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SOURCE FOR PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT $10 www.trainingmag.com MARCH/ APRIL 2018 Partners in Learning Savvy L&D groups
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2018

Partners in Learning Savvy L&D groups reach out to others across the organization to build
Partners in Learning
Savvy L&D groups reach out to others
across the organization to build support
for the work they do

PLUS:

Training 2018 Show Wrap-Up | Creating a Holistic Approach to Learning | Choosing the Right
Training 2018 Show Wrap-Up | Creating a Holistic Approach to Learning | Choosing the Right Agile Strategy
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MARCH/APRIL 2018 VOLUME 55, NUMBER 2

22
22

DEPARTMENTS

48 L&D BEST PRACTICES

Strategies for Success

A look at how Penn Station East Coast Subs drafts a training program and how Windham Professionals creates employee satisfaction.

52 Top 10 Hall of Fame Outstanding Training Initiatives

Details of Capital BlueCross’ Consultative Training with Insights and PwC’s Project Management Foundations for Assurance adaptive e-learning.

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26

30

34

38

41

Partners in Learning

Collaborating with the right internal partners within your organization can make the difference between reaching learning goals and falling short. BY MARGERY WEINSTEIN

Crafting a Holistic Approach to Learning

Companies are finding that learners increasingly benefit from courses that are offered in many different ways, partly for convenience, and more importantly, for knowledge retention. BY MARGERY WEINSTEIN

Adapting to Adaptive Learning

Adaptive learning enables an individualized, contextual approach that focuses on what learners need and directs instructors to where they are most needed. BY GAIL DUTTON

Choosing the Right Agile Strategy

The key element, which all Agile frameworks boast, is that whatever method you use supports the development of multiple iterations and constant evaluations in a short timeframe. BY GAIL DUTTON

5 Ways In-House L&D Pros Can Become More Entrepreneurial

By prioritizing your internal clients’ needs, wants, and demands, you can position yourself as an indispensable in-house training professional. BY SCOTT McKINNEY

Training Heats Up in Hotlanta

The Training 2018 Conference & Expo ignites participants’ passion for learning and making connections.

BY LORRI FREIFELD

FEATURES

2

Online TOC Web-only content

4

Editor’s Note Shall We Dance?

BY LORRI FREIFELD

6

Training Today News, stats, and

business intel BY LORRI FREIFELD

10

Soapbox Training and Talent Development

Regain Momentum BY EDWARD E. GORDON

12

Soapbox 10 Reasons Videos and Visual Content Optimize Onboarding BY MATT PIERCE

14

Soapbox Take the Mystery Out of Marketing Your Learning Function BY MELISSA SMITH

AND MARIA CHILCOTE

16

How-To Manage Training Projects

BY ROSS TARTELL

18

World View Focus on Singapore

BY LILY KELLY-RADFORD

20

World View Focus on Slovakia BY NEIL ORKIN

54

Best Practices Micro-Aggressions and Phubbing in the Age of FoMO

BY NEAL GOODMAN

56

Learning Matters Navigating Complexity:

It’s NOT Complicated BY TONY O’DRISCOLL

58

Training Magazine Events The Emotional

Future of Instructional Design

BY PHYLISE BANNER

60

Trainer Talk Taking Training (and Results) to the Next Level BY BOB PIKE

62

Talent Tips Maximizing Learning at Work

Holistically BY ROY SAUNDERSON

64

Last Word Me First Doesn’t Work

BY DAVID McNALLY

online contents

online contents

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trends,

and tools

com Your source for more training tips, trends, and tools On www.trainingmag.com, the online home of

On www.trainingmag.com, the online home of Training magazine, you’ll find these Web-only articles. Send your feedback to lorri@trainingmag.com.

6 Tips to Inspire Better Brainstorming

Well-run brainstorming sessions can help teams solve the toughest challenges and achieve creative breakthroughs.

https://trainingmag.com/6-tips-inspire-better-

brainstorming

Gen Z Learning Tendencies:

A Call for Next-Gen Learning Platforms

The next generation comes with eyes glued to screens. Better to meet them where they are, with mobile learning technology that features video and collaborative features.

https://trainingmag.com/gen-z-learning-tendencies-call-next-

gen-learning-platforms

The Evolution of Blended Learning

Companies today are recognizing the importance of delivering more informal and experiential learning, according to the 2018 Brandon Hall Group Learning Strategy Study. https://trainingmag.com/evolution-blended-learning

5 Steps to Drive Real Change into Your 2018 Training Calendar

Everyone must understand the “why” behind needed improvements, the “how” underpinning your training calendar, and the measurement plan that ensures that all participants recognize success when it happens.

https://trainingmag.com/5-steps-drive-real-change-your-

2018-training-calendar

Interested in writing an online article for www.trainingmag.com? E-mail Editor-in-Chief Lorri Freifeld at lorri@trainingmag.com.

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Knowledge is Power.

—Francis Bacon

We’re Brainier.

Knowledge is Power. “ —Francis Bacon We’re Brainier. Providing Your Employees Smarter Online Learning Solutions.
Knowledge is Power. “ —Francis Bacon We’re Brainier. Providing Your Employees Smarter Online Learning Solutions.

Providing Your Employees Smarter Online Learning Solutions.

There is no one way to learn or a best time for study. That’s why our cloud-based, individualized learning management system (LMS) and learning content are 100% accessible and customizable to your employees’ needs, interests and abilities. Brainier continues to help businesses achieve breakthrough results by providing better enterprise e-learning solutions that educate, engage, and empower your employees.

With Élan, Our Award-Winning LMS Product, Learning Has No Limits.

• Élan helps you create customized curriculums and content for any size organization or configuration.

• Élan provides feature-rich, multi-lingual, powerful video-based training across any device, operating system or platform.

• Élan feels like an immersive part of your brand experience, rather than a third-party add-on.

“The stability of our Élan LMS is key to the success of our employee development—it has not disappointed.” Darin, Holiday Stationstores ®

Our Brainier e-learning experts will show your company how to turn learning and development into a strategic business advantage.

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editor’s note

editor’s note

Shall We Dance?

O ne foot firmly plants. An arm outstretches. Hands clasp. Muscles bunch. A body lifts and balances. To the audience, the movements are effortless and

flow sinuously like a river. For the performers, the movements are the result of

thousands of hours of practice, training, and sweat.

A special performance by dance troupe Pilobolus dur- ing our Training Top 125 Gala last month in Atlanta reminded me how much learning is like dancing. Both can have elements of push/pull. Both require mental agility, commitment, and retention. And for both, the foundation is collaboration and trust.

Those themes ran through our Training 2018 Confer- ence & Expo and Innovations in Training events, held in February in Atlanta (see the Show Wrap-Up coverage beginning on p. 41), and also are displayed in each of the feature articles in this issue. Our cover story, “Partners in Learning” on p. 22 looks at how collaborating with the right internal partners within your organization can make the difference between reaching learn- ing—and corporate—goals and falling short. Eight 2018 Training Top 125ers reveal their secrets for successful Learning and Development partnerships. In “Choosing the Right Agile Strategy” on p. 34, Scott Ambler, senior con- sultant for Scott Ambler + Associates, notes, “The primary concept of Agile is collaboration and incremental, evolutionary advances.” Adaptive learning is another form of the dance, enabling an individualized, contextual approach that focuses on what learners need while directing instructors to where they are most needed. Check out p. 30 for three myths that must be overcome before adaptive learning can be deployed effectively. In keeping with this column’s “dancing” motif, I have a few “next steps” I’d like you to consider:

1. Nominate an Emerging Training Leader: This awards program aims to recognize

training professionals who have been in the training/learning and development in- dustry between two and 10 years and who have demonstrated exceptional leadership skills, business savvy, and training instincts. To download the nomination form,

visit: https://trainingmag.com/nominate-2018-emerging-training-leader-today

2. Enter the TTVs: Submit a two-minute clip from your best training video to

our fifth annual Top Training Videos (TTVs) Awards Program. The Top 3 Train- ing Videos (in two categories: produced in-house and produced by a professional video company for a client) selected by our panel of expert judges will be shown at Training’s Online Learning Conference (OLC) 2018 to be held October 8-10 in Chicago. The 6 TTV finalists will each receive a free OLC 2018 registration.

To submit, visit: https://www.onlinelearningconference.com/2018/abstract_form.cfm

3. Participate in Training’s 34th Annual Salary Survey: See how your salary

benchmarks against those of your peers and the industry. To take the survey, visit:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Z5H36BG

As Lee Ann Womack’s song goes: “And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance…I hope you dance.”

get the choice to sit it out or dance…I hope you dance.” Lorri Freifeld lorri@trainingmag.com TRAINING

Lorri Freifeld lorri@trainingmag.com

TRAINING EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD

Brent Bloom, VP, Service Central Operations & Training, Applied Materials Vicente Gonzalez, Senior Director, Global Training, MAXIMUS Jim Harwood, former VP, University of Farmers, Farmers Insurance

Bruce I. Jones, Senior Programming Director, Disney Institute Nancy J. Lewis, former CLO and VP, ITT Corporation, and former VP, Learning, IBM Marc Ramos, Learning & Development, Google Fiber Ross Tartell, former Technical Training and Communication Manager - North America, GE Capital Real Estate

TRAINING TOP 10 HALL OF FAME

Kenneth Barber, Manager, Learning and Development, Jiffy Lube International, Inc. Cyndi Bruce, Executive Director, KPMG Business School – U.S. Laura Byars, VP, Human Performance, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Tina Claure, Senior Learning Strategist and Curriculum Manager, Booz Allen Hamilton Gordon Fuller, Global Design & Development Leader, IBM Center for Advanced Learning Daniel J. Goepp, Managing Director, Learning & Development, PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP Glenn Hughes, Senior Director, Learning & Development, KLA-Tencor Corporation Steve Krupinski, SVP, Human Resources and Facilities, Capital BlueCross Myra Pettis, Director, Educational Service, SCC Soft Computer Robin Renschen, Director, Learning and Development, McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. Zach Sumsion, Manager, Learning & Development, CHG Healthcare

Rae Tanner, Head, Learning & Development, University of Farmers, Farmers Insurance

Lou Tedrick, VP, Global Learning & Development, Verizon Stacia Thompson, Director, Keller Williams University, Keller Williams Realty, Inc. Nicole Roy-Tobin, Managing Director - Talent Development Strategy & Innovation, Deloitte Services LP

2017 TOP 5 EMERGING TRAINING LEADERS

Tina Claure, Senior Learning Strategist and Curriculum Manager, Booz Allen Hamilton

Robin Jussila, Training Manager, Music & Arts

Jennifer Schoborg, Former Senior Manager, Client Service Quality & Learning Operations, Paycor Aaron Searcy, Senior Consultant, Curriculum Design, CVS Health Samantha Wilson, Senior Manager, Training and Development, Dollar General Corporation

All of these unexpected design elements are from our off-the-shelf, eLearning training videos. Can you
All of these unexpected design elements are from our off-the-shelf, eLearning training videos. Can you
All of these unexpected design elements are from our off-the-shelf, eLearning training videos. Can you
All of these unexpected design elements are from our off-the-shelf, eLearning training videos. Can you
All of these unexpected design elements are from our off-the-shelf, eLearning training videos. Can you
All of these unexpected design elements are from our off-the-shelf, eLearning training videos. Can you
All of these unexpected design elements are from our off-the-shelf, eLearning training videos. Can you
All of these unexpected design elements are from our off-the-shelf, eLearning training videos. Can you
All of these unexpected design elements are from our off-the-shelf, eLearning training videos. Can you
All of these unexpected design elements are from our off-the-shelf, eLearning training videos. Can you
All of these unexpected design elements are from our off-the-shelf, eLearning training videos. Can you

All of these unexpected design elements are from our off-the-shelf, eLearning training videos. Can you find the one from Understanding Harassment?

You can sample all of the videos featured above at .

Explore even more of our content with a full-featured, full-library, free trial of our Thinkzoom LMS at .

news, stats, & business intel by Lorri Freifeld by Lorri Freifeld Products & Services >>
news, stats, & business intel by Lorri Freifeld by Lorri Freifeld Products & Services >>

news, stats, & business intel

by Lorri Freifeld by Lorri Freifeld
by Lorri Freifeld
by Lorri Freifeld
& business intel by Lorri Freifeld by Lorri Freifeld Products & Services >> Trust AND Verify

Products & Services >> Trust AND Verify >> Tech Talk p. 8

>> Trust AND Verify >> Tech Talk p. 8 Think Like an Online Product Company By

Think Like an Online Product Company

By Furqan Nazeeri, Partner, ExtensionEngine

EVERY DAY, WE SPEAK TO CORPORATIONS, nonprofits, and universities look-

ing to put their training or education online with the goal of generating revenue, creating impact, or influencing target audiences. People usually anchor their thinking to their existing in-person offerings and ask, “How do we create an online course?” But that’s not the right question to ask. You are creating an online product

and—here’s the part that eludes most—an online business. Take a cue from some of the most successful online product businesses: Ensure your online learning solution is not a generic rework of your offline offering, and that your strategy, business model, and platform are designed specifically for your online target client. When considering a new online initiative, there are several key steps to consider:

1. Start with a business plan. Outline the mar-

ket, learner personas, competition, revenue and cost projections, team and operations re- sources, e-commerce strategy, positioning, and unique differentiators.

2. Create the organizational structure, deter-

mine processes, and secure the resources.

3. Articulate your “product” strategy to ensure

the course, training solution, or certificate pro- gram is designed to be unique and specific to what your market wants.

4. Determine your learning platform—the cen-

terpiece of your business. Don’t just jump to a learning management system (LMS) solution designed for internal online learning. Think about a solution tailored to your learners, your vision, your business plan. Do you think Amazon uses an off-the-shelf e-commerce platform? Of course not. Organizations such as Amazon don’t believe they putting offline products online; they believe they are online businesses.

5. Ensure you have complete control

over the process and end product.

6. Closely monitor progress and user

experiences to ensure your product is meeting their needs. Bottom line: It’s essential that you revisit every aspect of your business to ensure your online offerings truly engage your learners. Otherwise, you are setting yourself up for disappoint- ment before you even begin.

Productivity Coach’s Corner

By Jason W. Womack, MEd, MA www.twitter.com/jasonwomack | www.WomackCompany.com/speaking 3 Kinds of Mentors You Never

By Jason W. Womack, MEd, MA

www.twitter.com/jasonwomack | www.WomackCompany.com/speaking

3 Kinds of Mentors You Never Thought About

How will you grow your career from where you are to where you want to be? This month, meet with three mentors and focus on just ONE question: “How did you get to where you are?”

The Mentor You Won’t Know: Think of

The Mentor You Know: This could be a former manager, a colleague, or someone you look up to in your community. Think of someone who will answer your text or meet you for coffee. Ask them to tell you their

story, and as you listen, wonder how you can emulate what they did.

someone from history. Great people have lived and died. Don’t let that stop you from learning from them! Choose an icon in your industry, someone you look up to. Find a biography, a documentary, and a Website about that person and spend three to five hours this month learning about him or her. Ask: How did they get from where they

started

A year from now, you’ll be somewhere else, doing something different, working with new people and teams. Meet your mentors, ask your question, and be prepared to grow!

The Mentor You Don’t Know

Yet:

Who

is out there doing what you’d like to do and who has a little more than you? Follow them on social media. Subscribe to their e-newsletter. Watch their videos online. As you learn about them, discover something specific you can model after starting now.

to

where they ended?

TO SUBMIT NEWS, research, or other Training Today tidbits, contact Editor-in-Chief Lorri Freifeld at lorri@trainingmag.com or 516.524.3504.

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www.trainingmag.com

Benefits of a Global Mindset

Benefits of a Global Mindset CORPORATIONS THAT VALUE AND actively promote intercultural proficiency are more likely

CORPORATIONS THAT VALUE AND

actively promote intercultural proficiency are more likely to achieve key business goals and objectives, according to a world- wide survey of 1,362 business professionals at multinational organizations conducted by global training organization RW3 CultureWizard. Survey analysis identified two categories of participant organizations:

Some key findings include:

- achievers say their organization recognizes different cultural values and preferences in busi- ness activities, as compared to Underachieving companies. believe their company supports employees developing a global per- Underachievers. companies agree that their employ- er values an employee with a global mindset, while less than half of re- spondents at Underachievers state the same.

Those that achieved or exceeded their business targets

Those that missed

business targets The survey then revealed a correla- tion between business achievement and companies’ commitment to a global mindset.

Dream Job Factors By Bruce Tulgan www.rainmakerthinking.com | Twitter @brucetulgan | brucet@rainmakerthinking.com What is
Dream Job Factors By Bruce Tulgan www.rainmakerthinking.com | Twitter @brucetulgan | brucet@rainmakerthinking.com What is

Dream Job Factors

By Bruce Tulgan

www.rainmakerthinking.com | Twitter @brucetulgan | brucet@rainmakerthinking.com

What is the No. 1 issue troubling business leaders in nearly every industry today? It’s getting harder and harder to recruit, motivate, and retain the best talent. Our research shows there are eight factors people look for when choosing a job—or choosing to stay in a job. We call them the “dream job” factors:

The basic threshold financial compensation and benefits must be competitive. Next most important is opportunities to earn more money based on extra-mile effort and results. Working with an immediate manager/supervisor who provides regular support, guidance, and direction. The actual work, per se. Also, control of something, the chance to get credit for the tangible results one produces, and opportunities to grow and

advance one’s career. The ability to work near where one lives or prefers to live, plus an overall comfortable workspace. The ability to set one’s own schedule. Also, occasional scheduling accommodations to help employees respond to real-life scheduling needs. Formal and informal opportunities to build new knowledge and skills. The chance to build productive and mutually supportive working relationships with colleagues, leaders, managers, clients, customers, and vendors. Clear requirements and parameters that establish the boundaries within which employees can navigate with independence and creativity.

Partnerships&Alliances

>> acquired a results-based learning and organizational change company. Together, the team will have a broader impact in creating people- centric solutions that help people do their best work.

>> a platform for credential issuing, tracking, and management, announced its integration with efforts led by a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving transparency in the credentialing marketplace. The collaboration will enable colleges, universities, businesses, and professional and trade associations to publish credentials in a common language called Credential Transparency Description Language (CTDL).

>> an education technology company for teaching, learning, and student engagement, announced a new collaboration with an “Inclusive Access” provider. This new collaboration provides students with seamless access to course materials in an Inclusive Access model within Blackboard’s learning management systems, Blackboard Learn and Moodlerooms.

>> formed a technology partnership with a mobile talent development solution that brings personalized coaching to employees at all levels. Orai combines the latest advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) with Mandel’s communication expertise and content to enable users to objectively assess their communication skills, get actionable feedback on how to improve those skills, and measure results over time.

>> an enterprise recruitment marketing platform provider, formed a new partnership agreement with creator of the Olivia AI Recruiting Assistant. The alliance will focus on product integration, co-marketing activities, and a formal sales referral process.

Products & Services   >> Google.org rolled out the first of its Grow with Google
Products & Services   >> Google.org rolled out the first of its Grow with Google

Products&Services

 

>> Google.org rolled out the first of its Grow with Google initiatives with the launch of the IT Support Professional Certificate exclusively on Coursera. This credential is the first of its kind to be offered through a massive open online platform. The certificate program provides a direct pathway to jobs—learners who complete the six courses in the certificate will be able to use Coursera’s platform to share their information with companies such as Bank of America, Walmart, GE Digital, PNC Bank, Infosys, TEKSystems, and, of course, Google.

>> A new mobile app, “Be A THINKing Partner,” teaches how to help others make better decisions by listening and asking thoughtful, active questions. Developed by the leadership experts at 2-Way Communications, this tool demonstrates how to think through situations and talk through ideas.

>> OneSmartWorld, a Canadian 21st century skills company, launched the newest online versions of the 4D-i (4 Dimensions of Intelligence) and the Smarter Meetings collaboration accelerator. The 4D-i is part of a tool kit that helps people and teams get work done, effectively and efficiently, by mastering a common language and collaborative thinking skills, while fostering overall cohesion and engagement.

>> Stanford Graduate School of Business unveiled its new executive education course: Big Data, Strategic Decisions: Analysis to Action. Tailored for senior-level executives, the course provides participants the framework, tools, and confidence to ask the right questions, interpret analysis, and use both to transform data into strategic decisions. The five-day course will be held August 5-10, 2018, on the Stanford campus. The application period is open until June 22, 2018.

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FRONT-LINE MANAGEMENT 101 2018 Leader Resolution #2: Trust AND Verify By Ashley Prisant Lesko, Ph.D.

FRONT-LINE MANAGEMENT 101

2018 Leader Resolution #2: Trust AND Verify

By Ashley Prisant Lesko, Ph.D.

Being a manager means protecting your team from certain interactions from above—removing red tape so they can get their jobs done. Each employee on your team was hired to do something specific for the company. Give them latitude to do so—and trust they under- stand and support the business. As a mid-level manager at a large company, I once found out that the business was being sold…from an online news article. The senior leaders of the company did not trust their managers enough to share the information. As a result, the facts emerged through other sources. My peers and I were confused and

disappointed. Why not trust us with the information—when they trusted us to run the company? As a manager, it can be hard to trust your people. You may feel you can accomplish tasks faster and/or better. Instead, you need to lead… and develop your team. Give them a chance to make a mistake—it helps them learn. Don’t forget, however, to verify their information. Trust them by communicating clearly what you need. If they don’t get it right, make a resolution to find out why: It could have been a misunderstanding on either side. Resolve to find out and trust your team.

on either side. Resolve to find out and trust your team. >> BeBop Sensors, Inc., a
on either side. Resolve to find out and trust your team. >> BeBop Sensors, Inc., a

>> BeBop Sensors, Inc., a leader in smart fabric sensor technology, unveiled the one-size-fits-all Forte Data Glove, which incorporates haptics, wireless technology, and accurate rapid sensing for gaming and augmented and virtual reality.

>> SMK-Link Electronics, owner of Gyration and a subsidiary of SMK Electronics Corporation U.S.A., launched a new Gyration input device: the Air Mouse Presenter. Powered by Gyration’s motion-sensing technology, Air Mouse Presenter is both a PowerPoint remote control and an “in air” handheld mouse– enabling presentations and computer control from anywhere in the room, plus clickable access to hyperlinks and other interactive elements within slides.

>> Zoom.ai, a chat-based productivity solution, announced the integration of its AI-driven automation platform with Microsoft Teams and Office 365. Users

now have access to AI-powered productivity tools, in-depth insights, and data stored in the cloud all in a single interface.

>> Pinsight, a global talent management software-as-a-service company, released its new Leader Readiness Platform, which allows companies to develop, evaluate, and track employees’ leadership skills every day. The platform is built around virtual simulations and customized daily exercises delivered by smartphone app.

>> Time to Know, a provider of next- generation education technology solutions, launched T2K Echo, the company’s new blended learning technology solution. T2K Echo is an active learning environment featuring social engagement and human interaction for the learner while providing an array of actionable insights and analytics for the trainer.

for the learner while providing an array of actionable insights and analytics for the trainer. www.trainingmag.com

www.trainingmag.com

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soapbox

Training and Talent Development Regain Momentum

Scientific knowledge and technological change are progressing at an ever- increasing pace. Today, lifelong learning is essential for career success and

advancement. BY EDWARD E. GORDON, PH.D.

v a n c e m e n t . BY EDWARD E. GORDON, PH.D. Edward

Edward E. Gordon,

Ph.D., is president

and founder of

Imperial Consulting

Corporation. He

is the author of

“Future Jobs: Solving

the Employment

and Skills Crisis”

(Praeger, 2018 new

paperback edition)

and many other labor

studies on the U.S.

workforce. Visit www.

imperialcorp.com for

more information.

F or the last 50 years, I have been actively engaged in workforce development as a provider, researcher, consultant, and au-

thor. It has been a wild ride since 1968! Now we are at another major tipping point on this journey. Training magazine’s 2017 Training Industry Re- port (Training, November/December 2017) showed that U.S. businesses made an unprecedented $23 billion increase in worker training in the last year. Total expenditures rose from $70.6 billion to $93.6 billion or 32.5 percent. This is by far the largest annual increase reported since 1985. Since 2011, business investment in training and development grew by more than 50 percent. (See chart.)

