Mark Jackson

Recent Posts

Join Visibility Software at GPUG Summit Nashville! A Dynamic Opportunity for the Dynamics GP Community

Posted by Mark Jackson on Tue, Aug, 22, 2017 @ 08:08 AM

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Hey y’all!

What are your plans October 10-13, 2017? We are a proud sponsor of GPUG Summit Nashville, one of the most engaging conferences in the industry. And as a sponsor, Visibility Software is excited to share this experience with you this October in Nashville, TN as we squeeze every last bit of functionality out of the products and get you the ROI you want—and deserve.

Why YOU should attend

GPUG Summit is THE go-to conference bringing together industry experts, software development vendors, and everyday users to discuss important issues, trends, product updates, customer pain points, and genuine solutions. The value of GPUG Summit is endless! Here are a few more reasons why you should attend: 

  • Meet & network with your user group buddies: Nowhere else will you find the collective Microsoft Dynamics® GP brainpower than at GPUG Summit.
  • Geek out over great content: There’s no better instructor than an actual Dynamics GP user. Receive deep level technical training in a focused environment on Dynamics GP functions that you can utilize 365 days a year.
  • Serve as a voice: Speak with vendors and Microsoft representatives so they understand your product pain points and can grow your industry with their products and future development.
  • Evaluate and test solutions: Understand third party solutions and learn what they can do for your industry or organization.

How to engage with us at GPUG Summit

We invite you to stop on by our booth (#363) to learn about our recruiting and training management solutions that integrate with Microsoft Dynamics® GP and other HR systems to automate and streamline the entire recruiting, hiring, onboarding and training management process.

Artwork commissioned for you

To celebrate the inspiring Nashville location, along with the inspirational Dynamics community, Dynamic Communities commissioned a remarkable piece of custom art. Over the next few months, they will be revealing parts of this unique artwork until it’s fully unveiled at GPUG Summit. Learn more and don’t miss out on the reveal. 

So giddy-up, grab your boots, and join Visibility Software in Nashville!

 

Tags: training management, recruiting, recruiting strategy, gpug, microsoft dynamics gp, gpug summit, nashville, tn

5 Tips to Launching an Effective Learning Management & Employee Development Program

Posted by Mark Jackson on Mon, Jul, 31, 2017 @ 15:07 PM

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Are you considering implementing a formalized employee development program? It is an investment that’s likely to pay off. Organizations with a career development program in place enjoy up to 250 percent higher productivity. And the benefits don’t stop there. Reduced turnover, higher employee engagement levels, increased innovation and improved risk management are some of the additional benefits companies realize when they implement a formal training and career development program. Training also serves as a recruiting tool – you’re more likely to attract and keep good employees if you offer them development opportunities. 

If your company doesn’t have a training and development program in place, it may seem daunting to get started. But it doesn’t have to be. Here are five basics to keep in mind as you work to implement an effective and efficient employee training and development solution in your organization. 

1. Consider it an investment

There is a tendency among business owners and executives to view employee training as an optional expense — and that mindset can prove very costly to your organization in the long run. The moment you think of employee development and training as just another expenditure, you’ll neglect it. Instead, think of it as an investment that can prove extremely valuable for the long-term success and growth of your organization.  

2. Remember you’re planning a program, not an event

A training program is more than just a series of unrelated courses or workshops. It should reflect your organization’s goals, as well as the needs of your staff. What's important is that your staff training program has some reason behind its structure. An unrelated series of presentations or activities might have some value, but it will benefit neither the staff nor the organization as much as a training program that forms a coherent whole. Spend the time to outline and flesh-out your course offering, aligning it with your business needs and goals. Document the desired outcomes of each course and determine how you will measure and track those outcomes. 

3. Involve your staff

Make a point to involve staff members in the planning and implementation of your training program. The people who actually do the work are usually in the best position to figure out what their needs are. Ask questions, gather input, and structure training opportunities that meet employees where they are and take them where they want or need to go. Training breeds commitment, and committed employees are happier and more productive. 

