human resources

Is IBM onto something here with this HR tactic?

Just read this piece in Computerworld, and I can totally sympathize with both parties on this one. Having facilitated or developed e-learning courses that have trained thousands of employees, only to have those employees resign and take their newly acquired skills elsewhere- I wouldn't be surprised if more employers didn't go this route.

Big Blue is mandating a small percentage of its employees undergo training, but with a twist. Employees that are involuntarily enrolled in the program will have their base salaries docked by 10%. Quite significant when you consider the training program lasts six months.

While employees may see the pay cut as unfair, the salary reduction is viewed by management as a form of employee "co-investment" in training, and as a better alternative to laying off and hiring employees with the latest skills. 

Predictably many of the affected employees feel IBM is merely making their lives miserable in order to entice them to quit, rather than going through the process of having to fire all them. 

What do you think? Is training losing its luster as a perk, and will more employees in the near future be forced to "co-invest" in their re-skilling?

I'd love to know your thoughts on this one. 

Alex is a co-founder and Managing Member of Collabor8 Learning, LLC, an instructional design and performance management consultancy based in Miami, FL. His firm collaborates with organizations to enhance the way they develop and train their employees and/ or customers. To learn more about Collabor8 Learning, click here.

Alex can be reached at 786-512-1069, alex@collabor8learning.com or via Twitter@collabor8alex.

Are your learners front and center in everything you design?

This is the question you should be asking yourself as an instructional designer. A very similar question is being asked by Alicia Boler-Davis, Chief Of Global Quality and Customer Experience and her team over at GE and is one of the keys to the automaker's astounding turnaround. Why is this question so powerful you may be asking yourself. Let me explain.

Putting the learner front and center, you have the opportunity to not only train them but to build advocates for your learning and development programs. You can only do this though if you learners are walking out of your classroom (or leaving the bright glare of their laptop monitors) able to perform in new ways they will brag to their colleagues about. 

Many organizations limit the evaluation of the training programs to smiley sheets and surveys that are beyond stale, not to mention many learning and development departments are so strapped for time these smiley sheets sit gathering dust inside of a dark desk drawer. When was the last time you modified the instructional strategy in one of your courses as a result of employee feedback or comments left on one of these level I evaluations? 

Worse yet, if you're not using the feedback that you are getting from your training courses to improve them not only have your courses grown stale, but your lack of listening to what your end client has been telling you has probably negatively impacted the desire of your students to leave you candid feedback in the future. 

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If "culture eats strategy for breakfast" as Mr. Drucker pointed out, I encourage you to rethink how you are designing your training courses and look not just at your business goals but at your learners' goals. Millennials who are increasingly comprising the bulk of today's workforce want to see you not just caring about the business, but want to feel you authentically caring about their needs and aspirations as well. 

Alex Santos

Alex is a co-founder and Managing Member of Collabor8 Learning, LLC, an instructional design and performance management consultancy. His firm collaborates with organizations to enhance the way they develop  and train their people. To learn more about Collabor8 Learning, click here.

Alex can be reached at 786-512-1069, alex@collabor8learning.com or via Twitter@collabor8alex.

New years are filled with opportunity, just like new hires...

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Every new year brings with it the opportunity to briefly look back and take stock of the past one. What better place to start this review than by reviewing the effectiveness of your new employee onboarding program? After all, a solid onboarding program is key to one of the most import new beginnings not just for your new team member but for your organization as well. 

At many organizations, employee on boarding involves indoctrinating the new hire into the corporate culture. New employees typically learn about the company's history, mission, vision, its founders, organizational structure, and generally how the organization operates. This has become a pretty standard modus operandi, with trainers routinely scheduling these sessions to bring new hires into the company fold. At many organizations, this onboarding is a one-way street, with the organization information-dumping as much information about the company as possible in as little a time as allowed into the new hire. Not surprising is the fact that many organizations who employ these run-of-the-mill onboarding programs measure their success by how much knowledge the new hire acquired about the organization. Barely a level two evaluation by Kirkpatrick's standards, and pretty low expectations.

Ask many managers and corporate leaders what they value most about hiring "outsiders" and many will report valuing the "new perspective" an outsider to the organization brings to the table. Trouble is, most new hires from the "outside" are hired and almost immediately indoctrinated in the company's ways. Not so at one organization who recognized this dichotomy. Wipro, which provides telephone and online chat support for a global customer base, tried something different and was able to achieve a more than 32% reduction in turnover during an employees' tenure with a new onboarding strategy. Additionally, customers' reported receiving significantly better service from employees that went through this new onboarding program. 

