Adjust Your L&D Program to Meet Changing Workforce Needs

Posted by Sean Pomeroy on Thu, Jun, 25, 2015 @ 09:06 AM

Learning and development programs will change, or at least they should… that’s the reality. Your workforce isn’t the same it was 10 years ago, so why keep the same learning and development programs? It’s not safe to assume that workforce generations work and learn in the same way. To get the best performance from your employees and your L&D initiatives, you will need to adjust your program to meet the new learning and development needs.

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Aged learning and development programs don’t have the capability to adapt to and communicate with other systems in the company. Specifically, they can’t share information with big data aggregators that can determine organizational efficiency. However, adept L&D programs can take information from tools like gamified training and share those numbers with data aggregators. So how exactly should your learning and development program change? 

Adaptive Learning

Every individual has a different style of learning, so the standard classroom setting and testing informational knowledge doesn’t suit everyone. One size doesn’t fit all. Allowing your team to train through an adaptive learning system creates a comfortable and efficient atmosphere for each individual. This makes it more likely that each employee will retain more information.

David Wentworth (@DavidMWentworth) and Mollie Lombardi (@mollielombardi), Senior Learning Analyst and Vice President of Workforce Management Practice at Brandon Hall Group (respectively), said: 

“Employees can be monitored individually and in real time to determine what learning approach will best suit their needs. It has advantages for younger generations entering the workforce that have expectations around flexibility and interaction. Adaptive learning can be effective at improving efficiency, as well as employee engagement and retention since it allows employees to build confidence and overall expertise. Companies may want to consider breaking traditional learning methods by introducing aspects of adaptive learning.”

Mobile isn’t Just a Trend

It may seem like a fad with all of the smartphone options and apps for these phones, but it’s not merely a trend. Unfortunately, 27% of companies say there is no integration between their mobile capabilities and their learning and development programs. That means, new hires and employees in specialized training programs can’t educate themselves easily on their own time. They have to be at work, at their desk or on their computer. However, with a mobile enabled L&D program, employees have the ability to learn on their own time, wherever they feel most comfortable. 

Tweet This: 27% of companies say there is no integration between their mobile capabilities and their L&D programs.

Gamification Radiates

Your managers need to be able to easily track how and when your employees train. Gamification functions on data, that data is then sent to managers so they can see the progress of their team. It’s a growing trend, even among some of the major employers. The Entertainment Software Association estimates that 70% of these major employers use interactive software and games for training - and it will only grow. The gamification market is expected to grow 68.4% by 2018. So, even if you’re not as interested in the benefits for your employee engagement, use gamification as a way to train the team will emit company innovation.

Brevity is Key

Today’s world is so inundated with technology and visual stimulation, that keeping employees focused during training programs can be troublesome. Employees typically don’t have the time to watch - really watch - a training video longer than 4 minutes. The modern worker only has about 1% of available time in the office to dedicate to learning and development. That means out of the entire 8-hour workday, and when you do the math, that averages just under 5 minutes a day anyway.

Tweet This: How much time do you think employees have for learning and development? This answer will surprise you.

Your current antiquated system doesn’t fit your modern employees, nor does it fit your business needs. A more robust and communicative learning and development program allows business leaders to make more educated decision through talent analytics found in the L&D software. Through adaptive learning, mobile learning and development access, gamification, and keeping things short, your L&D program will become not only more effective, but more attractive to candidates and current employees. 

Visibility Software’s learning management system will help you change your process for training whenever necessary, allowing you to see how everyone’s making progress. Sign up for a demo today and see Cyber Train in action!

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Tags: learning management system, learning & development, employee development

Don’t Forget the Hiring Managers - Hiring and Training the Best

Posted by Sean Pomeroy on Wed, Jun, 17, 2015 @ 07:06 AM

Dont-Forget-the-Hiring-Managers-Hiring-and-Training-the-Best

We spend so much time thinking about the candidate and how to hire them; what about the person who hires all of the candidates? How do we hire and train these personnel? They certainly don’t poof into their profession. While it may be commonplace to train or hire managers, you can’t forget the qualities they’ll need to hire team members. Here are the qualities recruiters should look for when hiring a new hiring manager and ways to train them to be effective for your company.