4. Incorporate the basics - but don’t stop there

Companies often decide to implement a training program to address compliance matters (think OSHA or Department of Labor), manage risk ((think sexual harassment and diversity training), and/or professional certification or credential tracking (think nurses, teachers or commercial truck drivers) – and these are certainly areas that benefit from a formalized approach to training. Job function training is another common (and worthy) goal of an employee training program.  

As you plan your training program, consider broadening it into a full-fledged employee development program. Think of training as a retention tool, helping to instill loyalty and commitment from employees. One idea would be to offer career development courses, enabling employees to prepare themselves for promotion. Staff will be more likely to stay if you offer them ways to learn and grow while at your company. Don't give them a reason to move on by letting them stagnate once they've mastered initial tasks.  

5. Leverage technology

A training and development initiative won’t succeed if it isn’t easy to maintain. Companies often rely on spreadsheets, Word documents and calendar reminders to track employee training. Usually these programs were initiated when the company was much smaller, or was training fewer individuals. A disjointed system like this requires administrators to enter data in multiple locations, making reporting, analytics and data sharing virtually impossible. While this may work when your training needs are minimal, as you grow this system becomes overly labor intensive. 

Employee training, with the myriad of details to be tracked, is an ideal candidate for automation. Not long ago, learning management software was only within financial reach of the largest companies. But now, there are affordable learning management solutions accessible to small and mid-sized companies. Give your initiative the best chance of succeeding by establishing an easy to manage infrastructure that’s both scalable and accessible. 

Interested in more? Check out our Best Practices Guide - 

3 Steps to Achieve Talent Development that Drives Organizational Success 

 

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

4 Reasons Why You Need to Invest in Employee Development

Posted by Mark Jackson on Thu, Jun, 29, 2017 @ 11:06 AM

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According to Training Mag, the average amount a midsize company dedicated to the training budget was $1.5 million.

Companies of every size are shelling out the big bucks to train their new employees. Why? Because new employees are an investment and the future and they need to be molded into the common practices and company culture of the workforce in which they are placed. Communication is key in order to keep those new nuggets of talent and in case you hadn’t heard the cost of replacing an employee is through the roof these days. It costs 50-60% of an employee’s annual salary. 

So why should you revamp your employee development program?

 

1. Engaging with your employees leads to SUCCESS

This one’s a no-brainer, but is often seriously overlooked. Engage with your employees, especially your new ones. The more your employees participate in company culture and are associated with the company’s goals and interests the more they can support all those pieces.

 “Employee development is a way that you can keep your employees engaged at work to prevent that kind of boredom from setting in. Interesting training programs, and future development events that are fun or challenging to look forward to — this removes the plodding daily feel to a job that leads to that dreaded boredom.”

-Chad Halvorson, When I Work

 

Unsurprisingly, 70% of employees who don’t have confidence in the abilities of senior leadership are not fully engaged. Engagement is easy when tackled from a conscious standpoint.

Tweet This: See what happens when employees don't believe in the abilities of senior leadership:

 

2. The fiscal and emotional costs of replacing an employee

The stresses that come with replacing an employee can sometimes outweigh the fiscal costs of replacing said employee. Our advice? Avoid it all together with a streamlined, simple, informative and productive employee development process. For example, companies are re-engineering their talent development and learning management systems. 

In need of some help in this department? Check out Visibility’s learning management resources to help aid in the assistance of employee development.

 

3. HR Professionals are constantly looking for ways to improve their processes

Keep up on your employee development processes. Setting up a good platform in which an employee can learn paves the way for successful training and continual development in the future. 80% of companies believe HR skills are an issue and 39% rate this as an outright issue. 

 “Highly-structured, one-size-fits-all learning programs don’t work anymore. Individuals must own, self-direct, and control their learning futures. Yet they can’t do it alone, nor do you want them to. The development and growth of your talent is vital to your ongoing success, ability to innovate, and overall productivity.”

