can range from acids used in machinery to office cleaning solutions.
  • Electrical Injuries- Taking away electronics with frayed wires, using appropriate procedures when wiring electronics, and keeping properly maintained equipment.
  • Illness Prevention– Having employees not at work when they have a possibly contagious illness, using disinfectants, and offering flu shots.
  • Workplace Violence Prevention – Having a zero-tolerance policy on violence and harassment.

CONSERVATION OF MATERIALS/ENVIRONMENTAL CONSCIOUSNESS

Supplies are a necessary expense, but a lot of supplies are wasted, broken, or somehow lost in the shuffle. Focusing on conservation is a great organizational value that will save you money and even reduce your environmental footprint.

ENGAGEMENT

Engagement is a state in which an employee is content, committed, and involved in their job. Some of the common traits of engaged employees are:

Emotional attachment: This refers to having an emotional connection to one’s company, position, and the work he/she does.

Understanding: This refers to understanding the company’s goals and values, and how they contribute to achieving those goals.

Motivation: This relates to employees willing to invest effort in bettering their performance.

An engaged employee works hard and cares about the company they work for. They waste fewer materials, and have strong customer service skills. Those same employees are usually motivated to develop new skills and further their careers in the company.

IMPROVED EMPLOYEE PERFORMANCE

A happy worker makes a happy company. Having a corporate behavior that promotes safety, recognition, and engagement (to name a few) creates happy employees. Here are some ways your employees’ performance can improve:

  • Better customer service
  • Rise in productivity
  • More positive work atmosphere
  • Fewer wasted resources and supplies
  • Less absenteeism
  • Better team work
  • Better communication with co-workers

There are an immeasurable number of categories for a positive company culture. The trick is finding out what behavior you need your company to adopt. This could include adopting values like punctuality or safety. A great corporate behavior can make or break a company, so it is important to provide the appropriate support for your employees.

CLARIFYING ORGANIZATIONAL VALUES: WHERE TO START

In order to take action on building a positive company culture, you must prioritize your organization’s values. Some ideas to consider when clarifying your organization’s values are:

TYPES OF VALUES AND ETHICS

A value is a standard of a person’s behavior. There are two types of values; terminal values and instrumental values. A terminal value is a value that a person would like to achieve during their lifetime. Some examples of terminal values are:

  • Having wisdom
  • Having self-esteem
  • Having inner peace
  • Having a real and meaningful friendship
  • Being content in life

An instrumental value is a behavior used to achieve your terminal value. Some examples of instrumental values are being:

  • Loving
  • Independent
  • Polite
  • Responsible
  • Clean

What it means, in a nut shell, is that if you want to have great success in business, you have to work hard. The terminal value is having great success in business, and the instrumental value is working hard.

Ethics are moral foundations that regulate a person or group of people’s behaviors. Some examples of ethical behavior could include:

  • Honesty
  • Integrity
  • Loyalty
  • Accountability
  • Respectful

Ethics and instrumental values may seem like they are the same, but they are not. An ethic is a moral basis, it is not hinged on accomplishing a value. An ethic is a conviction that a person or a group of people have because they feel like it’s the right thing to do.

MANAGERIAL STRUCTURE

Managerial structure relates to how the management team is put together, and what types of employees make it up. Nothing squashes employee morale quicker than a poorly trained manager. A supervisor should meet three major qualifications:

Leadership Skills: Understand how to lead a team effectively. Understand the proper way to address employees and how to encourage and motivate them. Should have knowledge on how to give constructive criticism.

Departmental Knowledge: Knowledge of the processes and function of the department. This means that the manager should know how to perform the job tasks of the employees they supervise. The worst thing in the world is to have a boss that doesn’t know how you do your job, and wants to critique you.

Company Knowledge: The manager should be knowledgeable about what product or service the company provides to the public, and about what is new with the company. They should know what the company goals and values are, and what the future plans are for the company.

EMPLOYEE ACCOUNTABILITY

Employee accountability means that an employee takes responsibility for their actions. This could refer to positive or negative actions. So how do you promote accountability? It starts with the employees identifying with the company’s mission. As a supervisor, it’s also important to make sure the employees understand that the company wants them to take ownership of the results of their job. Suppose you were a janitor, and one of your job tasks was to remove the trash daily. The company does not want you to take ownership of the act of removing the trash. The company wants you to take ownership of the trash can being empty- thus making the area look clean. Accountability also relates to something that an employee is doing that is inappropriate. An employee who is constantly late for work needs to take accountability for their actions.

DESIGNING AND IMPLEMENTING ACTION FOR YOUR POSITIVE WORKPLACE CULTURE

If you are ready to start designing and implementing a positive company culture, it is important for you to set realistic behaviors for your employees to follow. Make sure to keep open, two-way communication and get as much feedback as you possibly can. Here are some ideas to consider when taking on the task of developing a positive company culture.

Group Planning: Having a group planning committee will help you maintain realistic goals, and help the employees become engaged in the process on establishing your company culture. When picking your group, you will want to get as many of the departments involved. Remember that the company was built by employees, and having employees in the group helps you see the big picture.

