Category Archives: Human Resources

Millennials and Onboarding

As members of the Millennial generation – otherwise known as Gen Y – begin to enter the workforce, workplaces and organizations must change to meet their unique talents and challenges. Employees of the generation have different expectations for their working lives and careers, and the savvy organization takes these into account from the moment of hire and through the onboarding process.

Who are Millennials?
Millennials are members of the generation born between 1980 and 1995. They are a generation that came of age in an era of increasing technology and economic uncertainty, both of which shape the way they approach work and life. While millennial employees are often dismissed as lazy or self-involved, in reality their unique approach to work and life can be an asset to organizations that know how to leverage them.

Common traits of Millennials:
• Preference for multitasking
• Highly connected, via social media and other communication technology
• Tech-savvy – Millennials have grown up using computers and other technology
• Desire to be recognized for their efforts
• Desire for instant gratification and feedback
• Team-oriented and collaborative
• Close to their parents
• Expectation of work-life balance, high value on personal time

How Do Millennials Differ from Other Workers?
Millennials differ from workers in older generations in several important ways. Millennials are generally more tech-savvy than older workers because they have grown up using technology, and with the expectation that technology will continue to evolve. They are thus very comfortable with computers, social media, and other technology. Being comfortable with social media may mean that Millennials need extra coaching on professional communication and what levels of personal transparency are appropriate in the workplace.
They have also come of age as multitasking – which may mean they are more productive, but may also mean they have difficulty focusing on one task for an extended period. They tend to be collaborative and team-oriented and to work well in groups. Millennials have a greater expectation of work-life balance at the earliest stages of their careers than older generations do, and also want to know from the first day on the job what the opportunities for advancement are in an organization. Finally, Millennials expect to be recognized for their work and to receive regular, detailed feedback. They need one-on-one mentoring and individualized attention from supervisors and managers.

Investiture Socialization – Let Them Be Themselves!
One method that works well when onboarding millennial employees is investiture socialization. In this process, managers and supervisors draw on Millennials’ unique traits and perspectives and allow these employees to be themselves. Allowing millennial employees to be themselves not only helps to alleviate any anxiety they may have about being inauthentic – a particular concern for this generation – but also allows managers and supervisors to see their strengths and weaknesses in action. Finding ways to incorporate millennial traits such as tech-savviness into the onboarding process is another key aspect of investiture socialization, as is spending one-on-one time with the new hires.

Informal Rather than Formal Onboarding Processes
Millennial employees respond better to informal onboarding processes. Day-long orientation sessions, lecture-style orientations, and endless reams of paperwork are at odds with Millennials’ preference for multitasking, technology, and (at times) instant gratification. Finding ways to onboard Millennials that draw on their preference for fast-paced, technology-based, and personal interactions is likely to engage these new hires. Putting onboarding material that might otherwise be delivered in lecture format on DVD or in podcast form, for instance, may be more engaging to the millennial new hire. Assigning a manager, supervisor, or team member to deliver the onboarding material to the new millennial one on one rather than in a large group setting is also more effective.

Engaging the Millennial Employee
One of the most important things that a manager can do in the onboarding process is engaging the millennial employee. Millennials are interactive – they thrive when they can explore, do, and experience. Finding ways to engage Millennials throughout the onboarding process not only ensures that the process goes smoothly, but helps get them invested in the organization. An invested employee is an employee more likely to stay with the organization for the long run.

Create an Informal Program
As we learned in Module 4, Millennials are more likely to respond to an onboarding process that is informal and personalized than one that is formal and impersonal. Leveraging a Millennial new hires preference for technology, multitasking, collaboration, and for exploration when creating your onboarding program is key to its success. Millennials are likely to become quickly bored with day-long, lecture-style orientation sessions, or onboarding activities where they have little interaction with others. Coupled with their shorter attention spans, these impersonal approaches may leave Millennials feeling disengaged.
Some ideas for creating an informal onboarding program that will engage Millennials include:
• Use technology like videos, podcasts, or webinars in place of lectures or meetings
• Meet with employees one on one or in small groups
• Use a mix of activities and break the onboarding process into chunks
• Allow for some exploratory, unstructured time if possible

Engage Employees One on One
Millennials are accustomed to a high degree of interaction with their mentors, supervisors, and other important people in their lives. They also thrive on collaboration and feedback. Taking time to engage employees one on one throughout the onboarding process, from arrival through the first 90 or 180 days, provides them with the interaction and feedback they need to feel comfortable and competent. One on one interaction with millennial employees need not always be formal; simply taking the time to check in or have a brief chat helps to engage them. During onboarding, engaging Millennials one on one instead of in large group settings is a good strategy, as it provides the sense of investment and the opportunity for meaningful feedback and interaction.

