Jun

17

Before conducting leadership training, trainers spend countless hours analyzing needs assessment results. They also go through weeks of preparation that includes studying the socio-demographic characteristics of the participants, creating a feasible work plan, planning and structuring the training modules, developing the training schedule and devising a tool for post-training evaluation. However, despite weeks and even months of preparation, many trainers tend to overlook a simple fact: their trainees are adult learners.

Adult learners have a different learning curve than high school or university students. As such, their response to training is different from the response of their younger counterparts. The two major elements that trainers need to consider are emotions and the overall learning process.

Managing emotions

To create a favorable learning environment, trainers should manage not just the participants’ feelings but also their own emotions. When interacting with trainees, facilitators should avoid the following:

Managing the learning process

It is important for trainers to also oversee the participants’ learning process. The trainers’ main goals should be to transfer knowledge and skills, stimulate positive attitude and the intended behavior change, and enable participants to meet future challenges. After all, the success of a training session will manifest in the trainees’ performance when they return to the workplace. Hence, trainers should not forget to:

  1. Check the physical limitations of the training venue. This is to ensure that planned activities can be carried out properly.
  2. Negotiate ground rules (and exceptions) with the participants.
  3. Identify everyone’s expectations of the training.
  4. Explain the objectives and the specific outputs of the training.
  5. Focus on topics that address the participants’ needs and problems.
  6. Conduct problem-solving activities that the trainees can benefit from. Activities should be measurable and aligned with the training objectives.
  7. Use various instructional methods and educational tools to generate interest and increase motivation.
  8. Provide breakout sessions to allow trainees to collectively reflect on the topics presented. As adults, they need time to process new information and compare it with previous knowledge.
  9. Adjust training activities to suit different learning speeds and styles.
  10. Consult with participants regarding the training process.
  11. Discontinue activities that have no positive impact on or direct benefits to the trainees.
  12. Extend support after the training through coaching, counseling and mentoring.

Trainers are responsible for ensuring successful planning and facilitation of leadership training. They should be able to steer any untoward training situation in the right direction as well as motivate all trainees to actively participate. To overcome training obstacles, facilitators should understand how to manage the emotions of all those involved, engage all trainees in productive discussions, remain resourceful, take initiative and be open to suggestions at all times.

This article is brought to you by eLeaP. Get more ideas on learning management systems from eLeaP.

Jun

21

Investing in a learning management system can involve a certain amount of time, and definitely an outlay of money. Thus, it goes without saying that any organization that makes such an investment wants to maximize its return. While you may have already decided that an LMS system is an absolute must for your organization, and that it will definitely pay off for you, nonetheless, it’s preferable to squeeze every drop of juice out of your purchase. But what approach is most likely to achieve the results that you’re looking for?

One of the most basic and effective tools at your disposal is simply communicating the value of your LMS system to every level of your

Invest in your people (and a little technology). Image by Baldiri

Invest in your people (and a little technology). Image by Baldiri.

organization, from brand new employees to the very top echelons of executives, is essential in getting across the message of how important LMS is to your organization. Ironically, established employees who often benefit from LMS as much as new employees, as their work within your organization could have resulted in their skillset becoming stagnant, while new employees bring fresh ideas, optimism and momentum to an organization.

Of course, new employees often need bringing up to speed on the basic processes and can benefit greatly from an effective Learning Management system, but they are considerably more likely to be receptive to the need for them to undergo such a procedure. Some of your more experienced members of staff, who have been with the organization for a much longer period of time, may view the idea of training having been with the company for several years as patronizing and unnecessary.

Thus, it pays to take some time to sell the LMS system to your employees. Not just those at the bottom. Getting everyone on board with a holistic LMS policy a top to bottom effort within a company, and if it isn’t carried out properly then you won’t feel the full benefits of the LMS system that you’ve invested energy, time and money in.

To achieve this support across your organization, you firstly need to instil in management how important the successful implementation and adoption of the new LMS is to the organization. Convincing the executive level of your organization that LMS is important is vital to its fully successful implementation. Usually, a good way of demonstrating this is to give tangible evidence of how adoption of the LMS across the organization can deliver both direct savings and avoided costs. Bottom lines usually play well with this sector of an organization.

With regard to the ‘shop floor’ sectors of your organization, a little marketing comes in useful here. Regular email communications, ideally featuring images, graphics and even videos, distributed globally throughout your organization can have a very positive effect on LMS take-up. Pop-up ads on the company’s intranet can also be useful, as can physical advertisements and promotion in small businesses. The concept to particularly get across is that LMS is going to make employees’ everyday jobs easier and more enjoyable.