EXPENDITURE CHANGE

Decade

($Billions)

In $B

Percent

1980s

$25.6 to $45.5

+$20

+78%

1990s

$43.2 to $62.5

+$19.3

+45%

20000s

$54.0 to $52.8

-$1.8

-7%

2011-2017

$59.2 to $93.6

+$33.9

+56.7%

Source: Training magazine Training Industry Reports 1985-2017

With more than 9 million vacant jobs across the U.S. economy, companies are beginning to radical- ly rethink their investments in worker training and education. The first paragraph of the December 8,

In 2018, we are returning to a training cycle similar to those of the 1980s or the early phase of the industrial revolution.

2017, issue of the Kiplinger Letter stated: “Busi- nesses are turning to a new strategy: train the workers they need themselves.”

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce estimates a loss of $26,000 per vacant job in profit or pro- ductivity for a business. This represents an overall $234 billion loss to the U.S. economy. The massive U.S. demographic shift and the increasing educational demands caused by the introduction of advanced technologies across every business sector will continue to energize more business investments in worker training. If this high level of investment is not sustained, it is likely job vacancies may rise from today’s 9 mil- lion to 14 million by 2022.

THE BUSINESS CYCLE OF TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT

Between 1966 and 1988, training and work- place education underwent a fundamental shift. Computer-assisted training, which first was introduced in “learning labs,” became the busi- ness response for addressing the need to reskill employees. But during the early 1980s, many or- ganizations began to recognize the limitations of stand-alone computerized training. A human trainer was needed to guide, coach, and motivate individualized learning. Management response to training proposals began to shift away from:

“What do you think this business is—a school?” Gradually, larger organizations began establish- ing Training departments that offered in-house instruction using training designers and profes- sional trainers. During the 1980s, U.S. businesses expanded their training investments by 78 per- cent to more than $45 billion. (See chart.) By 1990, the workplace learning revolution was popularized by Peter Senge’s seminal book, “The Fifth Discipline.” American senior man- agement began to embrace investing in their human capital—corporate universities prolif- erated and “lifelong learning” and the “learning organization” became business buzzwords. By the decade’s end, training expenditures had in- creased 37 percent to more than $63 billion. However, by the mid-1990s, a dramatic policy

shift gained momentum. Best-seller “Work- place 2000” by Joseph Boyett and Henry Conn advocated shifting the responsibility for em- ployee development back to the individual worker. People were “empowered” to figure out what new knowledge they needed and told to go out and get it. This fit in with an ac- celerated management focus on short-term financial results. Businesses sought to raise quarterly profits through mergers and acqui-

sitions and aggressive cost cutting, including expanding automation to reduce staff and slashing training budgets.

Short-term profit enhancement re- quired eliminating all non-essential business operations. Non-core func- tions could be outsourced, including Training departments. As more powerful computer instruc- tion programs appeared, management embraced e-learning because it elim- inated training staff and classrooms, and increased employee time on the job. Another appealing feature was that it enabled employees to access learn- ing whenever they wanted it. An added incentive was that e-learning software and hardware could be capitalized as an equipment investment. Over the next 15 years, this business training game plan gained popularity across the U.S.

By the end of the first decade of the new millennium, companies had cut their overall ex- penditures on employee training by 7 percent. However, research began to appear that questioned the effectiveness of stand-alone e-learning. While it worked well for self-driven, highly motivated, well-educated employees, studies showed that only about 10 percent of the workforce successfully completed pure e-learning programs. Also, it was found to be less useful for training aimed at changing human behav- ior, such as supervisory or interpersonal skills training, teambuilding, or some types of sales training. Psychological studies indicate that the social component of learning is extremely im- portant for most adult learners. Thus, blended learning gained momentum as it enabled train- ees to try out their new skills and obtain coaching from a professional trainer. Ideally, it marries the best e-learning and virtual reality programs with higher-quality classroom training.

Beginning in 2011, the business profit loss gen- erated by accelerating job vacancies has spurred

businesses to once again expand employee train- ing and development and cooperate in programs that prepare people with the skills needed in to- day’s job market. Apprenticeships, “boot camps,” and “earn while you learn” programs are gaining increasing business support.

WHAT’S NEXT

In 2018, we seem to be experiencing a return to

a training cycle similar to those of the 1980s or

the early phase of the industrial revolution when

Retraining adult workers and better preparing more of our students for the job market will require an even greater effort than in past eras. Computerization and robotics are disrupting the job market, especially shrinking the demand for manual labor. Some type of post-secondary education and training is increasingly necessary to earn a middle-class wage.

agricultural workers flooded into the cities from the farms or from overseas as immigrants—

a critical need to update the skills of the U.S.

workforce. Retraining adult workers and bet- ter preparing more of our students for the job market will require an even greater effort than in past eras. Computerization and robotics are disrupting the job market, especially shrink- ing the demand for manual labor. Some type of post-secondary education and training is in- creasingly necessary to earn a middle-class wage. Brain power is superseding muscle power. America’s wealth is built around a knowledge- based economy. Scientific knowledge and technological change are progressing at an ever-increasing pace. Innovation requires utiliz- ing technological advances to produce new goods and services. Lifelong learning is now essential for career success and advancement. A new era of continuous learning has arrived. It will only grow in importance as 21st century workplaces continue to be transformed. t

soapbox

10 Reasons Videos and Visual Content Optimize Onboarding

Instructional videos, charts, and graphics improve memory retention; help foster creativity; eliminate recurring questions; and save time. BY MATT PIERCE

recurring questions; and save time. BY MATT PIERCE Matt Pierce is Learning & Video ambassador at

Matt Pierce is Learning & Video ambassador at TechSmith Corp., a visual communica- tion company that empowers people to create remarkable content to share knowledge and infor- mation. A graduate of Indiana University’s School of Educa- tion’s Department of Instructional Systems Technology, Pierce has more than 10 years of experience working in Learning and Development with a focus on visual instruction. He has directly managed the training, user assis- tance, video, and other teams for TechSmith.

T he first few days at a new job often are

called “orientation,” and with good rea-

a good first impression, too. Videos and other visual content can be a cure for most of these onboarding ills. Visual content addresses several challenging parts of the on- boarding experience, making the process more fruitful and less stressful for everyone involved. Instructional videos, charts, and graphics im- prove memory retention; help foster creativity; eliminate recurring questions; and save time. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Here are 10 rea- sons videos and other visual content can help your organization optimize its onboarding process—and even benefit your existing employees.

1. Visual content helps your employees

retain what they learn: Visual content is

efficient and effective. While research sug- gests that the average worker remembers just 30 percent of what he or she read (http://

creately.com/blog/how-to-increase-work-

place-productivity/), a combination of text

and images can increase information re- tention and comprehension by 50 percent. What’s more, the human brain can process visuals at astonishing speeds: up to 60,000 times faster than the same information

conveyed by text (http://creately.com/blog/ how-to-increase-workplace-productivity/).

2. Visual content helps employees learn

son. It’s a time when new employees learn

the lay of the land, including the company’s core values, the systems they will use every day, and where the restrooms are located. Without a good “map,” this onboarding process can be bewil- dering. Even worse, your company can create a bad first impression. Unfortunately, many companies treat onboarding as an afterthought. When an orga- nization comprises 100; 1,000; or even 10,000 people—sometimes spread across several states

The first few days at a new job is a time when new employees learn the lay of the land, including the company’s core values, the systems they will use every day, and where the restrooms are located. Without a good “map,” this onboarding process can be bewildering. Even worse, your company can create a bad first impression.

or continents—important on-the-job instruction can be hard to obtain. New employees may not know the appropriate contact for certain ques- tions. They simply may be too embarrassed to ask other questions. After all, they want to make

and review things on their own time:

Many new employees join the workforce right out of school. These younger work-

ers already know and use visual learning tools. A growing number of high schools and universities use videos and other forms of interactive visual content as part of the core coursework. Students expect these kinds of learning aids, and they appreciate that this type of content helps them absorb information quickly and efficiently at any time.

3. Visual content can address common questions

without disruption: Start developing ideas for videos, infographics, and other visual content by considering the question, “When I started, what do I wish someone had told me?” The first weeks on the job aren’t just stressful for new employees. Long-time staffers often get inundated by ques- tions on how to use tools or who to contact for certain things. Ask your “go-to” people about the questions they field regularly from new em- ployees. These will make great topics for your first visual explainers—and your staff will be thankful for the effort.

4. Visual content lets you get creative with tutori-

als: Don’t be afraid to have fun or get experimental with your visual content. At TechSmith, we have an espresso machine that’s a bit complicated to use. So we made a video about how to use the machine. We also put a little QR code on the espresso ma- chine, so people could walk up to it, scan the QR code, and then watch a video about how to use it. It’s a fun little idea that could have helpful applica- tions around the workplace. Contextual videos can explain how to reorder supplies, replace the print- er toner, add participants to a conference call, you name it.

just

5.

Videos

convey

much

more

than

information: Video captures a whole lot more than the words being said. It even captures more than the sound, the expressions, and the emotions of the person delivering your message. Video also conveys your company’s spirit and culture. Do the people on camera look happy to be there, and are they ex- cited to be delivering your company’s message? It’s important for new employees to see enthusiasm, especially during their first week.

6. Videos are effective for distributed teams: If

a CEO wants to deliver important messages and define corporate values to new hires, time of ac- cess can be a challenge. An introductory video from the leadership team can help make that personal connection while accommodating busy schedules. Plus, introductory and tutorial videos are readily accessible across time zones and re- mote workforces. The easy distribution of online video can be a tremendous benefit for many or- ganizations, large and small.

7. Video can show your organization in a natural way:

For global organizations or companies with an ar- ray of regional offices, videos are a way to show employees in their everyday work environments. Whether these videos are shot in the C-suite, the field, or thousands of miles away, new employees gain a greater sense of context and an opportu- nity to see your organization at work. It can be

a great way to show—rather than tell—the most

important aspects of your culture. Celebrate your values by showing them in action.

8. Visual content is a collaborative and creative

effort: Once employees have a chance to review vi- sual materials, ask them for feedback about the experience. You’ll gain insight on whether the messages were clear, whether they have further questions about the subject matter, and whether

Videos and other visual content can be a cure for most onboarding ills. Visual content addresses several challenging parts of the onboarding experience, making the process more fruitful and less stressful for everyone involved. In fact, the human brain can process visuals up to 60,000 times faster than the same information conveyed by text alone.

any production issues detracted from the content.

9.

Videos

are

easy

to

create

with

today’s

technology: These days, almost everyone has a capable high-definition video camera in their pocket. A smartphone is all you need to get start- ed, and a low barrier to entry translates to a world of opportunity. Don’t worry about shooting an Oscar-worthy video on your first try. Just be cre- ative and be open to improvements. The ease and low cost of smartphone videos offer another key benefit: Updating your videos with new content is easy and inexpensive.

10. The more videos you make, the better they’ll

get: Even with a smartphone, you can shoot professional-looking videos. This may not happen

right away, but it’s important to keep trying. As you gain experience, you can improve your videos with simple framing adjustments, lighting tech- niques, and steadying your camera with a rig or tripod. Once you master the fundamentals with

a smartphone, you’ll be more comfortable using

a higher-end camera, a three-point lighting kit,

and an external microphone. Those aren’t nec- essarily the first things you should invest in, but experimenting with a smartphone can help get you there. t

soapbox

Take the Mystery Out of Marketing Your Learning Function

You already have all it takes to be a great marketer of training. You just need to fine-tune your focus on knowing your audience and building relationships

throughout your organization. BY MELISSA SMITH AND MARIA CHILCOTE

z a t i o n . BY MELISSA SMITH AND MARIA CHILCOTE Melissa Smith and

Melissa Smith and Maria Chilcote, managing partners of The Training Clinic, have combined 60-plus years of expe- rience in the Learning and Development field. Their core business of training trainers and managers in all aspects of the L&D ecosystem has provided them with a first-hand look at the impacts and chal- lenges of meeting the varied training and performance needs throughout the organization. They are passionate about maxi- mizing performance through collaboration, sharing, and growing across the industry as illustrated by their motto, “We are all on this journey together!”