The Role of Human Resources
Human Resources play an important role in onboarding and retaining millennial employees. The role of Human Resources in onboarding Millennials is not just to ensure that paperwork is filled out and policies followed, but to serve as important gatekeepers to the organization. When onboarding Millennials, Human Resources should take the time to stress all the valuable things the organization can offer the employee – vacation time, benefits, flexible scheduling, and more. Millennials who are new to the workforce may not think to ask about these issues, and those that have been in other jobs have high expectations from the organizations in which they work. Human Resources plays a valuable role as onboarding ambassador when working with Millennials. Taking the time to determine what Millennials care about, and how HR can deliver that, is a key part of bringing this generation of workers onboard.

The Role of Managers
Managers play a vital role in onboarding Millennials, and not just in practical ways such as providing paperwork and office tours. Millennials thrive when they have lots of FaceTime with mentors, managers, and important others in their lives. Because Millennials respond best when engaged one on one, managers can and should take on many of the onboarding tasks that might otherwise be handled by a trainer or HR representative in a large group. Managers provide the structure and feedback that Millennials need in order to feel competent at a new job. Managers can also gauge an employee’s strengths, weaknesses, and concerns and customize the onboarding process to address these.
Source: Millennial Onboarding Workshop

The Importance of Onboarding

There are a number of reasons to implement an onboarding program. Before this can be done, however, you need to understand exactly what onboarding involves and its importance to the success of the company. Exploring onboarding and its processes is essential to the success of any organization’s onboarding program.

What Is Onboarding?
Onboarding is not easy to define. Some organizations limit it to a simple orientation process. Others go further to include company culture. Onboarding, however, is so much more. Onboarding is a systematic method that allows employers to hire the best employees and align them to the company vision. It will also provide employees with the necessary tools, help them assimilate, and speed up their training process.
Onboarding Affects:
• Hiring
• Aligning with company standards
• Accommodating employees with tools
• Cultural assimilation
• Accelerated training

The Importance of Onboarding
Employees typically “break even” 20 weeks after they begin working at a job. This means that their productivity equals what the company has invested in them. They begin to generate more value for the organization over time. Onboarding can improve the time that it takes for employees to become profitable once they are hired. This is accomplished on a functional level and a social level. Companies often focus on the functional level at the cost of the social. This can overwhelm employees and leave them feeling uncertain about whom to go to for help.
• Functional level: Expectations, training, policies, procedures, etc.
• Social level: Networks, mentors, relationships

Making Employees Feel Welcome
When hiring new employees, it is not enough to just walk them through the office, hand them paperwork, and ask them to read manuals. You must make them feel welcome to alleviate anxiety and help them acclimate.
Ways to make employees welcome:
• Contact the employee after he or she is hired: This can be with a welcome letter or phone call.
• Send information early: Send the handbook and any paperwork that than be completed early.
• Choose a mentor: Assign someone to mentor the new hire.
• Prepare for the first day: Have everything ready for the new employee to begin work on the first day.
• Have the new hire meet people the first day: New hires should engage with their supervisors and mentors on day one.
• Schedule lunch: Schedule lunch with coworkers to introduce a new hire.

First Day Checklist
The first day for a new hire should be scheduled out. The first day will shape an employee’s opinion of the organization and the people he or she works with. Do not have someone fill out paperwork and then sit alone while everyone else stays busy. Each company and industry will have a specific checklist, but there are a few basic guidelines.
• Greet the employee.
• Introduce the employee to his or her social network.
• Tour the facilities.
• Have lunch.
• Discuss all expectations
• Schedule the first week’s training.
• Explain employee resources.
• Instruct employee on computer and telephone techniques.
• Conduct orientation session.

Onboarding Preparation
Every successful program demands preparation, and onboarding is no exception. While it is important to make employees feel welcome, the environment needs to remain professional. Before implementing an employee onboarding program, make sure that each person involved understands what is expected of him or her.

