corporate experiential learning training

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In recent years, there seems to have been a widening gap in the corporate training world between expectations and reality. According to a Deloitte survey published in 2015, managers claimed that the area of learning and development was more important than ever and yet, at the same time, they admit that they’ve become even less prepared to meet learning and development needs.
Let’s make 2017 the year to turn things around. Here are four promising trends surrounding the measurement and assessment of corporate training programs that can help get your company on the right track:

1. Focus on Real Needs, First

Forget the bells and whistles of fancy corporate training programs for a moment, because it’s time to get back to basics which means deciding what your training needs really are. This seems like a crucial step in training development, but it’s one that’s often overlooked. Companies may chase after vendor-supplied corporate training programs that will claim to solve all of their problems (without understanding what those problems are), or they rely on the outdated in-house training they’ve always used—even if needs have shifted.

2017 will see a renewed effort to match up corporate training programs with real, demonstrated needs, rather than just going through the motions. This means taking stock of the company’s current realities by meeting with key leadership one on one and identifying what’s enabling your current level of success and what’s blocking you from going even higher.

2. Defining a Baseline for Measurement

In the same vein as the above, corporate training programs need to shift focus from what goes on during training to what happens before it begins. When it comes to measurement, that means clearly defining what you will measure as a result of the training. And, obviously, to measure improvement, you must first measure where you are.

In 2017, it’s time to get granular. Once you’ve established an understanding of your company’s “big picture” current reality, use measurement tools—like organizational surveys—to develop tangible numbers and specifics that speak to that reality. Developing a clear, specific baseline results in well-designed, responsive corporate training programs that make measuring ROI a whole lot easier.

3. Develop On-Demand Learning—and Measurement

The use of cutting-edge technology in corporate training programs has been on the rise for years. While nothing can replace immersive, experiential learning, there is most definitely a place for technology in training, especially as a learning retention tool.

Today’s workers—which is now composed of more than 53 million Millennials—crave on-demand learning at their fingertips. To meet this craving, companies should look into developing retention programs that take the form of apps, which can work on computers and mobile phones and are fun, short, and effective. With up to 70 percent of training being lost to learning decay within just one week, easy-to-use and addictively engaging retention activities should help stop up the learning leak.

Plus, it’s easier and faster to track learning gains through technology. While employees are engaging in learning and retention games on their phones, companies are able to collect real-time data on learning improvements to measure progress. This allows them to make quicker decisions about changes to their corporate training programs or retention strategies. Watch for more of a focus not just on tech and learning but also on tech and measurement in 2017.

4. Bringing Training and Business Strategy Together

Perhaps the biggest trend in 2017 will be a continuation of the recent push to marry HR direction and business strategy—and measurement will play a huge role. As competition for highly skilled employees remains high, training and retaining top talent become just as much a strategic initiative as an HR one. Thus, determining ROI becomes more important than ever, as it’s an indication of whether your training is working or not, yes, but it’s also an indication of whether or not a company is retaining its competitive edge.

2017 can also be the year that companies dig deeper with assessments. In addition to more traditional assessment and measurement tactics like surveys and tests, companies should also explore how assessments can help prime the leadership pipeline—which should be a major strategic initiative for any forward-thinking organization. Companies can use post-training assessments to discover those employees who have made the largest learning gains, which is an impressive feat which higher-ups should take notice of. Plus, assessments of high performers before training can be used to identify the common competencies that a company’s highest performers share. Then, training can be designed to deliver those competencies, thus ensuring a pipeline of top talent ready to step into leadership roles when they are needed.

A clear strategy for measuring results is crucial to any successful corporate training program. What trends in measurement do you think we’ll see—or need to see—in 2017?

 

MichaelAbout the author

Michael’s singular focus is rooted in staying connected to learners the moment they step out of the classroom and back into their busy jobs. As SVP of Learning Performance, Michael brings business savvy depth to ensuring learning is reinforced, applied and is optimally aligned to delivering on strategic objectives. His proven track record in creating measurement frameworks and reinforcement solutions that add value to the learner, leaders and executive sponsors is highly valued across the spectrum of our client engagements.

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mind-the-gap-whats-missing-from-most-team-building-training-programs

The scenario is all too familiar; your company’s executive leadership team understands the importance of team building training, and you spend plenty of time and money every year executing training initiatives, but you’re just not seeing the results you had anticipated.