M arketing is one of those business skills that appear to have eluded many of us in the Learning and Development (L&D) field.

It’s one more thing to do. It’s a bit mystical. And besides, who has the time?

The reality is we already possess all of the skills necessary to be good marketers! We just need to fine-tune our focus a bit because at the heart of marketing are two basic strategies:

1. Know your target audience

2. Build relationships throughout the

organization That’s it! Well, there is a bit more. Let’s take a look at what we inherently do as L&D professionals and how we can easily tweak this to up our marketing game.

a single manager’s request, we jump into action.

We begin an assessment to determine whether or not the non-performance is a training issue. We use tools such as performance analysis, target population analysis, goal analysis, task analy- sis, etc., to help separate the training needs from the organizational or environmental issues that are preventing desired performance. We partner with management throughout this process not only to learn from them but also to educate them about the root causes and possible solutions for non-performance. In other words, we help them move beyond “training” as the only answer when addressing performance needs.

Tweaks we can make…

Compared to what we currently do, taking a marketing approach to know our target audience is a more proactive one. Although there are people in the orga- nization who approach us (or come to us when their pants are on fire) to “fix” performance problems, there are many others in the organization who don’t know what we can do for them. In fact, we probably never cross their mind when performance problems arise. To reach these folks, we need to dig a bit deeper. We need to make sure they know who we are before they know they need

us. Their situation is a frustrating one. They have

a performance problem but don’t know what to do,

so they try and solve it on their own. And the out-

come is sometimes not a pretty one! So we need to discover the goals and aspirations of these folks, as well as their headaches and pain points. For example, an IT department may seek to decrease the number of calls to the help desk and the amount of times they retrain on systems or processes. Their headaches and pain points

When marketing the L&D function, when making sure the organization knows who we are and what we can do for them, we need champions of training!

Remember, the objective is to have our marketing efforts be seamless with what we do every day. As you’ll see, we really are accidental marketers!

KNOW YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE

What we currently do…

As instructional designers and facilitators, we constantly are assessing our audience and deter- mining their training needs. Whether the request for training is initiated by upper management or

might include an uptick in the number of calls and staff complaints about how boring and in- effective the training delivered by their subject matter experts (SMEs) is. Once you know their goals/aspirations and headaches/pain points, you can partner with them to help determine the best approach to reach the desired performance. Again, this is a more proac- tive approach versus waiting for them to come to you. It takes planning and strategizing on your part, as well as inserting yourself into their world to create these opportunities.

BUILD RELATIONSHIPS THROUGHOUT THE ORGANIZATION

What we currently do…

Through the very nature of what we do, we con- stantly are building relationships throughout the organization. We work alongside management when assessing, developing, and delivering train- ing and performance interventions. We provide SMEs with facilitation skills so they can train more effectively. We solicit C-suite executives to help to kick off performance improvement initia- tives. We coach supervisors so they can reinforce training back on the job.

Tweaks we can make…

All of the above is necessary for the effective im- plementation of training and other performance improvement initiatives. We need sponsors, men- tors, and supporters of interventions to implement them effectively. However, when marketing the L&D function, when making sure the organiza- tion knows who we are and what we can do for them, we need champions of training! Champions of training will go out of their way to advocate our L&D efforts and market on our behalf throughout the organization because they have experienced the value firsthand. How do we create these champions? Essentially, we have to assertively insert ourselves into their world and showcase our stuff. Here are some ideas we (and others) have used with great success:

1. Attend managers’ meetings. Someone from

your L&D department should be represented at managers’ meetings. Not invited? Ask, beg, or just show up. We’re serious. Remember, we said, “Assertively insert.” Once they see the val- ue you can add to their process, they’ll ask you back. While there, ask performance-based ques- tions and see how you can help them reach their business objectives. Also, take the opportunity to showcase the achievements you’ve had with other departments with similar challenges. For

example, helping the finance department im- plement a new onboarding program resulted in new hires getting up to speed and contributing to productivity 50 percent faster than before.

2. Stay in touch with the business. Go to lunch

or grab a walking break with a manager from a different department every week. Find out what’s going on and how you can help. How is business?

Take the opportunity to showcase the achievements you’ve had with other departments with similar challenges. For example, helping the finance department implement a new onboarding program resulted in new hires getting up to speed and contributing to productivity 50 percent faster than before.

What is getting in the way? How long has this been going on? What do they think is the cause? Then, to really contribute and create multiple champi- ons, pull back and start looking for organizational behavioral trends.

3. Be the guide on the side. If you see an ex-

ecutive struggling with meeting facilitation or presentation skills or even a “PowerPoint of Doom,” offer to help but do so discretely. You don’t need to take center stage. Once they expe- rience the results of your coaching, you can rest assured you have a champion for life.

4. Create recognition programs for those managers

who are “doing it right” when it comes to support- ing the development of their people. Publish names

(with pictures) in your virtual and print media, have C-suite execs issue certificates of recognition, or hold a pop-up recognition party to celebrate. See? You already have all it takes to be a great marketer of training. With just a few tweaks to what you already are doing, you’ll be amazing. By reaching out and getting to know your various au- diences and cultivating and growing champions of training, you are well on your way to having your own internal marketing “social media.” t

how-to

how-to

Manage Training Projects

Project management is a critical skill for the training profession. It enables us to create the solutions so critical to the success of the organizations we support. BY ROSS TARTELL, PH.D.

of the organizations we support. BY ROSS TARTELL, PH.D. Ross Tartell, Ph.D., is currently adjunct associate

Ross Tartell, Ph.D., is currently adjunct associate professor of Psychology and Education at Colum- bia University. Dr. Tartell also consults in the areas of learn- ing and development, talent planning, and organization develop- ment. He received his M.B.A. in Manage- ment and his Ph.D. in Social Psychology from Columbia Uni- versity. He formerly served as Technical Training and Communications Manager – North America at GE Capital Real Estate.

n 2015, Training magazine published an article about the importance of project management as

part of a trainer’s responsibilities. In that article,

Wolters Kluwer Global Vice President of Talent Development Katie McSporran noted, “Wheth- er the initial request is for a needs assessment, training/talent strategy, training program/curri- cula, implementation support, and/or performance consulting, project management is a fundamental competency for scoping and planning the work, gaining alignment on approach and commitments, and managing expectations” (https://trainingmag.

com/trgmag-article/accidental-training-manager).

I

Things haven’t changed since 2015. Great ex- ecution saves time and money—and increases performance. Here’s how it’s done:

The typical training project has four steps con- nected by feedback loops that help you recalibrate any of the previous steps:

loops that help you recalibrate any of the previous steps: PLAN Good up-front planning ensures that

PLAN

Good up-front planning ensures that the project is focused on a realistic solution and defines the boundaries of the effort, minimizing the “scope creep” that is a common pitfall. The planning phase must answer the following questions:

What is the project rationale? What prob- lem or opportunity will the effort resolve or achieve? What are the project goals/ deliverables? Are the deliverables to provide information, give a recommendation, or implement a solution? Who is the client/sponsor? Who gives ap- proval and what is the approval process? Who are the stakeholders affected by this project? When does the project need to be finished? What is the sequence of project steps and mile- stones that create the project plan and calendar? What resources, such as people, budget, and other assets (e.g., meeting space, technology, outside expertise), are needed to ensure success? Planning stage outcomes are:

resources, logistics, and project plan buy-in from key project stakeholders

INITIATE

Now you’ll need to create the implementation team, with guidance from the sponsor. Great teams have the necessary technical competence, or access to the specialized knowledge, to move the project ahead. In addition, team members need organizational per- mission to dedicate the required time, and must have the motivation and teamwork skills to work together. The second step is team chartering and launch. The project team needs to understand and com- mit to the project goals, team roles, and the rules governing how to work together. Common tools used in this phase are the GRPI Model (Goals, Roles, Processes, and Interpersonal Relationships) to help diagnose issues affecting team performance, and the RACI Chart (Responsibility, Authority, Consulted, Informed) to clarify roles and decision- making responsibilities. (Visit www.trainingmag.com for my How-To articles on these topics.) This stage also includes any needed revision of the project plan, based on feedback gathered during team creation and project launch.

IMPLEMENT

There are three keys to success in this stage. First, an operating rhythm helps the team know when they will meet, how to conduct meetings, and what they will do to execute the plan. Second, contingency planning keeps critical milestones under control when inevitable problems arise. Third, stakeholder analysis enables the Training professional to focus communications and manage politics.

WRAP-UP AND EVALUATE

Conduct a project briefing with the project spon- sor and client to review the project purpose, outcomes, follow-on actions, and lessons learned. Also reallocate remaining resources and inform key stakeholders of the final project status. Project management is a critical skill for the train- ing profession. It enables us to create the solutions key to the success of the organizations we support. tt

October 8 (pm) – 10

McCormick Place West Chicago, IL

Co-Located Events:

– 10 McCormick Place West Chicago, IL Co-Located Events: Innovations “I was really grateful to have

Innovations

Place West Chicago, IL Co-Located Events: Innovations “I was really grateful to have such an exciting

“I was really grateful to have such an exciting experience meeting my peers in other organizations as well as experts in the field. The connections I made have already made an impact to the work I do and the learning professional I am.”

Kristie Mubarak, Senior Training Analyst, Whirlpool Corporation

Training’s fall event is back in Chicago!

Corporation Training’s fall event is back in Chicago! “The speakers are there solely to impart their

“The speakers are there solely to impart their knowledge and experience, not to give you an infomercial about their company or product. I was able to immediately use the skills and practices that were discussed and demonstrated. It was a great individualized adult learning experience.”

Anthony DiMartini, Sr. Training Specialist, MKS Instruments

“This was my first time attending Training’s conference and I was impressed with all the presenters. It’s such a great conference, not just for the tips and industry updates, but for conceptual background on how to teach information to learners and have them retain what they’ve learned.”

Ashley Berry, Paralegal Specialist, Nationwide Insurance Company

www.OnlineLearningConference.com

world view

Focus on Singapore

Western trainers will find Singapore welcoming to outside professionals, but local customs and social structures should be respected for training

to be effective. BY LILY KELLY-RADFORD, PH.D.

e f f e c t i v e . BY LILY KELLY-RADFORD, PH.D. Lily Kelly-Radford,

Lily Kelly-Radford, Ph.D., is a psychologist, executive coach, and leadership development consultant. She is a partner in Executive Development Group.

S ingapore is a choice assignment for Western Learning professionals for sev- eral reasons. The democratic city-state enjoys mild equatorial weather, and the

business climate is welcoming to Western profes- sionals and academics. The cultural experience on the ground is rich and varied with a global outlook. English is the common language of com- merce. It’s an easy place to feel safe as a foreigner. Singapore’s leadership is committed to making the city a center of the Asia-Pacific region, recruit- ing talent from within the region to work in one of the most affluent economies in the world. Learning, with an eye on meritocracy in the workplace, is highly valued. As the nation’s econ- omy currently is slowing down, organizations and personnel are eager to stay competitive. Singapore may not lead in innovation, but it does set the pace in terms of business processes and attracting talent to stay at the top of its game in tourism, refining, retail, and technology. That said, there are inconsistencies in the workplace—e.g., leadership is still male dominated— that affect training and development. Westerners who have become used to flat corporate structures will notice elements of hierarchy that keep the C-suite aloof from the rank-and-file. “Skip interviews” in which employees meet with their boss’ bosses, now

government-owned organizations is significantly different than in the U.S. Government work often has higher status and salaries than commercial enterprises. Singapore’s airline is government owned, and there are many hybrid, semi-national enterprises. But entrepreneurial principles also are valued, even in state-led organizations.