Onboarding needs to be a professional program. Companies frequently ignore onboarding responsibilities and simply assign the task of orienting a new hire to the least busy employee. This can cause confusion, impede the onboarding process, and give the impression that the company is not well run. It is essential that everyone involved in the onboarding program remain friendly and professional.
Professional activities:
• Make sure everyone knows that the new hire is coming.
• Choose someone to greet the new hire, and make sure he or she is on time.
• HR should have the paperwork prepared in advance.
• Designate a mentor ahead of time.

Be clear about expectations with new hires and with everyone involved in the onboarding process. The new hire’s expectations need to be communicated. There should also be clarity about who is responsible for the acclimation and training of the new hire. Each company and each position will have its own needs and responsibilities, which will determine the onboarding and training process. Determine everything you need to clarify before hiring a new employee.
• Goals: Clarify both company and personal goals.
• Expectations: Communicate expectations to the new hire, HR, and mentor.
• Culture: Describe the company culture.

Designating a Mentor
Mentoring is important to onboarding success. Designating the correct mentor can mean the difference between success and failure. The mentoring relationship will help determine how easily new hires transition into their roles at the company. Consider carefully who you choose to mentor new employees; do not just choose people at random. There are certain qualifications that all mentors need to have in order to be effective.
• Time: Employees who are already overworked cannot effectively mentor another.
• Training: Is the employee qualified to teach someone else? Experience does not equal the ability to teach.
• Role model: Make sure that you choose a mentor who has qualities you would like to see in other employees.
After designating a mentor, monitor the relationship closely. If they do not work together well, you may need to designate another mentor.

Onboarding should improve the training process. The people responsible for the training, however, must take the training seriously. Feedback is essential to the training process. Supervisors need to meet with new hires weekly to check on their performance and provide feedback. Those directly involved in the training process need to teach new hires and give them helpful feedback to improve performance.
Training Tips:
• Train Tasks: Teach employees the tasks associated with their positions.
• Train Communication: Train employees to recognize resources and to communicate their needs.
• Provide Feedback: Give consistent and encouraging feedback when training new hires.

Source: Employee Onboarding

Conflict Management and Generation Gaps

Conflict is normal in the workplace, but it could happen more often between two people of opposing generations.  Understanding how to manage conflict across the generations will help to reduce the confrontation and perhaps avoid them in the future.

This module will teach you the following:

  • Younger bosses managing older workers
  • Avoid turnover with a retention plan
  • Breaking down the stereotypes

Let us begin with our first topic of younger bosses managing older workers.


Younger Bosses Managing Older Workers

Managing older employees could be a source for conflict.  Older employers may feel they should be in charge or that you lack experience.  The key to avoiding conflict with an older employee is to demonstrate respect and showing them that they are valued.

Use the ACE technique in avoiding conflict with your older employees.  ACE stands for the following process:

  • Acknowledge your older employee’s experience and the value they bring to the team. Older employees may feel as if they are no longer valuable because of their age.  Show them you value them by reflecting on their achievements and contributions to the team.
  • Caring for your older employee comes in many ways. Become interested with their personal life or hobbies.  Take note of special things that took place in their lives.  Show interest in their family and listen to them when they talk and mirror back what they have said to show you were listening.
  • Exchange ideas and ask for input from your older employees on issues and demonstrate that you value their opinions and solutions. Implement good ideas and give them recognition.  When you implement their ideas, your older employee will be more willing to take in your ideas.  Create a give-and-take environment between you and your older employee.


Avoid Turnovers with a Retention Plan

Avoiding turnover is easier when you are prepared.  If you let turnover surprise you, then you are not paying attention to your environment.  Whenever you are speaking with your employees, always attempt to gauge their level of engagement with their job and try to determine any issues before it is too late.

A retention plan should be made for each of your employees.  You can make it as specific or general based on your needs.  Here are some things to consider when creating a retention plan for your employees based on generational traits:

  • Determine what values this person has based on their generational trait. Think of things that could be a motivating factor like schedule flexibility, incentives and recognition.
  • Prepare several focused questions that may lead to underlying issues. For example, you may ask questions about the reasons why they are dissatisfied with their job.  Be frank with your employees and tell them that you want to keep them and will set up a follow up meeting to discuss possible solutions.
  • Ask questions about their personal goals and career milestones and see how you can help them achieve them.
  • Be ready to become an advocate for your employee. This means that you may need to do some research or speak with key people in human resources to help find more solutions.
  • Work with your human resource contact to develop a retention plan. They can give you solutions that are aligned with your company’s policies.

