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According to Bersin & Associates,



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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

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

Learn more about Performance Appraisals here.

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



M-Powered: Workforce Development & Training

Erick Ajax knows a thing or two about the state of workforce development in the country. Consider this. As owner of E.J. Ajax & Sons, one of the country’s leading metal stamping companies, he is in the front lines of the talent wars – recruiting, training and retaining skilled employees in the manufacturing sector is becoming quite difficult. Why you ask?

First the current workforce in manufacturing is retiring or older. Added to this the general perception in the media that manufacturing is headed for disaster due to overseas competition and outsourcing. True there is increasing competitive pressures but the real issue is Workforce Training & Development. Using learning management solutions can help manufacturing companies leverage affordable and easy to administrator training technologies.

According to Mr. Ajax, “I work with the National Association of Manufacturers Center for
Workforce Success
as a Business Champion and speak about these issues
all over the country. And I’ve had the opportunity to share some of our
success stories on Sector Strategies. For instance, the Hitachi
Foundation provided some seed money several years ago to help us
develop a program for lower-income workers, the M-Powered Project. We
were able to partner with the National Association of Manufacturers,
the Precision Metalforming Association Education Foundation, the Annie
E. Casey Foundation
and others. It has helped us develop a fast-track
training program to help low wage individuals get the skills necessary
to take the first step onto a career ladder in the manufacturing sector
so they can begin to earn a living wage to support their family so they
can live the American dream.

Samantha Brady went through the M-powered program. She’s now 23. But
when she was 19, she had just given birth to her second child and had
been was arrested for possession of methamphetamine. She was in a state
correctional facility for a few years. We were able to take the
M-Powered program on the road to her and several other women who were
about to be released from that facility. They completed the M-powered
fast track 12-week training program. Samantha did well in her class.
When she was released about a year ago, we were able to hire her. She’s
did well here. She now has custody of her kids. She has her own
apartment. She has even testified before the legislature about
M-Powered. She says that her life before this program was worthless.
Now she can make enough money to support her children and doesn’t need
to do the things that got her in trouble before.”

Clearly the M-Power project is yielding some positive results. Training and development using multiple tools: classroom, e-learning or web-based training or blending the two approaches is powerful enough to stem the tide and hopefully reverse this decline in manufacturing in the US.

Organizations interested in using learning management systems to create and manage their e-learning can check out this company: eLeaP Training Software & Learning Management Systems

Get free e-learning resources at



According to the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) in UK, women are resigning in increasing numbers because of lack of training and development opportunities.

From a rate of 5.5% in 2005, resignation rates rose to 7.2% in 2006. One of the most common reasons given for women resigning was lack of proper training.

CMI spokesman Mike Petrook said: “Women are saying that unless they
are given the training and development opportunities they want at work,
they will move on elsewhere. Employers need to act to reverse the trend.

“A lot of employers are saying to us [the CMI] that they know they are not giving enough training and development.”

How can companies be proactive and institute training policies to combat these rising rates of resignation.




A recent study done by ERE showed that 60% of human resource development departments believe that it is possible to measure the return on investment (ROI) of their employee development initiatives. Only 18% however, measure whether the employee training and development carry an effective ROI. Click here to read full article,–hr-directors-measure-180954.asp .




For much of the last decade big name companies have invested in e-learning technologies and system. From IBM, to Microsoft to Caterpillar, many fortune 100 companies have reaped the benefits of e-learning and online corporate universities.

Looks like the is a significant shift in direction though. While it trendy to tout the benefits of e-learning for in reducing cost, encourage organizational-wide talent development and nurturing and fostering skills development, a growing number of companies have started to worry about “top-line growth rather than bottom-line cuts to their workforce” – Sue Todd, president of Corporate University Xchange.

The traditional concept and structure of corporate universities is also undergoing some interesting changes as companies move away from offering huge catalogs of training materials “which most employees ignore anyway,” to central or shared-services concept in which the learning organizations focus “more heavily on strategy, alignment, measurement and performance consulting” — according to Bersin & Associates, a California-based firm specializing in tracking trends in e-learning and corporate training.



How does your organization’s training and elearning budget stackup to the competition? Is your investment in e-learning solutions and technology at par with industry standards? Are you short changing your most powerful competitive advantage? Bersin & Associates provides answers in this year’s Corporate Learning Factbook.

Some highlights … to whet your appetite!

To get this report on Corporate e-learning, go to

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