Define Preferred Organizational Behavior/Values: Being able to identify the type of behaviors the company needs and wants to inspire their employees to adopt is crucial. When it comes to identifying desirable behaviors, there are no black and white guidelines. It’s all subjective to the needs of your employees and company. You want to clearly outline the behaviors you want as specifically as possible.

Hiring
: When you are taking on new employees, it’s very important to try to hire people whose values align with your organization. Asking appropriate personality driven questions in an interview is a great way to find employees who will thrive in your company culture. Be sure to communicate your company’s values and provide an overview of its culture so your interviewees can also determine if they would be a good fit.

Training Employees: Training is always important, but it’s especially important when implementing new policies that will change corporate culture.

Not only do new employees need to be trained on policies and culture, but current employees also need training when new policies are implemented. Some training can be informal, but if there are a lot of changes, more formal training will be needed.

CONCLUSION

We hope this quick guide has sparked inspiration for building your company culture.

Are you looking to provide training on developing your company culture? Check out our Developing Corporate Behavior Workshop training materials today!

 Katelyn Roy on 

5 Ways Adult Learning is Unique and 7 Tips to Apply it to your Corporate Training

It can be easy to assume that the way individuals take in information is fairly consistent. However, have you ever considered how the dynamics of learning change as we age? Consider the strategies used to teach early elementary students, versus someone in high school. How is the classroom laid out? How is information delivered? What are the expectations of the students to help them learn?

This also carries over to how adults learn. It is called andragogy, and it is the study of how adults learn differently from children. We often associate the majority of our structured learning with our younger years. And while this is true, learning is a life long process that changes overtime, so understanding adult learning theory and its styles is crucial to delivering effective corporate training.

Learn more about adult learning and empower yourself to deliver your training accordingly with our guide to adult learning theory below.

MALCOLM KNOWLES’ 5 ASSUMPTIONS OF ADULT LEARNERS

Adult Learners

While the word andragogy can be traced back to the 1800s, the most popular research and theorizing of it can be traced back to Malcolm Knowles in 1968. Malcolm Knowles was an American adult educator who used scientific methods to determine the most effective ways to teach adults. Through this and his experience teaching at the YMCA and working for the Adult Education Association, he developed four assumptions about how adults learn (he added the fifth assumption several years later). They are:

1. SELF-CONCEPT

As an adult, our experiences give us a stronger self-concept. This helps us better understand our learning needs, style, and preferences. Along with this, as we move further into adulthood, we become less dependent on others, and shift to having a strong sense of independence. This can make it more challenging to sit in a classroom and learn from another instructor. This means that adult learners tend to prefer a more self-directed approach to learning, rather than instructor-led. Furthermore, because of this independence, adults tend to prefer to be involved in the planning and evaluation of their instruction.

2. ADULT LEARNER EXPERIENCE

The experience an adult has already gathered before entering a training workshop through previous education, work experience, and life in general is significantly higher than a child entering a learning environment. Adults have hands-on experience, accumulated knowledge, and have learned from making mistakes. This must be considered when teaching adults, as it can help them make meaningful connections that will help them better retain information. As a trainer, being mindful of the things your adult learners have experienced can help you better engage them.

3. READINESS TO LEARN

As adults, our readiness to learn is most prevalent when the topics resonate with our everyday lives, such as growth or advancement in our career. When there is a strong and relevant reason to learn, adults are significantly more interested in learning. If adult learners can’t see how they can apply what they are learning to their life – whether personally or professionally – they will be significantly less engaged in your workshops. If learning can help them better fit into their roles in society, they will be more likely to value the training they take in.

4. ORIENTATION OF LEARNING

The orientation of adult learning is less focused on content, and more focused on practicality. Adult learners want to learn things that will help them solve problems in their lives or careers. This shift in perspective means that adult learners prefer to take in information that they can immediately apply to better hone their skills, increase productivity, and advance their career and organization wherever relevant. This is also referred to as problem-centered learning rather than content-centered learning.

5. MOTIVATION TO LEARN

A child’s motivation to learn generally comes from the guidance of adults, such as parents, teachers, and mentors. Adult learners generally have a desire to learn based on internal factors. This includes personal reasons such as increasing self esteem or progressing in their workplace. An adult building maturity overtime leads to them better understanding what they need to learn to progress in life, and they will be motivated to train based on that.

