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Partners in Learning
Savvy L&D groups reach out to others
across the organization to build support
for the work they do

Training 2018 Show Wrap-Up | Creating a Holistic Approach to Learning | Choosing the Right Agile Strategy
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Strategies for Success
A look at how Penn Station East Coast Subs drafts a
training program and how Windham Professionals
creates employee satisfaction.

52 Top 10 Hall of Fame

Outstanding Training Initiatives
Details of Capital BlueCross’ Consultative Training
22 with Insights and PwC’s Project Management
Foundations for Assurance adaptive e-learning.
22 Partners in Learning
Collaborating with the right internal partners within your
organization can make the difference between reaching
2 Online TOC Web-only content
4 Editor’s Note Shall We Dance?
learning goals and falling short. BY MARGERY WEINSTEIN BY LORRI FREIFELD
6 Training Today News, stats, and
26 Crafting a Holistic
Approach to Learning
Companies are finding that learners increasingly benefit
business intel BY LORRI FREIFELD
Soapbox Training and Talent Development
Regain Momentum BY EDWARD E. GORDON
from courses that are offered in many different ways, 12 Soapbox 10 Reasons Videos and Visual
partly for convenience, and more importantly, for Content Optimize Onboarding BY MATT PIERCE
knowledge retention. BY MARGERY WEINSTEIN 14 Soapbox Take the Mystery Out of Marketing
Your Learning Function BY MELISSA SMITH

30 Adapting to Adaptive Learning

Adaptive learning enables an individualized, contextual
approach that focuses on what learners need and directs
16 How-To Manage Training Projects
instructors to where they are most needed. BY GAIL DUTTON 18 World View Focus on Singapore
Choosing the Right Agile Strategy

The key element, which all Agile frameworks boast, is 20 World View Focus on Slovakia BY NEIL ORKIN
that whatever method you use supports the development 54 Best Practices Micro-Aggressions and
of multiple iterations and constant evaluations in a Phubbing in the Age of FoMO
short timeframe. BY GAIL DUTTON
56 Learning Matters Navigating Complexity:
5 Ways In-House L&D Pros Can
38 Become More Entrepreneurial
By prioritizing your internal clients’ needs, wants, and
58 Training Magazine Events The Emotional
Future of Instructional Design
demands, you can position yourself as an indispensable
in-house training professional. BY SCOTT McKINNEY 60 Trainer Talk Taking Training (and Results) to
the Next Level BY BOB PIKE

41 Training Heats Up in Hotlanta

The Training 2018 Conference & Expo ignites participants’
passion for learning and making connections.

Talent Tips Maximizing Learning at Work
Last Word Me First Doesn’t Work

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2 | MARCH/APRIL 2018 training