By promoting your LMS system, you maximize the benefits, making your investment even wiser.

This article is brought to you by eLeaP. Get more ideas on learning management systems from eLeaP.

Apr

30

So the boss is the guy or gal you used to hang around. Now they have the corner office and you are slightly resentful. But not as much as when they try to lecture you or dare I say it ‘boss you around‘. We know all know them. But does it have to be this way? Management training can be the catalyst to turn your managers into leaders and not just bosses or supervisors lording it over the hapless subordinates.

Are there ways that investing in management training can really turn these ‘monsters‘ into inspirational leaders leading the troops up a hillside? Sure there are:

1. You can change the thinking of both managers and subordinates through solid training programs.

2. Just because someone got promoted does not mean they have all the answers. Take the time to train your managers about team building, motivation, ethics, business communication and leadership and watch them sparkle and lead by example.

3. Employees are an interesting bunch right? Too much leeway and things fall apart, too strict and you can poison the work environment. Use management training to strive to create the right atmosphere and balance.

Get more information from the full article on “Management Training: 3 Ways it Turns Managers into Top Leaders” at eLeaP (www.eleapsoftware.com)

Apr

10

Modern technology has made online training an increasingly important part of contemporary organizations. The opportunity to have employees participate in web-based training is one that many organizations have exploited. But others have yet to realize the advantages that online training management systems offer over traditional methods of training. For those that are still delivering their corporate training in an old fashioned classroom setting, here are some of the basic benefits of online training.

1. Convenience

Online training negates the necessity of gathering staff together in one place for a training course. Online training systems allow people to get together wherever in the world they are located. With the proliferation of mobile devices, they need not even be based in an office.

2. Immediacy

There is an immediacy to online training that can never be imitated by training in a classroom setting. Online training incurs no delays related to waiting for trainers, or venues to become available, or for any other possible delay. Systems such as eLeaP offer a 24/7 access that simply cannot be offered by ‘real world’ training.

3. Interactivity

Instead of requiring trainees to sit in a classroom and passively listen to a tutor, online training revolves around interactivity. Although ‘real world’ training can incorporate elements of interactivity intended to make the process more interesting and engaging, the process is fundamentally more passive than operating an online training package. And it is, of course, much easier to test and monitor progress with a IT-based system such as eLeaP.

4. Self-Direction

Another big difference between online training courses and those set in a classroom setting is the flexibility for the individual. Within any significantly sized group of people will always be people that learn at differing speeds, and a wide range of differing levels of attainment and strengths and weaknesses. Reconciling all of these characteristics within a singular training course can be extremely difficult, and is definitely an inexact science.

By contrast, utilizing online training enables all members of staff to work at their own speed, and equally importantly enables each and every one to prioritize their own specific learning needs.

5. Value for Money

The overheads involved in online training are absolutely negligible compared to those associated with ‘real world’ training. Courses set in a classroom setting necessitate trainers to be hired, a specific location must be set aside, or often hired, there can be traveling costs and expenses associated with accommodation. All of these expenses are eliminated by online training,which often simply requires a download. In the case of eLeaP, its online nature ensures that no software downloads or hardware updates will ever be required, ensuring significant savings over ‘real world’ training.

Thus, many companies and corporations are turning to online courses in order to deliver their training needs, as it becomes increasingly evident that they deliver more engaging content, at a cheaper price, in a considerably more convenient package than even the very best ‘real world’ training.

Go to eleapsoftware.com/free-training-resources/ to download this free whitepaper: Exactly what are the options when it comes to online learning solutions

Mar

11

Sometimes you need the right language to communicate with the powers-that-be about why you need to invest in your people. What can you say to make your point? Try this free e-course Learning Managers and the Bottomline – 5 Ways to make a strategic impact at http://www.eleapsoftware.com/free-training-resources/learning-managers-bottomline/.

From powerful stats to justify your case, to an easy-to-follow point by point overview of the advantages and challenges to adopting a new system, this course should give you plenty of information to use for your next meeting.

The course is free however you will need to register (short form) to access. Take a look and let us know if this was helpful.

TrainingNewsBuzz

Aug

9

Telania | eLeaP | Azimio, a Louisville KY based Learning Management Systems and Billing Management Systems provider has announced the release of the second version of the eLeaP API for eLeaP LMS Platform.

After releasing eLeaP API v.1, we have not rested. We continued to tinker and improve and the result is the most powerful LMS API on the market.