Be a warm welcome

A hiring manager represents the face of the company alongside the recruiter since they are among the first handfuls of welcomes and assist with the first impression of the employer brand. While 46% of job seekers look at company reviews before even speaking with a recruiter or hiring manager, they are often the first to interact with the candidates. Job seekers can find this information on your website or social pages, but your hiring managers carry that brand through the hiring process.

Tweet This: When was the last time you read your own reviews? 46% of job seekers read them while searching!

If you’re looking for a hiring manager and you have disengaged characteristics such as a lack of enthusiasm or complacency you’ll portray that to the candidates, which does not support the culture the organization has tried to create. Instead, be eager and responsible during the hiring process, and you’ll likely find a hiring manager that will exemplify the same behavior.

Establish employer branding and candidate experience

The corporate behemoth, Google, is accustomed to what an “excellent candidate experience” means. A majority (80%) of the candidates they reject still recommend friends to apply for the company. Senior Vice President of People Operations at Google, Laszlo Bock (@LaszloBock2718) said:

“You want them to fall in love with you. Really. You want them to have a great experience, have their concerns addressed, and come away feeling like they just had the best day of their lives.”

Tweet This: Even rejected candidates refer friends to Google's team. What's their secret?

Pass this same mentality onto your new hiring manager; they will practice the same behavior when they guide candidates through the hiring process. Create an enjoyable candidate experience by:

  • Communicating: technology makes it easy to communicate with candidates-- use it to your advantage by reaching out and thanking your candidates for entering the hiring process with your organization.

  • Putting yourself in their shoes: Think about the worst job interview you’ve ever experienced; think of how awful it would be to experience that again. Treat your candidates the way you’d like to be treated so they can emulate those while hiring for your company. Of the organizations who prioritize candidate experience, 26% of them rate their talent acquisition as highly effective.

  • Evaluating and presenting expectations: 27% of candidates who had a poor experience with an organization actively discourage colleagues from applying. Be personable with your candidates by explaining your reach-out process. Give a time range of when they will be contacted (regardless if they made the cut or not) so they’re not left hanging.

Know what you want

A hiring manager must fully understand what kind of representatives their company needs for success. Enterprise IG conducted a study that found 70% of customers’ brand perception comes from conversations with employees. If you don’t communicate with your candidates and employees what they need to promote, your company could take the backlash. Harvard Business Review also discovered companies excelling in consistent messaging are increasing revenue growth by 10-15%. Effective brand communication will help them better communicate to candidates in their future position as the hiring manager what the company stands for because they understand the brand and mission statement fully.  

Tweet This: What does it take to hire a quality hiring manager?

Raise brand awareness before the hiring process even begins. Give your audience the resources to click into your brand and gain awareness on social mediums. 61% of professionals with social media use it for business at least once a week. Promote your company culture, mission and work expectations to attract the hiring managers your company desires. By aligning your work objectives, you can attract the next best group of hiring managers for future success in better hiring.

 

Don't forget to look beyond the recruiting process. You want your employees to love you the whole way through! Tap into our Cyber Train free demo.

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Tags: applicant management, best candidates

Can You Train Employees for Resilience?

Posted by Mark Jackson on Wed, Jun, 10, 2015 @ 07:06 AM

When first onboarding a new hire, what do you hope to instill in them? A sense of belonging to your company culture? A quick adoption of the skills they need to get the job done? A passion for the field and a commitment to good work? These are all laudable principles, but often they’re more expected from the start than taught.

Organizations need to commit to real teaching and perhaps most importantly, they need to train employees how to learn. If you find someone who can’t seem to get over their mistakes, can you teach them to get back up again?

