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E-learning for Nuclear Newcomers

As a designer, I maintain a pretty robust collection of e-learning samples to which I will gladly add this one that I found today. It's been developed by the International Atomic Energy Agency and has a very clean look. I found the navigation quite intuitive (albeit not very attractive), and several features of the course such as the glossary and the search bar are easy to find and use.  

The IAEA created the interactive e-learning series explaining the IAEA’s Milestones Approach to introducing a nuclear power program. This approach is based on three phases and covers the 19 infrastructure issues that need to be addressed, and brings decades of expertise to life.  If you're like me and enjoy collecting sample e-learning projects for future reference this isn't a bad one to add to your stash.

Click on the image below to take you to the samples, and enjoy! 

Sample IAEA E-learning modules.

Sample IAEA E-learning modules.

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.

 

It's your culture, stupid.

Throughout the past seven years, the world has watched Yahoo! become the joke of the tech world by playing musical chairs with their CEO, practically giving up on their search business, losing market share, laying off employees, slashing salaries, and basically decimating shareholder and brand value simultaneously and in grandiose fashion.  Now word comes down that Yahoo’s new CEO, Marissa Mayer- for those of you who’ve been living under a rock or on vacation for the past few weeks- is focusing some of her attention on the company’s battered culture.  The shock on the bean counters’ faces must have been one for the ages.  After all, how are free food and better workspaces going to improve the bottom line? The company has been criticized for everything from not having a vision, to losing its competitive edge, to being out-innovated in the market.  One thing is for certain though, while more difficult to measure than eyeballs visiting a web page, or widgets sold this quarter- the company’s culture is everything.  Or, as James Carville would have put it- It's your culture, stupid.  One of the details most often missed is the human toll all of this bad news takes on the team inside of the company who is left behind to continue to execute.  These baby steps Yahoo’s new CEO is taking to repair the culture and build a workplace where employees are once again proud to come to work should be lauded and will build trust and goodwill with the employees of whom she will soon ask so much.  Want to improve your business?  Increase morale?  Improve employee engagement?  Attract better talent?

Here’s an idea for you, try taking care of your people.  Make a few decisions- not so much with an eye towards ROI, but rather with an eye towards building a culture where you won’t have to go to war for talent with your competitors.  Talented A-players would choose to come to you, rather than to a competitor because of your reputation for building up its people.  This is what Marissa is doing over at Yahoo, what Yang Yuanqing CEO of the China-based PC maker Lenovo did recently when he took $3 million he received above his normal bonus and distributed it to 10,000 underlings, and what you can do too.  Sound far-fetched?  Think it’ll hurt your bottom line?  Funny, that’s what Wall Street said when in on January 5, 1914, Henry Ford announced he was going to begin paying a minimum wage of five dollars salary for all eligible employees working full eight-hour days.  Guess what’s even crazier?  Profits at Ford doubled from $30 million to $60 million between the years 1914 and 1916!  Coincidence you think?

I believe it to be good human resources management, and am a bit surprised more HR leaders aren’t defending the new CEO's moves in the blogosphere.  What do you think?  Is Yahoo’s new CEO on the way to rebuilding one of the internet’s best known brands, or is she in over her head thinking free food and swag will return the internet giant to greatness?  I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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.

Social media access and device flexibility growing as HR tools

Cisco published a report recently with broad implications for Human Resources leaders that should be required reading for anyone in the profession. Of particular interest is Chapter 2 of their report “The Cisco Connected World Technology Report”, which summarizes key findings on “the challenges companies face in an increasingly mobile and security risk-prone world.” The study looked at employed end users in non-IT jobs, and college students between the ages of 18 – 29 years of age, and among other objectives sought to better understand the attitudes of this population with regard to issues such as “device flexibility” and “social media access” at work. We’ve been teaching companies to advance their human resources and IT policies to leverage the benefits of social tools employees are accustomed to using at home―in the workplace.

This study by an industry giant validates much of what we have been teaching. There are lessons here for Human Resources leaders, as well as for Recruiters and Talent Management or Acquisition teams in these findings. That being said, I’d like to draw your attention to a few of the findings that I see will only grow in significance for HR pros during the coming years―

  • Relative to End Users (33%) own experiences, a considerably larger proportion of College Students (64%) plan to ask prospective employers about their policy around social media and the use of personal devices in the workplace.
  • About one-third of Students anticipate that flexibility, social media access or freedom to use personal devices at work will be more important than salary when accepting a job offer in the future.
  • About 4 in 10 (41%) End Users recall that their company used a flexible device policy to attract new employees at the time they were hired.
  • Over 1 in 4 (29%) College Students from the total sample, driven by those in Mexico and China, believe they would not join a company that did not allow their employees to access social media during work hours with company-issued devices.
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Can you spot the trends in these findings? In our humble opinion, these trends provide clues as to the expectations of the generation now entering the workforce and replacing retiring baby boomers. For instance, this generation relies heavily on their personal learning network (PLN) and engages with this network via social media tools they have readily accessible at home ―and they expect to be able to tap into these resources at work. Is there room in your organization’s social media policies for this up and coming talent to access their PLN within boundaries permissible and aligned with your goals? If not, are the accommodations that could be made in your policy to balance the risk of social media usage by this population with the potential rewards to your company for allowing these actions? How can you supplement your current employee development plans with stretch development goals that encourage this population to reach out to his or her PLN for help? This is one way you could leverage their PLN to accelerate the employee’s growth without you having to invest additional training dollars or resources.