TIPS TO SUIT YOUR TRAINING TO ADULT LEARNERS

So what does this mean? And how does it impact your corporate training? Below are our tips for providing corporate training to adults based on Knowles’ Assumptions for Adult Learning:

  1. Ensure you can back up your credibility as a trainer to build trust with your learners. This can help you keep your adult learner’s attention despite their increased independence compared to a child.
  2. Provide self-directed learning options if possible. As a trainer, it may feel like you are losing a sense of control in your training by providing self-directing options. However, for adults it can be just as – if not more – effective, as it better aligns with many adults learning preferences. Self-directed learning can be implemented through eLearning for convenient, instructorless training.
  3. Involve your learners. Adult learners like to feel involved in the learning process. As a trainer, sending notes or agendas ahead of time to your learners about what will be covered in your workshop can help your learners prepare any questions or other topics they would like to see covered when they enter the training. Giving your learners an opportunity to evaluate your training can also give you strong feedback that you can implement in the future and give your learners more of a say in their training.
  4. Encourage your learners to draw on their previous experiences. Take opportunities to let your learners share their experiences and relate them to your training. This could be through group conversations or activities that allow them to reflect on their experience. Being able to share this experience and apply it to your workshops will help the content better resonate with all the learners.
  5. Highlight the benefits and focus on the impact. Being strategic on your promotion and opening of your training workshop can set the tone for how engaged your learners are for your entire workshop, especially when it comes to adult learners. Consider your learner’s wants and needs. Career advancements? Increased professional value? General improvement of soft skills? Make sure you have some of these points ready to communicate to your learners so that they can understand the benefits of your training and how it can help them grow personally or professionally.
  6. Focus on training that can solve problems for your learners. This boils down once again to understanding your trainee’s needs. What challenges or obstacles are they facing that would make your training worth their while? Ensuring these solutions are incorporated into your training will make your workshops truly stand out.
  7. Increase motivation by focusing on the internal impact. Understanding your trainee’s motivation and how motivation is unique to adult learners will help you plan your workshops in a way that will keep your trainees engaged. Make sure your training is relevant to the factors that will motivate your trainees such as advancements in their workplace or personal development.

CONCLUSION

As adults develop more skills and knowledge, their learning style and experience impacts how they best take in information. By referring to adult learning theory and applying it to our training, you can ensure you are providing the best possible corporate training to your learners.

 

Posted by Katelyn Roy on 

Email Templates to Engage Your Trainees

women with envelope

women with envelope

 

 

As a trainer, what are your top priorities? Perhaps it is:

  • Educating clients
  • Consulting clients
  • Helping clients with personal and professional development
  • Helping clients meet their organizational goals

Notice how I didn’t say email marketing? That doesn’t mean it’s not important!

With a vast clientele, effectively communicating with your trainees and prospects is crucial to keeping them engaged and in the loop regarding their corporate training. Whether it is closing prospective trainees, preparing trainees, or requesting feedback, sending clear and effective emails will allow you to accelerate your training/consulting business. Below are our email templates for promoting your corporate training and engaging your trainees.

EMAILS FOR POTENTIAL CLIENTS

Useful for: Sending an introductory point of contact to a potential prospect. This is a good excuse to reach out since they have opted to receive emails from you and is an excellent opportunity to open the door to further discussing their specific training needs.

Subject: How Can I Help You?

Hello (Name),

Are you looking to receive (Topic) training, or provide training to your employees?

Are you struggling to find time to develop your own training programs for your team?

You’re in luck!

With my training programs, you can leave the material and training delivery to me. With options for online and in-person training (if applicable), let me be your go-to for providing effective corporate training

Get in touch with me today to further discuss topics you are interested in training yourself or your team for, and how I can help you meet your training goals.

Kind regards,

(Name, Signature)

EMAILS FOR REGISTERED TRAINEES

Useful for: Confirming registration for your trainees and adequately preparing them for what to expect in their training. Allows you to give your participants an opportunity to ask you any questions to help you as a trainer better prepare for their expectations. Our advertorials included with each workshop kit have messaging that can be used for this style of email. Furthermore, if you would like to facilitate a pre-assessment, this email can be a great opportunity to assign that.

Subject: You’re all registered

Hello (Name),

Thank you for registering for my (topic) Workshop. This email confirms your registration.

This course will help you (Refer to course description from our advertorials).

This training has a pre-assessment that will be use to measure your current understanding of the training topic. Please complete this assessment using the link below and email it back to me by (Deadline).

(LINK)

Please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns regarding how the training will be facilitated, or what content will be covered. If there is any way I can assist you in preparing for your training, I am here to help.

Kind regards,

(Name, Signature)

FAQ EMAIL

Useful for: Written by our Sales Executive and training industry expert Seth Rozee, this email template covers logistics regarding your training workshop so participants feel confident and prepared going into their training.

Hello (Name),

Have you’ve got questions or concerns about the upcoming workshop?

We’ve compiled a list of the usual questions surrounding what you can expect at one of our sessions – including tips on how you can get the best out of your time spent with us!

  • What to Expect at the Training:

Attendees can expect an inclusive and welcoming environment where they’ll be encouraged to participate in open and honest discussion on the topic at hand. There will be printed handouts provided along with audio and visual aids to help move the training along.

Any attendees with special needs or different abilities are encouraged to let us know ahead of time and we’ll make every effort possible to insure we accommodate them.

  • How long is the session?

It will be a (FULL DAY / HALF DAY / 90-Min Lunch and Learn) where we’ll tackle the latest info on that day’s topic.

Washroom facilities are provided and we’ll be breaking periodically during the session for refreshment.

  • What’s expected of the Trainer?