While recognizing the importance of team building already puts you ahead of the pack, it sounds like the training you’re investing in right now is missing something. Consider these four elements that most team building training programs overlook to fill in the gap in your own training:

Training That’s Practical

It’s not enough to get a team in a room together and hope they bond over team building training activities you’ve you’ve pieced together from various sources. Training must be strategic and practical.

  • Is your training immediately applicable to the participants’ day-to-day job?
  • Are you providing solutions to real-world problems?
  • Do you have a way to measure the results of your team building training?

If you’ve answered “no” to these questions, then you will not be getting the most from your training budget.

Choosing an experiential learning method for your next team building initiative will help ensure your training is both strategic and practical. Experiential learning is discovery-based learning comprised of, immersive elements that mimic real-world scenarios in which participants find themselves daily. These activities involve learning by doing, which means your team will be practicing the new skills they’re learning during the training itself, rather than passively learning about them and having to practice on the job later.

A Theme That Excites and Aids Learning

Sometimes the problem with team building training isn’t that it’s not practical, it’s just plain boring. Using themes during training will add energy to your initiative! Theming will transport your participants to another “world,” where they can loosen up and have fun learning, instead of thinking about how they’re supposed to be acting. Which sounds like more fun, acting out a simulation of a team meeting or putting on your “engineer” hat to build a bridge to span an ecosystem?

Incorporating a theme into your team building training is about more than amping up the fun. When you theme your events, you’re taking participants out of their day-to-day realities, which means they’ll be more likely to take risks during the training. They may even “fail”, which is a great learning tool! When training looks too much like a real job scenario, participants are hesitant to stretch themselves, out of fear of failure.

Leadership Training for Teams

It’s true that there’s no “I” in team, but the most successful teams do have designated leaders. While many team building programs focus on improving communication skills and problem-solving together, leadership training is often reserved for colleagues at the management level. When training is designed this way, teams miss out. That’s because team leaders are often designated based on their expertise in a field—not their experience with leading—so team leaders may feel lost and unsupported in their new leadership roles. Investing in leadership training for team leaders will give these new leaders the skills needed to garner top results with their teams.

Team Building Training for Remote Employees

While more and more companies are allowing employees a level of freedom to work from home, when it comes to team building, these remote workers are often forgotten, and that’s a detriment to the company. These remote employees still work in teams! Consider ways to include these employees in training, like through live, web-based workshops. Sometimes, though, there’s just no substitute for an in-person t training event. If many of your employees are remote, it could pay off big-time to host an off-site training that brings employees together for some valuable face-to-face time. Let’s face it: It’s hard to connect over email, so an in-person event can strengthen relationships between colleagues while providing opportunities for practical, experiential learning-based team training.

What other key elements do you think your team building training initiative is missing?

About the Author

sue

Sue, an authority on training and development, has over 20 years of experience in the creation and delivery of programs and custom designed training solutions for Eagle’s Flight. As Chief Operating Officer, Sue’s vast senior leadership experience and facilitation has established her as a trusted partner and organizational development expert for numerous Fortune 500 companies.

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Corporate training events come with a certain set of expectations from employees. Whether those expectations are positive or negative is up to the organizer. Employee events like staff retreats, conferences, monthly or quarterly meetings, and even office social gatherings can be opportunities for corporate training, even if participants don’t realize that they are learning at the time. how-to-embed-corporate-training-into-employee-events Subtly integrating learning into employee events can help prevent preconceived notions about corporate training from getting in the way of education. This is especially true for organizations that don’t have a great track record with training. Employees who feel that corporate training is a waste of time or boring will be pleasantly surprised with a well-executed and unexpected learning event.

You can come up with different creative ways to integrate corporate training into employee events. These are just a few examples:

Make It Immersive

The more engaging a training event is, the more likely an individual is to retain information. Immersive training events capture attention and enable participants to learn and practice new skills in a safe environment.  When you tie those lessons back to the real corporate world, you have a room full of people who learned a new skill without even realizing they were participating in a corporate training event.

 

Download A Guide To Creating Interactive & Engaging Company Events

 

Here are some simple things you can do to create an immersive training event:

  • Don’t leave out any details so your participants feel like they are really in the experience
  • Make it energizing; the more exciting and energized the room, the more buy-in you’ll get from your participants
  • Incorporate an experience where participants are mixing and mingling with people they don’t normally work with. This will allow participants to try new things while learning new skills and understand how things are across your organization

Make It Subtle

Nothing says “corporate training” like a personality test or a slide deck chock-full of bullet points. Many individuals automatically shut down when the projector turns on. On the other hand, when participants walk into a room and suddenly feel like they have been transported to an alternate reality, they can’t help but have their curiosity piqued. Before they know it, they are learning how to forge effective partnershipswhile completing a mission. After a few hours of wheeling and dealing, their ability to identify and capitalize on strategic partnerships has skyrocketed. Do the participants feel like they were at a corporate training event? No. They were too busy boosting profits by connecting with the right partners.

