UK: Older workers still neglected over training and performance issues

(From hrmagazine.co.uk) — As the Pensions Bill makes its way through The Commons, older workers are still often neglected when it comes to training and performance management according to a report this week from the CIPD. The Employee Outlook: Focus on an Ageing Workforce survey of 2,000 employees found less than half of workers (46%) aged 65 and above report they have had a formal performance appraisal either once a year or more frequently, compared to 65% of all employees. In all 44% of employees aged 65 and above have not had a formal performance appraisal in the last two years or never, compared to a survey average of 27%. Older workers are also much less likely than younger workers to have received training, with 51% of those aged over 65 saying they had received no training in the last three years or never, compared to 32% across all age groups. Read more.

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Turning performance reviews into a tool for greatness

Performance-review time often scares the willies out of both managers and employees. But it doesn’t have to be that way. I am currently reading the edited manuscript for Ultimate Performance Management by Jeff and Linda Russell, and I think they may be on to something…. The book is part of a new ASTD Press series, the Ultimate series, which is a spinoff of the ASTD Trainer’s WorkShop series and is designed to give you everything you could ever need to train people in a particular area. Other books that are currently planned for the series are Elaine Biech’s ASTD’s Ultimate Train the Trainer and Christee Gabour Atwood’s Ultimate Basic Business Skills Training. But I am getting off topic, I wanted to talk about Jeff and Linda’s book, which deals with transforming the scary once- or maybe twice-annual performance review into an ongoing development tool that enables people to go from “Eh, well, I am doing OK,” to “Wow! I am doing GREAT!” The book presents a series of workshop designs that transform the performance review from a single retrospective event into an ongoing, forward-looking development process. Jeff and Linda present a larger performance management framework called the Great Performance Management Cycle, which has much of its roots in ideas from Chris Argyris, Donald Schn, and others. Implementing the framework probably requires a fairly substantial change in the way that organizations manage their people, but has potentially huge benefits for employees, their managers, and the organization as a whole. This is because the ongoing coaching conversations that Jeff and Linda advocate enable employees to feel heard and be encouraged to do great things, managers are encouraged to help their employees achieve those great things, and the organization as a whole reaps the rewards of all those great things. The book primarily provides everything that a trainer or facilitator would need to facilitate workshops for managers and employees on the new performance management model, including lots of training tools, participant handouts, training instruments, and learning activities–all of which is good, practical, here’s-how-get-it-done stuff. However, for me, the heart of the book is chapter 2, which explains the theory and thinking behind the model and is a fascinating read.

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Talent Management Playbook

A majority of high-performing organizations use talent management to help them identify, develop and leverage the core talent that is critical to the current and future performance of their companies. Mastering talent management helps companies differentiate themselves and provides them with a competitive edge. However, developing a cohesive talent management program, which successfully integrates its various components and aligns high-potential employees with company goals, is challenging for business leaders. The Talent Management Playbook is based on a survey commissioned by ASTD and i4cp that examined various aspects of talent management, including how organizations define talent management, the components they value, the people they choose, those they delegate to benefit from it and they ways in which they measure the success of its outcomes. Challenges that organizations commonly face with regards to talent management are addressed and potential actionable strategies are discussed; enabling organizations to take a holistic approach for the employees and company. Some of the challenges discussed include: There is no universal consensus on the definition of talent manage, and its meaning can vary even within organizations. Organization that integrate talent management are more effective and successful, yet few organizations report they have successfully done so. An organization may lack the measurement tools need to accurately track and assess talent management processes. This easy-to-use research guide also includes real-world examples of how companies have addressed some of these talent management issues. The Talent Management Playbook can be purchased from the ASTD Store.

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Talent Management Is a Top Priority for 2010

Philadelphia, PA (PRWEB) — With the economy cautiously turning the corner, senior leaders are focused on hiring and developing talent, according to a survey of more than 450 senior executives on LinkedIn by Right Management. 94 percent of executives said talent management is a top priority for 2010. Right Management is the talent and career management expert within Manpower, the global leader in employment services. The findings present good news for employees and job seekers. Employers are preparing themselves for growth opportunities as the economy rebounds and are looking for ways to enhance performance and productivity. One-third of the senior executive respondents will be hiring new talent in 2010, while 36 percent will focus on developing current talent. Twenty percent reported that increasing employee engagement is a top priority. Career development opportunities and efforts to increase engagement typically improve retention, which may explain why only 4 percent of senior leaders indicated they would be focusing efforts on retention. Read the full release.

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Talent Management Challenges in China

(From Broadcast Newsroom) — PageUp People, a Multinational Talent Management solutions provider, today announced the release of its recent research titled, “Into China: Talent Management Essential in a Land of Paradox,” authored by Sylvia Vorhauser-Smith, senior vice president of Research. As more companies expand operations into the growing market of China, they are presented with the enormous opportunities of the country’s large workforce as well as the many difficulties arising from different workplace practices and norms. This new research explores the reasons behind these challenges and how organizations seeking to leverage the growing qualified workforce in China can best equip themselves to maximize employee performance. With China at the cusp of significant change, there are several challenges facing multinational corporations already established in China and those looking to expand their operations into the country. The aim of PageUp People’s research paper is to provide organizations with insight into how they can better understand and manage their talent in an environment drastically different from their home base. It is designed to educate and provide practical suggestions for optimizing human capital productivity and engagement while exploring the challenging differences between the western and eastern worlds. Key findings include: Read more.