Your trainer will be knowledgeable on the subject being taught and open to any and all ideas or questions – in fact if you’ve got anything you’d like us to cover specifically during the classjust reply to this email with your suggestions.

  • What’s expected of me?

We’re just happy you’re joining us! We don’t expect you to be an expert on the subject (yet!) and we’re mindful not everyone is comfortable speaking in a crowd.

Your participation during role playing or group activities is encouraged – but not required.

  • What do I bring?

Just bring yourself!

A positive mental attitude and willingness to participate also helps a lot. Our goal is to provide an exciting and informative session where everyone feels welcome to discuss and be a part of the class.

  • When and Where?

Training Date: ________________

Location: ___________________

Instructor’s name: _________________

Contact info: ______________________

We look forward to meeting you!

(Name/Signature)

WELCOME EMAIL FOR LMS LEARNERS

Useful for: Helping your trainees get situated for online training with the use of an LMS. If you’re using our LMS, this fully customizable email will automatically send to your trainees when they sign up.

Subject: Registration Confirmed (Online Training)

Hello and Welcome to your account on (Application Name).

Please find below your username and a link to set your password below.

Your new username is:

(Recipient Username)

Access your account now:

(Welcome Login URL)

Should you require assistance, you can contact support at (Support Email) or call (Support Phone Number).

Kind regards,

(Organization Name)

EMAILS ASKING FOR FEEDBACK

Useful for: Providing an opportunity for your participants to give feedback after your workshop, so you can make changes for future participants. Giving out a survey or comment card to your trainees via email gives them an opportunity to easily communicate their feedback in a less direct way – which some may be more comfortable with. Keep forms short and simple in length and tone, directly ask for general comments in an email reply or use a survey platform like Survey Monkey and provide a link to a survey.

Subject: Let us know how we did

Hello (name),

You are receiving this email because you have recently participated in the (Name of Course) Workshop.

Thank you for participating in this training, I hope it was informative and helps you work towards meeting your organizational goals.

As a trainer, feedback from participants like you is very important to me. I would really appreciate you taking the time to let me know what you thought of the training.

(Option to insert link to survey)

Kind regards,

(Name, Signature)

OTHER TIPS FOR EMAILING CLIENTS AND PROSPECTS

So you have your templates for your emails, now what? Make sure you customize your templates to your needs and optimize your marketing emails with these tips:

Email Marketing Tips

PROVIDE A CALL TO ACTION

A call to action is a step your readers should want to take after reading your email. Your email copy should inspire whatever action you would like them to make, whether it is registering for a course, providing feedback, or something else. Having a clear call to action on your emails will ensure that they have a purpose and warrant space in your recipient’s inbox. When sending an email to clients, always ask yourself, what is the point? Your “why” should be reflected in your call to action. Your build up to it can be more detailed, but your call to action should be clear and concise.

FOLLOW REGULATIONS REGARDING MARKETING EMAILS

If you use emails in your business, it is crucial you understand and comply with the CAN-SPAM Act. Make sure you review the email spam laws in your region. The laws from the CAN-SPAM Act are established and enforced by the Federal Trade Commission, and protect consumers from spam in their inbox. Be sure to regularly review CAN-SPAM laws to ensure you are following the rules, such as providing a way for your recipients to opt out of receiving your emails. This should be presented as a link somewhere visible in your email. While it may feel disheartening to see people opting out of your emails, it is highly beneficial to do this in the long run because it optimizes your open rates and reduces the amount of people marking your emails as spam.

INCORPORATE PERSONALIZATION

Consider this: is an email with your name in the body/subject line more or less likely to grab your attention? I would be willing to guess that the former is true. People are naturally inclined to be drawn to messaging and communication that is directed toward them. Having personalized emails may be intimidating at first, but there are many ways to easily automate your personalization for your emails through email marketing software such as Constant Contact.

MONITOR ANALYTICS

As someone marketing a service like corporate training, tracking your analytics is very important to measuring the success of your emails and adjusting them accordingly. The most important stats to review are your open rates and click rates to see how many people are actually interacting with your emails. By paying attention to your data, you can see what messaging works and what doesn’t, ensuring you have more success in your future marketing emails.

CONCLUSION

We hope these templates and tips for email marketing your training workshops will help you build a strong clientele. Get a head start on your corporate training content today with our Workshop Training Library.

Posted by Katelyn Roy on 

Your Guide to Trainee Feedback Surveys

IMPROVE FUTURE TRAINING SESSIONS WITH OUR FEEDBACK GUIDE

There’s no doubt that accepting and collecting feedback is important when providing any product or service, and corporate training is no exception.

And while any feedback is crucial, being strategic with how you ask for it can allow you to get the most useful information you can from your participants.

Ask the right questions and get effective feedback from your trainees with our training workshop feedback survey guide below. Copy and paste the most relevant questions into an experience management software like Survey Monkey or simply incorporate it into a feedback request email. Get more email templates for your trainees from one of our recent blog posts.

