Why Staff Training is Important?

It’s really quite simple to keep good people working for you. You start by putting them through a comprehensive staff

training program, and then you continue to foster their professional development and give them a reason to stay.

Start by creating a comprehensive training system for your new and existing employees.

If you don’t have a training program in place, it’s time to start one. Haphazardly training new employees usually results in each person starting with a different level of understanding of their role and knowledge of the company. This creates nothing but confusion and inefficiencies.

A strong training program will:

  • Give new employees all the information they need to be successful in their roles
  • Allow you to seamlessly implement new policies and procedures
  • Show your staff that you are invested in their employment with you
  • Allow you to establish performance standards
  • Give both you and your staff an opportunity to ask questions and receive feedback

Your training program sets the tone for each person’s employment with your business. It is their first impression of your company, the systems within it, the leaders who run it, the organization level, and the performance standards expected. If you give the impression that the company is sloppily run, then your new employee will think that sloppy work is accepted.

A clear system or ‘curriculum’ for new employee training not only results in stronger employees, but also makes your job easier. The subjects and skills that each employee is expected to learn are clearly outlined, and nearly anyone in your office can pick up the training manual and get started.

A strong training program will also help you keep employees, and reduce turnover. The cost of hiring and training staff members can be high, and you want to maximize that investment by keeping employees happy and learning throughout their employment.

So, first I’m going show you how to create a training system for new employees. In the last section, I’ll show you how to make sure that training system is ongoing throughout the staff member’s employment.

  1. Design your training system by asking yourself (and answering!) the following questions:

What is the knowledge level of the new employee?
Decide what you are going to cover in the training program with awareness of the new employee’s prior knowledge and skills. If you are not sure on some areas, ask them, or plan to “review” key skills and understanding.

Who will be doing the training?
Choose who will lead the new employee’s training, and who are the people who will assist. These people need to be qualified and experienced enough to cover the each section of the training. For example, administrative staff should not be charged with training an employee on the sales floor; instead, a sales staff member should handle training for that specific period. Make it clear who is responsible for what information.

What materials do you need to train new employees properly?
Make a list of the materials you need to cover and give to the employee. If you have reference material, make sure it’s handy. Anything that will contribute to the training process should be accessible: company manuals, industry reference materials, product knowledge binders, work samples, etc.

What tools do you need for the new employee?
Gather the tools your new employee will need to perform their role, and assemble it where the training will be held. Stock their workstation with the supplies they’ll need to be successful, like software, technological equipment, and role-specific materials. A lot of training time can be wasted looking for key items.

How much time will training take?
Decide how much time it will take your new employee to learn and become comfortable with the new role. Include time for questions and feedback, and be generous with the time you allot to each task or section of training. Avoid rushing the training process, since it will cost you time and money later on.

How will you test or check to make sure the training is working?
Provide ‘checkpoints’ or tests within the training material to confirm that the employee understands and is comfortable with the topics covered. These don’t have to be formal tests, but could be small, job-related tasks performed on their own using the skills taught in the training program.

How will you incorporate the company’s big picture into the training program?
Explain to every new employee how their role fits into the overall structure of your business, and how their work impacts the performance of the business. Show them where they can go for information about the company, as well as other departments, if applicable.

What opportunities will the trainee have for feedback and clarification?
While it may be assumed that the trainee can ask questions at any time, be sure to build opportunities for clarification into the training process. Also, make it clear to the trainee that questions and feedback are welcome at any time, not just during the training process.

  1. Schedule regular one-on-one meetings between staff and managers to evaluate performance and identify areas for development.

As part of their ongoing training, hold an individual meeting with each staff member at least twice a year to review their performance, gather feedback on the business, and identify opportunities for growth and development.

Conduct these meetings one-on-one, or two-on-one, with the staff member, yourself, and their immediate supervisor (if they have one). When held regularly, these meetings become an important opportunity for communication between staff and management, and encourage honest and open dialogue.

Create an agenda that everyone in the meeting can follow, and be sure to include the following items:

  • Review of performance over past time period (six months, three months, etc.)
  • Review of goals or targets set at last meeting
  • Achievements and successes
  • Opportunities for growth and development
  • New goals or targets set for upcoming time period

Build a two-way dialogue during the meeting, and make it clear to the employee that they can provide their own feedback. These should be positive experiences, and issues or challenges should be handled in a constructive way.

  1. Create a human resources system to organize each of your employees training and professional development.

If you have several employees, it is wise to create a human resources system for organizing and managing information about each of your staff and their performance in your company. In a filing system, keep a folder for each one of your staff members, and use it to store information about their employment with your company in a centralized place.

Remember that these aren’t designed to be “secret dossiers” full of incriminating information, it’s a convenient way to record and monitor the performance and development of each of your team members.

In your employee’s human resource folder, keep documents like:

  • A job description, with regular updates to include new responsibilities or tasks
  • Summary of performance evaluations (one-on-one meetings)
  • Goal planning worksheets
  • Resume upon hiring
  • Professional development plan or program

In addition to a comprehensive system for training new staff, you will need to create an employee retention strategy to keep good people in your business.

You can hire and train the best and the brightest, but unless you have a strategy in place for keeping the best and the brightest happy and motivated, you’ll be forever stuck in the hiring and training phrases.

Of course turnover happens in every business, it’s just a part of being an employer. People get bored, or venture over to another company. They make moves to further their career, or try out new industries. Sometimes you can’t do anything to stop it, but with an employee retention strategy you’ll have a better chance of hanging on to your best employees.

  1. Provide a work environment that meets the needs of your employees.

The place you go to work every day makes a big difference to your overall happiness and how much you like what you do. Therefore, the environment you create for your staff will naturally impact your retention rates.

Consider spending a little bit more money on things like office furniture and kitchen or staff room amenities. Do what you can to make every person’s workspace healthy and comfortable. Place cushioned rubber mats at the point of sale, and other locations where staff will be standing for a long period of time. If your staff uses a computer all day, provide comfortable chairs and adjustable keyboard trays.

Draft a list of small (or big!) changes you can make to your office or store that will improve the day-to-day experience of the people who work for you.

