Last week I participated in an all-employee meeting during which I shared our philosophy about creating a culture of continuous learning. I was frank when I told everyone that the “training department” will not be able to provide everything people need to be great at their jobs and that each one of us need to make a commitment to our own development. However, even though training cannot be the main solution to our development needs at work, the “training department” can make available resources to help people-development skills. I shared with the group a simple, three-part model for how each one of us can constantly develop our skills and prepare for the next stages in our careers.
It isn't often that an industry conference comes along at just a time when an organization can send its entire team. But this year, the stars aligned, and we were fortunate enough to be able to send our entire learning and development team to Denver for the ASTD International Conference and Expo.
An emerging trend in learning and development is creating short, specific tutorials that can be created quickly, posted on an internal website, and distributed to employees -- who can use them anytime, anywhere, and used as references when needed.
While the economy and the stock markets have crawled back to life, the sectors that drove the economy into the worst recession in decades -- mortgage and banking -- are still grappling with a tough issue in the aftermath: How to restore the public credibility and trust that the revelations of financial crisis utterly destroyed.
Most new employee training looks pretty much the same. A new worker joins the organization, and for the first week we put them in a training class, have them fill out piles of paperwork, and walk them through who's who at the company and teach them to do their jobs. Different jobs require different levels of new-hire training, but the formula is essentially the same.
Over the past three weeks, we’ve been interviewing people in my office for leadership positions on our internal teams. The process has triggered memories of the first time I applied for a supervisory position. I’d been on the job for six months, and I thought I was on the fast track. But during my interview, the questions turned to how people around me were performing. I had no idea what to say.
One of the great debates within the learning professional circle right now is whether subject-matters experts (SMEs) can be used as effective trainers. SMEs, which can come from anywhere — including within your very-own organization — are just people who happen to have an area of special expertise, whether that's sales, using the computer system, or making coffee. In my experience, I've found that most trainers tend to believe that since these so-called "SME"s lack formal teaching skills of a trainer, they can't do the job as effectively.
Almost all of us have been stuck in a training class at some point with a bad trainer. So, to help spare the world from these mind-meltingly lame training sessions, I've compiled a list of the seven worst habits bad trainers exhibit — many of which were suggested over Twitter — and offered simple and practical remedies.
Here's a great bit of insight I came across recently on Steve Wheeler's blog: "We Learn by Teaching." Wheeler, a professor of learning technology at Plymouth University, reminded me of similar advice my father gave me about reading when I went off to college. His technique is a three-step process: