Posts Tagged ‘training’

Why It’s Important to Help Your Employees Become Leaders

Thursday, October 31st, 2013

In today’s video post, CAI’s Learning and Development Partner, Linda Taylor, explains why organizations should dedicate time and resources for developing strong leaders. She also explores the Leadership Challenge® Workshop.

Because HR departments are running lean, global competition is increasing, and technology continues to advance, Linda says companies need all of their workers at every level to contribute and be leaders. She then explains each of the five exemplary practices of leadership used in the Leadership Challenge® Workshop, which are:

  1. Modeling the Way
  2. Inspiring a Shared Vision
  3. Challenging the Process
  4. Enabling Others to Act
  5. Encourage the Heart

In today’s society we often see elected officials or business executives espouse one set of values but conduct a contradictory lifestyle. Linda shares that this is the reason why Modeling the Way is important in the current business landscape. Organizations need people who will help them build positive reputations, be reliable, and do what they say they are going to do.

For more information on The Leadership Challenge® Workshop and CAI’s various training opportunities, please visit our website at www.capital.org and look under the training tab. You can also call us at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746.

Use Training and Professional Development to Encourage Employee Engagement

Tuesday, June 4th, 2013

 June 3 2013 quote blog

If you think the only way to boost employee morale and job satisfaction is increasing salaries or offering large bonuses, you are wrong. Competitive pay rates and earned raises are important to your employees and you should give them. However, if you don’t have the money to increase everyone’s salary, you can offer your employees opportunities for training and professional growth.

Providing employees with education that will be beneficial to their careers is a cost-effective way to increase job satisfaction at your workplace. You don’t have to max out budgets to illustrate to your staff that you want to help them achieve their goals. Help them feel appreciated by investing in their futures.

The list below shares several ways you can help your staff learn more, become engaged and be more productive. Try some of the examples at your workplace:

Encourage employees to join professional groups and associations.

Groups related to their jobs will help your staff members connect with similar professionals, learn best practices from their peers, and even gain new business and clients.

Set up a company mentor program.

Seasoned employees can teach your new additions a lot about the company. Your green employees can also give out important lessons. Organize a program that will be beneficial to most of your staff.  

Buy subscriptions to industry-related literature.

A budget-friendly way to increase the knowledge of your workers is to supply your workplace with magazines, journals and books that teach them valuable information.

Provide employees with professional training

Sign your staffers up for training classes to help them develop into strong leaders and better communicators. Experienced trainers will teach them applicable information to take back to the organization.

Capitalize on the information on the Internet.

Improve your employee’s technology skills while they receive training on the internet. Use webinars and blogs to cut costs or save travel time.

For additional ideas to increase employee morale and productivity at your organization, please call a member of CAI’s Advice and Counsel Team at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746.

4 Benefits of Succession Planning for Your Workforce

Thursday, July 19th, 2012

How would your business perform if your top three employees left your organization tomorrow to join a competitor? What if members of your senior management team parted ways to begin their own businesses? If your CEO became terribly ill and couldn’t perform his duties, would your business continue to run smoothly?

Succession planning is essential for keeping your organization moving in the right direction even when several key members of your staff jump ship, retire or move on for other reasons.  As important as succession planning is, many companies forgo strategizing a plan to retain their best people to eventually take over different roles. Succession planning isn’t a rigorous assignment, but because the efforts of the process aren’t often revealed until a team member leaves, many businesses don’t take the time to start planning.

Deciding the key employees who will ultimately step into leadership and senior management roles is imperative for maintaining business success during any economic climate or business situation. Succession planning is also an office morale and engagement booster. Grooming employees for their future roles by giving them more complex tasks and investing in their growth keeps them focused, motivated and loyal to the company.

Here are four additional reasons to start drafting your organization’s succession plan:

Preparedness

Whether your employees leave to start retirement  life or plan to begin their own businesses, having a succession plan in place will help you more quickly identify which employees will take over your company’s open positions so your business can continue to run as normal.