CULTURAL CONSIDERATIONS

Cultural diversity is evident throughout Singapore, but the Chinese family structure prevails in many ways. Students often live in multi- generational and physically smaller homes. Prop- erty in the crowded city is expensive. Commutes in heavy traffic to less expensive housing can affect promptness and cause training start time delays. When Skyping from New York at 9 a.m., it’s good to be mindful that it is 9 p.m. for a Singapore pro- fessional who possibly is calling in from a house or apartment with elder relatives and young children who may be sleeping. While Asians often speak in softer tones than their Western colleagues, don’t confuse a working father’s quiet presence as “not speaking up.” He’s probably just mindful of his kids’ bedtime. Multi-generational living has advantages as child- care usually is managed with the help of older family members. This can be a big advantage for women professionals in Asia.

Singapore may not lead in innovation, but it does set the pace in terms of business processes and attracting talent to stay at the top of its game in tourism, refining, retail, and technology.

common in the U.S., are not practiced here. Singapore professionals value Western trade, but don’t expect any special deference to your aca- demic credentials just because they’re American or European. There is a sense of pride and a pref- erence for the region’s own universities. The blend of private, publicly traded, and

CUSTOMS THAT COUNT

Sharing—housing, domestic duties, food, etc.—is a dynamic unique from the West that affects the routines of the office and is highly observable in the custom of eating groups, which are strong social “real-

ity testing” groups that provide belonging and social support. As a foreigner, you may be brown bag- ging at your desk—if not enjoying a solo spree on any street of amazing restaurants—but you prob- ably won’t be invited to a group. Eating groups are from three to seven colleagues who go out every day over the years and provide both support for one another and also a break from the office. You

must be invited to a group based on common

connections such as your university or job function. The eating group is a source of informal informa- tion exchange that keeps participants in the know. It’s an important feature of networking, and people look

forward to it. It’s an egalitarian custom with no group leader, just a consensus of texts about where to go. Everyone in a group has

the same status or pay grade. If you advance to management, you’re ex- pected to leave the group and lunch with your new peers. It’s a custom that provides a lot of positive reinforcement and social validation, but the downside is the lack of diversity and the potential for

cliques to form. For a trainer, it’s unpopular to orga- nize working lunches, but there’s an opportunity to challenge a class to collaborate outside their eating group cohorts in various learning exercises.

arrival and departure times for personal/ domestic realities, commutes, and multi-genera- tional living arrangements. Bring “your A game.” Your classes will be highly educated and motivated. You will be valued for

The blend of private, publicly traded, and government-owned organizations is significantly different than in the U.S. Government work often has higher status and salaries than commercial enterprises.

good performance more than your credentials. Don’t be complacent. Singapore is so Western in many ways that you might be lulled into doing things like you do at the home office. Effective trainers need to push themselves out of their comfort zones to engage with the diverse and

prevalent cultures.

zones to engage with the diverse and prevalent cultures. SUGGESTIONS FOR SUCCESS Don’t just adjust your

SUGGESTIONS FOR SUCCESS

Don’t just adjust your time zone; adjust your timing.

Remember that you will need to accommodate

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world view

world view

Focus on Slovakia

Training programs that run from two days to a week are popular in Slovakia. The most requested topics are: technical training, sales and marketing, and customer service. BY DR. NEIL ORKIN

and marketing, and customer service. BY DR. NEIL ORKIN Dr. Neil Orkin is president of Global

Dr. Neil Orkin is president of Global Training Systems. His organization prepares corporate professionals for global business success. For more information, visit www. globaltrainingsystems. com.

S lovakia, with a population of more

than 5.4 million, is a central European

country that borders Poland, Ukraine,

Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Aus-

tria. This country was created 25 years ago when Czechoslovakia separated into two: the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Like its neighbor, the Czech Republic, Slovakia has been able to make the transition from a communist system to a capitalist one in record time. A great benefit for organizations that want to do business in Slova- kia is that it is part of the European Union, a free trade, duty-free market consisting of more than 500 million consumers. Slovakia has a diversified economy. Currently, organizations here manufacture and export cars, heavy machinery, metals, food products, phar- maceuticals, textiles, chemicals, and electrical

products in large numbers. It historically has been known and lauded for a strong agricultural sector. It has a modern telecommunications sys-

tem. The Slovakian government has welcomed foreign involvement through legal reforms and policies that encourage direct investment. In spite of the many economic challenges Europe has faced in recent years, Slovakia has ex- perienced some of the most consistent economic growth of all the countries that belong to the Eu- ropean Union. It has benefited from the diversity of it economy and the skills of its people. Slova- kia has a literacy rate of 99 percent. Education

is free, even at the college and university level.

THE STATE OF TRAINING

Most of the companies in Slovakia are located in the capital city of Bratislava, which has a popu- lation of approximately 440,000. Much of the country’s corporate training is conducted on-

site in a dedicated training room at the office or in a manufacturing facility. Similar to the training conducted by its neighbors, especially the Czech Republic, most training programs in Slovakia are short and focused. Programs that run from two days to

a week are popular. The most requested topics

are: technical training, sales and marketing, and

customer service.

TRAINING TIPS

In Slovakia, trainers are expected to lecture. If you

do not begin your training by doing this, your participants may lose respect for you. Your train- ing participants will defer to you, and treat you, their trainer, as an expert they can learn from.

Age and job title are respected. Do not call a

trainee by his or her first name unless asked.

“Small talk” should be minimized when inter- acting with your trainees. Do not talk about

religion, politics, or family life if you want to connect with your trainees.

Silence is valued in this culture. Your partici-

pants want to hear what you have to say, and learn from you. They will not challenge you. They may be quiet if they disagree with your point of view. It often is felt that challenging the trainer is disrespectful, and harmful to the training environment. Do not take classroom silence as a sign your training is not going well.

English is not spoken widely in Slovakia. It is

likely you will need to translate your training materials into Slovak. Hiring a trainer who is fluent in this language, and then training him or her on the outcomes expected will be critical to successful knowledge transfer and learning. Concurrently, a key training project will involve training select management and staff in “Workplace English.” Many global organizations have had great success by pro- viding “English Language Coaching” to a core group of professionals in their company. After this initial rollout, interested professionals are offered small group training in “Workplace English.” This language training is highly de- sired in Slovakia. Your company will quickly be able to generate significant returns on its training dollar. In addition, it will position your company as the “place to work.” This training program will attract top professionals from throughout the country, and serve as a valuable recruitment and retention tool.

Slovakia has a group-oriented culture. Training

participants do not want to be singled out. They may fear making an error in front of their peers. When praising or providing constructive feed- back, always include the group. t

Partners

in

Learning

Collaborating with the right internal partners within your organization can make the difference between reaching learning goals and falling short.

BY MARGERY WEINSTEIN

W hen your company tasks its leaders to reach a corpo- rate goal, such as moving products to market faster or reaching out more effectively to Millennial consumers, what is the Learning team’s role? Your goals are nearly

always tied to that of the company’s other departments, with everyone working to serve the company-wide initiative. It only makes sense to look for internal partners to build support for the programs you create. Savvy Learning groups have a process in place to ensure they reach out to others

across the company to build support for the work they do.

Stakeholder Support

At Training Top 125er Choice Hotels, after initiatives are identified, the Learning team gathers specific feedback from those who will be the target audience for the learning opportunities, explains Director of Learning & Development Karyn Ed- wards. As an example, she points to when the company’s Leadership Foundations

Program, designed for new managers, along with two addi- tional learning tracks, was launched in

Program, designed for new managers, along with two addi- tional learning tracks, was launched in 2017. “To develop the curriculum, focus groups were held with managers to deter- mine which needs they felt were most important to cover,” she says. “Talent review data also was analyzed to determine what themes existed in the competencies that needed to be developed. The courses and descriptions were shared with the stakeholders to ensure we were meeting the desired areas of development.” Key stakeholders include the company’s executive team. For instance, Choice leaders are engaged in the review and approval of participants in the Emerging Leaders Program (ELP), where high-potential employees are nominated by their leader or peers to participate. Once the initial vetting is complete, Choice’s Human Resources executive team reviews the nominees. Noting an example of executive stakeholder involve-

ment, Edwards points to the company’s Ascending Leaders Program (ALP), which is supported by direct participation of senior leaders and executives. A list of high-potential directors/senior directors is presented to the executive team with the request to identify 16 participants to go through the program. “Our executives take an active role, by teach- ing select portions of our Ascending Leadership Program; they participate on panels, and actively participate in the associated projects that are a core part of the program,” she says. Sometimes the best way to get executive support is to make them sponsors of the programs. Training Top 125er Colora- do Springs Utilities does just that. “As part of our corporate university model, we use sponsors and executive sponsors for our key programs,” says Workforce Development Manager Renee Adams. An example of this is the company’s Leader Connections five-track leader development program. “One

Partners in Learning

of our company’s officers and two general managers serve as executive sponsors. One of the executive sponsors always kicks off the opening cohort for each program track,” Adams explains. “Executive sponsors assist with marketing the pro- grams, provide the keynote speech at the annual leadership program graduation celebration, and promote the success of program participants.” At Training Top 125er Carilion Clinic, there is always an effort to involve all those affected by the training that is created. “We often are working with departments that are affected by the initiative, as well as those who may partici- pate in workflows or new processes as part of the initiative,”

says Tara Wiedeman, senior director, Education and Orga- nizational Development, who notes that the Learning team also works with the organization’s Communication depart- ment to help develop the communication plan around the new learning initiative. “We also may work with other de- partments based on the needs of the project/initiative, from the biggest to the smallest details,” she says. “The continu- um can range from working with our senior executive team to working with our materials management team to help determine the logistics related to initiatives, such as supply, form name, and number.”

Interactive Video Breaks Down Silos at PG&E

By Kevin M. Reyes, Expert Instructional Designer, and Dave Curtis, Manager, Leadership and Employee Development, PG&E

To keep pace with the transformational change happening in industries like ours, employees need always-on access to information that accelerates their skills and expertise. At Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), we’ve found that new video technology is helping teams develop critical business knowledge, con- necting disparate business units, and even deepening employees’ connection to our company’s mission. As one of the largest combined natural gas and electric energy companies in the U.S., we have more than 20,000 employees working together to deliver some of the nation’s cleanest energy to nearly 16 million people in Northern and Central California. And because we’re part of the nation’s critical infra- structure, safety is paramount, so we set a high bar for knowledge on core topics across every job function, from power line worker to finance executive. Passive training videos or animated slides isn’t enough. In late 2017, our PG&E Learning and Development team debuted the 2.0 version of Knowledge Connect, an online learning ecosystem hosting more than 65 e-learning videos and other performance support tools. With 80 percent of the content video based, the portal provides six learning channels categorized by company competencies and key business drivers, and curated in alignment with our company’s mission, vision, and culture. By using an interactive video platform (HapYak, www.hapyak.com), which adds HTML overlays to online video, PG&E Knowledge Connect was able to make video content address the expectations, competency, and accountability of all employees, whether individual contributor or director level. Such shared, yet personally relevant, content further breaks down traditional silos where information trickles down. Interactivity made it possible for our academy team to quantify knowledge, capture feedback, and tailor the dialogue at all levels. By adding quizzes at the end of e-learning courses, we obtained Level 1 data on whether learners gained knowledge, if they liked the content, and if they would recommend it to others. We insert surveys into videos asking what additional topics employees would like to see on Knowledge Connect. Interactivity also enabled branching, or “choose your own adventure” features —where a viewer selects from among several content options—and hot spots, where the video links to outside content for those who want additional drill-down. Across disparate business units and job roles, employees preferred the inter- activity compared to passive video, and our team valued how using interactivity enabled viewers to guide their own depth of learning.