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Survey! State of Sales Management Training

We wanted to let you know of some recent research we’re conducting on a very important topic – Sales Management Training. Respond by the deadline and you could win an 16 GB Ipod Touch! We know your time is valuable – and we have purchased two 16 GB Ipod Touch’s to give away at the close of the survey – just for participating in this 20 minute survey. Not only will you enter into the drawing, but your response will help us research and share best practices on Sales Management training. So, we’ll also give you a summary report when it’s finished. We have teamed up with sales and marketing research team at Northern Illinois University and Georgia Southern University to study the latest trends in sales management training. Please click the link below to take this 20 minute survey to help advance the profession of sales management, enter into the drawing for the Ipod Touch and receive a copy of the results! Please click here to take the survey by April 1st, 2009: http://www.zoomerang.com/Survey/?p=WEB2293XHQNX5E Times are tough in many industries and occupations. Sales managers are finding themselves caught between a “rock and a hard place” when it comes improving the entire sales team as well as improving their own sales management and performance skills. Recent research by the American Society for Training and Development found that less than 15% of sales managers receive sales training on a routine basis. Also, by taking the survey you’ll be able to receive a copy of the final report, allowing you to benchmark the best practices, actionable content, and current delivery methods that others are using to improve sales management success within their industry. Your participation will also enter you into a drawing for an Ipod touch!

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Study: Long-held view of ‘bell curve’ in performance measurement proven flawed

(From Indiana University) — The dreaded bell curve that has haunted generations of students with seemingly pre-ordained grades has also migrated into business as the standard for assessing employee performance. But it now turns out — revealed in an expansive, first-of-its-kind study — that individual performance unfolds not on a bell curve, but on a “power-law” distribution, with a few elite performers driving most output and an equally small group tied to damaging, unethical or criminal activity. This turns on its head nearly a half-century of plotting performance evaluations on a bell curve, or “normal distribution,” in which equal numbers of people fall on either side of the mean. Researchers from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business predict that the findings could force a wholesale re-evaluation of every facet related to recruitment, retention and performance of individual workers, from pre-employment testing to leadership development. “How organizations hire, maintain and assess their workforce has been built on the idea of normality in performance, which we now know is, in many cases, a complete myth,” said author Herman Aguinis, professor of organizational behavior and human resources at Kelley. “If, as our results suggest, a small, elite group is responsible for most of a company’s output and success, then it’s critical to identify its members early and manage, train and compensate them differently from colleagues. This will require a fundamental shift in mindset and entirely new management tools.” Read more.

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Sales Training Management Dilemmas

Sales Training Management Dilemmas Do you really know your sales organization? Most people don’t realize that the sales culture created in the organization is actually built upon bits and pieces of the sales profession. By that I mean, each person that has had a critical decision to make has uniquely crafted the sales organization… based upon their own understanding of the profession. With that understanding, they have infused both good and bad practices. These practices can be traced to several distinct sales eras. Each era, can leave a lasting impression on your organization — thanks to the people who infused the sales culture from the beginning, until today. Here is each of the eras: The Time Period Era of… Late 1800’s -1920 Sales Science 1920 – 1945 Sales Process 1945 – 1985 Sales Confersations 1985 – 2005 Sales Technology 2005 -?? Sales Performance For each of these eras, please read my other articles. The sales eras are important for historical reasons, but there is a practical reason for understanding that they survive until this day. Much of the knowledge new salespeople attain is grounded in the Era of Sales Process. Much of the knowledge on client decision making comes from the Era of Sales Conversations, and much of the advances in managing information flow appeared in the Era of Sales Technology. It’s interesting to note that each selling era precedes the other. If you’re just starting to analyze a sales team, you can start with the work required to accomplish a single transaction while Identifying how the sales team is organized, how quotas are assigned, and who reports to whom (Era of Sales Science). From there, move into identifying the processes, systems, and tools in place that support the sales team as they attempt drive multiple transactions (Era of Sales Process). Next, move into understanding how the sales team supports client decision-makers as well as how they help clients justify purchase decisions (Era of Sales Conversations). After that, you can analyze the technology in place designed to support and align the sales team (Era of Sales Technology). Finally, you can move into understanding the individual and organizational competencies required of the various levels within the sales team (Era of Sales Competency). Think about it! Entering the Era of Sales competency requires all other eras to exist first. Therefore, identifying theses eras can be accomplished even if you have a new sales team that lacks the history, but needs processes, tools, and systems to align to the client. So, is your sales organization ready? Welcome to the Era of Sales Performance — seriously. The age of the millennial salesperson… In today’s complex business environment, a need continues to exist for sales professionals who can build relationships, truly understand the customer, and bring value to the client. It may be true that remnants of preceding sales Eras still exist in your organization. While most organizations would argue that they are working diligently to understand the customer and consult with them to develop win-win solutions, this continues to be extremely difficult. These difficulties require a holistic approach and understanding of the complex environment sales teams operate within. This complexity has created today’s sales era. This era is built upon a platform of salesperson competency. Because buyers are demanding more and more unique answers to their complex business problems, salespeople of today must be able to customize and personalize the information and knowledge from the previous Sales Eras to create their own unique selling approach. This requires a holistic understanding of knowledge, skills, and abilities required to succeed. Are you working in a high performing sales organization? – Does your organization spend time on developing the right transaction, at the right time, with the right prospect and support salespeople with a holistic approach with sales, support, and services all working together? – There is an increased emphasis on how deals are done, not just what the end result is. – Salespeople are encouraged to personalize their approach within a standard sales process. – Salespeople are enabled to develop self-directed learning approaches and given the flexibility to pursue the right training for them. – Salespeople are taught not only about their client’s industry, but the industry of their client’s customers. – Salespeople are required to attend a training program focused on different levels of their career – Sales training is broken into categories such as selling skills training, product training, industry training, and technical (administrative) training. ——-