Less Time and Money

Dedicating time to plan the future of your organization will save your company time and money. Plans to promote and train people within your company means less time spent recruiting for external candidates, interviewing them and checking their references. Money allotted to those efforts will also decrease with a solid succession plan in place.

Weakness is Uncovered

Finding future leaders reveals the strengths within your workforce, but it also uncovers the weaknesses that your organization must work on to secure business and financial growth. Help areas of your company that you discover to be weaker than others by offering training and resources that will help improve performance.

Get a Bird’s Eye View

Evaluating your workforce in preparation for succession planning gives you a great perspective of the talent in your organization. Ascertaining who should fill the shoes of another will help your team better understand the day-to-day happenings of your business. So as you’re planning don’t solely include roles for higher level executives. Incorporate middle managers and their direct reports to create a comprehensive succession plan.

For additional information on the benefits of succession planning or how to develop your company’s plan, please contact a member of CAI’s Advice and Counsel Team at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746.

Photo Source: Victor1558

4 Ways to Increase the Effectiveness of Your Management Staff

Thursday, June 28th, 2012

Your managers are one of your company’s strongest assets. They help your company run efficiently by supervising others and delegating duties, relaying information from senior leadership and making sure projects get completed. Increasing the effectiveness of your management team will benefit your organization’s productivity, revenue and morale. Giving extra attention to the growth of your managers isn’t time consuming or expensive. Try using the methods below to maximize the potential of your team leaders:

 Sharpen Their Skills

Whether you let them expense industry related literature, such as magazines and journals, to the company, or pay their way to attend a conference related to their position, helping your leaders attain new skills and knowledge will improve their job satisfaction and productivity. You’ll also see an improvement in their team’s performance.

Increase Their EI

Recent research indicates that employees with strong Emotional Intelligence (a person’s capacity for controlling his or her own emotions and recognizing and reacting to the emotions of others) can carry on and be successful through hard economic times and tough business predicaments. Not every employee comes equipped with a high EI, but taking steps to improve their EI is something all employees can do.

Strengthen Their Time Management

Managers juggle several tasks at once. They assign projects to their direct reports, implement strategies from senior management and work to complete their own projects. Learning to effectively manage time is an essential skill that managers should try to achieve. When leaders practice good time management, fewer errors occur, deadlines and results are met and last minute panicking is avoided.

Provide Feedback and Rewards

Make sure you consistently provide your managers with positive and constructive feedback on their performance. Help them succeed by encouraging them to give their best and attain their goals. Personally and publically acknowledge their accomplishments, and show your appreciation for their contributions whenever you can.

For more strategies to maximize the performance of your managers, supervisors and other company leaders, join us at CAI’s Training Showcase on July 19 in Greensboro and July 20 in Raleigh. Both programs are free and will run from 8:30 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. At each location you’ll experience abbreviated training sessions and participate in learning exercises to help you make the right development decisions for your staff. Come for a few hours or stay for the whole event to review CAI’s training options. Find more information and full agendas here: www.capital.org/showcase.

Photo Source: Victor1558

Why Your Employees Want to Leave and How You Can Prevent Their Departure

Thursday, May 24th, 2012

Losing a top-performing employee significantly impacts an organization. Research indicates that the search to find, hire and train a replacement costs more than a third of the new hire’s salary. Not only do you experience financial implications from the loss of top talent, but your culture could also be affected. The former employee takes his knowledge and skills with him, leaving his remaining coworkers left to pick up the slack from his open position. Heavier workloads can cause stress, decreasing job satisfaction and employee morale for your other team members.