Formalize the Process

Some companies find that gaining internal support is easier if there is a set process in place. Training Top 125er BB&T University has developed a request process that lever- ages SharePoint and an InfoPath form. “Any associate can submit a request, but we part- ner with members of senior leadership to prioritize the request in order to align with strategic objectives,” says Learning Archi- tecture Manager Debi Wayne. “In all cases, requests are analyzed (root cause and gap) and prioritized.” A methodical process is used when a pro- gram is launched and created. For instance, a major strategic initiative for the company re- lated to a new commercial lending platform, called AFSVision, recently was introduced. This was a multi-year project, and BB&T University was involved since inception. This included the following functions:

include expenditure - holders, including members of senior leadership and executive management - mittee and assisting with the awareness campaign communication plan

Leverage Expertise of Others

Training Top 125er CarMax relies heavily on the expertise and experiences of its associ- ates to develop technical, competency, and leadership training. Chief Human Resources Officer Diane Cafritz shares, “At CarMax, we believe our associates are our best asset and differentiator for the company. When it comes to training, we leverage our associates for ideas and execution of new programs.” CarMax Learning teams regularly seek out top-performing associates in the field to discover the exact behaviors that have led to their exceptional performance. Once

identified, CarMax crafts programming around these behav- iors so other associates can benefit from their peers’ success. CarMax even asks associates to write content, or be featured in training videos or articles, to share their keys to success. According to Cafritz, “not only does this process result in ef- fective training, it also empowers our associates and provides unique development opportunities.” Cafritz also remarks on how the Talent Management group works closely with business leaders and the HR strategy team to measure the effectiveness of its programs. “Prior to any new pilot, we work with the business to select the right way to test and measure any new program or training. This al- lows the Talent Management team a way to monitor the work and adjust based on the data and feedback before roll- ing it out to the entire organization.” At Training Top 125er Buckman Laboratories, associ- ates from outside the Learning team become a key part of most of the programs that are created. “We are fortunate that Buckman associates are highly involved in their per- sonal learning,” says Learning Effectiveness Analyst Lauren Warren. Buckman does not have full-time trainers; instead, its subject matter experts (SMEs) double as trainers and treat this as a complementary addition to their full-time roles. “The benefit of this is managers and leadership are in- timately familiar with the current state of training, as well as a desired future state per market trends,” says Warren. For example, a sales manager in Europe noticed there was a need for up-skilling novice associates more than the current global training provided. This manager then worked with Buckman’s Human Resources team to identify a program that filled this gap. “When our team received the business case and budget, we set a schedule to review and potentially replicate the process globally if performance metrics indi- cated improvements in our new hires,” she says.

Use a Steering Committee to Get on Track

Training Top 125er Cartus recently used a steering commit- tee to generate support from, and serve, learners. The steering committee comprised a group of employees who speak di- rectly with customers of the Learning team. “We found that although we were delivering training for their new hires, we weren’t in communication with management after that,” says Vice President of Global Learning and Development Patricia Small. “The result was that management would approach Learning with an ‘emergency’ training need they felt was mandatory for all of their employees. Because of the percep- tion of criticality, we didn’t have time to properly vet the need, and had to design and deliver based on their request.” To avoid last-minute “emergency” requests, and make sure the best learning was always delivered, Cartus organized a committee that included various levels of the department the training was being developed for. Meeting monthly, the committee’s goal was to discuss:

1. What business goals they were trying to accomplish 2. What gaps they perceived in their ability to achieve their goals

QUICK TIPS

“The conversations not only brought up training needs, but also surfaced process improvement needs (which then were submitted to a group that handles those) and man- agement gaps,” says Small. “The conversations helped to educate the Learning group on actual training needs that then could be prioritized and planned for, as well as educated the business group on the difference between a training need and something their management group had to address.” The use of the steering committee proved so effective that it set the stage for an ongoing dialogue. “The relationship with the group has strengthened, to the point where we don’t need to have the formal steering committee anymore,” Small notes. “Instead, we’ve included Learning representatives in existing key meetings where these conversations occur as part of everyday business.” Another organization that found it useful to create a committee to help keep learning on track is Training Top 125er BayCare, a hospital system in Tampa Bay, FL. In 2016, the Learning team created the Talent Advisory Coun- cil (TAC), says Instructional Technologist, Organizational Development & Learning Nancy Sawayda. This council is a cross-section of all levels and roles within the leadership of the system, with approximately 30 representatives from both corporate and clinical environments. The charter of this group is to provide insight and oversight into any large-scale talent management initiative. It weighs in on the modality of the training, helps prioritize and/or identify the target audi- ence, and helps determine how success will be measured and communicated. “Many members of this council are also active in the roll-out and facilitation of the trainings, and are instrumental in our marketing and socialization of these efforts,” Sawayda says. “This council is co-chaired by the director of Organizational Development & Learning and the director of Talent Acquisi- tion. Each member is asked to serve a one-year term, at which point they can re-up for the next year if they choose.” t

Crafting a

Holistic

Approach

to

Learning

Companies are finding that learners increasingly benefit from courses that are offered in many different ways, partly for convenience, and more importantly, for knowledge retention. BY MARGERY WEINSTEIN

O rganizations today are struggling to figure out how to create a well- rounded, all-inclusive approach

to learning that appeals to multiple gener- ations of learners and makes the learning stick. An ideal holistic approach to learn- ing might include:

Innovative learning through a blend of tra- ditional classroom, virtual classroom, and Web-based (on-demand) modalities, as well as performance support through multimedia, mobile-accessible digital assets. Everyday learning through job experiences, feedback and coaching, and peer-to-peer social collaboration, as well as by training engagement managers and performance managers on effec- tive coaching and feedback. Independent learning, where Learning and Devel- opment (L&D) encourages professionals to take responsibility for their ongoing development. Many companies today offer both recorded and live e-learning, and many of those same companies offer learning live in a traditional, offline classroom environment. But how many offer the same course in both modalities, as well as make the content for the course avail- able on learners’ mobile devices? Companies are finding that learners increasingly

benefit from courses that are offered in many different ways, partly for convenience, and more importantly, for knowledge retention. Presenting the content in more than one form gives learners more of an opportunity to assimilate the content.

Offline, Online, and Beyond

Some companies find that courses that start by being delivered in a traditional, live format can be augmented by additional online content and technological support. Training Top 125er Bank- ers Life and Casualty has found it useful to do just that, says Director of Learning Management Mike Catania, who points out that the compa- ny’s mostly field-based workforce benefits from a multifaceted approach. He points to the com- pany’s Life Certification Program (LCP) as an example. “This was a live classroom-based train- ing program we transitioned into a virtual format with some live post-session field support. This program is 11 sessions, spanning 11 weeks, with a new topic of focus each week,” he says. Focus group respondents spoke highly of LCP, reporting that it was a “phenomenal” and “must-have” training, with 96 percent report- ing in surveys that they will be able to apply the knowledge and skills learned in LCP to selling life insurance in their business. The classroom-based elements alone of Bankers

Life programs encompass a wide breadth of learning options: Zoom Webinar sessions or classroom sessions

Life programs encompass a wide breadth of learning options:

Zoom Webinar sessions or classroom sessions software tools

Crafting a Holistic Approach to Learning

In addition, courses often have a coaching dimension, such as Ken Blanchard’s Coaching Essentials, which Muentzer de- scribes as “a part of our Emerging Leaders Program focusing on newer high-potential managers. They have peer-to-peer informal coaching sessions included in this program, as well.” The company also offers the coaching program, Firm Foun- dations, to its branch managers. “Professional coaching is offered through an outside organization, LIMRA. The inter- nal management and leadership team gives a group coaching session, while peer-to-peer coaching is going on within their study groups,” Muentzer says.

Multi-Part, Multifaceted

Courses that are sweeping in scope give companies an op- portunity to offer the learning in many different ways. One example is Training Top 125er ArcBest’s Leadership Series. “This comprehensive leadership training program is designed to develop leaders at all stages of their careers, and help us meet our strategic goal of improving employee engagement,” says Jason Turner, vice president of Talent and Growth Initiatives at ArcBest. “The program emphasizes retaining our high- potential employees and boosting leadership bench strength, while also demonstrating and promoting our core values.” The 10-part series was designed and implemented by the ArcBest Training group, and consists of the following instructor-led classes:

QUICK TIPS

off each of these instructor-led classes. Instructors lead par- ticipants through discussions about the topic, and then have them engage in exercises and/or role-plays to reinforce the content. These 10 leadership classes are presented in two- and-a-half-hour sessions, taught over a 10-month period. “We utilize pre- and post-course assignments to supple- ment the material covered in the class,” explains ArcBest Senior Training Manager Bradly Truitt. “We also created an online cohort within our talent management system, where the participants and graduates of the Leadership Series can share best practices and engage in peer-to-peer learning.” Truitt notes that the Leadership Series is taught to leaders and future leaders from all of ArcBest’s subsidiaries, and classes are customized for each audience. the results of its training. “We utilize several different types of metrics to measure the effectiveness of our training class- es,” says Truitt. “These include: revenue and tonnage growth, employee engagement scores, employee retention rates, inter- nal promotions, and post-class surveys.” - ment, where a systematic approach to diagnosing, designing, and delivering learning ensures each course is tailored to the “Our aim is to create learning that can be transferred seam- experiences that act as catalysts for personal and profes- sional development Ways and means of supporting the learner’s development journey—online or face-to-face or with coaching. Collaborating with clients to facilitate the trans- mentoring, on-the-job learning, digitally facilitated sessions, or “digital nudges” At Training Top 125er Alamo Pharma Services, courses Sales representatives are introduced through a assessments, and Webinars. The representative spends a day in the field observing product presentations and interactions with providers,” says Fullowan.

Phase 2: This one- to two-week initial training helps representatives prepare for application of day-to-day sales experiences. “Participants learn through trainer-led workshops, role-play simulation exercises, knowledge assess- ments, and evening assignments,” she notes. Phase 3: Continuous learning begins as early as one month after Phase 2, and encompasses Kirkpatrick Level 3 evaluation. “Reps are immersed in instructor-led Webinars focusing on application of skills, knowledge, and behaviors relevant to daily tasks. Surveys and roundtable discussions are designed to gather feedback to gauge their learning, and to continue providing relevant training,” says Fullowan. The process wraps up with Kirkpatrick Level 4 evaluation. “Through the ‘Transfer Matrix’ with the rep, direct man- ager, and trainer, results are measured before, during, and after each time period, which reflects employee engagement, morale, and productivity,” says Fullowan.

Blended to Reinforce Learning

A key to a holistic approach to learning is effectively blending a

variety of elements. Training Top 125er Arrow Electronics tries

to do that in all of its offerings, says Learning and Development,

Business Coaching, and Consultant ReLita Clarke. “Class-

room-based elements that are within some of our programs include discussion questions that reinforce an

objective, or important topic, and activities such as group discussions and role-plays that engage our learners to comprehend a concept in the classroom,” Clarke explains. “In addi- tion, all students have the option to print the class materials, including PowerPoint presen- tations, handouts, and blank assessments, so they can continue to test their skills.” The organization also offers on-demand op- tions. “Many of the courses are geared toward soft skills, such as time management, e-mail etiquette, communication, and leadership

skills. This allows employees to enhance their skills or gain insight into a topic they haven’t yet explored,” Clarke says. “The ability to continually develop knowledge around ev- eryday skills to perform their job successfully results in well-rounded employees who can assist in meeting company goals.” The key, Clarke notes, is that it’s a blend of learning opportunities, rather than just one or two, and the blend differs depending on the course. “Not all classes incorporate all three classroom elements. We may have different engagement components, such as videos or materials from an online resource.

A course on business professionalism, for ex-

ample, may have an instructor-led course and

a follow-up on-demand course a few weeks later to assess their knowledge.”

Another company that uses a different blend of learning modalities depending on the course is Training Top 125er Assurant, Inc. “We look for ways to maximize learning by thoughtfully choosing the appropriate way to learn. Class- room-based elements often are reserved for education that requires dialogue and collaboration, practice, and/or culture- building,” says Vice President of Global Learning and Talent Development Kimberly Kavala. One example is Assurant’s people-leader program called Experience 2.0. “It is an intensive learning program for all leaders, from the front-line to the director level. We aim to deepen our leaders’ knowledge of key leadership processes, mindsets, and skills that will help foster a culture of engage- ment, growth, and performance,” says Kavala, who explains that learners begin by completing an e-learning course that introduces key concepts, and then spend three days in class. To stay sharp following their classroom experience, learn- ers can access related resources at any time on MyLearning, Assurant’s learning management system. “The classroom portion is important, not only for the practice time in a safe environment,” says Kavala, “but also because it instills common language and behaviors, and establishes a network of peers who support the learning long after they leave the classroom.” t

REKINDLE CONNECTIONS

By Bill John, President and Founder, Odyssey Teams Inc. (https://odysseyteams.com/)

If the term, “holistic,” brings to mind incense, candles, and the faint air of mysti- cism, you’re not alone. However, when it comes to the corporate world, a holistic approach is critical to successful training, learning, and team collaboration. Here are three realistic and applicable tips to keep in mind when planning your next session:

1. USE AUTHENTIC TASKS TO ENGAGE TEAM MEMBERS. Nothing gets eyes rolling like

an inauthentic role-playing game or a scenario that is far removed from partici- pants’ reality. Instead, introduce activities that mimic the situations your team encounters on a daily basis. If it’s meaningful, it will motivate and resonate.