Breaking Down the Stereotypes

Stereotypes are formed when there is lack of information from the other side.  Stereotypes are difficult to break because the thought process is difficult to detect.  The best way to address stereotypes is to get your team involved in activities that helps build the team and places them in a situation that challenges all the participants.

For example, you can have your team take on a project that you team never done before.  Perhaps you can engage your team with a friendly competition with another group of department where the focus is on the team.

Many activities can challenge your team.  When your team is challenged, their best traits will come through.  You may encounter resistance at first, but your job is to coach them through it.

Once you are done with your activity, hold a debrief meeting to spotlight the team and their achievement.  Share commonalities that span the entire team.  Finally, relate those commonalities to work related activities like project work, etc.



Embrace the Hot Zone

When dealing with generation gap issues, there is a hot zone that you must recognize and address.  The hot zone is an area you know there is conflict.  It could be between two employees or groups within your team.

Take a moment and jot some of these ideas down:

  • First, you must acknowledge the hot zone exists. Ignoring it could result to more widespread hot zones.
  • Next, you should engage the hot zone as soon as possible and provide feedback to all the parties involved.
  • Set expectations with your employees on how to handle future conflicts.
  • Hold one-on-one coaching with each employee involved in the hot zone and have him or her come up with ideas on how to make things better avoiding hot zone issues.


Treat Each Other as a Peer

Treating each other as peers requires some key behaviors that demonstrate this characteristic.  It is not enough to tell your employees to treat each other as peers.  They need a guideline and coaching in order to achieve this.

The CARE model is a good way to start this process and they should be coached at the individual level.  CARE stands for the following behaviors:


  • Your team should be exposed to an environment where ideas are exchanged and at times challenged.  Set ground rules in your meetings on how to handle disagreements.  Encourage other points of view.  Make sure all participants are involved.  Be fair in your assessments and use objective means to determine the best ideas.
  • Teach your team to acknowledge each other’s value.  In addition, teach them how to deliver the feedback.  Do not assume they know how to do this.  Remember that feedback is behavior-based.
  • Teach your team how to show respect to each other by using proper greetings and posture towards each other.  Set the expectation that derogatory remarks about age are not tolerated by anyone.
  • Teach your team that all members of the team are equal in value and contribution they bring.  Age is not a factor.

Create a Succession Plan

A succession plan is a map of the career path for your employee.  When you create a succession plan, you give that employee something to focus on in terms of a career goal.  When they are focused on a plan, they will be less susceptible to conflict because they are doing what it takes to achieve the goals of this plan.

Building a succession plan takes time.  It requires you to know the personal goals of your employee and their gaps.  You also have to be committed to their succession plan.  If you do not show commitment, your employee will disengage and may become frustrated and confrontational.

Here are some tips to creating a succession plan:

  • Determine a clear career goal
  • Make sure it is a real goal
  • Make sure it is attainable
  • Make sure it is time driven
  • Consult with your human resources department to determine what their requirements are
  • Consult with the head of the department if the career path takes them to another area
  • Determine any educational requirements and provide guidance
  • Set up a mentor program with someone currently doing what they want to achieve
  • Track their progress
  • Meet with them periodically to specifically discuss their progress on their succession plan

Source:  Generation Gaps Workbook

River Street Consultant

Replacement Planning

Succession planning and replacement planning are two different things. Replacement planning is focused on identifying immediate understudies, while succession planning is focused on developing talent to move forward.

What is Business Succession Planning?

Successful succession planning is related to leadership development. It develops a pool of talent so that there are numerous qualified candidates throughout the organization to fill vacancies in leadership. Succession planning used to concentrate on developing leadership at the top level, but now it is building a strong talent base, which helps to increase employee loyalty and ensure the longevity of the company. This strategy requires recruiting qualified talent, creating a talent pool, and instilling loyalty.

Benefits of succession planning:

  • Decreased turnover
  • Increased employee satisfaction
  • Improved commitment to company goals
  • Enhanced image of the organization

What does succession planning require?