Some of the new features of the API module include adding, removing, editing users. Also remotely resetting passwords, deactivating and re-activating users, exporting completion reports for users. In addition, our customers can remotely setup and manage User Groups, adding users to multiple user groups and even un-assigning users from user groups.

We were not done; using the Career Path Calling Methods, eLeaP customers can list, assign and un-assign users to various Career Paths (groups of advanced learning modules). They can also add and remove Career Paths remotely. User Groups can even to assigned and unassigned to Career Paths with ease and efficiency.

In addition, eLeaP added several new Calling Methods in the API module. This way customers can also find, list, assign, un-assign users and user groups to Courses and trainings

Taking together these upgrades to the API system will enable eLeaP customers to smartly and easily integrate their eLeaP LMS account to internal systems including HR Information Systems, Employee and HR Management Systems and even Ecommerce applications.

Innovation is our birthright. We continue to simplify online training and eLearning management by providing to tools and resources you need to succeed.

To check out the API system and because the API requires authentication, customers are encouraged to contact our customer service staff to register and activate their API accounts.

Once the API is activated on an account, customers can begin sending Callable Methods by sending a request to the API endpoint. A response will then be sent back to their program.

Sign up for an API account now. Go to http://www.eleapsoftware.com/contact-us.html to contact us.

To learn more about the eLeaP LMS API, go to http://www.eleapsoftware.com/api/

About eLeaP™ e-Learning Management System Solutions

eLeaP™ e-Learning Solutions provides SCORM certified training and e-learning management systems that enable organizations of any size, maximize employee performance and minimize liability and risks from lack of compliance and industrial training. The eLeaP™ Learning Management System is designed to fit any organization size. With it you, will have the sophistication favored by big companies. Yet, you can enjoy the flexibility, simplicity and customization of a learning management system that will not overwhelm or financially drain smaller organizations.

 

Contact Information:

Telania | eLeaP

173 Sears Avenue

Suite 282

Louisville, KY 40207

Phone: (877) 624-7226

Fax: (502) 585-2345

Email: sales@eleapsoftware.com

Twitter: http://twitter.com/eLeaP

eLeaP™ Learning Management System

http://www.eleapsoftware.com

Apr

23

U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Ky., held a news conference this morning at the Louisville Electrical Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee building, 4315 Preston Highway, where he presented an uplifting story about folks getting second chance at a new career.

Yarmuth was there to congratulate the second class of the KentuckianaWorks Electrical Boot Camp, a partnership between the work-force development agency and local building trades to get local residents into skilled trades employment.

Read the complete story at http://www.bizjournals.com/louisville/blog/2012/04/kentuckianaworks-program-provides.html

Jan

10

Customer service is often the most misunderstood, underfunded, and disconnected area of the corporation. These limitations are to the detriment of the enterprise however, and a refined and technologically proficient customer service staff will ultimately help improve the bottom line.

The logic here is that the customer service area is often the first point of contact—and in some cases, the only point of contact a customer has with the company. Within your enterprise, you may well have several different divisions, and your HR department may have gone to great lengths to create job descriptions that pigeonhole staff members according to a variety of arbitrary definitions. “We don’t do that here. You have to go talk to the warehouse” (or whatever department is responsible). No customer wants to hear that!

The fact is, your customer wants a single point of contact. They don’t want to be transferred to the warehouse, or the accounting department, or anywhere else—they want a single, well-educated and knowledgeable person to solve their problem, no matter what it is. This is done by educating your customer service staff.

In fact, your customer service people should be the most knowledgeable people in your company. Rather than a stovepiped organization with divisional knowledge, create a broader-based organization with institutional knowledge. A good customer service staff person should know more than just the basics, and what’s in the manual. They need to be trained and cross-trained so that they understand everything about the organization.

Creating a professional customer service organization isn’t an easy task—it requires careful planning, attention to hiring practices, competitive pay rates, and of course, regular training. Within the customer service area, there are actually several different types of training that are required to optimize the customer service function. Personnel should be trained to answer technical questions and take orders, obviously. But beyond that, training can be a continuous process. Because the customer service staff represents the company, they are unofficial salespeople as well. They may not be part of the official sales staff, but a good customer service organization will nonetheless generate sales just over the course of taking calls. Training on new product lines will allow those staff members to offer upgrades when the opportunity arises, offer complementary products and services, and much more. As such, the customer service staff should be afforded the same type of sales training that the regular sales staff receives.

And finally, it’s important to note that on-demand training is well suited to customer service. Downtime is the bane of the customer service manager’s existence, and on-demand training lets staff take training as it is needed, in small increments, so as not to disrupt the workflow.