Mix It Up

Add a little variety to the day to keep participants engaged and on their toes. When employees don’t know what’s going to happen next, they can’t become complacent. You can keep minds and bodies more attentive by:

  • Using multiple formats like video, lecture, games, and contests
  • Scheduling part of the event outdoors when possible
  • Using different areas of the space you are in
  • Changing the layout of the room or doing some activities while standing or moving around

Merge with Management

It’s a lot easier for employees to feel that corporate training is valuable if leadership is doing it with them. When leaders are present at employee events and participating in the learning activities, it demonstrates a commitment to organizational development and helps individuals connect better with managers. Employee events are an excellent opportunity to build company culture by creating a common language and enabling individuals at every level in the organization to have a shared experience.

Make It Fun

Many employee events have a single activity that participants find fun and engaging. However, these are often surrounded by more typical activities like presentations, brainstorms, and breakout groups. This inconsistency causes participants to tune out in between the fun sessions, and the result is a loss of momentum throughout the day. If your corporate training event is immersive from start to finish, participants don’t have the opportunity to disengage. Maintaining a consistent theme for the entire event, even during meals and breaks, will keep minds on the task at hand. When done well, an immersive corporate training event will keep participants puzzling over problems and solutions after the event.

When planning your event, don’t forget to theme:

  • Food
  • Prizes and gifts
  • Decorations
  • Music
  • Conference materials
  • Newsletters or announcements leading up to and after the event

If the term “corporate training” triggers yawns and skepticism in your workplace, it’s time to consider a different method. The goal of a corporate training event is to produce long-term skill sets that participants are excited to use in the real world. By integrating immersive educational experiences into employee events, you have the opportunity to impart new knowledge and create an enjoyable experience at the same time. After one successful event, next time you say “corporate training,” you’ll be greeted with a completely different attitude.

What other methods have you used for embedding corporate training events into employee events?

 

johnAbout the author

Since 1991, John has acquired extensive experience in the design and delivery of a diverse portfolio of programs. In addition to his executive responsibilities as President of Leadership and Learning Events, John is considered a valued partner to many executive teams. His insight and experience enable him to effectively diagnose, design, and implement complex culture change initiatives in a collaborative and engaging manner. Moreover, John’s experience in global implementations allows him to draw from a deep well of history to create unique and customized solutions. John’s passion for developing people makes him a sought after speaker, partner and coach and is evident in the high praise he receives from clients.

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Leaders play a critical role in any organization, which is why it is so important for everybody in a leadership position to embody the culture and be a positive role model for others. When this doesn’t happen, the result can be toxic or destructive, creating a long-term impact on the company that can take years to reverse. the-4-signs-of-toxicdestructive-leadership-in-organizations

In fact, a recent article in Psychology Today stated that toxic leadership is on the rise and that “[t]here’s a clear symbiotic relationship between toxic workplaces and the toxic leaders who inhabit them.” While toxic leadership can sometimes be a result of inherent personality traits, organizations can avoid going too far down a destructive path by knowing how to identify the signs and changing course before it’s too late.

Look for these signs to determine if your organization is at risk of toxic leadership:

1. Poor Listening Skills

Leaders who don’t make time to listen to employees will miss out on critical information that can impact the company. Even when individuals have an opportunity to share their thoughts, if those ideas fall on deaf ears, it can be demoralizing and frustrating.

The signs of poor listening skills:

  • Employees have stopped offering ideas for improvement.
  • It is difficult or impossible to schedule a meeting with leaders.
  • Leaders multitask in meetings or change the topic of conversation.

2. Lack of Feedback

Listening is the first key to good communication, but providing feedback is also essential for a healthy relationship with leadership. When leaders provide little or no feedback about performance, employees are left guessing or assuming that their behavior is acceptable. This applies to both negative and positive feedback. A leader who does not correct poor employee performance can’t expect beneficial change, but without positive feedback, employees are not given the full opportunity to flourish and grow.

The signs of lack of feedback:

  • Employees do not have timely annual reviews.
  • Individuals are left to make decisions that leadership should handle.
  • High performers are now just producing average results.
  • Employees repeatedly make the same mistakes.