Remember, research has shown that to get optimal data, you need to consider how long you make your survey. Studies have shown that the longer the survey, the less amount of time your participants spend on answering each individual question. This means it is important to balance your survey to make sure there is enough questions to get all the information you are looking for, while still ensuring that there is a good amount of thought going into how each question is answered. While there is no magic number for how many questions you include in your feedback survey, 5-10 questions is a good rule of thumb.

FEEDBACK: WHY YOUR PARTICIPANTS’ OPINION MATTERS

The opinion of your participants experience in your training programs is highly valuable. Feedback is great for learning purposes, for suggesting improvements, and for inspiring creativity in your training programs. It will also help to determine which ideas are most valued for the company. There are a few different levels of feedback you should be seeking post-training.

Feedback

LEVEL ONE: REACTIONS

The most basic level of evaluation is the participants’ reactions to the training. To gauge this, you should be asking questions such as the following:

  • How did you like the training?
  • How did you like the trainer?
  • How did you feel about the training environment?
  • Did you think the training was useful?
  • Did you feel comfortable?
  • Did you feel as though you had ample opportunities to participate?

Level one questions can be asked in post-training surveys or even in the form of verbal feedback before or after the training session.

Reaction feedback is fairly easy to gather and measure. It should be gathered as close as possible to the desired time period. (For example, if you wanted to measure reactions to the first day of a workshop, you should gather reactionary feedback at the end of the first day).

LEVEL TWO: LEARNING

The next level of evaluation assesses how much the participant actually learned in the training session. It looks at two basic areas which are if trainees learned what we (the trainer) wanted them to learn, and if the training session was the experience participants wanted it to be.

This level is typically measured via tests immediately before and immediately after the training. It is important that these assessments are tied closely to the learning objectives.

Note that this level can be measured on an individual or group level. For example, you could have a verbal group-style quiz, or you could have individual assessments. When assessing group performance, however, make sure that each individual can be evaluated.

Since this level of feedback is very specific to the topic you are training in, we can’t generally tell you what you need to ask. However, with our Soft Skills Library, we provide post tests for each of our Soft Skills courses. This allows you to assess your trainees prior knowledge and what they have learned quickly and easily.

LEVEL THREE: BEHAVIOR

This level of question evaluates how trainees could see themselves applying the learning they took in and how it may have changed their behavior towards the training topic. Key questions for this level may include:

  • How quickly do you feel you can put your knowledge from the training into effect when you go back on the job?
  • Were the skills presented today relevant?
  • How confident do you feel you could correctly implement the skills you learned in the training?
  • Do you feel the training you received today will contribute to positive sustainable change in your workplace?
  • Has your outlook on the training topics discussed today changed?
  • Do you feel that you could confidently share the knowledge you learned in the training session with others?

It can be challenging to evaluate changes at this level, particularly with soft topics like communication and leadership. This is why it is important to develop a well-rounded, accurate evaluation system before training begins. This may need to be evaluated on an ongoing basis in a way that is not intrusive on their daily duties. It may take time for the skills learned in the training to be implemented and impacting their results.

LEVEL FOUR: RESULTS

The final level of evaluation is quantifiable results. This assesses the effect of the training on the person’s environment (their workplace, home, etc.). These questions (like the behaviour questions) may be better to ask a period of time after the training was conducted. Alternatively, you can ask questions that can help you gauge if the trainees can visualize themselves using what they learned in the training to help achieve quantifiable results in their organization.

Consider asking if your trainees can use what they learned to better their metrics in regards to:

  • Number of sales
  • Percentage of customer complaints
  • Timeliness
  • Absenteeism
  • Quality ratings and failures
  • Third-party inspection ratings (such as food and safety)

This is an important level of evaluation, as it is often what high-level executives look for when evaluating the training. They want to know numbers and figures, with proof to back the data up, also known as key performance indicators. This ensures that the goals of the business are being tied into the training.

These evaluation processes should tie in with day-to-day business procedures and not cause a lot of extra work. It is important, however, that the trainee knows what measurements are tied to the training before the training begins. This will help them apply context to the training and achieve better results.

As a final note, be careful of outside factors that can cloud ratings in your quantifiable data. For example, let’s say that you send your salespeople on training and you expect their sales to increase by 5% per month as a result. If the economy crashes two months after the training, your results will be clouded by outside circumstances.

ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER:

Your goals as a trainer will impact the questions you will ask your trainees. This could be in regards to quantifying success, training logistics, knowledge retention or something completely different. Here are some other questions you may want to consider asking when gathering feedback on your training:

  • What is your main goal for taking this training?
  • What was the most useful part of the training?
  • What was your least favorite part of the training? Why was it your least favorite?
  • What are your biggest challenges in your role/organization?
  • Where did you first hear about us?
  • How would you rate the training space?
  • How would you rate the trainer’s delivery of the session?
  • How would you describe your experience of booking/registering for your training?
  • Is there any way we can improve to make our future training sessions better?

CONCLUSION:

We hope that this blog post sparked some inspiration for your next training session. Don’t forget to check out our Soft Skills Library for post-test quizzes on 140 training topics, and let us know of any feedback questions we forgot in the comments below!

