“He acts like he owns the place!” (Good Thing?)

Originally posted December 06, 2013 by Dan Oswald on https://hrdailyadvisor.blr.com

Depending on the context, that single sentence—He acts like he owns the place!—can either spell disaster or be one of the most positive and flattering things to be said about an employee, says business and leadership blogger Dan Oswald.

If the statement is made out of frustration about an employee who throws his weight around and has a condescending attitude, you might be in trouble. But if it’s said with pride and satisfaction about an employee, then you’ve found yourself a star.Oswald, CEO of BLR®, offered these thoughts on increasing company performance by instilling a sense of ownership in a recent edition of The Oswald Letter.

In the end, don’t we all want people who think like owners? People who treat the company’s resources as their own. People who are interested in what goes on in every aspect of the business. People who genuinely care about the customer. And people who will go to any length to see the company succeed.

Here’s a funny story about having employees who treat the company’s resources as their own. I say funny because as a manager, if you don’t laugh, it could make you cry—or at least pull out your hair. A number of years ago (and by that I mean more than a decade because as I get older, it seems more efficient to count years in blocks of 10!), I pulled a recently hired business unit manager in to have a discussion about his expense reports. It seems that when he traveled, he spared no expense. First-class plane tickets, limousines, and high-priced dinners appeared on his travel reimbursement requests.

The company didn’t have a hard and fast policy on what was considered acceptable travel expenses, so I felt it necessary to have a conversation about what I believed was reasonable.

I explained to the manager that I had noticed what I thought were exorbitant expenses on his travel reimbursement requests. I listed some of the expenses I thought were especially egregious, and knowing that our travel reimbursement policy didn’t prohibit those expenses (yet), I hit him with, “I’d like you to spend the company’s money like it’s your own.” Take that!

With 100 percent sincerity, he looked me in the eye and replied, “But Dan, I am spending the company’s money like I do my own.” And you know what? He was. This was a guy who spent every dime he made on luxuries for himself. He was indeed spending the company’s money as he did his own. Needless to say, he didn’t last long in the job, and I had to tighten up my travel reimbursement policy!

The lesson was that if you have someone with a real sense of entitlement, you might not want him thinking like an owner. It can be really expensive!

But generally speaking, having a host of employees who think like an owner can be a great thing. That’s why Facebook uses the following motto with new hires: “This is now YOUR company.” That simple statement is plastered on all of Facebook’s onboarding materials, and it’s the first thing new employees see when they walk in the company’s training center. It’s a company goal to have every single employee carry a sense of ownership—not just in the individual jobs but within the company as a whole.

Consider the power of getting everyone thinking that they own the place! Searching out ways to improve operations. Looking for innovative ways to cut waste and inefficiencies. Finding new ways to grow the business and improve the bottom line. Isn’t that what all of us want as managers?

The question is how to make this happen in your department or company. How can you instill this sense of ownership in your people? First, you need to hire the right type of person. You need to hire people who think this way when they walk in the door. In fact, at Facebook, they talk about hiring for the culture, not the skill set. Their rationale? Skills can be taught, but mind-set can’t.

Second, you need to train and reinforce the “ownership” mentality at every level in the organization. That means you provide your people with the information and opportunities that will allow them to act like owners. You can’t expect people to act like an owner if they don’t have the information or the freedom to do so in a meaningful way.

Finally, you must recognize AND reward the people who think this way. When people make a contribution because of their “ownership mind-set,” make sure you let others know that you appreciate and respect that type of thinking. A little recognition can go a long way—not just for the person being recognized for his or her work but for others who desire the same thing as well.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could say “He acts like he owns the place!” and “She acts like she owns the place!” about every one of your employees and mean it in the best way possible?


6 reminders for employees before Thanksgiving

Originally posted on https://ebn.benefitnews.com

This Thanksgiving, looking at the mess of the Affordable Care Act’s rollout, your employees might just be most grateful to retain their employer-sponsored health plans, but there’s always plenty to celebrate on the fourth Thursday of November. Between food, travel, and more food this Nov. 28, be sure to mark the occasion well. And from all of us at EBN, enjoy your holiday!

Here are six things to remind your employees before they leave for their Thanksgiving breaks. We look at the most popular travel destinations, as well as some Fodor-recommended ones. Perhaps most important at the workplace: don’t forget to set your out-of-office alerts.

