How are you developing yourself?

Pretty business woman with colleagues discussing in the backWhen I worked as an internal training consultant, we used to cancel classes due to low enrollment.  Unless the training was mandatory or there was top management support, many staff members simply did not take the time to attend.  I often wondered what would happen if staff members had to pay for their training.  When companies started paying the HR division for their staff member’s training out of their own departmental budgets – class attendance grew and more people took advantage of their professional development, especially if each employee was required to take a certain number of development hours for their evaluation process.

 How about you? Are you taking advantage of your company’s professional development?  Compare the cost of your training classes with a local public seminar.  If you are a local business owner, I encourage you to take advantage of the low-cost and yet high-quality training that is offered in your local area.  Check out for a listing of local workshops that I offer with a business partner.  Also check out your local chambers of commerce. Many of them hold free lunch and learn sessions for their members.   I will be conducting a lunch and learn session at the Puyallup library for the Puyallup Sumner Chamber of Commerce on November 16th on Strategic Partnerships.  Check it out!

Training – A Cost or an Investment?

How many of us have attended a training event that cost a considerable amount of money for you or are your organization with no noticeable effect in your staff’s productivity or morale?  We all have at one time or another.  All of us have spent long hours in a training class – feeling “trapped” by the choice we made and vowing never to waste our time or our staff’s time again.  Unfortunately, there is some training that is overpriced, monotonous, not relevant, and not transferred to people’s jobs. But this is the fault of the training company you hired – not the fault of training in general.

The next time you are thinking about choosing a training company to serve your organization, here are some questions you can ask them:

How much experience does the trainer have in teaching the topic?

  • How much interactivity does the trainer incorporate in his or her teaching?
  • What ways will the training company assess the needs of the audience?
  • In what ways do they suggest that the concepts get best transferred to people’s jobs?
  • How much of the training is “theory” vs. practical so that skills can be used immediately?
  • In what ways is the learning environment encouraging students to succeed?
  • What are past clients saying about the training?
  • What are some ways to reinforce the training (before, during, and after) the learning event?

And by the way, these same questions are the same ones that I use to assess the effectiveness of my organization (Boundless Results)!

Training Dollars- A Cost or an Investment?

In the February 3, 2010 edition of the On Line Business Examiner (BE) daily, it was reported that Workforce Central has $450,000 available to help Pierce County Washington businesses pay for training related costs. (Soft and technical skills).  Franciscan Health System and MultiCare Health System already took advantage of the funding and indeed, 230 health care professionals completed training through the program.

Since training and consulting is part of the services I offer to clients, this made me wonder – how many other businesses took advantage of these dollars for training? Perhaps those that took advantage of these dollars had the mindset that training is an investment – not a cost.

In the next 5 BLOG entries, I will share some ways that you can make your investment of training dollars stretch as far as possible and how you can receive the maximum value that  real-world learning events can offer your managers and employees.

Is training a cost to doing business – too expensive in terms of financial commitment?  Or an investment in your most important resource – human capital.  Stay tuned!

Creating a Service Experience

Drawer A few months ago, my husband and I had a wonderful experience of service.  I had purchased a bedroom set back in 2006 and unfortunately, one of the drawers in my dresser broke.  We went back to the store where I had originally bought the furniture, were told to order a new drawer glide, and ordered it from a hardware store, (who had ordered it from a local manufacturer, Accuride).  However, upon receiving the part, my husband couldn’t figure out how to attach the glide to the drawer.  I called Accuride and left a message with one of their representatives, Garold Harford.

What Garold did in just a few simple actions helped transform an ordinary service transaction into a memorable service experience.  In the next four excerpts we’ll be dissecting all the small behaviors that Garold did for us and I bet you can apply these actions into your own business.

 The question for you to ponder for today is this  – how can you transform ordinary service encounters into true service experiences?