Category Archives: Organizational Development
A recent workplace training study over the last year resulted in an astonishing fact:
Between 79-80% or workplaces spent less than $1000 in training on their employees
That’s a staggering amount and even more when you break it down further:
- Given a median hourly rate of $22, this equates to 45 hours of training
- 45 hours is just barley the first week of work for a full-time employee
- This is an annual figure, meaning onboarded staff from prior years barely get 1 hour of training and development a week
- Weekly, the average employee gets less than $20 of training spent on them to develop skills or increase productivity
It’s no wonder that lack of adequate training, development of skills, and creation of new challenges are a consistent metric that appears in most every survey of why employees leave.
Leaders and organizations can do better than this. So as to get our mental acuity focused into the realm of increasing training competency, here is a checklist of items you’ll want to consider in making your training programs effective to better develop your staff and organization.
- Onboarding with Clear Expectations.
- Onboarding with a Mentor, Big Sister/Brother
- Mini-boot camp (or training camp) training (any title will do)
- Yearly skills calibration
- Micro-learning accessibility
- Tailor training methods to meet employees needs, not company’s (or the trainer’s)
- Thread Culture, Values, Vision through every fabric of training (yes, the finance team too!!)
- Subject ALL staff, from hourly to C-level – to the exact same training modules and sessions
- Mix up remote digital training with in-person small groups
- Find each person’s needs and match to a training plan
- Train every day (athletes and orchestras do it!)
- Make training a bigger budget line item – it does ensure a solid ROI if done right
- Leadership must by in
- Training must be a culture, not a counter-culture
- Always work to improve content, engagement, and relevancy
- Ask trainees for feedback personally, not through a survey
- If you do ask for feedback through a survey (because some of you will), leave open ended comment boxes so employees aren’t penned into a few irrelevant answers that don’t allow them honest feedback
- Infuse fun and creativity
- Encourage training credit in extra-curricular training that augments and dovetails into the work (thru Lynda.com, local colleges, online sessions, etc)
- Reinforce continually to keep skills sharp throughout their career
- Have a monthly training focus throughout the entire organization to rally around a core value (customer service, safety, communication, integrity, etc)
- Combine learning styles for maximum impact and reach
- Include your hourly staff in teaching to build there skills and grow future teachers, trainers, subject matter experts, leaders
- Don’t make it boring – mix it up with breaks, change seat locations, content structure to avoid boredom and increase retention
These are just a few of the many ways great companies get proper training done. It’s easy – if you’re willing to make it happen. And it reaps benefits – if you execute it correctly.
If you have other methods of training that you’d like to include, please list them below!!
Have you ever heard the saying “It’s not what’s said, it’s what is unsaid that speaks the loudest”. There are many variations of this quote that say essentially the same message.
More prevalent are those quotes that edify what is unsaid – word and thoughts not wasted, some things better left unsaid, and so forth.
While there is some key advice in these, there is another area where unsaid words can reap a negative impact on your organization. that is when things are unsaid until your people start filling in the blanks.
Consider this: A healthcare facility department learns of their manager tendering her resignation. This director had championed her people and their mission, and came to some resistance within the organization. This news also came at a low time of census, which started to make the staff uneasy. Upper management then informed the staff that there would be a mandatory meeting in a week and a half. they did not answer any questions, and basically asked the employees to carry on in the interim.
During the next 10 days, rumors started to run about the department closing, due to the low census and the fact the the organization as a whole was losing money. That was why the “higher ups” staged a meeting. the staff also surmised that the manager left because of this alleged closure, and got wind of it and bailed before that happened. And perhaps the resistance she received was political and she got fed up, leaving the staff to face the bureaucracy. Staff started to get anxious, work suffered, and patients received a lesser level of care than before.
When the meeting was over the next week, the questions were answered opposite of the filled in answers to the communication gap. The manager left for a larger facility, with a substantial pay and career bump> And the facility was at a low census due to risk management mitigating the level of risk in admitted patients which soon got to normal levels the week after.
While the organization was not at fault for the resignation or low census, it did fail in leaving things unsaid and leaving blanks in communication for the staff to – erroneously – fill in. Nothing will counteract culture, productivity, and synergy faster than not having a strong level of leadership to prevent communication blanks.
Here is what you can do to fill in the blanks before your people do:
- Jump on the communication immediately. This company should have had an immediate meeting with the staff and contacted everyone to explain the reasons for the events that transpired. The longer they waited the more chance for incorrect information to be manufactured and disseminated.
- Be upfront, honest, and transparent. Staff like it when you talk straight with them. Give them the faacts and be brave enough to have those difficult discussions, particularly if their is doubt or indicators contrary to what you’re saying. The more this occurs, the more your words carry weight.
- Give opportunity to listen and answer questions. By keeping an ear to the grapevine, you can gain a lot of insight into what people are feeling. Take every chance to talk with people in groups or individually to hear them and counter their fears and anxiety with the facts and reassure them.
- Speak to the culture, the mission, and the vision. Finish every conversation by leading people out of the negativity and forward looking to the bigger picture. This is not an attempt to falsely redirect, but rather to truthfully re-calibrate everyone’s thinking towards the overall goal and where you are all heading. The more culture and vision are promoted in your organization, the less likely there will be room for filling in the blanks with anything off-base. Your people will be more readily able to say what is congruent to the organization and squelch rumors and gaps altogether.
Keep your finger on the pulse of your people. Close those communication gaps and work diligently to fill in the blanks that lead to culture breakdown.
Do “Suck Up”s persist in your organization?
You know, those people that would rather endear themselves to leadership by behaviors other than doing their job to the best of their ability in the greater interest of the team. They flatter the boss, promote themselves to upper management, pretend to have the best ideas, and
There are many subtle ways a “suck up” can creep into and overtake your organization.
How do you prevent, or even change, a “suck up” culture? Try the following strategies below:
- Treat all people fairly. If you’re consistent through your leadership in how you treat people, your folks will see that they won’t get extra attention by hanging all over you or creating drama to gain it. People that would tend to suck up want extra favors, attention, and any benefit in their jobs that they can garner. Giving your team equal attention and fair treatment is a great start to ensuring “suck-ups” find a dead-end.
- Give everyone the same access to resources for their job. Sometimes it’s easy for leaders to give extra resources to the people they like the most. Employees can sense this and make it into a way to leverage their working relationship for extra favors and inside information.
- Prevent “squeaky wheel gets the grease” syndrome. Employees resent those teammates that always hang around the boss or complain loudly to get extra attention and favors. The most vocal person tends to get the most attention, even if their requests aren’t urgent or important. Prioritize and qualify each person’s request on equal merits to ensure no one whines their way to your ear.
- Don’t let your ego or the ego of your leadership get stroked. “Suck-ups” know who to praise their boss and stroke his or her ego. It’s natural in those circumstances to give favor to those who make your ego feel good. Practice the example of humility by setting ego aside and don’t let other’s try to leverage your emotions and pride for their benefit.
- Promote a team culture. Having a strong team culture ensures everyone works together for mutual benefit and not personal gains per se. a strong team environment helps mitigate the opportunity for “suck-ups” to take root and makes sure that your people – and leadership – are committed to a greater cause and focus. Work at instilling a team-oriented culture that will weed out those that would manipulate their bosses.
“Suck-ups” are just leeches with two legs. Their contribution to the organization is nothing more than self-serving and very rarely contributory to the team as a whole. Purposefully cultivate an environment that does not give “suck-ups” a toehold and guard your leadership to be firm in a team approach.