1. Eat healthy?

More and more Americans are forgoing mere turkeys for the Frankenstein monsters that are Turduckens: a turkey stuffed with a duck stuffed with a chicken, like Russian nesting dolls of poultry. Each November, one store in Louisiana sells more than 5,000 Turduckens, which average 1,600 calories a serving. Human resources administrators probably won’t make many friends by encouraging people to watch what they eat on Thanksgiving of all days, but indulgence shouldn't become a habit if you want to work on your wellness goals.

2. No, seriously – eat healthy

Did you know Thanksgiving was originally supposed to be a fast, not a feast? The settlers of Plymouth Rock were more likely to “celebrate” with prayer and abstaining from food, but the Wampanoag Indians brought their own harvest festival traditions to the table. So if you need an excuse to under-indulge this holiday, just think to yourself, “I’m only behaving like a pilgrim.”

3. Travel, most popular

According to data from Hotwire.com, these are Americans’ biggest destinations next week. The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade keeps Manhattan on the top of the list, but be sure to book in advance and allow for extra travel time if you plan on hitting any of the following spots, ranked from No. 1 to 5: New York, Chicago, Las Vegas, Orlando and Los Angeles.

4. Travel, most recommended

According to Fodor’s Erin Gifford, it’s tough to beat a Thanksgiving spent the old fashioned way in Plymouth, Mass., but she has more surprising recommendations as well. In Leiden, Holland, for example, the pilgrims spent 11 years before continuing on to the New World, and local churches and museums always mark turkey day. For something closer to home, Gifford recommends Dana Point, Calif., famous for its 10,000-runner Turkey Trot on a scenic route up the coast.

5. Set your out-of-office alerts

Thanksgiving time off ranges from merely day-of to more than the entire week, so be sure your staff puts up their voicemail and email out-of-office messages. Be sure to say when you will be back at work and what to do in case of an emergency.

6. Attention, shoppers

The biggest shopping day of the year immediately follows Thanksgiving, and even if your business doesn't need to prepare, your employees likely do. Holiday shopping gets off with a bang, and experts claim the economy relies on it. Still, it might be a good opportunity to encourage saving – the personal finance website NerdWallet says that more than 90% of 2013 Black Friday ads contain the exact same items and prices as last year. Talk about serving leftovers the day after Thanksgiving!

How to Find the Right Leadership Training for Your Company

Originally posted August 07, 2012 by Sharlyn Lauby on https://www.hrbartender.com

There’s lots of talk these days about leadership deficits. Part of the conversation is being fueled by the skills gap. Another part is focused on the Boomers retiring and Millennials entering the workforce. Regardless of the reason, I think we can all agree that strong, capable leadership is necessary for our businesses to survive and thrive.

People have to learn leadership skills from somewhere. Typically, leadership isn't taught in high school or college. Yes, you might learn some theories but without real life examples it’s hard to see how and when those theories should be applied. That’s why organizations have to put some kind of leadership training in place. It allows individuals to tie together the theory they learned and the practical application they’re gaining in the workplace.

I’m guessing I don’t need to sell you on the concept of good leadership. The question is when it comes time to bring leadership training into your organization, what’s the best way to do it? How can you find the right leadership training for your organization? Here are a few things to consider:

Decide what skills to focus on. Make a list of the challenges facing your organization and prioritize them. If you try to tackle too much, it can overwhelm the training participants. Narrow it down to a few skills that will make the most impact and start with those. This is very helpful in designing the program and also can be valuable when determining your training budget.

Talk to several people. Any really good training provider isn't afraid of a client talking to others. Companies make the right decision for their operation and find the training provider who best aligns with their culture. Know a provider’s experience, what industries they've worked in and their philosophy regarding the subject matter.

Like the methods the training provider uses. It’s important to understand the training provider’s style, any models they mention, the books they share and the activities they conduct. For example, if you’re not a fan of games in training, what happens if the trainer uses games? Or maybe doing Karate as part of a teambuilding exercise? You probably want to know about that (and yes, some training providers do that sort of thing). Those conversations should happen early on.

Consider schedules and the operation. Work with your training provider to find a schedule that allows for an excellent program and minimal disruption to the operation. When participants are distracted during training, it’s hard on everyone. A good provider should be able to work with your schedule.

Know what evaluation methods the trainer uses. Ask your training provider what they measure from the training program. If all they do is a Level 1 evaluation, request that they also provide a Level 2. This helps you, the client, have a better understanding of the learning that took place. Trainers often get a bad rap for not showing ROI from their training sessions. These evaluations can provide helpful information.