Think about the following questions when brainstorming:

  1. How is the staff room arranged and furnished?
  2. What amenities are provided on-site? Does the kitchen meet the lunchtime needs of all staff members?
  3. What is the atmosphere, or people-culture, of the business? What is the noise level or music choice?
  4. Is there a place for congregation and communication between employees?
  5. How is the office or store-space laid out? Open concept or sectioned off?
  6. Are there ample windows and natural lighting?
  7. Does staff gather for social events, or have common interests?
  8. Are there company events for team building?

Remember that little improvements will go a long way, so get creative with how you can improve the environment at your place of work.

  1. Implement a rewards or incentive-based program to recognize strong performance.

The best way to show staff that they are valued and to recognize their achievements is to create a rewards system. This works well for both your business and the employee, because when employees are motivated with incentives and acknowledgement, they will deliver higher results.

Rewards can vary from days off and free lunches, to bonus checks and salary increases. Choose something that your employees will value, and that you can afford to hand out.

Here are a few ways you can structure your rewards program:

Incentive Programs

  • Rewards based on reaching individual or group targets for sales or other measures (conversion rates, average dollar sale, etc)
  • Rewards based on individual improvement targets for sales or other measures

Recognition Programs

  • Employee of the Month, as voted by colleagues, management, or customers
  • Salesperson of the Month, awarded to top seller
  • Most Improved, awarded to employee with the highest growth

Tip: I came across a statistic a while ago that says that most employees value positive public recognition more than bonuses or monetary rewards, and I believe it. Make your rewards system public, and showcase top performers as “employee of the month” or “salesperson of the month.” This type of reward costs your company nothing to give.

  1. Establish a professional development program to facilitate ongoing learning and performance improvement.

When a new employee is finished with their orientation training, their ongoing training continues in the form of professional development. Ideally, your business will have a system or program in place that nurtures each of your employee’s professional growth.

Investing in the development of your employees shows that you are motivated to keep them happy and growing in their careers. This will help your retention strategy, and allow you to promote and cross-train from within, which will save you time and money in the long run.

The feeling of hitting a professional wall, or “outgrowing” a position is one that drives people to change jobs or attempt to apply their skills elsewhere. If you want to keep your best staff, you will need to find a way to help them grow as a professional while contributing to the needs of your business.

Ongoing training and development increases:

  • Productivity
  • Retention rates
  • Safety
  • Staff morale
  • Customer service
  • Sales
  • Your bottom line

Your professional development program doesn’t have to be particularly formal, just a range of options that will support the growth of your business and the goals of your employees.

Some companies give each staff member a budget for professional development expenses that the company will pay for. Others require a percentage of staff time to be dedicated to learning or product knowledge. You could also schedule a monthly “lunch and learn” session on various topics or products.

A professional development program could include any or all of:

  • Presentations by product or service vendors to improve product knowledge
  • Staff training to learn new equipment or technology
  • Courses at continuing learning institutions relevant to the employee’s role
  • In-house or industry mentorship programs
  • Weekend seminars
  • Promotion and training in higher positions
  • Cross-training to learn additional responsibilities or cover others’ roles

Be sure to work a discussion about professional development and your employee’s goals into your one-on-one meetings. Employees will be more invested in your company’s interests if you are invested in theirs.

Invest time in your staff’s training

It only makes good sense that employees who feel they have a stake in your business will work with a greater sense of ownership and perform at a higher level.

Remember, once you hire the right people, it’s entirely up to you to groom them into your ideal employees. Always consider the cost of finding and training new employees compared to keeping your current ones – just like customers, it’s a lot less expensive.

Do You Want Some Free Material From The Law Depot

Do You Want Some Free Material From The Law Depot

 

The Law Depot is an affiliate that provides quality information on various aspects of law.  There is a lot of free information.  In some cases you might have to pay for help.  However, it is worth a look.

 

For example you can obtain the following information FREE by following the link.

Partnership Agreement – For All You That are Thinking of Forming a Business Partnership
Establishes the rights and responsibilities of general partners, and the rules in a for-profit partnership.

 

The site will do a free partnership agreement for a business in any province in Canada.

 

The site will explain what a partnership agreement is, and how to file a partnership agreement.

 

You can use the following link for further information:

https://www.lawdepot.com/contracts/partnership-agreement/#.W6LRtGhKhE1

 

 

 

LSAT Prep – For all you aspiring lawyers
A Law School Administration Test (LSAT) is a required exam for admission into law school. Take a previously administered test to prepare for the LSAT.  The example is 2007.  It would be good practice before you try the real thing.

 

From the web site:

“The following exam was administered by the Law School Administrative Council (LSAC) to test takers in June 2007. It is intended to help you prepare for the Law School Administration Test (LSAT), an entrance exam for many law schools. The test has four sections covering reading comprehension, analytical reasoning, and logical reasoning.”

 

The site will explain what the LSAT is, and how the test is scored.

 

You can use the following link for further information:

https://www.lawdepot.com/contracts/lsat/

 

 

Business Plan – This is the most important business document for a number of reasons.

A comprehensive proposal that outlines a business’s challenges and opportunities as well as its marketing, financial, and management plans.

 

The site will ask you to select the industry/business you are in.

 

The site will explain what a business plan is, and what you need to know to complete a business plan.

 

You can obtain further information from the following link:

https://www.lawdepot.com/contracts/business-plan/?ldcn=partnership-and-joint-venture#.W6LWYmhKhE1

 

For any other legal advice/information you can select the Law Depot icon located  on the upper left side of this screen.

 

Why is a Vision Statement so Important

Note:  This post is found in a new category, the Coaches Corner.  The information for these posts are compiled from my Corporate Library.

 

You will notice that every major company in the world has a vision or mission statement – a broad, futuristic idea of what the company will achieve and look like in the future. The five-step process can help you achieve there, but you need to know where “there” is first.

I know you must be eager to jump into marketing strategies and get more people flowing through the door, or more sales ringing through the till. Be patient – this is important work that will build and contribute to your amazing success. Trust me!

So, let’s take a look at what a vision statement is, and why it’s important for you to create one for your business.

A vision statement is a broad, inspiring image of the future state a business aspires to reach. It describes without specifying how aspirations will be achieved, or when. It is ambitious, and forward-thinking. It’s not about where the organization is now, it’s about what the organization will be, or aspires to be.