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Learning Through Failure

Most on-the-job training comes in two forms: shadowing someone else while they work and learning by doing. It’s entirely possible to learn a skill simply by performing it over and over, but what many people attempting to pick up something new (or learn the ins and outs of a job) don’t realize is that learning is more about rectifying the mistakes than basking in the glow of your accomplishments. It’s why taking risks is important to growing as a company, but companies are becoming increasingly risk-averse, steering back any attempts towards something new back to the status quo.

Tweet This: What are the two best ways to learn a new task? Give up? 

This stressful environment has led to a workforce that can’t stand failure, and it’s making the workplace a bad place to be. A recent survey from Morneau Shepell revealed that 98% of physicians believe that the workplace is generally making employees less healthy. When employees have to be perfect in every aspect of their job, when they can’t afford to make mistakes, they will eventually plateau for fear of trying new things and failing, and eventually lose productivity due to health issues.

Why Resilience is Key

Resilience allows us to recover from our failures, which then allows us to learn from our mistakes. Once we identify why we committed an error or where we’ve faltered, we’re more likely to fix that mistake. If we’re not resilient, we dwell on our failures and dread making more mistakes, inhibiting our growth. Kathleen Barton, a professional speaker and career coach, has talked about how resilience can lead to better decision-making, since resilient people are more aware of what they can and cannot change:

"Resilient people focus their energy on those events that they have influence over, rather than situations beyond their control. They accept circumstances that cannot be changed. Entrepreneur Tim Baumgartner, an independent sales rep who sold electronics to Circuit City, was blind-sided when the company filed for bankruptcy. Within months, however, he launched an online consumer electronics store. 'Whining and complaining about how you find yourself here doesn’t help,' Baumgartner says. 'I’ve refocused my energy on the start-up."

Tweet This: "Resilient people focus their energy on those events that they have influence over." 

Developing Resilience

Companies want to make workers more productive, and training employees to roll with the punches is an important step towards reaching that goal. If employees aren’t taught to be open about their shortcomings, they will begin to hide and misattribute them, and feeling as though they are more inept than they really are, leading to employees feeling like they’re impostors.

There are already tons of initiatives to promote employee resilience, so there is proof that everyone can learn to get better from their mistakes. Resilience starts with culture; let your people know that it’s okay to fail, that new ideas don’t always work out, but are necessary in order for businesses to grow. This will help them make the right mistakes, turn them into successes later on, and learn the value of resilience.

No matter what skill you want to teach employees, Visibility Software’s online training software, Cyber Train, can help you get the job done. Take our software for a spin and see what you’re missing!

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Tags: cyber train, training management

The 7 Types of Candidates: How to Train Them

Posted by Mark Jackson on Wed, Jun, 03, 2015 @ 07:06 AM

When we last talked about the seven types of candidates, we discussed how to hire each type. They all have their own advantages, and each type works best in different positions at different levels in your company. But now that you’ve hired them, you need to train them. And just as teachers must adapt their lesson plan for the different types of learners in their classroom, so, too, should managers and hiring staff make sure they use different methods when training each of the sevens types of employees they’ve hired.

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Leader

Leaders and leaderships training are where many burgeoning companies spend their learning dollars. Leadership and management training make up 35% of companies’ learning and development budget. So when it comes to training the next generation of employees who will lead your company, it’s worth it to spend big. If you’ve invested in turning your managers into leaders, it’s worth it to go all the way and pay for leadership courses at top business schools in your country (many offer online courses as well!) Having a good leader helps everyone work better, so if you can afford it, leadership courses will end up paying for themselves. Work with leader-types to stay out of the weeds and into strategic roles, rather than attempting to do all the work themselves.

Tweet This: Leadership and management training only takes up 35% of companies' learning and development budget.

