employee training

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.

Inside Apple’s Internal Training Program

Read this piece on Apple's corporate university, and picked out five principles you could emulate in your organization. I'm not promising your training program will lead your company into the stratosphere of success Apple has achieved, but if you're going to emulate practices- may as well do it from one of the best.

Yes, it takes time, effort, and money to get training & development right but when done right- its one of those competitive advantages that is difficult to copy by your competitors.

I'll let the piece do most of the talking (you can read it by clicking here), but here is the gist of it: 

1. Provide learning and development opportunities so rich, that getting employees to enroll is rarely a problem.


2. Meticulously plan learning experiences for your people.


3. Not all trainers are created equal; don't skimp on your trainers.


4. Tailor the learning to your staff's positions and backgrounds.
 

5. Leverage the case study method of teaching; Use business cases from your company's past to develop critical thinking aligned to your organization's values.

 

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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 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.


Another reason your best people are about to quit

After reading this article, I couldn't help but to think hey- they left one out!

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You don't develop your people. Harvey S. Firestone said "the growth and development of people is the highest calling of leadership." There are many competencies leaders should master, and developing those they lead is one rarely taught in business schools yet critical to your ability to retain top talent. More than giving your people a sense of where they can go in their careers which is mentioned in the article (see point #5), great leaders plan and assign learning opportunities that stretch the capabilities of their people. Leaders will ask their people where they would like to take their careers, and then actively seek training, e-learning programs, webinars, industry conferences, and other developmental opportunities for their people to grow. Show me a manager who doesn't allow time for their people to train and hone their skills, and I'll show you a demoralized team whose people will exit stage left at the first opportunity that comes along.

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.

Two key ingredients of best in class training

I don't know enough about Facebook and Twitter to claim they've got the best training programs in Silicon Valley, but there are some kernels of truth you find in the most successful corporate training initiatives. This piece by Max Nisen nails quite a few of these.

The first is an on-boarding experience long enough for the new hire to truly get acclimated and contribute to the organization's culture. At Facebook, this occurs during a seven week Bootcamp in which new hires work on fixing actual problems with the site's code. These fixes new hires work on are up live on Facebook's site within a week of the new employees hire. How is that for getting employees up to speed?

Another component of best and class training initiatives is they are driven and led by the CEO. And by led I don't mean just merely sponsored. At Twitter, the leadership program is run and taught by the CEO, Dick Costolo. Having this level of commitment by the president of the company sends a message to the entire organization that this is important to the firm's success. 

Learn & Lead

I've been fortunate in my career to experience both ends of the spectrum. I've had CEOs look at me in disbelief for asking them to take a small yet active role in the on-boarding of their new hires, and I've had other CEOs jump at the opportunity to work with me and provide direction on training initiatives. Nothing you bake into your training program will get your learners attention more than walking into a training room and having the CEO of your company there ready to teach and mentor.

As Jack Welch once said, "An organization's ability to learn, and translate that learning into action rapidly, is the ultimate competitive advantage." Get your chief executive on board with your initiatives, and involve your learners in solving your organization's most vexing challenges. Do this all as quickly as you can, and watch your training initiatives go from nice-to-haves to crucial parts of your company's DNA.

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.



How the xAPI can improve your training ROI calculations

How many times have you been asked to calculate the value or the return on investment (ROI) your training programs are delivering?  Unless your client is okay with "real-world" back-of-the-napkin calculations, you'll need to demonstrate some objective metrics and be prepared to defend them.  It's time you get better at showing your worth, and the new Experience API (a.k.a. the xAPI, or Tin Can API) can assist-if used properly.   Prior to the xAPI's existence, your data collection was limited to what data you could track inside of your learning management system (LMS), and whatever test scores or attendance records you were keeping if you do not yet have an LMS or are still using a spreadsheet. 

Enter the xAPI, now you can include all sorts of offline activities such as conference attendance, coaching and mentoring sessions, and pretty much anything you can condense into the xAPI statement structure of nouns, verbs and objects.  Even successful activities performed on a CPR dummy or carrying a heavy hose out of a simulated burning building can now be tracked as a development activity.  In other words, your universe of learning activities that are contributing to a positive ROI for your efforts just expanded infinitely to what big data folks call N=ALL.  You can now track ALL learning activities, online or off, in front of a computer, iPad, crash test dummy, or an instructor that your learners are learning from in your analysis!

Let me give you an example of how this benefits you.  A year ago, you would have sent an employee needing to develop his or her presentation skills to a class or offered coaching by a consultant in order to develop their skills.  You had no way to track his attendance at local Toast Master meetings, his or her reading a book by a noted author on the subject, or delivering prepared remarks at a local public school or charity as a part of their developmental experiences.  Now, you can track all of these experiences and include them in your analysis of what led to the employee's improved public speaking skills.  In the case of an employee delivering prepared remarks at a local public school for example, your cost for said experience was $0, yet surely you can estimate some benefit derived from the experience in your ROI calculations. 

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You see, to improve the accuracy of any ROI measurement, it is necessary to develop as complete as possible picture of the learning and development activities your learners experienced that led to the improved performance.  The more experiences and activities you include, the stronger the inference you can make as to their value in your ROI calculations.  And if you and your team are enabling these experiences, you can estimate their worth in your ROI calculations!

 The xAPI provides improved visibility and transparency into the activities of your learners, which in turn can improve performance across individuals and teams if multiplied and positively impact your ROI calculations.

 
Additional resources you may want to review when calculating the ROI of your training initiatives:
1. Summary Process for measuring ROI of Training
2. The Direct Path to Training ROI

Have a resource for measuring the ROI of training that is not listed here?  Please feel free to include it in the comments, the above are provided to get the conversation started! 

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.