Discuss ways for participants to practice after the training and retain the material. Let’s face it…training is an investment. Companies want to know their investment is going to stick. Training providers should work with their client companies and find ways for participants to immediately apply the material they've learned. It’s the best way for participants to retain the information. Find out if the vendor offers additional options such as coaching or social learning to help reinforce the initial training.

The next time you’re looking for training, I hope you find this list helpful. It can really make a difference in selecting the right training provider and getting a quality program that will benefit your organization. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions and check out our list of highly successful, proven training programs and customized solutions that can be tailored to the unique needs of your organization.


7 Ways To Keep Your Employees Happy (And Working Really Hard)

Originally posted September 8, 2013 by Karsten Strauss on https://www.forbes.com

It doesn’t matter what you build, invent or sell; your organization can’t move forward without people. CEOs, company founders and managers all over the world know that keeping the teams beneath them moving forward together in harmony means the difference between winning and dying.

Prof. Leonard J. Glick, Professor of management and organizational development at Boston’s Northeastern University, teaches the art of motivating employees for a living. He let FORBES in on a few tips for entrepreneurs and managers looking to keep their people smiling and producing.

Build Ownership Among Your Crew

You’ve got to get employees to feel that they own the place, not just work there. “One of the principles of self-managed teams is to organize around a whole service or product,” Glick explained. In other words, make sure company personnel feel responsible for what the customer is buying.

One way to inspire that feeling is to have each member of a team become familiar with what other team members are doing, allowing them to bring their ideas for improvement to the table and have input in the whole process. If the roles are not too specialized, have your people rotate responsibilities from time to time. “It all contributes to a feeling of ‘it’s mine,’ and most people, when it’s theirs, don’t want to fail, don’t want to build poor quality and don’t want to dissatisfy the customer,” said Glick.

Trust Employees To Leave Their Comfort Zones

Few employees want to do one specific task over and over again until they quit or retire or die. Don’t be afraid to grant them new responsibilities—it will allow them to grow and become more confident in their abilities while making them feel more valuable to the organization.

Though managers might feel allowing their people to try new things presents a risk to productivity or places workers outside of their established place, it heads off other issues. “To me the bigger risk is having people get burnt out or bored,” explained Glick.

Keep Your Team Informed

Business leaders have a clearer perspective on the bigger picture than their employees do. It pays to tell those under you what’s going on. “Things that managers take for common knowledge about how things are going or what challenges are down the road or what new products are coming… they often don’t take the time to share that with their employees,” Glick said. Spreading the intel lets everyone in on the lay of theland and at the same time strengthens the feeling among workers that they are an important part of the organization.

Your Employees Are Adults—Treat Them Like It

In any business there is going to be bad news. Whether it’s to do with the company as a whole or an individual within the organization, employees need to be dealt with in a straightforward and respectable manner. “They can handle it, usually,” said Glick. If you choose to keep your people in the dark about trying times or issues, the fallout could be a serious pain in the neck. “The rumors are typically worse than reality. In the absence of knowledge people make things up.”

You’re The Boss. You May Have To Act Like It Sometimes (but be consistent)

Though this issue is affected by an organization’s overall culture, there are going to be times when you have to make a decision as a leader, despite whatever efforts you may have made to put yourself on equal footing with your personnel. “Ideally they have an open relationship but not necessarily are peers,” Glick said of the manager-employee relationship. “I think the worst thing is to pretend you’re peer… it’s the inconsistency, I think, which is the bigger problem.”

Money Matters (But Not As Much As You Think)

Compensation packages are a big deal when employees are hired, but once a deal has been struck the source of motivation tends to shift. “The motivation comes from the things I’ve been talking about—the challenge of the work, the purpose of the work, the opportunity to learn, the opportunity to contribute,” Glick explained.

When it comes to finding a salary that will allow your employees to feel they’re being paid fairly, don’t bend over backwards to lowball them. If you do, they will eventually find out and not be happy. “If the salary were open, is it defensible?”

Perks Matter (But Not As Much As You Think)

Some companies (we’re looking at you Google GOOG +0.96%) have received attention for offering lavish perks to their personnel – massages, free gourmet lunches, ping pong tables, childcare facilities – but, like money, these things tend to be less powerful motivators for workers than in-job challenges and the feeling of being a valuable part of a quality team that will recognize their contribution. A manager needs to understand that though those perks are great and release burdens from employees’ shoulders, they are not a substitute for prime sources of professional inspiration.