Human Resources leaders who covet that proverbial seat-at-the-table should ensure their social media policies aren’t limiting the potential benefits of social media use at their organizations to the marketing and sales teams. Much as we teach college students to prepare for an upcoming interview, Human Resources leaders should be coaching their talent acquisition teams to answer the following questions they are sure to face during interviews in the very near future― “What is your policy on employees accessing social media sites?” and “Do your policies allow for me to connect to the company’s network using my personal phone, iPad, laptop, etc.?” or “Can I access me personal email on the company’s issued device?”. Organizations that aren’t prepared to answer these questions might very well see themselves losing the proverbial war for talent or even worse―getting heckled for their poor preparation on these issues in one of today’s public and very social online forums!

Ready to talk about social media?

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.

Learning via microblogging in the Enterprise

Learning via microblogging in the EnterpriseIs learning at your organization stuck in traffic logjams in what was supposed to be your company's information superhighway? Want to kick it in to high gear? Fight the urge to join the endless email chains and conversation threads and cut right through the muck with microblogging!

Microblogs_SM

Microblogging is dramatically altering the way information is consumed. In essence, a microblog is a smaller version of a standard web blog. When we say smaller, we mean much smaller- you typically have 140-400 characters or less to get your point across quickly and succinctly. Microblog entries are labeled by the social network and its administrator, to reflect the information it is encouraging community members to share. You may have heard of them called “status updates”, “tweets”, or simply “messages”.

In an enterprise setting, a company might label microblog posts as “project updates”, “bright ideas”, “customer feedback”, or even “what would you improve around here?” in 140-400 characters or less, of course. Via these small messages, users can broadcast ideas, updates, images, and links to pre-recorded media like podcasts or videos. Furthermore, posts by users can be indexed by the use of hashtags (“#” symbols) so that they can be easily searched for in the future. One-to-many conversations can take place in real-time, regardless of geographic boundaries.

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The technology provides an informal collaborative environment that can streamline the flow of information for your organization, its partners and suppliers. Experimenting with this technology is relatively inexpensive, and there are several open-source platforms on the market that you should review carefully. Your goals and budget obviously play a large part in your selection process, but so should considerations such as how much customization your organization demands and whether or not your users will find a more bare bones feature set attractive.

Many organizations are crafting learning experiences using micro-blogging tools, and productivity gains have been documented by several organizations. The Harvard Buisiness Review has a nice chronicle of a few of these written by Jeanne C. Meister and Karie Willyerd, two trailblazers in the implementation of social media tools to advance learning and development (L&D) objectives.

While much focus remains on the marketing and crisis management potential of microblogging technology, less has been written about its potential to teach and enable learning in the enterprise. Yet early adopters in several industries are finding success at invigorating learning at their organizations with this technology, and we feel its potential to transform how L&D initiatives are carried out hasn’t even been scratched. Treading carefully, it’s time for Human Resources to lead this charge!


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.

The King is dead. Long live the King!

In a monarchy when the king dies or citizens revolt, the people decry “The king is dead, long live the king!” to mark a change in the times.

A change in the times is exactly what we are experiencing. Many organizations use an intranet to communicate with their employees. An intranet is a secure space for an organization’s people to share files, communicate (i.e. company news,promotions, events and newsgroups) and engage in conversations. If you have worked in a corporate environment over the last 15years you've likely experienced an intranet in one form or another.

But this old régime had some issues. Many intranets were ugly and difficult to use; Due to this they provided limited value. Their biggest downfall was the lack of management support. Using an intranet has a learning curve and provides a poor user experience making ROI hard to see from the perspective of management. So they don’t actively support its use and many of these intranets languish.

"In the mind of management the intranet is a cost to be minimized. To have management see the intranet as an asset to be maximized we need to convince management that the intranet is crucial to the work of the organization." Gerry McGovern in “Why your intranet is not strategic”

E-mail became the complimentary communications medium for many intranets. It became the way people shared information by creating a kind of conversation thread. Of course, e-mail has its own problems. Many studies have shown that the sheer number of emails sent reduces productivity. Many managers report having several hours of email each day to respond to. Email led to information overload and full inboxes and quickly became a not so beloved king.

The king is dead, long live the king. The intranet and email are now on their deathbed and the prince, their successor, is the enterprise social network. Social networks are gaining massive popularity connecting friends, family and colleagues and their adoption in the enterprise, when executed properly, is fast.

As you analyze the ways in which people use social media in their personal life, it’s easy to see how it can be used within an organization to communicate, share, learn, develop and store employee knowledge.

Its ease of use and short learning curve translate into management support as they see the ROI. Is there an enterprise social network in your organizations future? Having one designed for you is more affordable than you think.