Entrepreneur

Entrepreneurs may not be interested in formal training courses as much as leaders, but that doesn’t mean some learning some business acumen would be alien to them. Even if they have a knack for thinking big, they still have to learn from failure, and that’s important. One-third of new businesses close within their first two years, and half close within their third year. So train entrepreneurs by allowing them to fail in a safe environment, discussing what went wrong and right after different projects. They want to think big, and companies need to facilitate this ideology by allowing them a safety net. Provide entrepreneurs real-life projects where they can fail and learn as well as thrive and learn.

Careerist

Careerists will want training for the sake of advancing their career, so enticing them to take management training programs shouldn’t be too difficult. However, if you find that you need extra motivation, emphasize that career advancement opportunities are few and far between; only 44% of companies say their employees advance as far in their careers as the employees would like. With the extra incentive to compete, careerists will be more likely to dive into the training programs you offer them. Show careerists where they can go in the company and milestones that show progress along that path.

Hunter

Hunters want to know they’re appreciated at the job they’ve chosen. They know their strengths as employees from all the research they’ve done on the job market and want to know that you know their strengths, too. To train a Hunter, you need to cater to their strengths as a worker, but also create a system of direct feedback, where you can let them know you’re aware of their progress. Make sure to praise their good work and deftly point out areas of improvement. Keeping them in the loop will make them feel appreciated, and they’ll stick around for much longer. Leaderboards, employee (and sales) referrals and competitions as well as recognition for achievements are great ways to motivate hunters.

Internationalist

Internationalists are focused on the future, and want to accomplish their goals of international supremacy through networking. They’re social, and understand their path to success will involve who they know as much as what. To help them along, try implementing collaborative learning and training programs, like the ones IBM has recently developed. Building a collaborative training environment has all sorts of benefits, but Internationalists specifically will feel like they’re learning networking skills as they learn the job. Sending internationalists to events outside of the office, or the region will give them the best training possible while fulfilling their need to interact within the industry.

Harmonizer

Similar to Internationalists, Harmonizers want to learn through collaboration. Unlike internationalists, learning to work with others is the end itself, instead of a stepping stone towards learning communication skills. Collaborative training environments work well for harmonizers because it’s their natural element, and they’ll be more receptive to skills they can learn by asking others. They’ll also learn how to get groups of people to work with each other, which should be a huge boon for them in many of the jobs they tend to do best (such as HR and group coordination). Team projects, team-building workshops and understanding their fellow co-workers workstyle will help make harmonizers work and learn even better.

Idealist

Just as you need to emphasize the larger purpose of your company when hiring an idealist, you need to emphasize how the training you’re providing will fit into their larger role at the company. You don’t need to give a life-changing speech about how learning a CMS will change their life; just let them know how every part of the learning process will work to round out their role, and how they’ll use what they learn in the regular work environment. Once idealists know how everything fits together, their learning should fall into place. Train idealists by giving them a vision to work toward and allowing them to pick the skills that help fulfill that vision.

Adapting specific training approaches to different employees isn’t easy, and it can often seem like it’s not worth doing. However, with the right approach and an adaptable process, you’ll be able to train every new hire in a way that will maximize their potential.

Visibility’s learning management system will help you change your process for training whenever necessary, allowing you to see how everyone’s making progress. Sign up for a demo today and see Cyber Train in action!

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Tags: Hiring

The 7 Types of Candidates: How to Hire Them

Posted by Mark Jackson on Thu, May, 28, 2015 @ 07:05 AM

 

7-Types-of-Candidates-How-to-Hire-Them

Know thy candidate. During job interviews, hiring teams and recruiters often get a feel for what kind of candidate each interviewee is and what kinds of traits that types comes with. Universum recently compiled the different kinds of candidates into seven types for a quiz and employers would do well to understand how each of these types tick. Today, we’ll discuss what aspects of the company employers should focus on when attempting to court each kind of candidate.

Leader

Leaders are by far the most sought-after kind of employee. According to a Universum survey of global organizations, 56% said they need leaders to fill positions, and 61% say their organizations will need leaders within the next five years. If you’re looking for someone who’ll be able to to lead your workforce now or in the next few years, you’ll want to look for adaptability. Employees who can deal with the unexpected (like having a huge project dropped on them mid-week) and not miss a step tend to make good leaders.

Tweet This: 61% of organizations say they will need leaders within five years. 

To evaluate for this during the hiring process, test them on their knowledge of the industry, have them solve problems on the spot, or ask them other questions that would be difficult to have pre-built answers for.

Entrepreneur

It may seem counter-productive to hire people who want to go their own way, but employers are now actively looking for these kinds of candidates. The Universum survey cites that 39% of global organizations are looking to hire them. Entrepreneurs think big, and if you want them at your company, it’s best to pitch them on purpose rather than benefits. Ritika Puri, co-founder of Storyhackers, offers the following advice:

“[Entrepreneurs are] more interested in the ‘why’ of a job, as well as the ability to make the biggest possible impact. They’re interested in how their employer’s values align with their own…"

Appeal to your company’s bigger picture and path for individual success, and entrepreneurs are more likely to come on board.

Careerist

Careerists get a bad rap as people who want to move up the career ladder at all costs, often at the cost of the people around them. However, with this desire to climb the ladder comes a great deal of ambition, which companies can then turn into a desire to lead. And with as few as 7% of employees aspiring to advance to senior or C-level management, harnessing that rare ambition to advance will be crucial in the future.

Tweet This: Only 7% of employees aspire to advance to senior or C-level management.

To harness careerists, companies should emphasize opportunities for advancement. If a candidate asks if a position has the potential for growth, make sure to say yes and give them a practical example within the company.

Internationalist

Employees with a knowledge of multiple cultures are rare, and even rarer are those who can leverage that knowledge to help build connections between the multiple branches of global companies. Employees who know multiple languages are a big plus for any company, with 70% of employers believing speaking Spanish will be a huge advantage in the job market in the next ten years, and 42% thinking the same of Chinese-speaking. However, appealing to these candidates can be difficult, especially if your hiring process isn’t as global as your company.

To get these candidates on your side, put benefits ahead of pay. Internationalists want to know what the job will provide them beyond money, such as connections and opportunities to build a network.

Hunter

Hunters, particularly in sales industries, are the kind of employee that looks for opportunities at every turn. Rather than wait for assignments and leads to come to them, they search them out, ready to pounce on whatever tasks. However, if they don’t see opportunities, they’re going to burn themselves out. Unlike Careerists, Hunters aren’t necessarily as interested in advancement as they are being rewarded for going above and beyond.

Focus on the competitive aspects of your business. If you offer commissions, make sure to put that benefit up front. If you don’t, pay raises for a job well done and meeting quotas can also work as an incentive.

Harmonizer

Harmonizers work for the good of the team. They want everyone to get along while contributing to a company’s larger goals. And as studies suggest, employees who specialize in teamwork can be a boon for productivity: when asked what the biggest factor hindering productivity was, 36% said it was a non-collaborative work environment. Harmonizers want to know they’ll be working with people, and these kinds of exercises will excite them.

To attract harmonizers, emphasize the power of your company culture; talk about activities around the workplace employees love to do, team-building activities your company may have undertaken in the past, and the last project coworkers collaborated on.

Idealist

Idealists want to know they’ll have an impact on the business. They think big, and want to know that their work at your company will matter. This is especially true of Millennials, 78% of whom are heavily influenced by a company’s perceived ability to innovate when making their career decisions.

To help idealists feel better-suited for the job, employers should help idealists understand their company’s larger purpose, and emphasize some of the other aspects of the company, such as charitable donations and volunteer efforts.

No matter what kind of employee you’re looking to hire, Visibility Software’s Cyber Recruiter will help you find them. Create and approve reqs in seconds, schedule interviews on a dime, and onboard your new hires with ease. Sign up for a free demo today and find your next hire.

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