“I don’t think people work harder, work better because of those things,” said Glick. “It may make it easier for them to come to work, I understand that.”


Employees say companies have yet to communicate benefit changes

Originally posted August 27, 2013 by Andrea Davis on  https://ebn.benefitnews.com

The October 1 deadline for employers to notify employees of their health coverage options is looming yet the majority of employees say their company has yet to communicate any changes, according to a survey released this morning by Aflac.

Sixty-nine percent of employees surveyed say their employer hasn’t communicated changes coming to their benefits package due to health care reform, despite the October 1 deadline.

In a separate Aflac survey, meanwhile, only 9% of companies indicate they are very prepared to implement required changes to their business based on the health care reform law at this time. Some employers (41%) believe more gaps in coverage will be created and 69% believe costs to employees will increase as a result of health care reform.

“At the heart of this issue is the fact that many workers will be blindsided this open enrollment season because we know they already struggle with understanding their insurance policies today, and in covering the high out-of-pocket costs from gaps in their current coverage,” says Michael Zuna, Aflac’s executive vice president and chief marketing officer.

Other statistics from the open enrollment survey of employees include:

  • 74% of workers sometimes or never understand everything that is covered by their insurance policy today.
  • 37% of workers think it will be more difficult to understand everything in their health care policy with the changes dictated by health care reform.
  • 28% of employees are confused, worried or simply unsure about the change their employer is making to their health care coverage or benefits options due to health care reform.
  • 60% of workers have not begun to educate themselves about coming changes to their benefits package due to health care reform.


9 tips to help employees transition to public exchanges

Originally posted on https://ebn.benefitnews.com.

According to the Obama administration, the state insurance marketplaces set up under ACA are on schedule to begin open enrollment on Oct. 1. To aid in communicating health care reform changes this fall, here are nine tips for transitioning employees into the public marketplace from Sara Taylor, health solutions development leader at Aon Hewitt.

Supplement the 'Notice of Exchanges'

While the model notice provided by Health and Human Services helps employers comply with provisions of the Affordable Care Act, the notice itself is likely to generate confusion and more questions from employees than it answers. Employers should supplement the model notice with additional education on the ACA and proactively answer the question, "What do I need to do with this notice?"

Provide context

Explain your benefits strategy and provide context on how the public marketplaces fit within your benefits strategy.

Target your communication strategy as needed

The ACA and marketplaces may impact different employee groups in different ways. Think through the messages that impact all employees and those messages that affect only specific audiences.

Clearly explain required action and timing

What do employees need to do and by when? This information can get lost. Be sure to clearly call out specific required action steps and deadlines – both for your benefits plans and for marketplaces.

Don’t forget Medicaid

Public marketplaces are only one option for employees to obtain medical insurance. With many states expanding Medicaid eligibility, Medicaid or other public programs may be viable alternatives for some employees.

Be prepared for questions

No matter how well you communicate, some employees will have questions or need additional assistance and they will likely look to you for help. Ahead of time, determine who will be handling questions, identify likely questions and have answers and others resources prepared ahead of time.

Take advantage of external resources

Enrolling in health benefits can be overwhelming for many individuals, and the introduction of the marketplaces adds a whole new layer of complexity. There are resources and tools available today that can help individuals understand their options, model program eligibility — including whether they may qualify for a premium tax credit (or subsidy) in a marketplace — and in some cases, enroll in a health plan.

Engage HR and management

Ensure that your leadership is aware of and on board with your benefits strategy and how the public marketplaces fit into that strategy. Encourage your HR team and managers to be advocates for your strategy to employees.

Supply the details

Employees that apply for financial assistance in the marketplaces need to provide information about any health insurance available to them from an employer (e.g., cost of "you only" coverage). Individuals will be instructed to ask their employers to fill out the employer information section of the form. Know how you will handle these requests. Or better yet, give employees self-service access so they can complete the application themselves.


Four tips for better benefit plan communications

Originally posted by Dani McCauley on the EBN blog.

It’s make it or break it time for employee benefit plans, suggests guest blogger Dani McCauley. She has four suggestions for better communication. Do you agree? Share your thoughts in the comments. —Andrea Davis, Managing Editor

Not to be an alarmist, but there is a convergence of events and trends that will make or break the success of many employers’ benefit plans this year. However, a spot-on communications plan will smooth the road ahead, and can even turn risks into opportunities.