Posted by Katelyn Roy on 

Icebreaker Cheat Sheet to Kick off Your Corporate Training

How does trust and comfortability allow for more effective corporate training? Ensuring your participants feel safe and comfortable in their training workshops  allows everyone to feel empowered to express their thoughts and ask questions. This helps everyone being trained better their understanding through meaningful conversations. By creating this environment in your training workshops, you will create an enriching learning experience for all of your participants.

Bu how do we do this? Finding ways to get your participants open to discussions requires some strategy. However, by putting this extra effort in, your participants can be reminded of their commonality of objections for the training they are receiving. One of the best way to do this is through incorporating icebreakers into your training sessions.

Icebreakers are exercises used in training workshops as a warm-up and to build trust and comfortability within a group of participants, typically presented as games or exercises that can be done to help gain a better understanding of the topics being discussed, or simply to give your participants an opportunity to get to know each other better. This can help promote collaboration throughout your workshop, increase engagement, or make your training more light hearted and fun.

Looking to facilitate icebreakers in your training but don’t know where to start? We have you covered. Below is our cheat sheet for your corporate training icebreakers.

Icebreaker Benefits

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE?

Great for: Helping your participants get to know each other with zero materials or preparation, making it an ideal online training Icebreaker with the use of breakout room features. It takes about 10-15 minutes.

Instructions: Divide the meeting participants into groups of four or five people by having them number off. Tell the groups that their assignment is to each identify and share their favorite work activity, favorite work goal, etc.

Next, ask group member to share why the selected item is their personal favorite.

Debrief the activity in the large group by asking each individual to share their favorite, but not the “why” with the larger group. This moves quickly.

Lastly, ask participants to share with the larger group what they learned about their fellow group members during the small group discussion.

TEAM TRINKETS

Great for: Getting participants comfortable with conflict resolution in a low-stakes context. This activity will help participants get to know each other while doing a non-conflict laden task. It requires some basic materials such as a flip chart, paper, colored markers, craft supplies, etc.

Instructions:
 Ask participants to number off to create groups of six to eight. Their task is to come up with a team name and slogan, preferably based on something that they all have in common. They should then create two of the following items:

  • Name cards for each participant
  • Team sign
  • Team hats
  • Team work area
  • Team song/poem

Give participants about ten minutes for this task. If conducting training online, put participants into breakout rooms and modify the list to just items that have options that don’t require supplies (just the name, slogan, and song/poem).

After all groups have completed the task, ask each group to present their team name, slogan, and items, and to explain how they arrived at a decision for each. Ask participants if conflicts arose over choices, and how those conflicts were managed.

Encourage groups to work together throughout the day and strengthen their bond.

FIND THE LEADER

Great for: Helping participants get to know each other. Only requires enough chairs for all participants minus one, arranged in a circle. This icebreaker is most ideal for in-person training.

Instructions: Identify the person in the group whose birthday is closest to today’s date. Identify that person as Spot and ask them to leave the room. Then, have the remaining participants choose a leader from the circle. Explain that when Spot returns to the room, they will have three guesses to name the leader. The group’s job is to ensure that their leader stays a secret. Bring Spot back to the room and give him/her three chances to identify the leader. If they succeed, the leader will become the new Spot. If they fail, they will stay as Spot for another round. This activity works best with a group of 10-20 participants, and no one should be Spot for more than three rounds.

Use the following questions to debrief:

  • How did you keep the leader a secret?
  • How did Spot guess the leader?
  • How difficult was it to be Spot?
  • How difficult was it to be the leader?
  • What can we take away from this exercise?

CATEGORIES

Great for: Helping participants get to know each other. Requires no materials. Can be done in person, or modified to be done online with the hand raise feature.

Instructions: Prepare a list of categories, such as:

  • Favorite color
  • Favorite season
  • Number of siblings
  • Astrological sign
  • Shoe size
  • Favorite subject in school

Ask participants to stand. Say that you are going to ask them to arrange themselves by different categories. For example, you might say, “What is your favorite color?” Participants will look for other people who share their favorite color and form groups. Once everyone is in a group, ask the groups to identify themselves. Repeat the activity with four or five different categories.

GETTING ENGAGED

Great for: This activity will help the group to get to know one another, and to connect to each other by working on a common goal that they can refer to throughout the workshop. It requires minimal materials such as flip chart paper and markers, but could easily be modified to suit online training.

Instructions: Have everyone introduce themselves by stating their name, where they are working, how long they have been in their current role, and one thing that they love about the work they do.

Form the group into smaller teams of four to six people. Each group must come up with the name, logo, and motto (if time allows) for their newly formed HR consulting company. They can capture the information on flip chart paper, or simply communicate it verbally if doing the activity online.

BALL TOSS

Great for: Helping participants get to know each other. It requires only a small, lightweight ball that you can easily toss around the room, like a NERF ball.

Instructions: Toss a ball to one of the students who then makes the first introduction and shares one interesting fact about himself or herself. He or she then throws the ball to someone else. Challenge the group to complete the introductions without throwing the ball to the same person twice. If facilitating the icebreaker online, participants can simply choose the person to go next rather than throwing a ball.

FIVE ADJECTIVES

Great for: Helping participants build relationships with each other. Requires no preparation and only paper and pens, and can be modified to online training.

Instructions: Divide the meeting participants into groups of three or four (depending on the number of participants). Breakout rooms can be used if facilitating online. Explain to the groups that each person must write down five adjectives that describe how they view themselves emotionally. Each participant will have a chance to present his / her adjectives to the group.=

Bring the smaller groups together to form the larger group and ask three or four participants to share their adjectives. Note the similarities and differences between how the participants view themselves.

This teambuilding icebreaker takes 10 – 15 minutes, depending on the number of groups.

GROUP RÉSUMÉ

Great for: Getting participants acquainted with each other and promote positive conversation.

Requires little to no materials and can be easily modified for online training using breakout room features.

Instructions: Ask participants to create a composite résumé for their group. They might include such things as:

  • Total years of experience
  • Education
  • Skills
  • Positions held
  • Outside interests

Ask each group to present its résumé to the rest of the participants.

HOUSE OF CARDS

Great for: Helping identify participants’ goals for the training session. Since this icebreaker requires the use of playing cards, it is more appropriate to facilitate this icebreaker at an in-person training session.

Instructions: Pass out one playing card to each participant, face-down. On your cue, ask participants to turn over their playing cards. They are to find others with their suit, but they are not allowed to talk or show their card. For example, if a person had a spade, they may illustrate that by pretending to dig a hole. Once participants are in their groups, they are to introduce themselves and come up with a list of five things that they would like to learn during the workshop. Once groups have created their list, bring participants back together. Have each group present their list and combine topics on the flip chart. Use this as a guide during the workshop. If there are any topics that will not be covered, let participants know where they can find more resources.

CONCLUSION

Icebreakers are an actionable way to meet objectives that will set the ideal tone for the remainder of your training workshops. Our on-line training materials provide everything you need to deliver effective corporate training, including plenty of icebreakers that you can follow to a tee or customize to better suit the context of your organization and your training workshop.

 

Posted by Katelyn Roy on 

Your Quick Guide to Measuring Results from Your Training Workshops

Measuring Results From Training

How much time do you spend leadingMeasuring Results From Training up to your training workshops preparing for them?

Hopefully, you have fast-tracked your training with our white-label materials to save hundreds of hours of time by not writing your training content from scratch. You have prepared, practiced, and delivered your training. You are probably feeling pretty happy with how it went.

But how do we quantify the success of our training? What does it mean to implement successful corporate training? Knowing how to analyze and evaluate your training workshops ensures you can be strategic with how you implement corporate training in the future.

WAYS TO MEASURE RESULTS FROM TRAINING

There are various different ways to measure the effectiveness of your training. These include:

  • Quizzes and tests – Testing helps identify gaps in knowledge which allows you to clarify what needs to be reviewed and covered in more detail for future workshops.
  • Self-analysis or supervisor analysis – Evaluation from different perspectives can show you the multifaceted impact training can have from an internal and external perspective.
  • Metrics tracking – Numbers are a clear-cut way to find a correlation between your training and how it is contributing to your bottom line.
  • Workplace observation – A more qualitative way to measure training results, observing shifts in the workplace post-training in regards to productivity and workplace morale is highly valuable to track.

 

Measure Training Results

Remember, post-workshop evaluations should be:

  • Easy to complete
  • Effective
  • Not time consuming
  • Measurable
  • Consistent
  • As objective as possible

QUANTITATIVE VS. QUALITATIVE RESULTS

Although we all know that training can have many amazing benefits, sometimes it can be hard to prove those benefits and attach a dollar value to training. Some topics, like sales training or time management, might have direct, tangible benefits. Other topics, like communication or leadership, might have benefits that you can’t put a dollar value on. Fortunately, there are various different ways to evaluate training progress to demonstrate its effectiveness.

Training is a significant investment going into your organization. Because of this, it is important to analyze the payback from it. In some cases, this may be easy – you may be able to see a drop in hard numbers (like product defects, customer complaints, or days absent) as a result of your training. In other cases, the benefit might involve something much harder to calculate, like reduced stress, improved teamwork, or better communication.

IDENTIFYING AND MEASURING TANGIBLE BENEFITS

Tangible benefits are those with a number attached to them. Some examples include:

  • Rate of absenteeism or turnover
  • Sales
  • Profits
  • Number or dollar value of returns
  • Number or percentage of customer complaints
  • Length of downtime (due to accidents, machine failure, etc.)
  • Production volume
  • Error or defect rate
  • Customer and/or employee satisfaction
  • Response time

When gathering these metrics, make sure to gather information for a few months before and a few months after the time period that you are measuring, as well as data for the same time period in years previous. You will also want to be aware of external factors that could affect your data, such economic conditions and changes in the company.