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Putting Together the Pieces of the Talent Management Puzzle

Talent management has become a top priority for organizations, highlighting that the optimization of talent in the workforce directly affects everyday operations and in turn drives the bottom line. The ASTD-i4cp Talent Management Practices and Opportunities Study found that 19.9% of organizations reported that they manage talent effectively to a high or very high degree, with an additional one fifth admitting that their companies were effective users of talent to only a small extent or not at all. Talent management is anticipated to grow: over 80% of participants predict a growth in the next three years. What does the talent management puzzle look like? With talent management expected to become more important in the near future, it is essential to have a clear understanding of what talent management comprises and how the pieces of the puzzle fit together. According to many study participants, talent management should be a holistic initiative made up of integrated parts that create a synergy amongst the components. Ideally, talent management comprises a whole that exceeds the sum of its parts. The more integration that occurs between the elements, the more cohesive and effective the talent management program becomes. This is what distinguishes talent management from an array of conventional HR programs that have less connectivity. Only 18.7% of the survey respondents indicated that their companies integrated talent management components to a high or very high extent, and only 19.7% said their firm had the technological capability to do so. The element that was most integrated into the talent management program was performance management, with 63.7% of respondents citing it as being integrated to a high or very high extent in their organization. Learning/training was a close second (61.7%), followed by leadership development (59.1%), high-potential employee development (52.8%), and individual professional development (44.4%). All the components showed positive correlations with talent management effectiveness, with employee engagement (r=0.56) having the strongest correlation. As a high level of integration is positively and significantly correlated with the ability to manage talent effectively, organizations that wish to further integrate their programs and approaches have significant opportunities to improve their talent management function. Source: Talent Management: Practices and Opportunities (ASTD/i4cp) Click here to learn more about ASTD Research.

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New Project Management Benchmark Study Confirms Value of Training Initiatives

(From Business Wire) — A new benchmark study from project management firm PM Solutions, on “The State of Project Management Training,” found that the average firm invests US $2,211 per year per employee for project management training. Multiplied across a department, division, or enterprise and this figure can swell into a major line item. Is it effective? Is it worth the expense? The results of PM Solutions’ study confirm that project management training – particularly courses that are instructor-led – is worth the investment. Firms reported an average 26% improvement across eight measures of project and business performance as a result of training initiatives. PM Solutions surveyed 262 high-level project management employees from 247 large, midsized, and small organizations in various industries including manufacturing, health care, technology, professional services, finance, and government. The primary purpose of the study was to identify factors that may lead firms to make better decisions regarding their project management training initiatives. The results point to the specific training methods used and their effectiveness, the revenue invested and the goals accomplished, and the improved business results demonstrated. “You can’t overestimate the importance that well-trained employees have to an organization – training and experience have as much or more impact as even the best technology or processes,” said Matt Light, Research Vice President at Gartner Inc., the pre-eminent advisory firm to the global information systems industry. “As enterprises grow increasingly ‘projectized,’ studies by Gartner and other industry thought leaders show that training in project management is essential to improving performance.” Read more.

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Meet the Metrics! Sales Management Madness.