Position changes properly

With the biggest health care reform provisions coming into effect in 2014, many employers are making an array of not-so-subtle changes to their benefit offerings. Such changes could range from streamlining down to fewer plan options, to significant premium differentials for wellness participation.

Whether the changes are seen as positive, negative or neutral depends on how well they’re communicated. After all, employees who are satisfied with their company benefits are more likely to be loyal to their employer, according to a recent study by MetLife. The study found that while only 42% of employees in the U.S. would strongly recommend their employer, those who do feel this way are three times more likely to be satisfied with their benefits.

Key takeaway: Taking the time to think through tough benefit messages and position changes in the best possible light will pay dividends.

An effective wellness program represents the holy grail for group health plan sponsors seeking to actually change the health risks in their employee populations (thus mitigating costs and increasing worker productivity). Notice I said an “effective” wellness program. In order for such programs to be effective, they must be communicated in a way that helps employees to internalize the lifestyle changes they are expected to make.

For example, sending a quarterly newsletter with diet and exercise tips is likely insufficient to spark meaningful behavioral changes. Such a program is likely to succeed best if kicked-off with in-person meetings and frequent communications, possibly through a company intranet or in some other medium that keeps guidance, goals and incentives front and center for employees on a daily basis.

Key takeaway: Don’t invest in a wellness program unless you’re willing to back it up with an intensive communications plan.

Compliance confusion
Health care reform brings with it a host of new communication requirements designed to ensure that employees have equal access to benefits information, know their opt-out rights, understand the plans being offered, and more.

To take one example, the Summary of Benefits and Coveragerequirement just made benefit communications a little more complicated. While the SBC format is rigid and proscribed, employers must comply with the form’s required phrasing. But don’t rely on the SBC as your primary benefit communication document. Employers still need to communicate their overall benefits offering in a cohesive fashion. From health to retirement, your company benefits need to be explained in a way that resonates with your corporate culture, ideally unifying the entire plan behind a meaningful and relevant theme.

Key takeaway: Don’t abandon your traditional benefit communications materials. The SBC requirement is strictly an add-on.

Multi, Multi-Media
With so many options for communicating with employees, it’s important to consider what will work best for your corporate culture. If employees are spread far and wide at multiple locations, video tutorials can be a great way to reach out and educate employees who might otherwise feel disconnected at open enrollment time and year-round. Companies that are really tech-savvy might also consider social media or mass text messaging to bolster their efforts. But for other organizations where employees have limited access to the Internet throughout the day, call-center assistance might still be the best way to keep from placing certain groups of employees at a disadvantage.

Key takeaway: When it comes to communications logistics, let practicality be your guide.

Dani McCauley is senior vice president of marketing with Univers Workplace Solutions.

What methods are you using to communicate your benefits plan? Are the messages any different than in past years? Share your thoughts in the comments.


Ways to improve employee benefits communications

Original article from https://www.businessinsurance.com

Benefit management experts' recommendations for improving employee benefit communications


• Make it relevant: “Instead of one version of the information that contains everything an employee could ever want to know, regardless of their situation, why not create multiple versions of that information tailored to the specifics of your business units or demographic groups,” said Ruth Hunt, a Minneapolis-based principal at Buck Consultants L.L.C.

• Scale down, if necessary: Where larger employers may roll out robust Web platforms loaded with plan information and decision-support tools, smaller employers could distill their content down to a few pages of key information alongside a blog or online newsletter. “It doesn't have to be flashy,” said Jennifer Benz, founder and CEO of San Francisco-based Benz Communications. “People want really simple, actionable information, and that's certainly within the realm of what most small and midsize employers can support.”


• Flood them with jargon: “Keep things simple, and in as plain a language as possible,” Ms. Benz said. “Benefit managers usually assume a much higher level of understanding among employees in terms of how health care works. Additionally, your corporate counsel is going to want to be very cautious and make doubly sure that the communications are legally compliant, even at the expense of basic understandability.”

• Wait for annual enrollment: “One of the biggest missteps we see, especially among mid-market employers, is treating annual enrollment like it's the Super Bowl,” said Joann Hall Swenson, health engagement best practice leader at Aon Hewitt in Minneapolis. “It might be compliant with the law and it might get people enrolled in your benefit plan, but it's not going to drive any of your employees to get healthier. Instead, what if you spread some of that money and effort over the course of the full year, and focus your communications on actually helping people use the benefit plans?”