A vision statement needs to:

  • describe aspirations and intent
  • be inspirational for your staff and customers
  • project a compelling story
  • paint a clear picture
  • use engaging and descriptive language
  • be realistic
  • align with your company’s values

The vision statement will also provide a clear criteria or measuring stick for decision-making. When making tough choices, ask “Does this support the vision statement?” If major initiatives do not support the overall business vision, chances are they aren’t worth the investment of time and money.

If your business doesn’t have a vision statement, it needs one. If it does, then this is a good opportunity to strengthen it or make sure it is aligned with the current dream you have for yourself and your company.

You should note that a corporate vision statement – once created, agreed to and perfected – should remain consistent and unchanged for several years. When a vision statement is changed and revised, it is difficult to create a consistent plan that supports the achievement of the vision. In this case, now is a good time to revise your vision – right before embarking on a comprehensive marketing strategy.

But first, don’t forget that your employees, joint ventures (companies you align yourself with – the most powerful marketing initiative on the planet is a Joint Venture) and your customers need to believe in the company’s vision too.

Your employees need a strong, clear vision statement just as much as you do. When creating a vision statement, keep this in mind. The vision will need to be something that your employees can embrace and stand behind. A powerful vision statement that your employees can get excited about will motivate, inspire and build morale on the sales floor and in the office.

Think about how you will communicate your vision to your employees once you have created it. How can you inspire them to nurture and support your vision on a daily basis, in everything they do? How can you empower and motivate them to feel ownership of the company’s future and their stake in it?

Take a look at these corporate vision statements so you can get a better understanding of what we’re talking about.

Amazon.com
Our vision is to be earth’s most customer centric company; to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online.

Dell
Dell listens to customers and delivers innovative technology and services they trust and value.

eBay
eBay pioneers communities built on commerce, sustained by trust, and inspired by opportunity. eBay brings together millions of people every day on a local, national and international basis through an array of websites that focus on commerce, payments and communications.

Facebook
Facebook is a social utility that helps people communicate more efficiently with their friends, family and coworkers. The company develops technologies that facilitate the sharing of information through the social graph, the digital mapping of people’s real-world social connections. Anyone can sign up for Facebook and interact with the people they know in a trusted environment.

Google
Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.

Other Vision Statement Examples:

  • To develop a reliable wireless network that empowers people with the freedom to travel anywhere – across the hall or across the continent – and communicate effortlessly.
  • To be America’s best quick-service restaurant chain we will provide each guest great tasting, healthful, reasonably priced fish, seafood and chicken in a fast, friendly manner on every visit.
  • To provide high quality products that combine performance with value pricing, while establishing a successful relationship with our customers and our suppliers.
  • To be a profitable provider of high quality software solutions and services that provide strategic value to our customers and create a company that can attract, recruit and retain smart and talented employees.

See what I mean? Let’s start creating your unique vision statement.

  1. Start by looking at your strengths and weaknesses from the perspective of everyone who does business with you.

You’ll start with a bit of analysis on where you stand now. Use the chart as a guide, create your own on a pad of paper (ideally use this same pad for the entire time you are doing the E-Learning process) and fill in your company’s unique strengths and weaknesses. Think about strengths and weaknesses from the perspective of customers, staff, management, vendors or suppliers and owners.

For example, what would your customers say about your customer service standards? Would this area be considered a strength or a weakness? What would your staff say about training and professional development opportunities? What do you think about your income and overall financial growth?

  Strengths Weaknesses
Customers
Customer service
Product or service availability and quality
Business location
Business image
Staff
Training
Salary
Professional development
Benefits
Quality of work environment
Management
Training
Benefits
Staff skills
Vendors / Suppliers
Product or service quality
Owner (You)
Income
Business image
Salary
  1. Analyze your observations, and remember that your weaknesses represent great opportunities for change and improvement, while your strengths need to be nurtured and developed.

Take a look at what you have written, using the chart above as your guide, and answer the following questions on your pad of paper:

What does the overall picture look like?

How does the overall picture align with the dream you have for your business?

What great achievements and qualities exist in the strengths section? (List 10)

What opportunities exist in the weaknesses section? (List 10)

  1. Now that you’ve assessed where your business stands today, where do you want it to be? What opportunities exist?

Here you will take the strengths and opportunities you identified in step one, the analysis you completed in step two, and start describing them in words. Use the chart below as your guide, write three sentences that describe the future state of your business. I’ve included some samples to get you started.

  Vision
Customers To be a regional leader in customer service.
Staff To inspire and develop our professionals.
Management To lead a generation of environmental responsibility.
Vendors / Suppliers To offer only the highest quality sprockets.
Owners To be a profitable and highly respected organization.
  1. What opportunities and aspirations are the highest priorities for you and your business?

Take the sentences you created above, and list them in order of importance to you. You may have to do this several times before you feel the order is accurate. Then, combine duplicate sentences, or ones that describe similar things.

Once you’ve finished your list, take the top three to five sentences and combine them into a cohesive paragraph.

  1. Refine your statements so that they are broad, future-oriented and use words that reflect your values, priorities and dreams.

You need to refine your statement so it is smooth, clear and easy to understand. Here is a checklist to use when reviewing the words you have written:

  • is it inspirational for your staff and customers?
  • does it project a compelling image?
  • does it paint a clear picture?
  • have you used engaging and descriptive language?
  • is it realistic?
  • does it align with your company’s values?

TIP: You can use phrases like:

A leader in…
Support the development of…
Offer opportunities to…
Continually create…
Build on…
Inspire…
Develop…
Facilitate…
Achieve…
Deliver…
Bring together…

  1. Include your employees in the vision creation process, and ask them for feedback.

Do they understand the vision? Do they support it? Does it inspire them? Can they find meaning in their work based on it? Incorporate their feedback, where possible and relevant.

  1. Put your vision statement somewhere everyone can see it – your staff, management, customers and vendors.

Once you have created your vision statement, share it with the world. Your vision is something you have committed to, and can let everyone know where your company is heading. It allows them to see where you want to go, and gives them the opportunity to help you get there.

Now, do you have everything you need to start working towards your vision statement.

What soft skills are necessary for sales and marketing?

Because selling is so people-centric, soft skills are critical.   The following eGuides discuss soft skills that might be beneficial to any sales/marketing department and/or individual.