- Keith Ferrazzi, Entrepreneur

 

4. Informal learning, while great, should not be your main vessel of training

Who doesn’t love inadvertent learning? That special kind of learning sharp witted new employees simply pick up from observing and inferring from other employees? While this type of “off the cuff” training is great, it should NOT be a company’s only means for knowledge sharing. An astounding 87% of companies rate "retention, engagement, and culture" as an important imperative and 50% rate it "urgent."

Leaving too much for an employee to infer can lead to major communication problems in the long run. Misinterpretation is the essence of all workplace issues! Be nothing if not overly clear about what you expect from your employees.

Now you have your reasons, but here comes the real work. Check out the many solutions Visibility Software has to offer to enhance employee development if you don’t know where to start. You might be surprised at just how easy employee development can really be and the postive impact it will have!

For more check out our best practices guide - 

Best Practices Guide - 3 Steps To Achieve Talent Development That Drives Organizational Success

 

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

How the Right Applicant Tracking System Improves Candidate Experience

Posted by Mark Jackson on Thu, May, 11, 2017 @ 13:05 PM

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According to a recent report from Software Advice, nearly 26% of recruiters said using an applicant tracking system is one of the top contributing factors for applicants having a good candidate experience. A good applicant tracking system allows your company to guide every candidate through your hiring process from beginning to end with ease. Unfortunately, not every company can take advantage of this streamlining, and it costs them money and candidates. And of course, some systems are better than others. So as always, it’s important to ask the right questions about your applicant tracking system to see if it’s your process or your software that’s making your organization’s candidate experience terrible.

 Is your ATS simple?

A good ATS is simple and to the point. It helps guide applicants through the process, and makes it as easy as possible. At its best, an applicant tracking system is invisible. The last thing you want your ATS to do is to be overcomplicated, confusing and an extremely long process for the candidate, making applicants focus on the how of application process rather than the why. A recent study showed that almost 49% of candidates think extremely long applications were a major deterrent to applying for the position. If your applicant tracking system makes applying more complicated than it should be, drop it. A great ATS should be as easy to navigate as a consumer website, why isn’t yours?

Tweet This: 49% of candidates think extremely long applications were a major deterrent.

Is it Effective?

In order to have the best candidate experience, your ATS needs to do what it sets out to. For your applicant tracking system to be effective, here’s what it needs to have: requisition management, automated workflow, applicant-facing tools, pre-screening, scoring and compliance. Analyzing your current situation, your job posts, and how your ATS feeds into the rest of your hiring process can allow you to improve every part of hiring, but only if your ATS can deliver on its part of the bargain. If you feel like you have to work around your applicant tracking system instead of with it, it’s not effective. Once every element of your hiring (including your ATS) works in harmony, every part of your hiring will end up benefiting. Ask your new hires how they feel about your applicant tracking system and be ready to process their honest answers.

Tweet This: For your applicant tracking system to be effective, here’s what it needs to have:

Is it convenient?

Have you ever been to the hospital, reached the front desk to tell someone your emergency, then, once you finally reach the emergency room, the nurse asks you what’s wrong? And then, once the doctor finally comes to check on you, they also ask you what’s wrong? It’s frustrating to have to repeat yourself, especially when you’re in need of dire care. When something like this happens, all you can think to yourself is, “are these people even talking to each other?” It’s incredibly frustrating annoying, and while hospitals may have their reasons for the lack of communication, the amount of time they waste in treating a patient is all the same. 

Why treat your candidates the same way? After being questioned so many times about who they are and what they do and having to fill in the same information over and over, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that your candidates are dropping out. A recent study showed that companies saw a drop out rate as high as 48% because of a complicated applicant process. Don’t do this to your candidates. It will decrease your talent pool and give you bad reputation as an employer. You need every advantage you can get as an employer looking for talent, and anything keeping you from top talent needs to go.