• Tell them what they already know: “What we've found is that consumers already know what to do to be healthier,” Ms. Swenson said. “About 90% of employees can recite to you that they should eat right, exercise, not smoke, etc.”



Just Over Half of Employers Using Social Media Tools for Internal Communication

Original article towerswatson.com

Flash survey reveals little consensus on effectiveness

NEW YORK, May 23, 2013 — Despite the explosion of social media in the personal lives of many people, a new survey by global professional services company Towers Watson (NYSE, NASDAQ: TW) shows that just over half of employers are using social media tools to communicate and build community with employees. Further, among those employers that have embraced social media technology, there is little consensus as to which ones are most effective.

The 2013 Towers Watson Change and Communication ROI Survey found that 56% of the employers surveyed currently use various social media tools as part of their internal communication initiatives to build community — creating a sense that employees and leaders are in it together, and sharing both the challenges and rewards of work. However, when asked how they would rate the effectiveness of social media tools, only 30% to 40% of respondents rated most of the tools as highly effective. And only four in 10 (40%) rated the use of social media technology as cost effective.




Instant messaging



Streaming audio or video



HR or other function journal or blog



Enhanced online employee profiles



Social networks



Employee journals or blogs



SMS messaging



Leadership journal or blog



Collaboration sites



Video-sharing site



Apps or other mobile approaches



"We believe that social media can be a great tool for communicating with employees in the workplace," said Kathryn Yates, global leader of communication consulting at Towers Watson. "By its nature, social media is designed to build community and could help engage employees on key topics such as performance, collaboration, culture and values. As the need for global collaboration increases, we expect more companies will join those already leveraging social media to creatively communicate those messages."

The Towers Watson survey also found that while four in 10 employers (41%) say they are effective at building a shared experience with their employees as a whole, the percentage drops by roughly half (to 23%) when it comes to building community with remote workers.

"As today's workforce evolves, we know from our research that the growing number of remote workers are looking for clear communication, to be treated with integrity, and want coaching and support from afar. For employers to effectively engage and retain remote workers, they will need to connect them with their leaders, managers and colleagues. We think social media tools can be a real help in making this connection," said Yates.


The 2013 Towers Watson Change and Communication ROI Survey was conducted in April 2013. A total of 290 large and midsize organizations from across North America, Europe and Asia participated in the survey.

Prepare Your Employees for Virtual Training?

Original article from https://safetydailyadvisor.blr.com

Virtual training is an effective new way to train … as long as learners are ready to engage with the new training environment. Today's Advisor presents part one of a two-part series in which we hear from one expert on virtual learning.

When making the move to virtual training, "we, as trainers, often get caught up with what we need to do to prepare," says Cindy Huggett, training consultant and author of Virtual Training Basics (www.cindyhuggett.com).

However, it is important to keep in mind that while virtual training is a new way for trainers to train, it is "a new way for learners to learn as well." As a result, trainers need to prepare learners to thrive in a virtual training environment.

In an article for our sister publication, Training Forum, Huggett offers three suggestions to help ensure that virtual training will be effective.

  1. "Define what you mean by virtual training. There are so many different definitions out there."
  2. "Be very purposeful about your design," she says. "What are the learning objectives, and what is the best way to accomplish them?"
  3. Make sure learners are familiar with the technology before training begins; that they understand "what learning online is going to be like"; and that they know how to minimize distractions.

"I'm a big fan of having a kickoff session," that is, a 20- to 30-minute prerequisite session to be completed before training actually begins, Huggett says. That helps familiarize learners with the content and the technology (e.g., learning how to submit questions, respond to poll questions). If they are new to the technology, they will experience what it is like to be in an online class."

She also suggests giving learners tips in advance to minimize disruptions during training, such as going to a reserved conference room alone to participate in the training. A checklist can be an effective tool, as well; and that can be as simple as instructing learners to set their phone to "do not disturb," turn their daily to-do list face down on their desk, and hang a “do not disturb” sign on their office door and ask them to enforce it, she says.

Why It Matters

  • As more and more Americans get into social media, they will become more open to learning in a social media environment at work.
  • As the economy continues to sputter, your employer may have less money to devote to training—and virtual training is inherently less expensive than face-to- face training.
  • As younger generations, who've grown up with social media and mobile technologies, move into your workforce, you'll be ready to train them in formats they know well.