2. FOCUS ON BUILDING KNOWLEDGE VS. REPRODUCING FACTS AND OPINIONS. While

having an employee who can parrot page 5 of the company handbook may stroke an executive ego, being surrounded by “yes men” weakens corporate decision-making. Fostering opportunities for team members to constantly learn increases collective criti- cal thinking, challenges the status quo, and boosts tolerance of other viewpoints.

3. CONTINUALLY ENCOURAGE LEARNERS TO DEVELOP AND APPLY UNDERSTANDING.

Although this may sound obvious, think of how many times you’ve completed a workshop or professional development session feeling empowered by a new skill or knowledge, only to file it away forever. Without application, both soft and hard skills fade. If you’ve invested in training or continuing education for your team, offer encour- agement and opportunities to apply that understanding whenever possible. It’s a new year and an optimum time to rekindle the connections among the members of your team. By providing them with opportunities to both engage with real tasks that build knowledge and apply that understanding together, you’ll be taking an important step toward a more connected, motivated, engaged, and ultimately happier team. As Jim Goodnight, co-founder and CEO of SAS said, “Treat employees like they make a difference. And they will…”

Adapting to

Adaptive Learning

Adaptive learning enables an individualized, contextual approach that focuses on what learners need and directs instructors to where they are most needed.

BY GAIL DUTTON

instructors to where they are most needed. BY GAIL DUTTON O rganizations hold up Amazon’s cus-
instructors to where they are most needed. BY GAIL DUTTON O rganizations hold up Amazon’s cus-
instructors to where they are most needed. BY GAIL DUTTON O rganizations hold up Amazon’s cus-
instructors to where they are most needed. BY GAIL DUTTON O rganizations hold up Amazon’s cus-
instructors to where they are most needed. BY GAIL DUTTON O rganizations hold up Amazon’s cus-
instructors to where they are most needed. BY GAIL DUTTON O rganizations hold up Amazon’s cus-
instructors to where they are most needed. BY GAIL DUTTON O rganizations hold up Amazon’s cus-
instructors to where they are most needed. BY GAIL DUTTON O rganizations hold up Amazon’s cus-
instructors to where they are most needed. BY GAIL DUTTON O rganizations hold up Amazon’s cus-
instructors to where they are most needed. BY GAIL DUTTON O rganizations hold up Amazon’s cus-

O rganizations hold up Amazon’s cus- tomer experience as the Holy Grail for adaptive learning, but relatively few have developed a similar expe- rience for their employees. Adaptive

learning is an educational method that uses interac- tive teaching devices and orchestrates the allocation

of human and mediated resources according to the unique needs of each learner.

Integrating adaptive learning is more of a cultural challenge than a technological issue. Like anything new, it can seem threatening to trainers and learners alike, who fear the re- moval of experts from the classroom. But contrary to those fears, adaptive learning enables an individualized, contextual approach that focuses on what learners need and directs instruc- tors to where they are most needed. It also provides a new data stream that Learning and Development (L&D) professionals

30 | MARCH/APRIL 2018 training

can analyze to improve their own courses. However, before adaptive learning can be deployed effective- ly, three myths must be overcome.

Myth 1: Adaptive learning is always computer-based

Adaptive training at Parexel, a global contract research organi- zation, relies on close interactions with L&D and with learners’ supervisors. Currently, Parexel only uses adaptive learning to train the clinical research associates (CRAs) who monitor clinical trials to ensure that trial protocols are followed and that documentation is appropriate and up to date. Approxi- mately 60 percent of CRA training is online and 40 percent is face to face. Eventually, it will be rolled out to other learners. “The CRAs usually have scientific backgrounds, but we must provide training regarding regulatory requirements that vary country by country,” as well as trial protocols that vary accord- ing to the pharmaceutical product and the trial sponsor, says Albert Siu, Ph.D., corporate VP, L&D, Parexel. Some conflict

www.trainingmag.com

resolutions skills are included, he says, to help CRAs hone the skills needed to contradict
resolutions skills are included, he says, to help CRAs hone the skills needed to contradict
resolutions skills are included, he says, to help CRAs hone the skills needed to contradict

resolutions skills are included, he says, to help CRAs hone the skills needed to contradict physicians. “For us, time is of the essence, so adaptive learning is very important.” Parexel first identifies CRAs’ strengths and weaknesses through simulations, on-the-job observations, analysis of their reports, and online and face-to-face training. “These methods triangulate a certain level of competency, which we correlate to a set of training requirements,” Dr. Siu says.

Myth 2: Adaptive learning replaces instructors

At the University of Wisconsin – Extension, reassuring pro- fessors that they aren’t being replaced by artificial intelligence (AI) is among the first steps in online curriculum development. “Online, adaptive learning is hard to sell to faculty accustomed to being in the classroom, as well as to students,” admits Ryan Anderson, director of Instructional Design and Development. Anderson’s team counters their concerns, explaining, “we’re actually helping professors have more sophisticated

interactions with students by automating the basic ones.” In his experience, that means designing extension courses in ways that provide extra materials, examples, and problem sets to students who need them. “Students still have access to an instructor,” An- derson emphasizes, “and the instructors have access to students’ tests, so they can identify where individuals are experiencing problems and work with them to overcome those problems.”

Myth 3: AI eliminates training

Computer-based adaptive learning that uses artificial intelli- gence algorithms doesn’t eliminate the need for training, but it can eliminate the need to train employees to use certain applications by providing just-in-time help. “Training isn’t about teaching employees to use applica- tions, but about making them productive,” says Amir Farhi, VP of Strategic Development at WalkMe. Therefore, WalkMe developed a transparent layer that sits atop any underlying digital application like ADP or Workday to deliver just-in- time information. The application uses machine learning to deliver help based on users’ history with the application and the content on their screen. Consequently, experienced users don’t see the basic information that new users see and appli- cation training classes are minimized. “The application constantly measures what happens to the user—for example, how long they take to access certain proce- dures, where they get stuck, how they get help, etc.,” he adds, so L&D professionals can adjust resources accordingly.

Streamline Existing Processes

“Adaptive learning uses a broad array of teaching and learning techniques and technologies. Implementing it is far more subtle and challenging than simply deploying tools or techniques,” Dr. Siu says. Before integrating this approach into a course, Dr. Siu recommends streamlining the processes that are associ- ated with the learnings. By tagging, organizing, delivering, and measuring learning and levels of competencies relative to a set of requirements, he says, “you’ll be better off afterward because you’ll be more informed about what you need.”

Think Holistically

Expanding one’s frame of reference is integral to successful adaptive learning curricula. “What makes adaptive learning work isn’t technique, but mindset,” Dr. Siu says. “For ex- ample, people often look at challenges as technical problems, but, in reality, they’re often adaptive problems. Seeing the dif- ferences requires the ability to look at the whole system and understand the issues.” Then, with this holistic understand- ing, L&D professionals can consider effective technologies to address those issues. “Think big, but act small,” he advises, by breaking big challenges into small steps. At Parexel, he designs the over- arching plan and determines how changes will be made within courses. His local L&D team spots trends and de- termines which adjustments are needed, while the actual adjustments are offshored.

Adapting to Adaptive Learning

Integrating adaptive learning into the development program

to

him or her,” Anderson elaborates. “It’s a small thing, but

requires collaboration from many constituencies, Dr. Siu

it

offers a big benefit.”

stresses. For example, business leaders must be engaged early and must see the benefits. “Therefore, form a close partner- ship with the business units,” he advises. “Adaptive learning can’t be developed alone.” “You also need strong governance around how you en- gage others to make collaborative decisions and position the learning agenda for the company,” Dr. Siu says. He’s worked with five companies during his career and is convinced that a centralized L&D organization provides the most effective governance. “Decentralized learning only develops certain pockets of the company, and hybrid L&D organizations be- come political.”

The challenge, he says, is in asking faculty members who are used to being in charge to trust the system and to spend

their efforts determining where and why students fall short of attaining certain scores. In terms of integrating adaptive learning into the L&D func- tion, “step back,” Anderson says. “You probably can leverage some things you’re doing already. Before buying new software, understand how you will use it on a fundamental level. Iden- tify what you want to achieve before investigating technology. The LMS, for example, has a lot of data on student behavior that can be aggregated.” That data can inform curriculum design by identifying the zone of proximal development—the peak performance level

Use Your LMS

a

student can reach without additional help, which, thus,

At the University of Wisconsin – Extension, Anderson uses assistive technology and intelligent agents to deliver an adaptive experience. “We use a learning management system (LMS) called Desire to Learn (D2L). Our courses are based on a student’s performance, so instructors may choose to release or withhold information to facilitate success.” Intelligent agents help professors have closer contact with students by setting up the LMS for alerts. “If a student hasn’t logged into the system for a certain number of days, or isn’t progressing, you can use an LMS alert to reach out

identifies where extra materials (such as presenting the same material in a different way, showing real-world applications, various contexts, and in different formats) may help him or her master the material. “Particularly in courses where students progress at their own pace, an adaptive learning approach can be very helpful,” Anderson says. Right now, adaptive learning is geared toward hard skills with definitive answers. In the next few years, he predicts advancements in AI will help adaptive learning to

become common for soft skills instruction, too.

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CHOOSING THE RIGHT AGILE STRATEGY

The key element, which all Agile frameworks boast, is that whatever method you use supports the development of multiple iterations and constant evaluations in a short timeframe. BY GAIL DUTTON

a short timeframe. B Y G A I L D U T T O N 34

A gile project development methodology has be- come fashionable these days. Leaders watched what it did first for product development and then for software development. They soon realized the principles of cooperative develop-

ment, many iterations, and short design cycles could be applied

throughout business regardless of application or industry.

For leaders today, the question isn’t whether to use Agile, but which Agile method to choose.

Methods Are More Alike Than Not

All Agile methods are based on the Agile Manifesto. The Agile Manifesto specifies multiple iterations, small teams, short timelines, constant validation, and inspections before iterations. This approach can be applied to many things, from software development to learning, points out Alex Lopes, clinical professor and director of the Technology Consult- ing Workshop for Operations & Decision Technologies at Indiana University. Built-for-purpose adaptions have resulted in multiple Agile flavors. SCRUM, Kanban, Lean development, and Dynamic System Development Model (DSDM) frameworks, for ex- ample, focus on project management. The Crystal Methods framework streamlines communications within the develop- ment team, while Extreme Programming (XP) aids software development and code validation. Of all the recognized Agile frameworks, Lopes favors SCRUM. “It’s flexible and has processes that are good for project man- agement, but what sets SCRUM apart and makes it powerful is its supplementary approaches,” he says. SAFE, for example, is a scalable version that breaks large projects into small- er sections for development. “This method is used by Deloitte and Ernst & Young, among others,” he notes. Scott Ambler, senior consultant for Scott Ambler + Associates, prefers Kanban because of its clear work- flow visualization. “Having said that, it doesn’t really matter which version of Agile you use,” Ambler notes. “The primary concept of Agile is collaboration and incremental, evolutionary advances. Therefore, my ad- vice is to use a blended approach that fits your situation. Strict adherence to formal frameworks works for the situations for which they were designed, but if you’re not in that situation, you need to think things through. Do what makes sense for you.”