  • Identify the long-term goals and objectives of the business: The long-term goals directly relate to succession planning. Is the company’s goal to grow or maintain its current position? Will it expand into other fields? All of these questions need to be addressed before creating a succession plan.
  • Understand the developmental needs of the company and identify employees who fit these needs: The responsibilities of employees change over time. Some positions may be eliminated in the future while others will be added.
  • Recognize trends in the workforce and engage employees to build loyalty: Understanding workforce trends will help you predict the needs of your organization. For example, are your key employees nearing retirement? Have you invested in talented employees to take on additional roles?


What Is Replacement Planning?

Replacement planning works under the assumption that the structure of the organization will not change. This is easier to apply in small family businesses that do not have any goals to expand or grow in the future. There are typically two or three “replacements” identified in the organization chart. Each backup is listed with his or her ability to replace an existing leader. The employees are not necessarily developed to understand the new working environment or smoothly transition into his or her new responsibilities.


Differences Between

Many executives believe that they are engaging in succession planning, but in reality they are still using replacement planning.

The Main Differences:

  • Replacement planning focuses on finding suitable replacements only for top executives.
  • Succession planning means that the company is easily able to fill vacancies throughout the business because employees are being empowered and developed.
  • There is a short list of candidates in replacement planning.
  • Succession planning builds a large talent pool.

Succession planning takes a little more time and effort from those in leadership, but it yields a high return on such an investment.


Deciding What You Need

There are several different factors that indicate when a company needs to implement or re-evaluate succession planning.

  • Turnover becomes critical: The number of high-potential workers leaving is higher than average workers leaving. (This can happen in any economy.)
  • Employees feel undervalued: When a majority of your employees feel that there is no room for advancement or that you choose too many outside hires, there is a succession-planning problem.
  • There are no replacements for key talent: Should a valued member of staff suddenly leave, there is no one able to take his or her place.
  • Managers notice that there are not many candidates for promotion: Employees who are not developed for leadership will never be promoted.
  • The time to fill metric is high or unknown: The time to fill metric is the average length of time that it takes to fill a position. A high number means that the company needs to focus on succession planning.
  • The retention risk analysis is high: A risk analysis uses different factors to determine the potential number of employees who will leave. These will factor in retirement and other trends.

Source:  Business Succession Planning

River Street Consultant



Levels of Evaluation

A good evaluation will cover all four dimensions of learning. This post is an overview of Donald Kirkpatrick’s four levels of evaluation, which correspond loosely to Kolb’s four learning stages.

Kirkpatrick’s evaluation model measures four elements:
Each level is based on the level before it, so in order to achieve results; participants must have a positive experience with the first three levels.

Level One: Reactions
The most basic level of evaluation is the participants’ reactions to the training.
• Did they like or dislike the training and the trainer?
• How did they feel about the training environment?
• Did they think the training was useful?
• Did they feel comfortable?
• Did they feel they had ample opportunities to participate?
This level can be measured with a few simple tools:
• Verbal feedback during and immediately after the workshop
• Subjective questionnaires during and immediately after the workshop, such as happy sheets (where participants circle a happy face or sad face for each question)
Reaction feedback is fairly easy to gather and measure. It should be gathered as close as possible to the desired time period. (For example, if you wanted to measure reactions to the first day of a workshop, you should gather reactionary feedback at the end of the first day.)

Level Two: Learning
The next level of evaluation assesses how much the participant learned. It looks at two basic areas:
• Did trainees learn what we wanted them to learn?
• Was the training experience what we wanted it to be?
This level is typically measured via tests immediately before and immediately after the training. It is important that these assessments are tied closely to the learning objectives.
Note that this level can be measured on an individual or group level. For example, you could have a verbal group-style quiz, or you could have individual assessments. When assessing group performance, however, make sure that each individual can be evaluated.

Level Three: Behavior
This level evaluates how much trainees applied the learning and changed their behavior after the training. Key questions should include:
• How quickly did trainees put their knowledge into effect back on the job?
• Were skills used correctly and relevantly?
• Was the behavior change sustained?
• Is the trainee aware of how they have changed?
• Would the trainee be able to share their knowledge with another person?
It can be challenging to evaluate changes at this level, particularly with soft topics like communication and leadership. It is important to develop a well-rounded, accurate evaluation system before training begins. Trainees will need to be evaluated on an ongoing basis in a way that is not intrusive on their daily duties. Tools like case studies, 360 degree feedback, and self-assessments can be useful as long as they are well-designed, consistent, objective, and appropriately timed.