Identifying the reasons why an employee might consider leaving is key in preventing attrition. Contrary to what many leaders believe, money is not the sole or even top motivator for an employee. Many factors contribute to an employee’s decision to leave his current workplace. Some factors are out of your control, but you can heavily influence many. Here are some of the top reasons employees leave their organizations:

  • Demanding positions—long days and working on the weekends
  • Boredom—not enough challenges to keep engagement
  • Inadequate compensation—raises are currently frozen or given to someone less qualified
  • Management disorganization—constant turnover and restructuring in several departments
  • Few opportunities—having little input on decisions cause feelings of unimportance
  • Too competitive—rewarding internal competitiveness instead of cooperation
  • Lack of recognition—feelings of not being valued ignite from infrequent to no acknowledgement

Here are steps you can take to retain your workforce:

  • Set goals—help employees stay motivated by giving them something to work towards
  • Empower them—allow them to lead and don’t micromanage their efforts
  • Show you care—take time to get to know your employee’s life outside and inside of work
  • Offer training—opportunities to gain more knowledge and develop new skills increases engagement
  • Constant feedback—let them know which tasks they’re doing well and which need improvement
  • Be appreciative—thank employees and make sure you frequently let them know they’re valued
  • Give perks—if you can’t offer a raise,  pay for lunch every Friday or grant flexible schedules

For more strategies to retain your top talent, please call a member of CAI’s Advice and Counsel Team at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746.

Photo Source: Victor1558

Continuous Education Helps You, Your Employees and Your Business Thrive

Tuesday, May 8th, 2012

Today is National Teacher’s Day. After you take a moment to appreciate the great teachers who helped you achieve success by pushing you to offer them your best, reflect on the importance of your education. The projects you delivered, exams you lost sleep over and personal connections you made established the foundation for your next life chapter, whether that was higher education or the workforce.

Once you earn your degree, diploma or certification, educating yourself shouldn’t end. Learning new skills and knowledge while you’re in your career will enhance your job performance and professional growth. By seeking out additional industry information and cultivating your assets, you benefit yourself, your team and your organization. More employees with increased expertise and experience assist your company in remaining productive and competitive.

Picking up new information is now easier and more convenient than ever. Technological advances and the internet can help you learn at your workspace and stay within your budget. Share these eight ways to boost your business intel with your coworkers and direct reports:

  1. Read industry-related literature, such as magazines, journals, books and blogs.
  2. Sign up for educational webinars and watch them with multiple staff members to maximize their value.
  3. Attend trade shows and conferences related to your position. Then share the information you learned with your supervisor and direct reports.
  4. Join industry-related Linkedin groups, like CAI’s HR-focused group. These groups allow you to connect with experts and peers in your field, review group discussions and share relevant information.
  5. Join a professional association, club or group. These venues allow you to network, share knowledge and discuss workplace challenges with other members. These groups also look for volunteers to hold their leadership positions, which is another great way to grow your skills.
  6. Sign up for training classes in your career field or job level. Let experienced trainers teach you valuable information that you can take back to your company to apply.
  7. Ask to sit in on meetings with your senior management team. Although you might not be able to participate in the discussion, you will receive a better understanding of how your organization runs.
  8. Set up a mentor program at your organization. Pair greener staff members with employees who have been with the company for several years and encourage them to meet and learn from each other frequently.

For more tips on improving your work performance through ongoing education, please call a member of CAI’s Advice and Counsel Team at 919-878-9222 or 336-66807746.

Photo Souce: Victor1558

6 Steps to Boost Employee Happiness and Productivity

Tuesday, April 10th, 2012

Just as April’s showers bring May’s flowers, the time you spend on cultivating your employees directly affects how successful they are in reaching their goals.  Proper time spent on setting your employees up for success not only benefits their workflows, but it also helps your overall organization maintain positive business results.

The six strategies below will help your staff members bloom to their full potential. So, implement these tips, and watch them flourish:

Make Expectations Clear

Give your employees clear instructions and desired results before they start an assignment. Doing this will better ensure that you both will be satisfied with the outcome. By being specific with your expectations, you will save your employees from the confusion and frustration that typically comes with vague directions.

Train Them Well

Offering your employees the opportunity to strengthen their skills or improve their industry knowledge benefits you as much as it benefits them. They will use the information they learn from training classes or webinars to elevate the quality of work they complete for your organization. Help them find appropriate training opportunities for their positions.