YOUR SALES MANAGER IS NOT AVAILABLE TO ANSWER THAT QUESTION. YOUR EXPERIENCED SALES REP JUST LOST ANOTHER SALE. THE TEAM NEEDS TRAINING…(AGAIN). What is the problem here? The Sales Team has many needs for accomplishing its objectives. As Sales Trainers, your responsibility rests on your ability to teach your sales reps and sales managers HOW to manage those objectives. This can be done by isolating the specific metrics, processes and competencies. What are those objectives? What processes do you design that meet business goals? What metrics are you focusing on to drive performance? What competencies have you identified in EACH of your sales team members? WHAT EXACTLY IS YOUR SALES TEAM DOING, SAYING AND ACCOMPLISHING AFTER YOUR TRAINING IS OVER? It is important now for Sales Trainers to keep on top of the details of sales by focusing on training teams how to execute the right sales activities at the time, with the right knowledge, and building up the people you hire on the sales force the right way. The benefits of focusing on training impact are well worth the impact study: The amount of money gained, time savings and team performance increases are too high to ignore. A Sales Trainer can develop training systems that keep sales management operations manageable and profitable. IS YOUR SYSTEM WORKING? The end result of how your sales management team operates depends on how masterful you are at teaching, duplicating and re-focusing on the metrics, processes and competencies that drive your sales performance results. If the trainer does not monitor this closely, the impact of their training will not likely produce a successful outcome long term – and is usually seen in the unstable monthly sales revenue results and costly turn over in sales employees. This is not a good testimony for sales training – and unfortunately it exists in far too many organizations. Sales Training Drivers is committed to helping you identify these challenges and offering real world solutions to drive sales.

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Many Companies Move to Automate and Integrate Talent Management

At a time when talent management has become a much higher priority for companies, many are planning to replace their manual talent management processes with automated ones that integrate compensation, recruiting, performance management, learning management, career development and succession planning, according to a survey by Watson Wyatt, a leading global consulting firm. Watson Wyatt’s 2009 HR Technology Trends Survey found that more than half of companies (56 percent) are planning to use more talent management technology over the next 24 months. Among those companies, 46 percent said they plan to integrate their existing technologies or leverage their current integrated systems, while 27 percent will start from scratch with a new integrated suite. The survey, which was conducted in February and March 2009 and includes responses from 181 large employers, also found that 37 percent of companies have made talent management a higher priority as a result of the economic crisis, while only 15 percent of employers have made it a lower priority. Read the full release.

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Integrated talent management, good HR and leadership

(From Canadian HR Reporter) — i4CP sent a newsletter recently commenting on the need for “integrated” to be added to the term “talent management” in order to update it and make it more powerful as they suggest in a new book. They mention the number of providers in the area changing names – StepStone Solutions to Lumesse and PeopleClickAuthoria to PeopleFluent. It sometimes seems as if every update of strategy requires a new name, though the new ones sometimes don’t seem much more enlightening than the old. It got me to questioning the use of the term talent management itself. I have always taken it to be an umbrella that takes in finding, recruiting, orienting, developing, managing and tracking performance and then moving people up through effective succession planning all the way through their careers. That definitely calls for integration of many HR functions and beyond, since line managers have to be central in many of the pieces – from supportive coaching on the development side to career planning conversations with individuals. They are definitely needed for effective succession planning discussions among groups of managers so everyone agrees on how to rotate people through progressively challenging assignments across different divisions to season their leadership knowledge and skills. Read more.

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How Not to Conduct a Performance Review

(From The Huffington Post) — For better or worse, performance evaluations are a reality in business. But just because they are necessary, it doesn’t mean they are being done in a way that produces productive and constructive results. In fact, at their worst, they can cause employees to recoil, spreading insecurity, self-consciousness and fear. No matter what type of organization, performance evaluation goals should be fairly consistent across the board. Mainly, they should be used to communicate how well an employee’s performance meets the needs and demands of his or her role within the organization. So, yes, it is a performance management tool, but it is also a vital communication vehicle. If companies would see it as such, the process itself would improve markedly and net much better results. At its core, employees need to walk away from their evaluation understanding what effect their past behavior has had on the business and also, what they can do going forward to ensure they continue contributing to their own growth as well as to that of the company’s. Perhaps the most far reaching cause for problems during any type of performance management in general, and evaluation specifically, is the inherent discomfort and resistance that managers experience in having to deliver what they perceive as “bad news.” So, before further analysis can be devoted to what makes a review succeed or fail, one must first be clear about what organizational results this evaluative process needs to produce. Read more.

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Honest, Humble Workers Associated with Higher Job Performance

(From EHS Today) — “Researchers already know that integrity can predict job performance, and what we are saying here is that humility and honesty are also major components in that,” said Dr. Wade Rowatt, associate professor of psychology and neuroscience at Baylor, who helped lead the study. “This study shows that those who possess the combination of honesty and humility have better job performance,” Rowatt said. “In fact, we found that humility and honesty not only correspond with job performance, but predicted job performance above and beyond any of the other five personality traits like agreeableness and conscientiousness.” The Baylor researchers, along with a business consultant, surveyed 269 employees in 25 different companies across 20 different states who work in positions that provide health care for challenging clients. Supervisors then rated the job performance of each employee on 35 different job skills and described the kind of customer with whom the employee worked. The ratings were included in order to inform higher management how employees were performing and for the Baylor researchers to examine which personality variables were associated with job performance ratings. Read more.

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High Performance Selling…is always an option. Opt in!