Wipro placed a heavy focus on individuals being able to perform in line with their individual strengths. This new "Personal-Identity Socialization" onboarding program allowed new hires to play to their strengths, and even bolstered the self-esteem of employees who participated in the new approach. You can read more about Wipro's innovative approach to new hire onboarding, and see if you may want to incorporate parts of their strategy by visiting this link

These are the out-of-the-box experiments in HR that lead to significant performance and productivity gains for organizations, and where HR truly has an opportunity to earn a seat at the proverbial table. When was the last time you looked at your new hire onboarding program? Are you simply measuring how much information sticks in their heads, or, are you demanding more of your investment dollars when it comes to onboarding your people? Let us know, we want to hear from you!

Alex Santos

Alex is a co-founder and Managing Member of Collabor8 Learning, LLC, an instructional design and performance management consultancy. His firm collaborates with organizations to enhance the way they develop  and train their people. To learn more about Collabor8 Learning, click here.

Alex can be reached at 786-512-1069, alex@collabor8learning.com or via Twitter@collabor8alex.

HR strategies for cultivating a customer service culture

Your customer service training course will fail unless you take a systems view and develop a culture of service.  Customers are not serviced in a vacuum, and unless EVERYONE is involved in delivering a positive customer experience, your investment in customer service training is headed down the drain. 

If you earnestly want to improve the customer service experience for your customers, begin at the top by analyzing your mission, vision, and values.  If all of these aren’t aligned and focused on your customer’s experience and how improve their condition―it’s time for a refresh.  You must involve your Human Resources (HR) team to help you answer the questions as to how you get there.  Human Resources, instructional design and organizational development practitioners can help you analyze your culture from the people you bring into the organization, to how you can develop a more customer-centric and service-based culture with the people you already have. 

 Click on the diagram for more.

Click on the diagram for more.

At every step of your HR workflow, there are strategies and tactics that you can employ to ensure your success.  A culture of customer service involves a system of inputs and outputs, all working towards building a team recruited and completely focused on ensuring the satisfaction and loyalty of your customer base.  As this diagram above illustrates, to build a culture committed to service you begin with your people.  The ones you have not yet hired, the ones you are in the process of hiring, and the ones you've hired in the past.  Click on the image above to learn more about the questions you should be asking at every stage of recruiting, hiring and managing to achieve a culture of service.

Finding a contract HR professional, instructional design or organizational development consultant with the appropriate skill-set needed to properly help you achieve results from your customer service initiatives can be an overwhelming challenge for any organization.  If this is the case for your company, consider seeking guidance from a firm like Collabor8 Learning.  Collabor8 Learning is experienced at strategizing, designing and delivering custom customer service strategies and solutions that exceed your expectations, regardless of your organization’s size.  

 

Alex Santos

Alex is a co-founder and Managing Member of Collabor8 Learning, LLC, an instructional design and performance management consultancy. His firm collaborates with organizations to enhance the way they develop  and train their people. To learn more about Collabor8 Learning, click here.

Alex can be reached at 786-512-1069, alex@collabor8learning.com or via Twitter@collabor8alex.

 

Epic recruiting and what you can learn from Mark Cuban

Your challenge, should you choose to accept it―lure a top prospect to your organization while offering him/ her less money than what they are currently making all the while helping your organization cut back on the number of days critical positions remain open.  Sound like Mission Impossible right?  Not for Mark Cuban and his Dallas Mavericks, and you my instructional designer friend can employ a similar tactic to improve the performance of your HR team.

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I don’t often write about recruiting practices, but I bumped into this clip earlier this week and find its use ingenious and very clever on the part of the Mavs.  Want to know the best part?  Say your organization is struggling to attract the type of hires it wants or worse, is losing out on these candidates to your competitors- you can storyboard a clip like this, fire up Camtasia, and build a short, customizable, and re-usable recruiting asset for your HR team!  And don’t limit yourself to creating a video clip either, many of you possess tools like Articulate Storyline, Adobe Captivate, Lectora Inspire or any of a number of e-learning authoring tools out on the market.  Many of these tools can be used to very quickly build an asset like this, and one your company’s HR team should be able to measure the return on. 

Why build something like this you may be asking yourself?  And I’m going to highlight for you one of Mark’s lessons in business here:

“What I do know, at least what I think I have learned from my experiences in business is that when there is a rush for everyone to do the same thing, it becomes more difficult to do. Not easier.  Harder.  It also means that as other teams follow their lead, it creates opportunities for those who have followed a different path.” 
-Mark Cuban

And there you have it- as the labor market continues to improve, companies will have to adapt to greater competition for high-potential candidates. They will have to find ways to distinguish themselves, to stand out from the crowd.  In your instructional designer role, and with the tools at your disposal―you can make a huge contribution to your HR organization’s efforts.

 

Alex Santos

Alex is a co-founder and Managing Member of Collabor8 Learning, LLC, an instructional design and performance management consultancy. His firm collaborates with organizations to enhance the way they develop  and train their people. To learn more about Collabor8 Learning, click here.

Alex can be reached at 786-512-1069, alex@collabor8learning.com or via Twitter@collabor8alex.