3. Lack of Accountability

Everybody occasionally makes an error or misses a deadline, but when leaders do this time and again and are not accountable, it will trickle down through the entire organization. The result will be lost efficiency and an organization filled with people who do not feel responsible for the outcomes of their work.

The signs of lack of accountability:

  • Leaders blame their team when something doesn’t go well.
  • Employees express frustration with leaders for not following through.
  • Leaders do not admit when they make mistakes.

Unleash the Power of Teamwork: Learn More in This Guide

4. Bad Behavior Modeling

“Do as I say, not as I do” is not an effective attitude in the workplace. Leaders cannot expect employees to embrace a culture or behave in a certain way if they do not model those behaviors themselves. This type of attitude can be further damaging to a leader because it demonstrates that their words do not carry weight. Why would an employee commit to going the extra mile when the boss doesn’t demonstrate the same  commitment?

Signs of bad behavior modeling:

  • Managers have expectations of their teams but do not deliver the same level of performance.
  • Leaders are not present in the workplace.
  • Leaders do not behave in a way that supports the company culture.

Fortunately, all of these signs of destructive leadership can be corrected once they have been identified. Leadership development programs can be tailored to each individual to address areas of weakness at any point in the leadership pipeline. Whether an individual is a first-time manager or a C-level executive, they can benefit from leadership training to address these types of concerns.

 

Dave_rootAbout the author

Dave joined Eagle’s Flight in 1991 after having spent a number of years with a Toronto-based accounting firm. Since that time, he has held a number of posts within the company, primarily in the areas of Operations, Finance, Legal, and IT. In his current role as both Chief Financial Officer and President, Global Business, Dave is focused on ensuring the company’s ongoing financial health as well as growing its global market share. In pursuing the latter, Dave’s wealth of experience and extensive business knowledge has made him a valued partner and trusted advisor to both our global licensees and multinational clientele.

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Introducing new concepts, systems, or processes in a work environment is rarely as simple as sending an email and immediately getting the desired results. Successfully convincing individuals to change their behavior in the workplace requires:

  • Clear communication about expectations
  • An organizational training program that provides the necessary skills
  • Consistent reinforcement and measurement 5-change-management-activities-to-add-to-your-meeting-agenda

This might seem like a tall order, and indeed it does require a comprehensive overall strategy, but there are some simple change management activities you can do on a daily basis.

Meetings are the most logical place for change management activities because you have the attention of the entire group at the same time. You can ensure that people be hear the message and create a greater likelihood of understanding what you say. Consider adding these change management activities to your next meeting agenda:

1. Status Updates

Have an agenda item for status updates about  initiatives occurring in your organization. For example, if your organization is shifting to a customer-centric culture, a sales staff meeting might include an update about the new sales process that is under development. This is also a great opportunity to gather input from the sales team about how to be more customer centric and get the team to start thinking in that mindset.

Status updates should include:

  • What initiatives are currently happening
  • The status of each initiative
  • The next steps for each initiative

The individuals providing the updates will have to stay on top of their assigned tasks, and others will feel more involved in the process, especially if they have the opportunity to provide feedback during status updates.

2. Reinforcement Exercises

If your strategy includes organizational training, one of the most important change management activities you can do is reinforcement exercises. The human brain will only retain so much information (10-30%) after a training session, unless you actively recall the lessons learned. Adding a quick reinforcement exercise such as a quiz, game, or discussion about how to apply the new knowledge in the workplace will keep the information fresh in the minds of participants and encourage them to apply and use their new skills.

3. Introduce the Next Initiative

Make time to discuss the next change that is on the horizon, even if you don’t plan to roll it out for several months. Communicating early about changes to come will allow individuals to mentally prepare in advance. Providing regular updates about the plans in the pipeline will reduce the inevitable anxiety that people feel about change. Giving individuals an opportunity to provide feedback will make them feel more invested in the process and increase the likelihood that they will embrace the new systems. Clear communication about upcoming initiatives also demonstrates that leadership has a strategy in place and a plan for executing it.

4. Recognize Successes

Create an agenda item that prompts you to identify all of the successful milestones or accomplishments since the previous meeting. These could be as simple as an individual who exhibited one of the desirable behaviors identified in a recent training, or as significant as a team who measurably improved their sales numbers. When individuals know that leadership is paying attention and that they will be rewarded for their efforts, they are more likely to adopt the changes you are introducing. and more likely to perform at their peak. Many leaders don’t realize how impactful recognition can be, especially in a public form like a team meeting.