Identifying Options In determining the best course of action while assessing a selling situation, there are a few things you need to consider. As a Sales Trainer, you should make sure that your training is offering the maximum benefits to the sales team by identifying the options necessary to close the sale effectively. Teach a Sales SYSTEM Your sales organization needs a SYSTEM to succeed. Sales system training should be focused on finding find a potential opportunity or problem, not to solve it! This sales system would uncover and help you evaluate all the options needed to execute a consistent track record of sales performance. Your sales training should be focused on finding options that service the buyer first. This will be done by building knowledge, skills and attitudes while engaged in prospecting, pipeline management, and account/sales management. Here are some key points to remember when training and evaluating sales options. Key 1: Explore all possible solutions of the selling situation: Key 2: Approach options creatively Key 3: Survey the impact of all alternatives to select the best option.

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Global Assessment Trends Report Reveals Shifts in Talent Management Focus

(From PRWEB) — PreVisor, the global leader in employment assessments and talent measurement solutions that connect employment decisions to business results, released its 2nd annual Global Assessment Trends report summarizing findings from over 230 companies headquartered throughout the world. Co-sponsored by ADP, this year’s report aims to provide HR and business audiences with an up-to-date perspective on practices and trends related to talent measurement programs used for hiring, career development and succession planning. Highlights of the 2010 Global Assessment Trends Report (GATR) include key HR trends related to assessment, an overview of talent measurement practices around the world, and changes observed in comparison to the 2009 report results. “The report findings confirm what we’ve witnessed in the past twelve months: that many of our clients, while recognized as leading HR practitioners, continue to feel pressure from the economic downturn”, observed Noel Sitzmann, PreVisor CEO. “However, the data also indicates that many organizations have made the necessary adjustments to move forward with effective talent measurement and management programs that will contribute to business growth going forward. These are exactly the kinds of strategic initiatives we work hard to support.” Among the key findings from the report: 1) The emergence of performance management and career development In the top talent priorities for 2010; 2) The economic recovery impact showed most companies (68%) indicated concern about employee retention; 3) A focus on Quality of Hire, as 70% of respondents feel pressure to demonstrate ROI for the use of assessments in the staffing process; 4) Social Media for hiring received mixed results. While almost 70% of organizations plan to use various social media sites in their recruiting efforts, 50% remain unsure if the efforts are effective. Only 24% of companies agree that social media websites have a large impact on talent management. 5) Applicant reaction was considered critical, but was not always tracked. Eighty-four percent of companies agreed that applicant reaction to the hiring process is important; however, only 41% obtain feedback from candidates. And 6) Formalized Post-Hire talent programs could improve. Only half of respondents use assessment tools with their current workforce. Less than 30% have established formal career development for employees. Read the full release.

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GET A GRIP! Resolve Issues that Hinder High Performance Selling.

Resolving Issues As a trainer, we want to work with others to quickly resolve solutions to problems. But, many times, it is difficult to resolve issues when you don’t know HOW TO solve the problem! In the day-to-day sales function, problems and conflicts arise all the time. How do you handle these performance issues? Problems and conflicts can develop from inconsistencies and errors in your sales strategy, process, tools, technique, behavior, or attitude. It could be a problem resulting from the actions or decisions of a customer, team member, sales manager or senior staff leader! (And you thought they were perfect, right?) You should monitor situations for potential problems and challenges. You should then develop associated contingency plans. “Take an active interest in the success of a solution and monitor the milestones in the plan.”There are several areas to watch out for when resolving sales performance issues.Be ready to offer some solutions to these problems when training sales professionals. Strategy Strategy must ensure that daily sales actions are converted to high performance results. Be specific about your daily sales objectives before you start your day! This will prevent wasting valuable time prospecting which can be the most challenging psychological task in maintaining a funnel of qualified leads and new business sales. Processes / Tools Make sure that you are standardizing your sales process during training so that all representatives have a duplicable system can be benchmarked, measured and evaluated to develop best practices. Competency What happens when your sales team is not performing and not meeting their sales quota or the sales management begins to stress from pressure to perform? Consider developing a training class that teaches first line Managers how to coaching and leadership skills through behavioral assessment, questioning and self-discovery team building. There are bound to be some slight behavioral and elevated incidents that may need to be addressed with workplace interventions and coaching. Take a look at Blooms Taxonomy Learning in Action Wheel and the Wikipedia -Here you will find solutions to designing specific learning objectives in your sales training that ensure performance standard results. This can help you in benchmarking of your sales teams performance. Measurement Is your current sales training aligned with your sales performance issues? Consider learning how to calculate the impact of your sales training with ROI Analysis.(Return on Investment). Jeff Hardesty, President of JDH Group, as sales improvement expert has given the industry a good example of how to calculate sales training performance. Use an ROI Analysis to determine the impact of your sales training for: Jeff Hardesty states that “As a sales management leader, methodically discovering sales issues first and then running ‘Quantitative’ sales performance numbers to check for feasibility, worthiness, and return on sales training investment will differentiate you from the pack.

