Online learning/eLearning/mobile learning continues to grow, fueled by workers often not based at a central office, increased interest in learning (especially for early career employees) and growing access to learning materials. In 2014, online learning with no live instructor increased by 2.6%, and an estimated 44% of companies were shopping for online learning in 2015.
Perhaps your company has shopped for online learning, or you have individually. There are certainly advantages to online training over classroom training. Assuming that it’s asynchronous (i.e., learners can access content at their leisure rather than have to convene at a specific time), it is highly flexible with regard to when and where learning sessions happen, and the pace.
Over the past several years as I authored an online learning course, and now have online learning programs in my portfolio (authored by others), I have become more aware what is found in quality online learning, and have scrutinized what I see available. Simply put,I can’t believe how much junk is out there. Just because it’s available online, doesn’t mean that it should be classified as “online learning.” If that were the case, then we could consider reading the online New York Times as “online learning.” (Note: there is an emerging classification of “informal learning,” and in that category, reading an article online about a topic related to work would count, but that still isn’t what can be fairly considered as “online learning.”)
Is this new employee going to be your next star, or your next disappointment?
Think about a new hire who you quickly knew would not work out…and one who you knew were going to be great. In both situations, what were the signs you saw? You had more than a hunch, but often it is hard to put our finger on these clues.
Whether your new employee is a senior executive or a recent college graduate, three indicators tell us their trajectory.
Whether it’s one key employee you’re supporting in their development, or a large-scale training program across a company, there are consistent strategies that drive the success of such endeavors. These are applicable regardless of the development channel: formal learning (classroom or online), on-the-job training, stretch projects, etc.
At a local coffeehouse recently, I overheard an informal job interview taking place. I grew queasy listening to the story that the early career job candidate told.
“I’m looking at other opportunities because I’m not challenged. I don’t understand what my growth prospects are, or if they exist at this company. We’ve been bought. That was a year ago and everything is still in upheaval. I’ve excelled at everything that I’ve been handed, and I’ve asked for more, but no one will talk about that. I’m ready to go where I can grow.”
Ironically, the candidate’s currently employer is formally recognized as a Best Place to Work. *sigh*
I am increasingly fascinated by the extent to which we create our own hell.
We say “yes” way more than we should, both at work and at home. We set unnecessarily high expectations for ourselves and become obsessed with meeting those when no one is looking for that much from us. Then we wonder why we’re miserable. *facepalm*
I talk about this with clients and I think about this a lot personally as well. I try to be very conscience of regularly asking myself, “Do I really HAVE to do that?”
What are often labeled as “must do” items are actually “want to do” items. When we choose to make “wants” into “musts” (and yes, we do have that choice), we choose to be more stressed. Why do this?
During this time of year when stress is intense and it’s so easy to have especially high expectations for ourselves, I’ve challenged myself a lot on what I truly must do, and what I can say no to. Here are 10 things I’ve let go of.
Tis the season for planning! So, where are you with your planning for next year? Are goals set? Strategies in place?
Most importantly, did you address the two planning questions that will determine your success or failure?
To illustrate the importance of these questions, I want to introduce you to Jane, at ABC Tech. All too frequently I find myself across from Jane and her colleagues when they have not asked the critical planning questions, and they need help picking up the pieces.
ABC Tech provides outsourced IT management and support for small to medium sized businesses. Jane was one of the first employees, and has overseen Client Service since she joined. By all accounts she has done a brilliant job building this function of the company and her success has been key for the company’s growth. She had a team of 3 last year, and then added 1 new person this year. Business is booming and next year her team is slated to grow to 10.
In this time of focus on the importance of connecting with employees, we are often reminded about the importance of saying thank you. But how do you do that in ways that really resonate?
Think for a minute about moments when a thank you has been extended to you. What thank you gave you energy and built your confidence? What thank you left you irritated, and perhaps saying, “Don’t bother!”
When you are sharing gratitude with employees or colleagues (or even with people in your personal life), how can you increase the chances that your thank you has impact?
Have you been secretly (or not so secretly!) cheering over recent articles about companies like Accenture and Deloitte ditching their performance reviews? These are probably the most universally dreaded job function and with good reason: they often have little value, are awkwardly navigated, and require ridiculous amounts of time to prepare.
Providing feedback in meaningful, healthy ways drives performance and supports high morale, so we cannot eliminate reviews entirely. Although the headlines sound dramatic, other companies aren’t abandoning them, but they are reinventing them. A Harvard Business Review article explains how Facebook approached modifying their review process. You can reinvent yours as well.
So what are alternatives to the 6-page form that takes as many hours to complete? Here are two models to consider.
Think back to experiences you’ve had starting a new job. How often did you have a fantastic first day and first week? What made it great? What do you remember being awkward, disappointing, or frustrating? What kind of experience are your new hires having? How clearly are they being shown the way to being successful in your company?
There used to be a strong attitude toward new employees of “You’re so lucky we even hired you,” and little attention paid to the new hire experience. But as our economy becomes more service-based, and as our employees have increasing expectations for delivering great customer service to internal and external clients, this attitude and poor new hire experiences just don’t work.
It’s increasingly important to provide new hires with positive starting experiences. This speeds up their productivity, saves you money (you don’t have to undo so many mistakes or potentially replace them), and fosters positive relations within your company and with your customers.
Here are three key strategies for giving new hires a positive start.