IDENTIFYING AND MEASURING INTANGIBLE BENEFITS

Training often provides more intangible benefits, such as better communication, improved anger and stress management, clearer writing skills, or more effective time management. It can be hard to put dollars and cents value on these skills; however, we are often asked to do so to prove that the training has been worthwhile.

Here are some ways to convert intangible benefits to hard numbers:

  • Calculate the time saved in hours and multiply by the person’s hourly wage
  • Tie the intangible benefit to a tangible benefit

CALCULATING TOTAL COSTS

Our next step is to determine the cost of the program. This should include:

  • Employee salaries paid while they were attending the program
  • Trainee expenses such as food, hotel, and transportation
  • Cost of materials and facility for the program
  • Facilitator cost before, during, and after the program
  • Development and licensing costs
  • Administrative costs

CONSIDERATIONS FOR MEASURING RESULTS BEFORE AND DURING TRAINING

Considerations for measuring results from training are commonly associated with actions taken after training. But have you ever taken into account what actions you can take during and even before you start your training to help you effectively measure its results?

EVALUATIONS FOR BEFORE TRAINING

Before the workshop, it can be a good idea to give participants the learning objectives and ask them how they would rate their level of knowledge with those objectives. You can even ask participants to note where they would like to be in a week, a month, and a year. It is important that participants be given a rating scale so that results are measurable.

Another useful tool is to design a pre-assignment or pre-test around the content of the course. Some ways to do this:

  • Self-analysis or supervisor analysis as discussed previously
  • Case Study
  • Reading assignment
  • Learning wish list
  • Test on prerequisite knowledge
  • Goal setting
  • Personal case studies (for example, have participants come to the class with a problem or project)

When designed properly, these pre-workshop homework assignments can accomplish a few things:

  • Get the participant in the right frame of mind for the workshop
  • Provide participants with background knowledge
  • Get participants thinking about what they want, making learning more relevant to them
  • Help you assess participants’ knowledge and needs, and target your course more accurately
  • Help you assess participants’ commitment to the course

Often, trainers may assess learning before and after training, but they may neglect to check in with trainees while they are learning. It’s very important to include this in your training plan, particularly since most training programs start with foundation concepts and build towards advanced concepts. If your trainees get lost at the beginning, your entire program could be in jeopardy.

REVIEWING LEARNING OBJECTIVES

At the beginning of the program, make sure you review the learning objectives of the course with participants. Give them the opportunity to give you feedback about the objectives:

  • Are all the objectives clear?
  • Is there anything that is missing?
  • Do the objectives seem reasonable?
  • Do participants understand how these learning points can translate back to the workplace?

EVALUATIONS DURING TRAINING

During the program, check in with participants to make sure you’re still on track with the learning objectives. When participants are asked to perform evaluations, point out the connection to the learning objectives.

Asking questions during your training will also help you clarify your participants understanding and get some immediate feedback on the delivery of your training. The questions you ask can include:

  • How do participants feel about the training?
  • What has been the best thing about the training so far? The worst thing?
  • What have participants learned?
  • What would participants still like to learn?

You may also want to ask specific questions about key content points.

As stated earlier, quizzes and tests are a good way to measure how much participants are learning during the course. Mid-point tests are good in many situations, including:

  • Workshops that have a lot of content
  • Workshops with difficult content
  • Long workshops
  • Topics that depend on each other

Don’t forget that a test doesn’t have to mean an hour-long exam, but can be quick and even gamified to make it light hearted and fun.

SKILL ASSESSMENTS

Quizzes, questionnaires, and tests are great for evaluating many types of knowledge. However, you may need additional tools to evaluate changes in behavior, abilities, and attitude. Below are some tools that can help you evaluate these types of learning.

Demonstrations: Demonstrations can be a very powerful teaching tool, particularly for complex tasks. One method is to demonstrate the desired task, and then have participants demonstrate it back to you. Or, place participants in groups or pairs and have them demonstrate the task to each other while monitoring the activity.

Role Play: Role plays are often listed as participants’ least favorite part of a workshop, but they are very helpful when learning new behaviors. Conflict resolution, mediation, negotiation, communication, and training are just a few of the topics where role plays can be helpful.

To make the most of role plays, try these tips:

  • Give participants the option to take an active or inactive role.
  • Have clear instructions and roles.
  • Provide constructive feedback.
  • Provide tip sheets on the behavior to be role played.

Games: Games can provide a fun, yet educational learning experience for participants. Make sure to practice the game ahead of time and make sure that it truly helps participants practice the skill that they are learning.

Simulations: When they are well designed, simulations are excellent ways to assess how well a participant has learned a skill. They are particularly useful in situations where it is imperative that participants have excellent knowledge before going ahead with the real task, such as medical procedures or machine operation.

CONCLUSION

Are you leading a train-the-trainer program? Do you want to ensure your trainers are being proactive with evaluating the success of their training? Download our Measuring Results from Training Workshop for everything you need to teach your participants how to analyze the effectiveness of their training and improve it for future workshops.

Posted by Katelyn Roy on