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Developers Say 25% Productivity Increase Comes with Commitment to Skills Management

(Brussels, Belgium, PRWEB, February 17, 2009) JavaBlackBelt, a leader in Java skills management and now powered by over 50,000 developers in its global community, today announced the results of its first membership survey on Java skills management and feedback on the JavaBlackBelt service. The top findings were: over 75% of developers said Java skills assessment is important to their project success, developers estimated that their Java teams would be 25% more productive if management committed to skills management, the JavaBlackBelt service received a 90% membership satisfaction rating, and a strong majority of respondents agreed that JavaBlackBelt was their best tool for skills assessment with the advantages of online availability and more comprehensive, up-to-date questions. John Rizzo, founder of JavaBlackBelt, comments, “First, I’m very thankful to the participants for taking the time and care to offer this feedback. Next, any attention that comes to JavaBlackBelt from these numbers should be shared with our membership – they are the heart of our model. Lastly, I do see the 25% productivity gain from improved skills management as a compelling, realizeable, and shared opportunity for the industry, and I will continue to dedicate myself and our company to help achieve it.” The JavaBlackBelt skills management service is crowd-sourced and moderated. From its web 2.0-based site, developers take online assessments and managers access performance reports and learning path tools. The survey was emailed to a sampling of JavaBlackBelt members in January, 2009 and included over 400 verified respondents, who each completed the entire survey. (Read the entire survey.)

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Conducting great performance reviews

Even though I do my job pretty well and I have a great relationship with my manager, I dread that annual performance review. It just gives me an icky feeling: now it’s time to talk about stuff that’s not going well, or to listen to feedback about how I can do better. Even positive feedback makes me feel a little squirmy and embarrassed. So it’s not something I look forward to. In terms of how I improve as a performer, it frequently leads to a lot of short-term activity surrounding the review (sort of like that short-term activity surrounding those New Year’s resolutions), which then tapers off until work settles down to the usual. (Basically this sort of curve is true for a lot of activities that we do to improve performance; think about training: you attend a training event, when you are done you do lots of things to try to apply it, and then things slowly settle down again. Maybe a few things stick, but a lot goes by the wayside and isn’t that frustrating?) Anyway, back to the performance review: I guess that I am not alone in feeling pretty uncomfortable about the annual review. I certainly know that Jeffrey and Linda Russell, authors of Ultimate Performance Management, a new book that addresses just this topic, do. So they came up with a solution, a new way to approach to managing performance that goes way beyond the annual check-the-box performance review. They came up with the Great Performance Management Cycle and the concept of performance coaching conversations. These are ongoing processes that enable employees like me to get better and better at their jobs and allow managers like my awesome boss (I know, I am totally sucking up, aren’t I?) to get better and better results from their people. I am not going to explain this cycle though, I am going to let the authors do it themselves in the sample chapter that’s available on their book webpage. Now, this sample chapter is unusually long and I argued with myself a while before putting it up there, but I think the contents are really interesting while the real value of the book is in the application . Ultimate Performance Management provides everything you need to know to assess, implement, and train people on this way of improving people’s performance. You get all you need to be able to put on five workshops, including learning activities, tools, handouts, training instruments, as well as processes and procedures. This is a book that has real potential to improve the ways that people work, so check out the sample and see what you think.

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Blogs as knowledge management

Blogs are knowledge objects that can make bottom-up (i.e. useful) knowledge management a reality. As you may be aware, I’ve become a champion of using Web 2.0 technology to upgrade corporate learning and performance. In his Journal of the Hyperlinked Organization (JOHO}, David Weinberger describes the role of blogs inside corporations: Doesn’t this make more sense than paying consultants to install some humongous KM system that nobody uses? Shouldn’t we be capturing the know-how of front-line workers who actually know how? Why aren’t more organizations getting on board with this? jay

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Lifting Leadership and Changing Culture Through Project Management Excellence (TU113)

Project Management Excellence (PMX) is a cultural transformation using leadership development and project management to enhance already formidable skills to deliver projects. It’s more than technical training; it requires aligning leadership mindsets and building leadership skills across organizational levels, from sponsors to project managers. The mix of leadership alignment, a robust technical approach, and customized leadership development are the heart of creating both high performance and…

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Driving a Championship Healthcare Culture by Leveraging a Role-Based Operational Management Platform

Healthcare workers want to do their best, but working in a complex system without the right tools can lead to frustration and even bullying, affecting interpersonal dynamics. Workers need a talent management tool that will both facilitate collaboration and humanize the workplace. This webcast will describe how an efficient performance management and talent management program can combat workplace bullying and toxic work environments, leading to a championship culture. We will illustrate the direct relationship between communication and workplace culture and the barriers to achieving organizational excellence.After attending this webcast, participants will be able to: define workplace bullying articulate the impact bullying has on the patient, employee, and organization identify the manager’s role in influencing workplace culture review solutions to combat bullying and toxic work environments.