5. Action Items

Every productive meeting should include action items that are assigned to individuals and have clear deadlines. Action items go hand-in-hand with status updates on your agenda. Everybody knows that they will be expected to report back to the group, increasing the likelihood that they will complete their assigned tasks. Action items also provide the benefit of keeping a project moving forward.

It’s unrealistic to expect individuals to change their behavior without some motivation. Including these change management activities in your meetings helps maintain momentum, gives leadership a forum for introducing new changes to come, and increases accountability. What agenda items did you include in your last meeting?

 

sueAbout the author

Sue, an authority on training and development, has over 20 years of experience in the creation and delivery of programs and custom designed training solutions for Eagle’s Flight. As Chief Operating Officer, Sue’s vast senior leadership experience and facilitation has established her as a trusted partner and organizational development expert for numerous Fortune 500 companies.

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Creating a Leadership Culture at Every Level of an OrganizationA culture of leadership in your organization has many great benefits, especially if it exists in every level of your company. A leadership culture will make all your staff feel like valued stakeholders thus striving to deliver results and exceed expectations. Best of all, they feel valued and empowered. Individuals tend to rise through the leadership ranks, which means your organization retains staff and the on-the-job knowledge they’ve accumulated. This is no small accomplishment. Although few metrics can truly quantify the loss of knowledge when staff members move on, costs do add up in terms of recruitment, lost opportunities, and replacement.
By creating a leadership culture at every level of the organization, you’re also creating a culture of accountability, boosting overall productivity, and raising organizational outcomes. How can you get started? Below we’ve outlined five methods to create the leadership culture.
1. Provide the Right Foundation

Prepare newer and junior-level staff to be leaders in waiting by giving them skills to increase focus, improve efficiency, and maximize their individual impact within a team. They need to be able to be accountable and lead themselves and their own projects before they translate those skills to leading a team. These foundational tools include time management, communication, and listening skills. By acquiring these skills trainees learn to:
Communicate effectively, recognize and work around barriers that break down communication
Practice active listening which helps avoid communication conflicts and misunderstandings
Manage their time effectively which will set them up to have the time to learn and take on more responsibility

2. Build Self-Awareness

Self-awareness is very important; it allows individuals to learn how to build relationships with their personal style and understand how to best interact with others. Behavior profiles are simple to complete and will allow your staff to analyze their style of interaction. Team members will learn their specific attributes, strengths, and opportunities for growth and improvement. Because there is a direct connection between relationship building and leadership, these self-assessment tools can be powerful for everyone assessed. Staff at all levels of the organization learn how to leverage the differences and the talents of other people on their teams and within the organization.
How do you create a thriving culture? Learn more in Phil Geldart’s book. Get a free copy!

3. Offer Targeted Leadership Training

Leadership skills training is often most applicable for frontline employees with leadership potential and mid-level managers. This type of training offers them the skills, techniques, and methods to actually lead a team or department. They’ll learn to put their decisions into action. Through training, participants are able to:

  • Understand their role in the organization
  • Plan, organize, and manage in a productive manner
  • Work more closely with direct reports, colleagues, and senior management
  • Encourage team performance
  • Make and implement decisions

4. Ensure Fluid Teams

Supervisors and managers should understand how their actions impact their immediate team and the environment around them. This is a practical leadership skill. This knowledge allows for:

  • Strong leaders that are the crux of high performing and focused teams
  • Team leaders who are confident in giving and receiving feedback
  • Leaders willing and able to coach their direct reports
  • Leaders that take an active role in their personal and professional development

5. Don’t Leave Out Executives

Encourage executives to attend leadership programs to polish and improve their skills. All great leaders continue to learn and improve. These programs help those within an organization’s top ranks:
Define a common organizational language and ensure its consistent use

  • Create accountability at all levels
  • Encourage self-esteem to unleash human potential
  • Increase the importance of teamwork throughout the organization
  • Creating a leadership culture at all levels of the organization leads to an empowered workforce with limitless potential. Put these tactics in place and see the dividends pay off within your own organization.

About the author

sue

 

Sue, an authority on training and development, has over 20 years of experience in the creation and delivery of programs and custom designed training solutions for Eagle’s Flight. As Chief Operating Officer, Sue’s vast senior leadership experience and facilitation has established her as a trusted partner and organizational development expert for numerous Fortune 500 companies.

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