Tweet This: Companies saw drop out rates as high as 48% because of complicated ATS processes. 

If your current ATS isn’t your company’s standards for hiring and it doesn’t make anything easier for the candidate it may be time to look into a new solution. Your ATS is a key part of your hiring process, so don’t let your current one cost you candidates and your company money. Instead, a good applicant tracking system should expand your talent pool by giving your candidates the most optimal experience. Not sure where to look? Visibility Software’s applicant tracking system is a great place to start.

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Tags: candidate experience, applicant tracking system, ATS, cloud based ATS, recruiting software

The Real Value of an Employee Development and Training Strategy

Posted by Mark Jackson on Fri, Apr, 28, 2017 @ 12:04 PM

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The Real Value of an Employee Development and Training Strategy

Many organizations that we speak with tell us that while they understand the value of employee training and development, they aren’t certain they need a formal learning management program to deliver, track and manage that training. Many of these organizations track the training they do provide in spreadsheets or even with paper files. While we can agree that any approach is better than no approach, learning management programs are ideal candidates for automation. There are big benefits to be realized from standardizing processes and automating the workflow surrounding employee training, and here we take a look at just a few of those benefits. 

Aids retention

Studies tell us that 40 percent of employees who receive poor job training leave their positions within the first year, citing the lack of skills training and development as the principal reason for moving on. Employee development and training programs help employees feel invested in their jobs and in their organizations. A well-established program ensures that employees continue to feel motivated to advance their own careers within the company, as well as to advance the company’s mission, rather than turning elsewhere for new opportunities. 

Attracts job seekers

An organization that has a standardized employee development plan reassures job seekers that the company is invested in their long-term success and advancement within the organization. Applicants are less likely to invest themselves in a company that doesn’t show the same commitment in return. A recent Bersin study noted, “Companies with career management programs are better able to attract and retain top talent, leading to higher employee engagement and, in turn, a positive impact on the bottom line.” 

Automates manual processes

If your training requirements are modest, it may be tempting to continue to use the collection of spreadsheets to track course offerings, registrations and certification renewals, but by deploying a smart learning management solution, you can dramatically reduce the overhead involved, saving money and driving efficiency. From automatic reminders to employees and their supervisors, to enrollment tracking and training reimbursement request handling, through an automated approval workflow, a dedicated learning management solution can generate a rapid and significant return on investment.   

Promotes consistency

With formalized training, you can be certain that vital functions and tasks are taught in a consistent, precise manner, ensuring that all employees receive the same information. You can of course develop your own training in house, but most organizations rely at least in part, on professionally-produced training courses. Depending upon the specific training provided, the value of such consistency may vary from improved productivity to reduced liability for the company. 

Streamlines compliance

From sexual harassment awareness training, OSHA-mandated safety training, through business ethics – it’s not just that proper training is the right thing to do, training protects your company from potentially devastating law suits and fines. A learning management solution helps ensure employees (and you as the employer) are in compliance with job requirements and the law. The software can track certification expirations, courses due, and notifications and accreditation requirements, helping maintain strict compliance and protecting both you and your employees. 

It makes financial sense

Increased revenue is a common goal across many organizations, and investing in employee training to support that goal makes financial sense. For example: 

  • The Cheesecake Factory invests an average of $2000 annually per employee on training. The chain enjoys sales of $1000 per square foot, almost double the restaurant industry average. 
  • Payroll provider ADP coaches some sales associates on managing virtual teams and time management. Those that participate had an average of seven percent growth in sales. 
  • Motorola has found that every dollar invested on training can yield as much as a 30 percent gain in productivity within three years, which has helped them cut costs by $3 billion and increase profits by 47 percent. 

For more in-depth tips on taking employee learning and development to the next level, check out our Best Practices Guide – 3 Steps to Achieve Talent Development that Drives Organizational Success

 

Tags: LMS, learning management system, Employee Training, employee development, learning management solution, talent development