Offer Them Adequate Resources

Making sure your employees have the necessary resources to perform their job well is critical. If an employee doesn’t have the tools he needs to complete his projects, his motivation to improve his productivity will decrease. Ask your employees what they need to get their jobs done. If their answers are reasonable, you should do your best to accommodate them.

Practice Effective Communications

You can likely blame miscommunication for several mishaps that have occurred in your workplace. Knowing how to effectively communicate to your employees will help you achieve greater productivity, increased employee morale, and, of course, fewer mishaps. Learn how each of your employees likes to communicate, and use those methods when interacting with them.

Keep Them Empowered

Research indicates that empowered employees are more likely to be satisfied in their jobs and stay loyal to their employers. Help your employees feel empowered by delegating important tasks to them. Let them know that you trust them with more responsibility, and they will appreciate your trust and try hard to not disappoint you.

Let Them Achieve Work/Life Balance

In addition to projects and deadlines they have to keep up with at work, employees have responsibilities outside of the office that may include their family, place of worship or charitable organization. Check in with your employees to make sure their workloads allow them time to enjoy activities that are not work related. Granting them time to breathe will keep them positive and productive at the office.

For additional tips to help your employees grow and succeed in their careers, please call a member of CAI’s Advice and Counsel Team at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746.

Photo Source: Keith Williamson

Simple Steps to Raise Employee Morale at Your Workplace

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

Disengaged employees are detrimental to your business, and the current state of the economy has increased the number of workers who are no longer engaged. Little to no salary increases, poor benefits options and juggling more with less can cause your high performers to become frustrated and ultimately disengaged. Today’s economic climate might make them afraid to leave your organization right now, but as conditions improve, they’ll be the first to leave you for a competitor that offers them a better work environment.

Before your best talent walks out the door, recognize the impact that high employee morale can have on your organization. Recent research shows that workplaces that boast high morale are more productive and have higher retention rates than companies that don’t. Without proper planning to increase company morale, employees will respond by producing poor quality work, being absent often, wasting time and resources, and leaving your organization. The cost of replacing and training talent is expensive but can be avoided if your organization makes an effort to improve morale.

The five tips featured below are inexpensive ways to create a positive atmosphere for your workforce. By implementing some or all of the tips, you will see the overall morale at your company increase:

1. Remember the Golden Rule

Treat others how you would like to be treated. Taking the time to show your employees respect and empathy will encourage them to reciprocate your actions.

2. Say “Please” and “Thank You”

People forget their manners when work gets busy and stressful, but these two phrases show your appreciation for the work that your employees produce. Say them often to keep your workforce happy.

3. Delegate

Employees stay at organizations that trust them to complete projects with autonomy. Empower your employees by giving them responsibility and trusting them to complete their assignments. Unless they perform poorly, do not micromanage your direct reports.

4. Recognize and Praise

Workers will show loyalty when they feel valued and are recognized for the contributions they make. So, frequently commend your workers when they produce great work or go above and beyond for your organization.

5. Incorporate Fun

Being serious all of the time drains productivity. Schedule group activities that allow your employees to loosen up and take a break from their routine assignments. Casual Friday and team-building exercises are two suggestions.

High employee morale is necessary for attracting and retaining top-tier talent. For additional employee engagement strategies, please contact a member of CAI’s Advice and Counsel Team at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746.

Photo Source: bobaliciouslondon

Ongoing Training Helps Managers Reach Success

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

Bruce Clarke, CAI’s CEO, discusses the importance of managerial training in his most recent edition of his News and Observer column, “The View from HR.” In his column, Bruce informs his readers that less than half of the companies he surveyed had no budget for managerial training. Bruce argues that without training, managers are unable to improve their soft skills, which are necessary to lead an organization. Communicating effectively, working well in teams, empathizing with colleagues and keeping calm in stressful situations are examples of soft skills that lead businesses to success.