 

 

Note:

Ö The eGuides were adapted from my professional Corporate Library

Ö The eGuides are in the PDF format.

 

`Body Language Basics

Body Language Basics will provide you with a great set of skills to understand that what is not said is just as important as what is said. It will also give you the ability to see and understand how your own Body Language is being seen. You will be able to adjust and improve the way you communicate through non-verbal communications.

 

Call Center Training

Call Center Training will lower costs as it can reduce turnover.
You will learn the skills to improve productivity and performance. This will produce a positive environment throughout your company and help influence the organization as a whole. Evaluating metrics and coaching are also used to make sure the participants are reaching their potential, and to keep their skill-set at a high level.

 

Creating a Great Webinar

Creating a Great Webinar is all about providing a great interaction between the presenter and the audience.
You will develop the skills needed to promote, host, or facilitate a great Webinar for your company. Sharing your passion and knowledge with a Webinar is the best way to reach many with the power of one.

  

Employee Recognition

Through our Employee Recognition eGuide you will recognize the value of implementing even the smallest of plans. The cost of employee recognition is very minimal in relation to the benefits that will be experienced. Employee recognition programs have been shown to increase productivity, employee loyalty, and increased safety.

 

Event Planning

With our Event Planning eGuide, you will learn how to anticipate and solve common planning issues for any small event such as informal gatherings, up to complex meetings. Effectively troubleshooting will help insure a happy and enjoyable event.

 

Internet Marketing Fundamentals

Internet Marketing Fundamentals will provide you with a great set of skills to market your business online. Content is the king of Internet marketing, and  you will need to know how to utilize your great content. If you want your business to grow then you need to understand Internet Marketing Fundamentals.

 

In Person Sales

With our “In-Person Sales” eGuide, you will discover the specifics of what it means to become an effective salesperson, and steps to success.  You will learn how to connect with customers and move them through the sales process.

 

Marketing Basics

Marketing Basics will provide the basic knowledge to you, and give you the ability to build and grow your business. Marketing has changed a lot recently and having a new perspective will give your participants the needed information to assist them in their marketing decisions. No matter what your product or service is, your business will benefit with a better understanding of marketing.

 

Media And Public Relations

Media and Public Relations is the most successful method of communicating your value to those around you. Furthermore, good networking skills enable you to tap into those relationships you already have and increase the scope of your network. The larger the scope the more people knows you and offers you opportunities.

 

Motivating Your Sales Team

Motivating Your Sales Team will help you create the right motivating environment that will shape and develop your sales team with right attitude and healthy competition. Instilling that unique seed which grows the motivation in your team will ensure an increase in performance and productivity. Have the best sales team you can have through better motivation.

 

Multi Level Marketing

With our “Multi-Level Marketing” eGuide, you will discover the specifics of how multi-level marketing works and how to effectively source agents. For many companies, it can prove to be a valuable tool for not only building revenue, but also for building their marketing and networking circles. 

 

Overcoming Sales Objections

Overcoming Sales Objections is an essential part of the sales process, as it will open up a whole new set of opportunities. It will produce new sales and provide an ongoing relationship with new clients. Objections will always occur no matter the item being sold or presented.

 

Presentation Skills

The Presentation Skills eGuide will give you some presentation skills that will make speaking in public less terrifying and more enjoyable. This course includes topics that participants can look forward to including: creating a compelling program, using various types of visual aids, and engaging the audience.

 

Proposal Writing

The Proposal Writing eGuide will take you through each step of the proposal writing process, from understanding why you are writing a proposal; to gathering information; to writing and proofreading; through to creating the final, professional product.

 

Prospecting and Lead Generation

With our Prospecting and Lead Generation eGuide, you will begin to see how important it is to develop a core set of sales skills. By managing and looking at the way people interact and seeing things in a new light, you will improve on almost every aspect of their sales strategy.

 

Sales Fundamentals

The Sales Fundamentals eGuide will give you a basic sales process, plus some basic sales tools, that you can use to seal the deal, no matter what the size of the sale. Y
ou will become more confident, handle objections, and learning how to be a great closer.

 

Telephone Etiquette

With our Telephone Etiquette eGuide, you will begin to see how important it is to develop better telephone communication skills. By improving how you communicate on the telephone and improve basic communication skills, you will improve on almost every aspect of their career.

 

Top 10 Sales Secrets

With our “Top 10 Sales Secrets” eGuide, you will discover the specifics of how to develop the traits that will make you a successful sales person and how to build positive, long lasting relationships with your customers!

 

Trade Show Staff Training

Make sure your staff has the right tools to succeed with the Trade Show Staff Training eGuide. A successful trade show will benefit your company on many levels. The most basic statistic is that it can cost half as much to close a sale made to a trade show lead as to one obtained through all other means. Get your staff trained and get to that trade show!

How can soft skills enhance your personal development?

Personal development can be seen as the evolution of a human’s professional and personal life until they reach their ultimate potential.  It is usually a lifelong learning process.  Some of the soft skills that you can use to help reach your ultimate potential are given below in a form of a brief description and an eGuide.

 

Note:

Ö The eGuides were adapted from my professional Corporate Library

Ö The eGuides are in the PDF format.

 

 

Anger Management

Anger can be an incredibly damaging force, costing people their jobs, personal relationships, and even their lives when it gets out of hand. However, since everyone experiences anger, it is important to have constructive approaches to manage it effectively. This eGuide will help teach you how to identify your anger triggers and what to do when you get angry.

 

Attention Management

Attention Management is a useful skill that allows managers to connect with their employees on an emotional level and motivate them to focus on their work and how to reach their personal and company goals. This eGuide will give valuable insight and strategies into what it takes to be more attentive and vigilant.

 

Being A Likeable Boss

You will begin to see how important it is to develop better managerial skills. By managing and looking at the way people interact and seeing things in a new light, you could improve on almost every aspect of your career.

 

Critical Thinking

Critical Thinking will lead to being a more rational and disciplined thinker. It will reduce your prejudice and bias which will provide you a better understanding of your environment. This eGuide will provide you the skills to evaluate, identify, and distinguish between relevant and irrelevant information. It will lead you to be more productive in your career, and provide a great skill in your everyday life–

 

Emotional Intelligence

As a result of the growing acknowledgement by professionals of the importance and relevance of emotions to work outcomes, the research on the topic continues to gain momentum.  This eGuide will discuss all aspects of Emotional Intelligence.