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Creating a High Performance Organization Using the Ultimate Development Toolbox

Helping our organizations deliver outstanding business results, while contributing to the skill development and career management of others, is our biggest thrill as training and development professionals. This session will describe how to connect four popular T&D industry tools to create the ultimate development toolbox. Using these tools together creates an airtight organizational commitment to development. You will build better leaders and increase your organization’s talent bench by…

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5 Key Competencies to Drive Performance and Achieve Results (SU303)

Time management is increasingly important, but there are simple, effective techniques you can use to improve how you spend your day. This session, based on best practices from a leading time-management training and assessment company, will show you how to strengthen your personal effectiveness, leadership development, and capacity to change. You’ll leave with tools to achieve measurable increases in productivity, engagement, and accomplishment.

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Case Study: How to Redesign Training for Better Performance

Amanda Painter shares insights on how Florida Blue redesigned a training program to meet increasing healthcare demands. Florida Blue empowered their new call center sales agents with the skills and product knowledge needed for success in the changing industry. This was done by updating their Sales Talent Management Program (STMP). For the complete case on Florida Blue, visit casebycase.td.org

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Crisis Management

October:
At Pierce Transit, a strong learning team and active executive support merge to drive initiatives that spur innovation, change, and strategy during a financial crisis.

This podcast is sponsored by Pfeiffer, an imprint of John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Pfeiffer serves the professional development and hands-on resource needs of training and human resource practitioners and gives them products to do their jobs better. They deliver proven ideas and solutions from experts in HR development and HR management, and offer effective and customizable tools to improve workplace performance. Lean more at www.pfeiffer.com.

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Middle Management Acumen

This TD at Work focuses on the skills that are needed to succeed in middle management, specifically, the top five capabilities every middle manager needs to succeed: effective relationship building, building talent, critical thinking and alignment, optimizing performance, and inspiring excellence. Management is the best and most challenging job, and it provides the best opportunities to have maximum impact. Middle management acumen is a set of capabilities that will help every manager be a great engine for an organizations success. This TD at Work is targeted at helping managers focus on building middle management acumen, as well as providing a training and reference resource for human resources and training professionals.

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Knowledge Management

Capturing and using all the knowledge and expertise in an organization is the ultimate goal for performance professionals. This Infoline offers a great starting point for your journey by defining knowledge management and posing key questions to help you identify the intellectual capital you need manage. It introduces the new roles, opportunities, and the baseline technology need to begin this daunting task. Key sidebars include an organizational analysis for knowledge management, 12 ways to measure intellectual capital, a planning worksheet, and a listing of competencies to manage knowledge. Author: Amy Newman
Product SKU: 259903 ISBN: 978-1-56286-241-1
Pages: 16 pages Publisher: ASTD Press
Format: Booklet

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Change Management

Trainers must be comfortable with managing change to be effective organizational performance partners. Use this Infoline as a primer on change management tactics and the skills needed to facilitate change. This issue includes useful tools, hands-on examples, and models for change practitioners to use. In addition to a six-phase change strategy model, you will find a list of needed implementation skills, a performance issue analysis tool, and other important advice that will smooth the way of change and reduce barriers. Author: Stella Louise Cowan
Product SKU: 259904 ISBN: 978-1-56286-242-8
Pages: 16 pages Publisher: ASTD Press
Format: Booklet

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The Art of Modern Sales Management

Learn everything you need to know to be a top sales manager! Sales management has changed dramatically in the past decade. With increasing globalization and many companies adding more virtual workers, the task of managing these diverse sales teams has become increasingly complicated. In a connected and evolving world it is hard to offer a definitive guide, but this book strives to sketch out a blueprint for managing performance in a changing sales landscape. Each chapter is written by a sales professional and thought leader, many with experience as both a salesperson and as a sales manager. Learn from their experience and utilize the action plans at the end of each chapter to grow into a better leader for your team, whether they are down the hall or across the world.

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The 2006 ASTD Training & Performance Sourcebook

The 2006 ASTD Training and Performance Sourcebook, edited by training guru Dr. Mel Silberman, draws on the knowledge and expertise of today’s best trainers and consultants. In this one comprehensive book, you will find the tools you need in such important areas as e-learning, communication skills, diversity and cross-cultural awareness, performance improvement, and management development.

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The 2005 ASTD Training & Performance Sourcebook

The 2005 edition of the ASTD Training and Performance Sourcebook draws on the knowledge and expertise of 42 top-flight trainers and consultants to present a comprehensive toolkit of the best training activities, group learning exercises, assessment instruments, handouts, and other essential guides for todays busy training and performance professional. The tools presented here cover a wide range of topics from e-learning, communication skills, diversity, and management development. The field-tested guide offers fully reproducible tools contained on the accompanying CD-ROM that will enable you to implement the most up-to-date training programs for your clients quickly and efficiently.

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Developing High-Performance Work Teams, Vol. 2 (In Action Case Study Series)

Have you implemented high-performance work teams in your organization? Volume 2 takes up where Volume 1 left off in presenting an interior view of work teams as they have struggled to become high-performance teams. It is designed for the practitioner who wants to see real-life examples of team implementation. Talent management professionals, frontline managers, supervisors design teams, team members, and consultants will find Developing High-Performance Work Teams, Volume 2 valuable because it covers a wide range of team issues and discusses specific interventions.