This article is brought to you by eLeaP. Get more ideas on learning management systems from eLeaP.

Jan

4

Want to outsource your call center? One frequent objection is that the third party call center staff is less likely to be able to answer all the questions customers throw at them, and it’s a legitimate concern. Simply answering calls and taking orders may sound like a simple enough task, but in reality, when customers call it’s seldom as simple as that. Customers want to know whether a product can be used in a different way than advertised. They want to know details about the company’s other products, or they want to know about the shipping schedule. They may be calling the order desk but all they really want to know is how to fix the product they already have. Can a third party call center halfway around the world handle these requests?

The point is, customer calls are never routine, and that’s why some companies resist outsourcing this function. The argument is that call center employees that are in-house can more easily access other departments, transfer calls that are outside of their domain, or obtain information that goes beyond the basic order-taking function.

But what that flexibility hinges on isn’t access, it’s education. In-house call centers can be just as stovepiped as any other function, and often, that is precisely the case. Keeping it in-house doesn’t necessarily solve that problem. What does solve the problem—whether the call center is in-house or in Bangalore—is educating the call center staff on how the company operates, how the products function, and even minor maintenance and repair that would be traditionally outside the domain of order takers.

This is facilitated in two ways: First by removing the isolation that often exists in the call center. Even in-house call centers are often set apart from the rest of the company, with call center staff having very little access to other parts of the company. But as the call center is often the point of first customer contact, it’s vital for those staff to be knowledgeable about the entire operation. In-house, this is just a matter of policy. When outsourced, isolation can still be overcome, especially with the availability of collaborative technology and audio conferencing.

The second way this flexibility is facilitated is through e-learning.  With easy, modular training units, a call center staff member can quickly and easily learn precisely what he or she needs to learn, in a short period of time. This can be just as easily delivered to the outsourcing provider’s call center staff, as the company’s own in-house staff.

Successful outsourcing is never a 100 percent hands-off proposition—providing that agency with the knowledge it needs to do the job right, and represent your company in the best possible light, is essential, and providing corporate e-learning modules to the agency will help to make a more successful outsourcing arrangement.

This article is brought to you by eLeaP. Get more ideas on learning management systems from eLeaP.

Dec

28

Motivational training, especially for management staff and top sales performers, is still very much dominated by expensive, off-site sessions led by motivational “gurus” who claim to have special insight into how to make your people perform beyond all expectation. And to be sure, many of these speakers are exciting, dynamic, and possess wonderful ideas that you can put into practice after the session is over.

These off-site sessions make everyone feel good, but this type of training is outrageously expensive. It’s out of reach for smaller organizations, and increasingly, there’s simply no budget for it even for larger corporations. One must ask whether they are necessary, especially when online training has advanced to include such dramatic interactive features, multimedia support, testing and tracking—you’ll get a lot more accountability than you would were you to send your people to that session in Tahiti, where they can hide out at the tiki bar and drink mai-tais during the keynote address.

Does it work? Absolutely, and everybody’s doing it. Even Zig Ziglar, the granddaddy of motivational speaking and corporate training, has online sessions now.

Cloud-based, on-demand training doesn’t just have to be used for learning how to use the latest features of your productivity office software suite, or introducing new hires to the office policies. To be sure, there are certainly a lot of routine training that can be delivered very effectively with on-demand training, created with the eLeaP Learning Management System. But this type of on-demand training can go far beyond the routine and ordinary.

Management training, inspirational and motivational sessions and the like can just as easily be delivered through this platform, and with greater tracking and accountability than the traditional off-site live delivery methods that cost so much more. Motivational training, when created for online delivery, needs to be designed the same way as it is for in-person delivery. The “talking head and PowerPoint bullet” model of training is just too limited when you’re talking about this type of inspirational presentation.

This type of training calls for a special type of dynamic leader to deliver the session, and you may need to do a bit more than just sit the speaker down in front of a webcam. Use a wider angle, professional camera to capture whole-body movements (we all know, these types of speakers love to talk with their hands and move around the room), and also to capture their stage props. There will be chalkboards or whiteboards, visual aids and other types of demonstrations, so you may need to have somebody actually running the camera to follow the speaker as they move about the room giving their presentation.

Once you have the on-demand presentation completed, pair it with an activity that the participant can do immediately after the session. Make use of features like tracking to measure attendance, the Quiz Creator feature of eLeaP to take assessments, and a forum for follow-up informal learning so those who have gone through the training can talk with one another about what they’ve learned. The eLeaP training platform will give you a great start to providing affordable and effective motivational training to your management and sales staff.


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