 

Goal Setting and Getting Things Done

This eGuide will cover strategies to help you overcome procrastination. These skills will translate into increased satisfaction in your professional and personal lives. You will learn the Goal Setting characteristics of successful people and in turn will become a happier and more productive individual.

 

 

Improving Mindfulness

By reading this eGuide you will begin to identify your own patterns of thinking. As you learn to practice mindfulness, you will cultivate positive emotions that will have a dramatic effect on the work environment.

 

 

Improving Self-Awareness

By reading this eGuide, you will learn how beneficial becoming more self aware can be. A highly self aware person will become more equipped to deal with daily life and its challenges. You will gain a new perspective on yourself and your emotions, and become a valuable member to society.

 

 

Increasing Your Happiness

This eGuide will show you how to engage in unique and helpful ways to increase your happiness. This will have a robust effect on your professional and personal life. It will improve your communication skills, increase productivity, and lesson absenteeism.

 

 

Job Search Skills

This eGuide helps you develop a plan that could get you a new job. Identifying the purpose for working and the assessment of skills can help determine the types of jobs you should apply for.

 

 

.

Managing Workplace Anxiety

This eGuide will provide you with important skills and resources to recognize and manage workplace anxiety. By identifying these symptoms and coping skills employees and managers will be better suited in dealing with these common situations.

 

 

Managing Personal Finance

The eGuide shows you the benefits of having a budget and how to build a budget that fits your needs, and lifestyle. You will discover how you can cut costs, pay off debts, and live within your budget.

 

.

Personal Productivity

This eGuide will help you achieve a goal of Personal Productivity. Through this guide participants will be on the right track in achieving that goal. Some people blame everything that goes wrong in their life on something or someone else, but through this guide you will take ownership and begin to lead a more productive life.

 

 

Social Intelligence

Increasing your Social Intelligence will provide benefits throughout your professional and personal lives. It is a fantastic tool for coaching and development as people will learn “people skills”. Improving social skills through active listening, understanding body language, and being more empathic will give you an advantage in your interactions. Social interactions are a two way street, know the rules of the road!

 

 

 

Social Learning

This eGuide will show you how to create learning communities that benefit every aspect of your organization. You will learn new behaviors through observation and modeling and be instilled with a passion for learning.

 

Stress Management

This eGuide will give you a three-option method for addressing any stressful situation, as well as a toolbox of personal skills, including using routines, relaxation techniques, and a stress log system. You will also understand what lifestyle elements they can change to reduce stress.

 

Work-Life Balance

This eGuide will show you how to focus on important things, set accurate and achievable goals, and communicate better with your peers at work and your family at home.

 

Public Speaking

However, mastering this fear and getting comfortable speaking in public can be a great ego booster, not to mention a huge benefit to your career. The Public Speaking eGuide will give you some basic public speaking skills, including in-depth information on developing an engaging program and delivering your presentation with power.

 

 

Taking the Initiative

With the “Seeing and Taking Initiative” eGuide, you will learn what initiative is, how to take it on, the advantages of it, and when to know one’s place. By studying this eGuide, you will be taking the first step in making something positive happen.  Now that is initiative!

 

What are the major Administrative Soft Skills?

Administrative soft skills are needed to run a business or keep an office organized. Administrative soft skills include a variety of jobs, as you will learn from the following eGuides. Employees with strong administrative soft skills are needed in almost all businesses today..

 

Note:

Ö The eGuides were adapted from my professional Corporate Library

Ö Workshops and online courses are available for these topics.  However, they are only available for the area surrounding Prince Albert.  For further information you may contact me at the following email address:  riverstreetconsultant@gmail.com.

Administrative Office Procedures

This eGuide will show you how an Administrative Office Procedure binder demonstrates professionalism and efficiency in an organization or office setting.  It is also a marvelous instrument for quick reference and utilization. 


Administrative Support

This eGuide will show the core skills needed to help you use your resources efficiently, manage your time wisely, communicate effectively, and collaborate with others skillfully. The practices presented in this eGuide may take time to be a part of your daily work routine. However, making the commitment to consistently apply the concepts every day is the key to changing and adopting new behaviors in a short amount of time.

Archiving and Records Management

This eGuide will show you the basic elements of records management programs and different ways to manage records.

 

 

Basic Bookkeeping

This eGuide will show you the Basic Bookkeeping skills needed to be successful in an organization.

 

 

Business Writing

This eGuide will provide a refresher on basic writing concepts (such as spelling, grammar, and punctuation), and an overview of the most common business documents. These basic skills will provide you with that extra benefit in the business world that a lot of people are losing.

 

Collaborative Business Writing

This eGuide will show the knowledge and skills needed to collaborate with others and create that important document. You will touch on the types of collaboration, and ways to improve them through certain tools and processes. These basic skills will provide you with that extra benefit in the business world that a lot of people are losing.

Executive and Personal Assistants

This eGuide will show what it takes to be a successful assistant. You will learn what it takes to effectively manage a schedule, organize a meeting, and even how to be a successful gatekeeper. Being an Executive or Personal Assistant takes a special skill set and this eGuide will provide you with the necessary tools.

Meeting Management

This eGuide will explore how to reduce waste and make meetings more efficient.

Organizational Skills

This eGuide will show you that every day people waste numerous amounts of time looking for items. So stop looking for those important items, and start knowing where they are by getting organized.

Supply Chain Management

This eGuide will you show you how to lower costs, improve efficiency, and increase customer satisfaction. This eGuide will provide you with the understanding of how Supply Chain Management can improve and help almost any type of business.

 

 

 

The Cloud and Business

By reading this eGuide you will discover the specifics of how the cloud can be a successful business tool.

How Soft Skills can enhance your career

This is an ebook that contains the postings from this site from Day 1.  As you can see that the postings will deal with some aspect of Soft Skills.

Change Management…This eGuide will give you an understanding of how change is implemented and some tools for managing your reactions to change.

Creative Problem Solving... This eGuide will give you an overview of the entire creative problem solving process, as well as key problem solving tools that they can use every day.