Level Four: Results
The final level of evaluation is quantifiable results. This assesses the effect of the training on the person’s environment (their workplace, home, etc.). These are typically measurements that are in place via normal business systems, such as:
• Number of sales
• Percentage of customer complaints
• Timeliness
• Absenteeism
• Quality ratings and failures
• Third-party inspection ratings (such as food and safety)
This is an important level of evaluation as it is often what high-level executives look for when evaluating the training. They want to know numbers and figures, with proof to back the data up.
These evaluation processes should tie in with day to day business procedures and not cause a lot of extra work. It is important, however, that the trainee knows what measurements are tied to the training before the training begins. This will help them apply context to the training and achieve better results.
As a final note, be careful of outside factors that can cloud ratings. For example, let’s say that you send your salespeople on training and you expect their sales to increase by 5% per month as a result. If the economy crashes two months after the training, your results will be clouded by outside circumstances.

Types of Measurement Tools
Previously, we talked about how evaluation should take place at four different levels. In order to effectively evaluate each level, you will need a variety of tools.
Goal Setting
Individual goal setting is an excellent way to measure behavior and results. Trainees should set goals during the workshop and then evaluate their progress at predetermined intervals afterwards.
In order for goals to be effective, make sure they follow the SMART acronym:
• Specific: Success coach Jack Canfield states in his book The Success Principles that, “Vague goals produce vague results.” In order for you to achieve a goal, you must be very clear about what exactly you want. Often creating a list of benefits that the accomplishment of your goal will bring to your life, it will give your mind a compelling reason to pursue that goal.
• Measurable: It’s crucial for goal achievement that you are able to track your progress towards your goal. That’s why all goals need some form of objective measuring system so you can stay on track and become motivated when you enjoy the sweet taste of quantifiable progress.
• Achievable: Setting big goals is great, but setting unrealistic goals will just demotivate you. A good goal is one that challenges, but is not so unrealistic that you have virtually no chance of accomplishing it.
• Relevant: Before you even set goals, it’s a good idea to sit down and define your core values and your life purpose because it’s these tools which ultimately decide how and what goals you choose for your life. Goals, in and of themselves, do not provide any happiness. Goals that are in harmony with your life purpose do have the power to make you happy.
• Timed: Without setting deadlines for your goals, you have no real compelling reason or motivation to start working on them. By setting a deadline, your subconscious mind begins to work on that goal, night and day, to bring you closer to achievement.

Self-evaluations are effective at the first three levels of evaluation, and can be effective at the fourth level depending on the topic. Common types of self-evaluations include:
• Pre-workshop and post-workshop tests to assess learning
• Reactionary questionnaires
• Personal assessment quizzes
• Self-reporting metric systems
When measuring reactionary feedback, open-ended questions such as, “How did you feel about the training?” are fine. However, you should also include scale-based questions so that you can evaluate the group as a whole and evaluate the individual on an objective basis. When measuring learning, behavior, and results, questions that are objective and closed or scale-based are necessary for accurate assessment.

Peer Evaluations
Peer reviews are an excellent tool for measuring behavioral changes. However, you must ensure that the assessment system is well designed to prevent bias.
One excellent tool is 360 degree feedback. This system is designed to gather feedback from all of the people around an employee – their co-workers, subordinates, superiors, clients, etc. There are many resources available that can help you design a good 360 degree feedback system. If the topic that you are training on has high value, it can be worthwhile to take the time to develop a peer review system to accurately measure behavioral changes.

Supervisor Evaluations
Supervisor evaluations are an important part of evaluating behavior changes and assessing results. Like peer reviews, a behavioral evaluation system should be set up before the training. It should be ratings-based and include closed questions to help the supervisor stay objective. When asking supervisors to measure results, those results should tie in with the employee’s regular metrics whenever possible. This achieves two things: it ensures that the measurements are relevant to the employee’s day-to-day duties, and it minimizes the amount of extra work that the supervisor has to do. (Often, if measuring training causes more work for supervisors, they will often avoid completing the evaluation, or spend minimal time doing so.)
Two notes of caution about supervisor evaluations:
• The employee must know which metrics will be evaluated after the training.
• Like peer evaluation, supervisor evaluation can be biased. Develop your metrics accordingly.