Verizon’s Hybrid Approach

Verizon used a hybrid Agile approach to develop its OPT Groom construction maintenance training program for new workers who maintain telecom- munications equipment (notably, telephone pole replacement) throughout the northeastern U.S. “We started with a blank slate and broke the project into 24

manageable chunks. One week later, the new pro- gram was ready to deploy and students arrived one month afterward,” says Michael Sunderman, executive director of Verizon Learning & Devel- opment. “Development would have taken eons using sequential methods.” The hybrid Agile approach Sunderman and

his team used combined elements from multiple Agile frameworks to develop an efficient meth- odology for this particular project. Basically, it included sprints from SCRUM for iterative development and workflow visualization from Kanban. Before development started, Sunderman assembled every piece of hardware and equipment the learners would work with in the field—chainsaws, construction clamps, pole pull- ers, etc. This ensured course developers could see and handle the equipment themselves. Importantly, developers performed their work together, working in one 4,000-square-foot room for five consecutive days. Next he assembled the right people. “I brought about 40 people from L&D (including video production and graphics designers), along with safety experts, outside plant op- erations workers and supervisors, fleet operations managers… anyone who had a say in how this was done.” The L&D ex- perts worked in teams of two, consulting with subject matter experts (SMEs) as needed. “After 24 hours, the teams made their initial presentations,” Sunderman says. “After 48 hours, they delivered prototypes. If their section taught people to operate a chainsaw, for ex- ample, that team would go out to see firsthand what lesson it was trying to get across and perhaps film the experience.” That hands-on experience and immediate access to SMEs helped ensure L&D team members had command of the technical

Before developing the OPT Groom construction maintenance training program, the Verizon L&D team assembled every
Before developing the OPT Groom construction maintenance
training program, the Verizon L&D team assembled every piece of
hardware and equipment the learners would work with in the field—
chainsaws, construction clamps, pole pullers, etc. This ensured
course developers could see and handle the equipment themselves.

CHOOSING THE RIGHT AGILE STRATEGY

terms and also enabled rapid course corrections from the oth- er disciplines in the room. Daily presentations enhanced continuity from module to module, too. What stood out most, Sunderman says, was the way the groups revised content based on real-world situ- ations and feedback. “A SME might say, ‘Here’s how to do this,’ but the Safety department would say, ‘No,’ and show a different method. Together, they’d develop a safe solution that worked in the real world.” The last 30 minutes of each day was devoted to preparing for tomorrow. This involving planning for any adjustments and ensuring each team had the time and tools it needed. Throughout the week-long development cycle, the project manager used a Kanban board to track workflow. “That way, we knew which team would be ready next for a particular SME or for a review,” Sunderman says. One of Sunderman’s lessons learned is to pay attention to visual consistency from day one. “If you can use a com- mon template, you’ll save yourself work on the back end,” he says. This will help the modules flow together. He also ad- vises considering which devices learners will use to view the content. The construction maintenance team worked from tablets in the field, so that was the technology platform the development team used. For any Agile approach to work optimally, have the right people on site. “Some SMEs want to phone in comments. That only works if they’re ready at the moment they’re needed and have good video access,” Sunderman says. Otherwise, reviews take longer and the creative spark wanes. In addition to SMEs and the L&D team, he also advises having a strong flow manager on site. This person’s role is to keep the development teams on track and coax the groups that want to do more—and there’s always one, he says—to share their work.

Throughout the week-long development cycle of Verizon’s OPT Groom construction maintenance training program, the
Throughout the week-long development cycle of
Verizon’s OPT Groom construction maintenance
training program, the project manager used a
Kanban board to track workflow.

QUICK TIPS

- -

Preparing the Agile Mindset

“The biggest issue for any Agile approach is the mental preparation of the company,” Lopes says. This involves a willingness to change, and to trade a certain amount of bu- reaucracy for rapid, responsive development. Transitioning from a sequential waterfall approach to Agile can be challenging, particularly for project managers, Ambler adds. “They like predictability, but Agile is very flexible.” To embrace the rapid iterations such flexibility enables, they must be able to sever themselves from the overburden of bureaucracy. Some find this threatening, he says. To help with the transition, Lopes advises defining the early requirements thoroughly while maintaining flexibility for them to evolve as the understanding of the project, market conditions, or priorities change. Developing the requirements just before each new iteration allows the project to evolve despite changing circumstances. “The main principle is to embrace change,” Lopes stresses. Ultimately, the choice of an Agile framework is less important than the use of one. When making your se- lection, choose a framework that seems to fit your goals. Then modify it as needed, blending the best aspects of multiple methods, as well as best practices and your own experience. When you do this, you will have an Agile framework that’s effective and efficient for your specific needs. The key element, which all Agile frame- works boast, is that whatever method you use supports the development of multiple iterations and constant evaluations in a short timeframe. t

For more information on Agile methods, read the Training Top 10 Hall of Fame white paper, “Turning on a Dime with Agile Learning

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5Ways

In-House L&D Pros Can Become More Entrepreneurial

By prioritizing your internal clients’ needs, wants, and demands, you can position yourself as an indispensable in-house training professional.

BY SCOTT McKINNEY

in-house training professional. BY SCOTT McKINNEY T he 21st century work- force is becoming more temporary
in-house training professional. BY SCOTT McKINNEY T he 21st century work- force is becoming more temporary
in-house training professional. BY SCOTT McKINNEY T he 21st century work- force is becoming more temporary

T he 21st century work- force is becoming more temporary and fluid:

Forbes predicts that 34 percent of workers will

freelance by 2020, and 91 percent of Millennials expect to stay in a job for less than three years.

In the face of shorter job tenures and increased outsourcing, how can internal Learning and Development (L&D) professionals stay valuable and competitive? Here are five tips from external training consultants for how to remain indispensable to your internal training clients.

See yourself as an internal consultant, rather than as an

employee. Develop the mental traits of a successful entrepre-

neur, advises Dr. Richard MacKinnon, occupational psychologist and managing director at WorkLifePsych. Focus on maximizing the benefit you bring to your internal clients, while minimizing your use of time, money, or other company resources. “The easier thing for L&D pros

1.

is to adjust their mindset,” Dr. MacKinnon says. “It doesn’t require a formal change to their job or responsibilities.” Employees think of their job like a checklist: Show up, fin- ish the tasks in their job description, then clock out when it’s done. This is not enough in today’s world. It’s better to start seeing your job description as a starting point or guideline for your role in your organization, but focus on the needs, wants, and desires of other departments. A good way to start acting like an internal consultant is to quit being an order taker, and start becoming proactive.

2. Ask questions and seek out problems, instead

of simply taking orders. It’s tempting to simply de-

liver on requests other departments make, but in order to become like an internal consultant, you’ll need to be more

proactive in handling orders. “The line manager often sends a first request for training, and there is always a pressure to go with that, but

it’s better to ask questions,” says Dr. MacKinnon. “Ask, ‘Why?’ See if you can find a solution that is better. It’s more useful to ask what problems we’re trying to solve, over simply taking an order for a training.” Instead of waiting for orders, go a step further and actively seek out pain points your clients face. “You need to provide

programs that are relevant to what your internal clients struggle with,” says Dan Markin, leadership consultant and CEO at The Dan Markin Company. “When I market to a client, I’m trying to demonstrate my relevance and my expertise. Internal L&D professionals need to do the same thing.” Start by asking about pain points your clients experience. Try to find solutions to problems you can help them with, then outline a training program specifically addressed to these. Use checkpoints that address each issue, then interact with the internal client as you develop the training program so you can customize it—in real time—for their needs. “This allows you to build a program in a timeframe that’s current—then sell it back to the internal client,” Markin says. Reiterate the issues you uncovered, and show how your program addresses each pain point.

Build credibility by being a good role model.

Have you ever delivered a training program, only to

be telling your coworkers to do things you don’t do yourself? One of Markin’s key advantages, in his opinion, is that his trainees only know him in the context of the training: They don’t see him every day and know him in that context, so they can focus on the actual content of the training. “It’s a little harder for internal consultants because their clients interact with them every day and form an opinion,” Markin says. “The advantage I have as an outside consultant is they only know me in the context of the training.” If your internal clients have a good opinion of you, it will help your training, but if, for example, you are a customer service trainer, and you talk about being responsive, but other departments e-mail you 500 times and get no response, it makes it hard to stay credible.

3.

This applies to a variety of behaviors, not just responsiveness. Conflict management, ethics, anything that allows a person to form a negative opinion can hinder his or her training, says Markin. The solution? Make sure your behaviors out- side of the training context are congruent with what you want to convey to your internal clients.

Look outside your industry for new paradigms.

Companies spent an estimated $93.6 billion on train-

ing in 2017, according to Training magazine’s 2017 Training Industry Report, yet only 30 percent of these initiatives re- turned a positive ROI, according to Jason Forrest, CEO and chief culture officer of Forrest Performance Group, an Inc. 5000 fastest-growing company two years in a row. The solu- tion? “When a Training department has a problem, don’t look at what other training organizations are doing,” Forrest

4.

Start seeing your job description as a starting point or guideline for your role in your organization, but focus on the needs, wants, and desires of other departments.

says. “Instead, ask yourself what other industry has been in this situation, and how did they handle it?” He notes that his company is part of the 30 percent that are succeeding because he didn’t study other train- ing methods that are failing. Rather, he studied models that are working, such as the 12-step behavioral change program for alcohol abuse, and coaching strategies from the world’s greatest sports coaches. He then used these as models for his own training programs.

5. Take full ownership of training outcomes. Many

trainers make the mistake of thinking some employ-

ees are going to get it, some won’t, and some aren’t capable of getting it. “They can’t think that way,” Forrest says. “It’s important for trainees to see that it’s up to them to figure out how to help the students get it. Trainers should see everyone as being enough.” As an external trainer with monthly contracts open to cancellation, Forrest has to perform consistently to avoid being fired. If his team does not perform, or delivers irrel- evant training, his clients won’t pay for it. Internal trainers can follow the same lead by taking full ownership of out- comes from every learner. “The company does not need training for the sake of training,” Forrest says. “They need

training to achieve the outcomes they desire, to fulfill their overall mission.” By prioritizing your internal clients’ needs, wants, and de- mands, and adopting the habits of successful entrepreneurs, you, too, can position yourself for a successful career as an

in-house training professional.

for a successful career as an in-house training professional. www.trainingmag.com training MARCH/APRIL 2018 | 39
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Attendees drew energy from the blue waters of San Diego Harbor and made their own waves during the keynote session (below).

TRAINING 2018

TRAINING 2017 SHOW WRAP-UP

SHOW

WRAP-UP

Training in Hotlanta

The Training 2018 Conference & Expo ignites participants’ passion for learning and making connections. BY LORRI FREIFELD

A few days of rain did not dampen the enthusiasm of the 2,000 Learning and Development (L&D) professionals who attended the

Training 2018 Conference & Expo held February 12-14 in Atlanta. Indeed, the passion for learning burned brighter than the sun ever could. From the fierce competition during the Not-So-Trivial Pursuit Opening Reception to the hands-on Training Technology Test Kitchen demos, Sewa Beats drum session, Lightning Shares, and Second City Works improv workouts, attendees gave it

their all. They gained insights from five game-changing keynoters, including a special creative performance by dance troupe Pilobolus (see p. 42 for keynote quotes). They

increased their knowledge and skills in 100-plus breakout sessions, 11 certificate programs, 16 hands-on clinics, and 23 sponsored sessions. They found out about the latest and greatest products and services from nearly 100 exhibitors in the Expo Hall. Last but not least, Training 2018 featured a brand new leadership track and another full-day special event in partnership with Duke Corporate Education, then continued on for two more days with the Innovations in Training event. Keynoter and Jeopardy! champ Bob Harris shared his secret for retaining copious amounts of knowledge (think review, renew, and reward). Hopefully, Training 2018 attendees will spread those tips and others gained at the event throughout their organizations and keep the learning fires burning hotter than ever.

PHOTOGRAPHY BY PATRICE ARGANT

TRAINING 2018

KEYNOTE

QUOTES

SHOW WRAP-UP

“Like many organizational employees, dancers are trained for compliance, conformity, and precision. But we actually are more interested in curiosity, empathy, and agility.”

ed i n c ur io si ty , em pa th y, a nd a

—Itamar Kubovy, Executive Producer, Pilobolus

Attendees kicked off the first keynote session with a wave.

“Our data is connected to the people around us. The question is: How do you
“Our data is connected to
the pe