Networking (Within the Company)…This eGuide examines the importance of internal networking or networking within the company.

Networking (Outside the Company)... This eGuide will examine the importance of developing a core set of networking skills. By managing and looking at the way people interact and seeing things in a new light, you will improve on almost every aspect of your networking strategy.

Constructive Criticism … This eGuide will examine the concept of constructive criticism.

Emotional intelligence...This eGuide describes the ability to understand one’s own feelings, and that of groups, and how these emotions can influence motivation and behavior

Developing Corporate Behavior…This eGuide will examine the importance of developing a business environment that reflects a positive set of values and ethics.

Anger Management… Anger can be an incredibly damaging force, costing people their jobs, personal relationships, and even their lives when it gets out of hand. However, since everyone experiences anger, it is important to have constructive approaches to manage it effectively. This eGuide will help teach you how to identify anger triggers and what to do when they get angry.

Business Acumen…. This eGuide will help you improve your judgment and decisiveness skills. Business Acumen is all about seeing the big picture and recognizing that all decisions no matter how small can have an effect on the bottom line. You will increase your financial literacy and improve your business sense.

Business Ethics… A company’s ethics will determine its reputation. Good business ethics are essential for the long-term success of an organization. Implementing an ethical program will foster a successful company culture and increase profitability. Developing a Business Ethics program takes time and effort, but doing so will do more than improve business, it will change lives. This eGuide will show you how.

Business Writing… This eGuide will give you a refresher on basic writing concepts (such as spelling, grammar, and punctuation), and an overview of the most common business documents. These basic skills will provide you with that extra benefit in the business world that a lot of people are losing.

Critical Thinking… Critical Thinking will lead to being a more rational and disciplined thinker. It will reduce your prejudice and bias which will provide you a better understanding of your environment. This eGuide will provide you the skills to evaluate, identify, and distinguish between relevant and irrelevant information. It will lead you to be more productive in your career, and provide a great skill in your everyday life.

Entrepreneurship... This eGuide will help you achieve your dreams. Being an entrepreneur can be full of risks. These risks are minimized through drafting a business plan, knowing your competition, and successful marketing. All these and more can be found in our Entrepreneurship eGuide

Event Planning…This eGuide will show you how to anticipate and solve common planning issues for any small event such as informal gatherings, up to complex meetings. Effectively troubleshooting will help insure a happy and enjoyable event.

Improving Mindfulness… This eGuide will show you how to identify your own patterns of thinking. As you learn to practice mindfulness, you will cultivate positive emotions that will have a dramatic effect on the work environment.

Mentoring and Coaching… This eGuide focuses on how to better coach your employees to higher performance. Coaching is a process of relationship building and setting goals. How well you coach is related directly to how well you are able to foster a great working relationship with your employees through understanding them and strategic goal setting.

Personal Branding… This eGuide will show you how to share your vision and passions with others in your company. Utilize this knowledge through Social Media to define and influence how others see you. You are your brand so protect it. Live it.

Personal Productivity... Personal Productivity is a goal most of us have. This eGuide will help you achieve that goal. Some people blame everything that goes wrong in their life on something or someone else, but through eGuide you will take ownership and begin to lead a more productive

Presentation Skills…This eGuide will give you some presentation skills that will make speaking in public less terrifying and more enjoyable. The eGuide includes topics that participants can look forward to including: creating a compelling program, using various types of visual aids, and engaging the audience.

Proposal Writing…This eGuide will show each step of the proposal writing process, from understanding why you are writing a proposal; to gathering information; to writing and proofreading; through to creating the final, professional product.

Prospecting and Lead Generation…With this eGuide you will begin to see how important it is to develop a core set of sales skills. By managing and looking at the way people interact and seeing things in a new light, you will improve on almost every aspect of your sales strategy.

Social Intelligence... This eGuide will provide benefits throughout your professional and personal lives. It is a fantastic tool for coaching and development as people will learn “people skills”. Improving social skills through active listening, understanding body language, and being more empathic will give your participants the advantage in their interactions. Social interactions are a two way street, know the rules of the road!

Social Learning… With this eGuide you will be creating learning communities that benefit every aspect of your organization. They will learn new behaviors through observation and modeling and be instilled with a passion for learning.

Telephone Etiquette… With this eGuide you will begin to see how important it is to develop better telephone communication skills. By improving how you communicate on the telephone and improve basic communication skills, you will improve on almost every aspect of your career.

Top 10 Sales Secrets… With this eGuide you will discover the specifics of how to develop the traits that will make you a successful sales person and how to build positive, long lasting relationships with your customers!

Women in Leadership… With this eGuide you will learn how women are changing the workforce. You will gain a new perspective on the workforce, and what benefits can come from hiring and promoting women to higher positions.

Work Life Balance... With a Work-Life Balance you will be managing your time better. Better time management will benefit all aspects of life; you will be working less and producing more. This eGuide will show how to focus on the important things, set accurate and achievable goals, and communicate better with your peers at work and your family at home.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you want to upgrade your Microsoft Office Skills?

We are now offering Microsoft Office 2016 mini-courses… each course comes with a training manual.


Here is a brief summary of the courses being offered…

Excel 2016 Essentials

You will gain an advanced level of understanding for the Microsoft Excel environment, and the ability to guide others to the proper use of the program’s full features – critical skills for those in roles such as accountants, financial analysts, and commercial bankers.

You will create, manage, and distribute professional spreadsheets for a variety of specialized purposes and situations. They will customize their Excel 2016 environments to meet project needs and increase productivity. Expert workbook examples include custom business templates, multi-axis financial charts, amortization tables, and inventory schedules.

Mini-course Content:
• Create worksheets and workbooks
• Navigate in worksheets and workbooks
• Format worksheets and workbooks
• Change views and configurations
• Print and distribute worksheets and workbooks
• Manage data cells and ranges
• Create tables, charts and objects
• Perform operations with formulas and functions

Learn on Skillshare

Outlook 2016 Essentials

You will be able to use Outlook to enhance professional correspondence, create calendars, and schedule appointments.

You will create and edit professional-looking email messages, maintain calendars across time zones, and schedule tasks for a variety of purposes and situations including sending email for marketing campaigns, planning staff meetings, and assigning action items from those meetings.

