May

28

Managers and supervisors should create an atmosphere that not only
provides constructive dialogue and recognition for a job well done but
also motives employees to continue to learn and improve. Therefore,
you should train supervisory personnel how to provide meaningful
feedback to employees, set achievable performance goals, and monitor
performance between formal evaluations.To help your managerial employees with the process, you should provide
written guidelines explaining how to perform evaluations. These
guidelines should outline the steps to follow and instruct supervisors to:

1. Provide useful feedback to employees by focusing on specific
events or behaviors. For example, it is better to tell an employee that his
failure to help with a rush order contributed to a missed deadline and
created morale problems, as opposed to just saying he has a “bad
attitude.”

2. Prepare a written appraisal that includes future performance
goals. Goals may be both short-term and long-term and can cover a
wide variety of objectives, depending on the employee’s current job
responsibilities and future aspirations. Identified core competencies
should be used to determine future performance goals. Goals should be
specific and quantifiable where possible, such as the completion of a
specific project within a set period of time. To help employees meet their
goals, supervisors should be prepared to offer additional training or other
necessary support. New performance goals should be recorded,
reviewed regularly, and modified as appropriate.

3. When needed, create an action plan for improving performance.
Action plans can be helpful when an employee has performance
problems that need correction. The supervisor should identify and
discuss the problems with the employee as they occur and suggest a
course of action to improve performance. The plan should detail the
nature of the problem, the steps that both the employee and the
supervisor will take to help solve the problem, and the time within which
the plan is to be implemented. The employee should have input into the
plan and be encouraged to suggest changes. Once a plan has been
agreed upon, it should be reviewed regularly to make sure the employee
is on track and able to implement it successfully.

4. Give the written appraisal to the employee several days prior to
the review meeting and encourage him to make comments and suggest
changes to the goals and action plan. By allowing the employee to read
the evaluation and plan before the meeting, you can make the process
more efficient and help defuse possible initial negative reactions. In
addition, employee input is essential to creation of realistic performance
goals and individual buy-in.

5. Create a relaxed atmosphere for the appraisal meeting.
Appraisals should take place in a private, comfortable setting, and
adequate meeting time should be scheduled. The manager should begin
the session by briefly explaining and reviewing the appraisal process and
by encouraging employee questions and comments throughout the
meeting.

Learn more about Performance Appraisals here.

Article excerpt provided by HR Matters E-Tips, a service of
Personnel Policy Service.

May

22

Have you considered how your mobile workforce learns? Will the telecommuters sit in your training classroom or will they prefer to learn online? How will Gen-Xers go about learningThis has been the conundrum in a couple of companies. Many small businesses or organizations are struggling to manage and control the performance of the mobile or remote workforce. If you have any experience in this, please send us your comments. In dealing with a mobile workforce and performance issues, it helps to have an online learning environment. This way you can easily set up and manage courses on demand. Many of these remote users are are familiar with working in an online learning environment so the cultural transition issues are minimized.

training to stack: your mobile workforce and e-learning

If you are considering e-learning or workforce training, I encourage to look at eLeaP learning management and training software. Get free resources at eleapsoftware.com/free-training-resources/

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May

15

Beware of “vaporware.” You will recognize this because these guys over indulge in the “gee whiz” of their technology, often promising everything under the sun. You need to be able to walk away from vendors who just enjoy hearing the sound of their own voices. The learning management system or the training software should serve your business and educational needs. If it does not, you are probably headed for disaster and frustration not to mention lost of time and money.

If then the goal of the LMS or training software system, is to serve your business and education needs, does the vendor you are dealing with understand this basic requirement in a fundamental way? Yes the LMS system or training software should be the best in terms of the technology – after all you don’t want a crappy system which breaks down every other day. Having said this, you and your vendor should display an alignment of vision in terms of understanding the business needs, the teaching and learning objectives and methodologies and the design or content creation and management interface that is needed to accomplish your needs.

I can’t tell you how many times I have had to caution potential customers about this one. KNOW THY COSTS — ALL OF THY COSTS. Many organizations have plunged into e-learning and web-based training with a zest not seen since the tech bubble of the 90’s. Don’t get me wrong. This is all so exciting. However, one needs to pause and ask all the right questions. Ask about the costs for setup. How about maintenance and support? Inquire about costs to upgrade or have special features implemented. If the vendor’s pricing is based on usage license, you need to ask about overage charges. Are you charged extra if you decide to create extra classes? These are critical questions you need to ask and get answers before you plow into vendor selection. Trust me, you don’t want any surprises.

Do me a favor and ask your vendor if the system is designed to be run or operated by regular folks…erm I mean educators or only the IT department has the resources and skills to manage your learning management system or training software program? Why you might ask? Because this is a big deal. IT departments are becoming woefully understaffed or even worse outsourced. Do you really want to depend on IT for every single thing you need done in your e-learning software? Another way of looking at this question is. How simple is your training software to operate? If you a PhD in computer science, you are probably not talking with the right vendor.

The last question you might want to consider is support and reliability. Many simply assume this or worse get the standard vendor spin. You need to take the free e-learning software trials some vendors offer and test drive the whole system including the support and technical help functions. If you can’t get support before they have had a chance to take your money, believe me, its going to be a whole lot more difficult after you have paid them. So, do your home work and take the system for a spin. Utilize the phone, fax, email, online support system etc and make sure your vendor has passed the test.

Get free e-learning resources at http://www.eleapsoftware.com/free-training-resources/

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Flowers from e-learning software tips article

May

12

Clear sunny day on the Ohio

On a clear Saturday on the Ohio River. What I learned from my 3 year old son!

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