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AspirEDU – Uses LMS system data to track performance of individual instructors

AspirEDU’s Mission AspirEDU helps schools help more students graduate. They analyze the data that schools already have. This allows their solutions to identify students that are most at risk of dropping out of or failing courses, and to identify the best practices that instructors use to maximize the performance of their students. Retaining more students […]

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Epicor HCM – Human capital management solution for school

Epicor HCM – HR Management Software Today’s economy demands a more proactive, strategic role for the HR department. As competition for critical resources intensifies, managers, employees and candidates are demanding more from HR and human resource information systems (HRIS), moving beyond self-service to secure  direct access to relevant information and processes whether in the office or on […]

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Acorn Goes Agile

Switching to new agile development software and processes in the midst of a major release was a gamble for a developer of corporate performance management solutions. But the risk paid off with reductions in testing and packaging time as well as a nearly 30 percent increase in developer capacity.

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The PMO: Form and Function

When developing or restructuring a project management office, there are several PMO types to consider, each with various levels of scope and influence based on their defined functions. In a new series, here’s a look at how PMOs can play key roles in areas ranging from governance and performance management, to risk and communication.

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Take The Guesswork Out Of Peformance Assessments

Replacing a team member can be a difficult and time-consuming process, from sifting through endless resumes to conducting interviews to on-boarding the new person. By effectively conducting formal reviews, supplanted by informal evaluations, project managers can address team members’ weaknesses, reward their good work, set future goals and implement an improvement plan, thus rendering the replacement of a team member less likely. This article explores ways to take the guesswork out of three evaluation conundrums when it comes to assessing team members’ performance. In doing so, it reports the results of a 2011 study–conducted by Harris Interactive–showing that organizations risk 250 percent of an employee’s salary in turnover costs because of poor performance management processes, including performance reviews. It then identifies three challenges that come up frequently during the review process and provides a solution for each challenge. Accompanying the article are two sidebars: The first sidebar lists three questions for every review; the second sidebar details the perfect type of review.

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Understanding the Path Forward in Federal Human Capital

Efforts to refine the government’s pay and promotion system have floundered. How can we develop and bring a new model to the majority of government employees? Most federal employees work and are paid in a General Schedule system that has been in place since 1949, when a vastly different group of occupations, skill sets, and management principles were practiced. In the last decade, The Performance Institute, a think-tank in performance management and accountability for…

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Webcasts From Industry Experts

Our membership department has put together some special offers for the month of December. Three popular webcasts from industry experts are now available free when you join ASTD or renew your membership before December 31, 2009. The three webcasts are listed below. Marcus Buckingham Presents: The Performance Multiplier: How to use the four principles of social networking to reinvent performance management. Marshall Goldsmith on: Helping Successful Leaders Get Even Better Alexandra Levit on: Creating a Meaningful Career: Find a Soulcheck, Not a Paycheck Click this link to join or renew your membership online, and select a webcast from the “Special Offers” at the bottom of the page: http://store.astd.org/Default.aspx?tabid=198 Or contact ASTD Customer Care: customercare@astd.org U.S.: 1.800.628.2783 Outside the U.S.: +1.703.683.8100

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Training Pays Off

CDW does not just let new telephone reps loose, first they must complete a six and half week training course. And their training continues with a six-month Academy and then a Master’s Curriculum. While the stock market has gone down over the last five years, CDW’s stock price is up fifty percent. This is because they, like others, see training as an investment rather than an operating expense. Laurie Bassi, one-time professor of economics at Georgetown University and former vice president of ASTD says that organizations that make large investments in people do much better than others. She further says that the education and training variable is the most significant predictor of an organization’s success as compared to price-to-earning ratios, price-to-book statistics, and measures of risk and volatility. Bassi puts her theories to the test — her and a fellow partner launched an investment firm that buys stocks in companies, such as CDW, that invest heavily in employee training. It has returned 24 percent a year over the past two years, topping the S&P by four percentage points. In the Human Equation, Jeffery Pfeffer writes, “Virtually all descriptions of high performance management practices emphasize training” (p.85). Yet, on the very next page he writes that in times of economic stringency, many U.S. organizations reduce training to make profit goals. Training works, yet it remains at the bottom of the pole in many an organization. But my guess is that it will not remain this way for long. The baby-boomers are starting to retire. There may be quite a few people out of work now, but when the pool of workers slowly starts to dry-up, then it is going to make the labor shortages of the late 90s look like a small bump in the road. How do we best prepare for it? Cheers, Donald Clark For more on Bassi, see: Carnahan, Ira (2005). Forbes. “Blame the Accountants”. April 25, 2005, p. 48. Delahoussaye, M & Ellis, K. & Bolch, M. (2002). Training Magazine. “Measuring Corporate Smarts.” August 2002, pp. 20-35.

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