Mini-course Content:
• Connect one or more email accounts
• Preview, read, reply to and forward messages
• Process, create, format and check messages
• Use advanced message options
• Organize messages
• Use signatures and stationary
• Automate replies and organization
• Clean up and archive messages
• Create, organize and manage calendars, appointments, meetings and events
• Create and manage notes and tasks
• Create and manage contacts and contact groups
• Customize the Outlook environment settings
• Print and save Information
• Perform search operations in Outlook

Powerpoint 2016 Essentials

You will learn to create, edit, and enhance slideshow presentations to create professional-looking sales presentations, employee training, instructional materials, and kiosk slideshows.

You will gain a fundamental understanding of the PowerPoint 2016 environment and the correct use of key features of this application.

Mini-course Content:
• Create Presentations from scratch or templates
• Insert and format slides, handouts and notes
• Change Presentation views and configurations
• Insert and work with text, pictures, audio and video
• Work with tables, charts, and SmartArt
• Use transitions and animations
• Prepare for a presentation, including the slide size, narration, and timing
• Manage multiple presentations

Word 2016 Essentials

You will gain a fundamental understanding of the Microsoft Word environment and the ability to complete tasks independently.
You will demonstrate the correct application of the principle features of Word 2016 by creating and editing documents for a variety of purposes and situations. Document examples include professional looking reports, multi-column newsletters, resumes, and business correspondence.

Mini-course Content
• Create and manage documents
• Format text, paragraphs, and sections
• Create tables and lists
• Create and manage references
• Insert and format graphic elements

How much for the Microsoft Office Bundle?

To take all 4 courses will only cost you $99.99CAD… Each mini-course comes with a comprehensive manual… this is yours to keep!

The first step for you is to join, and try out a FREE mini-course on Business Etiquette… and then if you want to purchase the Microsoft Office bundle, then go to Membership Upgrade… and enroll from there.

Happy eLearning!

How to Use Media Relations in Networking

This post contains affiliate links, and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.


Managing media relations is another facet to networking. In this post, you will learn how to leverage the following type of media:
• Television
• Print
• Web, blogs and the Internet
Let’s see how you can leverage television in your networking strategy.

Learn on Skillshare

Television
If you are lucky, you may have an opportunity to speak on a television program as an expert or other resource. However, you may not want to rely on luck. You may be able to create an environment that can get you on a television news program. Using the news media could help increase your network exponentially and across the country.

There are six steps to prepare and get your message on television.
1. Create a brand. Develop a message that tells who you are, what you do, and why you are unique. The media wants to find someone interesting and ready to talk at a moment’s notice. You should have materials ready for the press to use and this should be aligned with your brand message. You can search the Internet and find press kits that will help you structure your information for the press.

2. Develop your elevator speech. An elevator speech is a 30-second advertisement about you. This is also called a pitch. You should make your message concise, but reflecting your passion in what you do. Short pitches are more effective. Remember, the media has a short attention span. Be ready to deliver you pitch at any time.

3. Seek out the media. Use the Internet to find many ways to research media that may be out looking for your information. Take names down of producers of programs and attempt to contact them. When you do get a chance to connect with a producer always, compliment their work. This way you demonstrate your interest and the time you invested in researching him or her.

4. Respond immediately. If you do get the chance to speak to a media contact, you should respond immediately. Make sure the contact information you give is one that connects to you directly or that you can check many times throughout the day.
5. Be prepared. Have your information and materials always updated and ready. You may never know when you will get that call.
6. Keep it simple and fresh: Don’t complicate your message and materials. Keep it simple and you will find that when it comes time to be on television. Practice your message periodically so you remain sharp.

Print
Print media comes in many forms. There are magazines, newspapers, billboards, etc. Unlike television, print media is easier to access. Here are both advantages and disadvantages to using print media that you should consider.

Print media typically has a more consistent base of readers than say the Internet. If you choose to use a magazine or newspaper for your print media resource, the consistency of readers is easier to see. In addition, print media allows you the ability to select where you want your message to appear geographically. Print media also provides flexibility in the size or space of the advertisement. Print media outlets like magazines and newspapers specialize in drawing attention to your advertisement.

On the other hand, print media can be very expensive depending on what type of media you use. Print media also limits your ability to larger audiences. Print media requires physical contact in order for the readers to access your message. Another drawback is the planning you may need to get on a particular publication. There are usually strict cutoff times for your message to be placed on an ad.

Finally, your message may be overlooked among the other ads.
Nonetheless, print media is a very viable option for a local market and provides varying degrees of pricing. The best thing to do is to plan well and understand the print media is one of many other options you can use to reach your audience.

StudioPress Theme of the Month

Web Presence, Blogs & the Internet
The World Wide Web is a place where almost anyone can create a presence. The Web is a way of accessing information. It is an inexpensive method in getting your message out to an endless audience around the world.

The idea of creating a space with a collection of related files is called creating a Web presence. Many times, this is called a Website. At the most basic level, a Web presence is a collection of files on a specific subject. The first file of the Web presence or site is called the home page. The home page provides a starting point that allows the viewer the ability to navigate the other files.

For companies and organizations, the Website provides various tools for their clients to conduct business. For an individual like yourself, you can create a Web presence that allows you to share ideas and resources with your audience. These personal Websites are called blogs. Blogs are typically an online diary. However, if you want to network effectively, your blog should be a place that creates dialogue and sharing with your visitors.

Today, setting up a blog is relatively easy. Here are some basic steps to creating a blog.
• Buy a domain, which is your Web address.
• Your hosting company usually offers a basic package with you Web site that includes a blogging application.
• Setting up your blog would take a few steps and your Web hosting company would provide the instructions.
• You need to practice using the blogging application, but once you gain the understanding, you will be writing content in no time. If you have the budget, you may hire a writer to help you update your blog.

Once you have set up your blog, you can place your Web page address on your business cards and share the site with whomever you meet.

When is Intervention Necessary to Ensure a Group’s Productivity?

This post contains affiliate links, and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.


 

 

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About Intervention

In general, facilitators neither inject themselves in issues nor direct the flow of discussion; they merely go where the group wants to go. There are occasions, however, when stronger responses are needed to make the group more functional and productive. In this module, we will discuss what these stronger responses are, why they are necessary, and when is it appropriate to use them.