High-Level Evaluations
Depending on the scenario, you may want to ask high-level executives in the organization to complete an evaluation. This will typically reflect behavioral changes and or measurable results. They will be particularly effective at helping you determine if your training was effective for the entire group. Make sure that these types of evaluations are necessary, focused, and short.
As well, although company executives are typically not involved in the nuts and bolts of training, they may want to see a high level evaluation report, particularly if the training was expensive, required by law, or was expected to have a high impact.
When you are planning the training, make sure to gather expectations from these key stakeholders, including timelines for results and the level of detail desired. Then, use this framework to build a results report tailored to their needs. The report will typically reflect behavioral changes and or measurable results.
Source: Measuring Results from Training workshop

River Street Consultant

The Importance of Talent Management

What Is Talent Management?
The Human Resource department typically monitors talent management. Since the late 1990s, the focus on employee management has changed. The high cost of turnover combined with poor engagement, competition for skilled labor, and succession planning has led to a greater interest in managing talent. There are four stages to talent management.
1. Assess: Determine what your company needs and the skills employees need to have.
2. Recruit: Search for and recruit the right employees for the organization
3. Develop: Train and develop employees to promote and stay long-term.
4. Coordinate: Align the goals of the employees with the goals of the company.

Types of Talent
Companies need a variety of talent. It is important to match skill sets with positions, but it is equally important to find people who have natural talent and specific personality traits to provide balance and work with the other team members. There are four basic types of talent.
1. Innovator: Innovators are good at finding innovative solutions to problems and monitoring the market trends. They keep companies from missing opportunities.
2. Visionary: Visionaries encourage change. They are always looking to the future and focus on new ideas. Visionaries drive the business forward.
3. Practical: Practical employees manage and implement different applications. They focus on seeing a task through to completion. They ensure that a job is done.
4. Relationship Expert: People who listen well and communicate ideas effectively are able to develop relationships. These employees are important to create a functional team.

Skills and Knowledge Defined
Knowledge of a subject or field is necessary in order to develop certain skills. Knowledge comes from education and skills come with experience and training. For example, someone can have knowledge of legal requirements for a particular subject but not be skilled to apply that knowledge. Skills and knowledge are both required for a job.

Skill Examples:
• Math
• Typing
• Editing
• Clerical
• Phone
• Speaking
Every position requires a different skill and knowledge set. Employees should already have a certain amount of knowledge and skills when they are hired, but skills and knowledge should be advanced with training on the job. For example, employees should have basic knowledge of the computer programs that the company uses as well as the skills to use the program. Knowledge of policies and procedures, however, must be trained.

Understanding Talent Management
Talent management takes hard work and dedication. It is not enough to recruit qualified candidates. Successful talent management retains the best employees. The goal of talent management is to have a skilled workforce and a complete succession plan without any destructive gaps that would cost the company if an employee were lost.
The steps of talent management help guide the process. The two main guidelines are Recruitment and Retention. It is important that HR has a model for these guidelines and reviews them frequently. The information that should be included in the guidelines is listed below:
Recruitment Strategies:

• Determine position and responsibilities
• Create a compelling job description
• Identify pipelines and sources to recruit (social networks, job fairs, colleges etc.)
• Review success of recruitment strategies and make changes as necessary

Retention Strategies:
• Employee training development
• Incentives
• Compensation
• Work / Life balance
• Review success of retention strategies

Importance & Benefits
Talent management is important to the success of any business. Employees who are treated as more than cogs in a machine are happier and everyone benefits. Managers, employees, and the company benefit from implementing talent management strategies.
• Identifies candidates for promotion
• Reduces turnover
• Increases productivity
• Increases profitability
• Creates career goals
• Engages employees
• Reduces stress and stress-related illness

Talent management programs face numerous challenges. This is particularly true in times of economic uncertainty. As positions expand to include many skills, there are fewer employees qualified to fill vacancies and the competition to recruit and retain skilled employees becomes fierce.
• Money to invest in employee development
• Advertising jobs and creating policies that appeals to the three different generations still in the workforce
• Support from executives
• Competition with other companies
• Few opportunities for advancement

Key Elements to Developing a Winning Strategy
There are essential elements that need to be included in every talent management strategy. These elements can be implemented in all organizations, regardless of the size or structure. These elements are also helpful in other business strategies.
Strategic Goals: Create goals that focus on talent management.
Employee Involvement: Involve employees in the talent management policy.
Communication: Communicate expectations and provide feedback.
Assessment: Assess the program and make changes where necessary.

The River Street Consultant

Source: Talent Management Workshop