Making sure your managers are adequately trained to handle their projects and supervise people is important no matter if your budget is large or extremely limited. Considering multiple budgets, here are a few ways to train your managers:

Training Classes

  • Employers’ associations and similar organizations offer companies several training options for their managers. While training programs range in price and length, they offer participants valuable information and leadership practices to take away and use for supervising their staff members.

Webinars

  • In addition to training classes, managers can learn key concepts from webinars. Many times managers want to attend training classes, but their demanding schedules make leaving the office hard. Webinars allow managers to sharpen their skills and improve their leadership without leaving their desks.

Reading

  • An inexpensive way for managers to advance their skills is to invest in managerial literature. Many non-fiction books offer managers solutions for solving people management issues or ensuring the success of a project. These books are often available at public libraries.  In addition, reading blogs like this one that share tips on increasing retention and company morale is an effective way for managers to strengthen their leadership qualities.

Mentors

  • A meticulously organized company mentor plan is another budget-friendly method to train your managers. To make this program successful, match new managers with experienced and high-performing managers. The seasoned managers will have a wealth of knowledge and experiences to help their newer colleagues tackle and conquer tough workplace issues. These employee pairs should meet regularly for an extended period of time to be effective.

Managers juggle many tasks and are responsible for multiple people. For these reasons, it’s important to ensure that they receive proper training. Giving them several opportunities to improve their soft skills will help your company see more success. If you’re interested in CAI’s training courses, please contact a member of CAI’s Learning and Development Team at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746.

Photo Source: Ryan Holst

Employees without Managers Will Disengage

Thursday, January 5th, 2012

Bruce Clarke, CAI’s CEO and president, identifies the importance of employees having managers in his most recent News & Observer column, “The View from HR.” Bruce lists several questions for employers that do not assign specific managers for their employees:

  • How does an employee get help?
  • Who does the employee go to with problems?
  • Who is there to help keep the employee engaged and committed to both the work and the company?

Employees who do not have definite answers for the questions above will quickly disengage with their work and could eventually take another position at a company that boasts strong management. As Bruce mentions in his column, HR departments can help employees with questions they have regarding pay and benefits, but there will be many more topics that employees will want addressed.

Managers provide many benefits to the workers they supervise. They keep employees focused on completing assignments and aligning efforts to match company goals. Managers keep their employees engaged by giving frequent feedback and genuinely having interest in their employees’ professional and personal aspirations. They also serve as problem solvers to help workers when obstacles arise.

If your organization does not have managers assigned to each of its employees, be aware of the negative effects it could be causing. Decreased productivity, lowered morale, absenteeism and lack of trust for the company are just a few of the reactions you may face from your workforce if adequate management is not enforced. Here are a few reasons why employees need managers:

Guidance

Managers help their employees understand their roles and how they can affect business results. With proper goal setting and consistent feedback, both positive and constructive, managers help employees reach success.

Employees have questions that they need answered, and managers who work with them on an ongoing basis are the most equipped to offer them responses. Sufficient guidance and attention spent on employees will help them feel essential and respected in the workplace.

Growth

People are rarely satisfied doing the same tasks for long periods of time, so not planning for employees to grow can have dire consequences for your company, specifically high turnover. Because managers provide consistent feedback, they are aware of the strengths and weaknesses that their employees possess. This information not only helps managers assign projects, but it also helps employees visualize what they do well and what they need to improve. Managers are also qualified to suggest promotions, raises or special assignments for deserving workers.

Recognition

Data indicates that employees who do not feel valued at their organizations will leave. Managers can prevent this from happening by recognizing the hard work their employees contribute.  Managers who seek opinions from their staff on company matters show their employees that their viewpoints are important and can shape business strategy.

In addition to recognizing an employee’s professional performance, managers understand that he or she has a personal life as well. Being fair with expectations and deadlines is mandatory for managers who want to respect their employees’ work/life balance.

Good managers who demonstrate leadership qualities are critical for keeping company morale high. Please call CAI’s Advice and Counsel at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746 for additional information.

Photo Source: alancleaver_2000