 

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Why Intervention May Be Necessary

Facilitators are part of a group for a reason: to help the group achieve their goals in the most democratic and cooperative way possible. Ideally, groups should have cooperative members with knowledge, skill, and personality to assist this process. However, in the real world, groups are much more complicated. Indeed, even well-meaning group members can create dysfunctional teams. For this reason, intervention may be necessary.

An intervention is an injection of one’s self in the process in pursuit of a specific goal. Interventions are what separate a facilitator from a mere participant— the participant’s statements are contributions, whereas a facilitators’ statements are interventions.

Technically, anything that a facilitator does, both verbally and non-verbally, in the course of his or her role in a group is an “intervention.” However, the term intervention is usually reserved to relatively stronger interference in a group’s natural way of doing things.

The following are some of the reasons why intervention may be necessary:
To help the group achieve their goals. If an on-going dynamic in the group is keeping the entire team from reaching their objective, then it’s time to intervene. For example: if a coalition exists in members, decision-making might get skewed to one side of the issue.
To protect group process. If the integrity of the chosen methodology in getting results is being compromised, then a facilitator must intervene.
To prevent the escalation of an issue. Generally, facilitators should let the group handle things on their own. But some hot issues are better nipped in the bud, or they might blow up into a larger issue can create serious damage.
To sample “skills” to the group. In some occasions, group members lack the skills to deal with a group issue, e.g. two conflicting issues. In these cases, intervention may be necessary to expose the group on more functional processes.

When to Intervene
The following are some situations when intervention may be necessary:
• The group is stuck. This means that the process is not producing results, or the process is not progressing to the next level.
• The group is about to move on to the next agenda without realizing that an important aspect of the discussion is unresolved or unaddressed.
• The group continues to follow a negative pattern despite soft interventions. (We will discuss levels of interventions in the next section.)
• Something unethical is going on in the group, like a personal attack or subtle/blatant intimidation.
• Group process is being hampered by a dominant person or clique.
• Group members are misunderstanding each other.
• The facilitator perceives tension and suspiciousness in the group.

Levels of Intervention
There is a guiding principle in medicine that goes: don’t prescribe strong medicine when a milder one will do. Similarly, interventions in facilitation range from non-directive to directive, subtle to explicit, non-intrusive to very intrusive. It helps to know what the levels of intervention are in order to decide what response to give to different situations in a group.

The following are the different levels of intervention:
No intervention. Unless there is a pressing concern that requires a facilitator’s intervention, the first level of response is to do nothing. By not responding to a concern, a facilitator is effectively letting the group take care of the problem, and implement their own solution. Note though that even if a facilitator is not directly responding to the problem, he or she may be actively gathering information about the group and how they process their own issues.
Reflective Technique. The first few levels of intervention are geared towards increasing awareness within the group that a problematic situation is in place. One way to do this is to objectively state what you notice is going on. Note that you are not supposed to voice out your opinions or evaluations of the group dynamic; merely bring to awareness something that the group may not have noticed. The group is left to confirm or refute the facilitator’s observations. Either way, the result may be further clarification.
Example: “I noticed that four of you had been very quiet since we started.”
Solicit the Group’s Observations. As much as possible, let the group members identify themselves what is happening within the group. One way to do this is to solicit feedback through general leads. Example: “Jane. What can you say about what is happening right now?”
If general leads are not working, you can use direct leads. Example: “Jane, what can you say about the way the discussion about (subject) is going?
Interpret observations. This becomes necessary when the group has difficulty seeing the implications of what is going on in the process. NOTE: always phrase your interpretations in tentative fashion, as if seeking confirmation from the group if your observations are correct or incorrect.
Example: “I’m noticing that the energy is low? Are we focusing on the right issue? Or is there something else that we have more energy for?”
Suggest solutions. If the group seems to be stuck, suggest a way to deal with the problem. Note: suggest only process changes. And always get the approval of the group. Example: “We seem to be stuck, would you like to try a different approach?”
Restructure the process or an aspect of it. Change the group process by re-organizing the structure of dialogue (dyads, small groups, etc.), using problem solving processes, inserting a “process break” or changing the original agenda.
Confront. This is directly mentioning the problem, or the difficult individual. Note that confrontation is a very strong intervention, and must be used only as a last resort, when all other softer interventions have been exhausted.
Example: “I noticed that you are always encouraging the other members of the group to leave the meeting prematurely. And twice now it has disrupted the process. May I know what the reason why you’re doing this is?”

StudioPress Theme of the Month

Intervention Techniques
In the previous module, we introduced intervention and the different levels of intervention. In this module, we will focus on particular intervention techniques: use of processes, boomerang it back, and ICE it.

Using Your Processes
As process experts, the best way a facilitator can intervene in an unproductive or dysfunctional group is by introducing a process that would directly address the problem or issue.
For example, if a group’s problem is the monopoly of the floor by certain members, a facilitator can introduce the round robin discussion to ensure that everyone gets their turn to speak.
If the problem is the lack of information about the issue in contention, the facilitator can make presentation part of the agenda.
If the problem is a lack of understanding between management and staff, the facilitator can break the group into pairs of management and staff.

Boomerang it Back
To “boomerang” an issue back is to present an issue back to the group for them to resolve. The reflective technique (discussed in the previous module) is one of the basic ways of mirroring an issue to a group.
Another way to do this is to rephrase a group’s concern into a question addressed to the group. For example, when a group member says “maybe we are just too tired to think of a new idea for this project”, a facilitator can simply say “do you think you are too tired?”
Or if a group member asks a facilitator a question, the facilitator can just bounce the question back. Example: if a group member asks “should we continue this project?” the facilitator can simply reply “What do you think? Should you?”

ICE It: Identify, Check for Agreement, Evaluate How to Resolve
Another way to intervene is to use the ICE technique.
ICE stands for:
• Identify
• Check for Agreement
• Evaluate How to Resolve.
When you ICE it, you surface what the problem is, verify with the group its accuracy (or at least their agreement), and then start the process of looking for solutions.
Example: “What do you think is going on in the group right now? So, if I understand correctly, this is what is happening? Is this correct? How do we go about addressing this problem?”