Training & Development

Training & Development

The Critical Importance of Critical Experiences in Career Development


Growth and development usually come at a cost. They are important for us both personally and professionally, but that does not mean they are always pleasant.

Typically for us to truly build new skills as leaders in a chosen field, we have to stretch out of our comfort zone.

These opportunities are gems in one’s career — truly chances to pivot when you take advantage of them. Think of them as critical experiences. They are almost like a refiner’s fire for precious metal.

In talking with a business leader recently, we were discussing how both she and her entire team of direct reports had been going through a critical experience in their development. They had some incredibly difficult messages to deliver to their organization. It was far from easy, but necessary nonetheless. Read more…

Training & Development

Six Keys for a Better Payoff in Virtual Training

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How can you get the best payoff from virtual instructor-led training?

How can you keep the learners from tuning out? How can you help them use the skills they learned when they return to their jobs?

Here are six (6) keys for getting maximum productivity from any virtual training program. Read more…

Training & Development

How Interactive Tools Can Help Organizations Develop Great Leaders


If you ask HR leaders at major U.S. employers whether they have leadership development programs in place to identify and develop future C-level leaders, most will reply “yes,” which doesn’t mean a lot.

While companies are increasingly opening their wallets to support leadership development, existing programs are doing little to quell HR and executive managements’ anxieties about developing current and future corporate leaders.

According to late 2012 data from the Society of Human Resource Management, developing corporate leaders ranks as a chief concern among U.S. HR departments over the next decade — only slightly outranked by worries about retention. Meanwhile, companies spent an estimated $13.6 billion on leadership development programs in 2012 — a 14 percent increase over the previous year, according to Bersin by Deloitte. Read more…

Training & Development

How Training Can Help Attract the Talent You Need


Companies across all industries are finding that attracting and retaining top talent is, or soon will be a struggle.

Some believe that talent is scarce, while others believe that talent acquisitions strategies are the issue. Whatever the shortcoming may be in finding talent, training could be the solution.

Creating a work atmosphere in which talented people can continue to grow and learn could be the key to attracting the talent you need. Read more…

Training & Development

Six Keys to Getting a Better Payoff From Virtual Training

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Everyone agrees that employee skills training can improve organizational productivity by dramatic margins.

The challenge for learning leaders is how to make the training cost-effective when the organization’s workforce is dispersed. Travel and accommodation expenses keep mounting and valuable time is lost when employees have to leave the workplace to attend a classroom that may be far away.

The solution for many organizations is to adopt virtual instructor-led training (VILT). This learning model allows employees to participate fully in the training program wherever they may be as long as they have access to the Internet.

VILT is one of the fastest-growing methods of learning delivery. Its use will accelerate as bandwidth increases continue and newer collaboration software technologies emerge. Read more…

HR Management, Training & Development

5 Ways You Can Help Build a Strong Workplace Culture of Safety

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Does your company have an employee safety program?

Even in organizations with largely office-based staff, keeping employee safety front-of-mind not only benefits employees and leadership by reducing lost days to illness or injury, but also communicates to employees that the company does, indeed, care about their health and well-being.

Of course, in industries including manufacturing, construction, engineering, energy and the like, environment, health and safety (EHS) is often paramount to company success. In the U.S., regulatory agencies like OSHA can shut down work sites or impose fines that can cost a company future contracts. Read more…

Talent Management, Training & Development

Want Better Middle Managers? Then Redefine What It is to Be a Good One

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In her recent Wall Street Journal article, Rachel Feintzeig quotes an AT&T executive on the importance of middle managers.

“Who runs this company?” the executive asks. “We do, right here,” is his answer.

He’s exactly right. But when Stephen Harding and I wrote our book on the importance of middle managers — Manager Redefined: the Competitive Advantage in the Middle of Your Organization — we went farther. We said that managers are centers of insight and influence, underappreciated in many organizations, but endowed nonetheless with the potential to make dramatic contributions to enterprise success.

In most organizations, this potential remains untapped. Read more…

Leadership, Training & Development

5 Really Good Reason You Should Consider Being a Mentor

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I’m always talking about the importance of getting and using mentors. Today I want to talk about also being a mentor.

When I first joined HP, I remember when I was asked to attend a meeting to discuss mentoring. I went in thinking, “Boy, I could really use a mentor…”

I was stunned when I realized that they called me in to BE a mentor. At this point in my career, I did not think that I had anything to offer as a mentor. Read more…

Talent Management, Training & Development

Shrinking College Enrollment Makes HR’s Job That Much Harder

College graduates

Colleges and universities will have fewer students this fall as enrollments are falling across the board.

The reasons? It’s a number of factors – a decline in college-aged kids, rising tuition costs, and continued soft job market for new college grads — and all of it is making it a for a perfect storm for students to decide to forgo college and try and get into the job market in any job they can.

The idea is this: why should I go to college and come out in debt when those who have are getting the same job I’ll get – service oriented, lower end jobs, and sales positions that don’t require a degree?

Here’s the big issue for employers – we need those kids in school to fill future jobs! Read more…

Training & Development

Engagement? You Need to Help Employees Develop It on Their Own

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Imagine all the people living for today” is one of the lyrics in what I think is one of the greatest songs ever written — Imagine by John Lennon.

I found myself humming this song the other day on my drive to work, which kind of put me in synch with my HR friend Steve Browne, who uses his music list to get pumped up for the day ahead.

Later that morning, I noticed another article in my in box on employee engagement. It was basically written from the same perspective: the organization owns it. But what happened next was a call I received from a friend in the States; yes, she called me here in Saudi Arabia [seven hours ahead]. Read more…