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editor’s note

Shall We Dance?
ne foot firmly plants. An arm outstretches. Hands clasp. Muscles bunch. A
body lifts and balances. To the audience, the movements are effortless and TRAINING EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD
flow sinuously like a river. For the performers, the movements are the result of Brent Bloom, VP, Service Central Operations &
Training, Applied Materials
thousands of hours of practice, training, and sweat.
Vicente Gonzalez, Senior Director, Global Training,
A special performance by dance troupe Pilobolus dur- MAXIMUS
ing our Training Top 125 Gala last month in Atlanta Jim Harwood, former VP, University of Farmers,
reminded me how much learning is like dancing. Both Farmers Insurance
can have elements of push/pull. Both require mental Bruce I. Jones, Senior Programming Director,
agility, commitment, and retention. And for both, the Disney Institute
Nancy J. Lewis, former CLO and VP, ITT
foundation is collaboration and trust.
Corporation, and former VP, Learning, IBM
Those themes ran through our Training 2018 Confer- Marc Ramos, Learning & Development, Google Fiber
ence & Expo and Innovations in Training events, held Ross Tartell, former Technical Training and
in February in Atlanta (see the Show Wrap-Up coverage Communication Manager - North America,
beginning on p. 41), and also are displayed in each of the GE Capital Real Estate
feature articles in this issue. Our cover story, “Partners in TRAINING TOP 10 HALL OF FAME
Learning” on p. 22 looks at how collaborating with the right internal partners Kenneth Barber, Manager, Learning and Development,
within your organization can make the difference between reaching learn- Jiffy Lube International, Inc.
ing—and corporate—goals and falling short. Eight 2018 Training Top 125ers Cyndi Bruce, Executive Director,
KPMG Business School – U.S.
reveal their secrets for successful Learning and Development partnerships.
Laura Byars, VP, Human Performance,
In “Choosing the Right Agile Strategy” on p. 34, Scott Ambler, senior con- Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan
sultant for Scott Ambler + Associates, notes, “The primary concept of Agile is Tina Claure, Senior Learning Strategist and Curriculum
collaboration and incremental, evolutionary advances.” Adaptive learning is Manager, Booz Allen Hamilton
another form of the dance, enabling an individualized, contextual approach Gordon Fuller, Global Design & Development Leader,
that focuses on what learners need while directing instructors to where they IBM Center for Advanced Learning
Daniel J. Goepp, Managing Director, Learning
are most needed. Check out p. 30 for three myths that must be overcome before
& Development, PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP
adaptive learning can be deployed effectively. Glenn Hughes, Senior Director, Learning &
In keeping with this column’s “dancing” motif, I have a few “next steps” I’d like Development, KLA-Tencor Corporation
you to consider: Steve Krupinski, SVP, Human Resources and Facilities,
1. Nominate an Emerging Training Leader: This awards program aims to recognize Capital BlueCross
training professionals who have been in the training/learning and development in- Myra Pettis, Director, Educational Service,
SCC Soft Computer
dustry between two and 10 years and who have demonstrated exceptional leadership
Robin Renschen, Director, Learning and Development,
skills, business savvy, and training instincts. To download the nomination form, McCarthy Building Companies, Inc.
visit: Zach Sumsion, Manager, Learning & Development,
2. Enter the TTVs: Submit a two-minute clip from your best training video to CHG Healthcare
our fifth annual Top Training Videos (TTVs) Awards Program. The Top 3 Train- Rae Tanner, Head, Learning & Development,
ing Videos (in two categories: produced in-house and produced by a professional University of Farmers, Farmers Insurance
Lou Tedrick, VP, Global Learning & Development,
video company for a client) selected by our panel of expert judges will be shown
at Training’s Online Learning Conference (OLC) 2018 to be held October 8-10 Stacia Thompson, Director, Keller Williams University,
in Chicago. The 6 TTV finalists will each receive a free OLC 2018 registration. Keller Williams Realty, Inc.
To submit, visit: Nicole Roy-Tobin, Managing Director - Talent
3. Participate in Training’s 34th Annual Salary Survey: See how your salary Development Strategy & Innovation, Deloitte Services LP
benchmarks against those of your peers and the industry. To take the survey, visit: 2017 TOP 5 EMERGING TRAINING LEADERS
K4H4=L-KNO-HL >Q-L=- H

As Lee Ann Womack’s song goes: “And when you get the choice to sit it out or Tina Claure, Senior Learning Strategist and Curriculum
dance…I hope you dance.” Manager, Booz Allen Hamilton
Robin Jussila, Training Manager, Music & Arts
Jennifer Schoborg, Former Senior Manager, Client
Service Quality & Learning Operations, Paycor
Aaron Searcy, Senior Consultant, Curriculum Design,
CVS Health
Samantha Wilson, Senior Manager, Training and
Lorri Freifeld Development, Dollar General Corporation
4 | M A RC H /A P R I L 2018  training
All of these unexpected design elements are from our off-the-shelf, eLearning training videos. Can you find
the one from Understanding Harassment?
You can sample all of the videos featured above at HMFRP7UDLQLQJ.
Explore even more of our content with a full-featured, full-library, free trial of our Thinkzoom LMS at
news, stats, & business intel by Lorri
by Lorri

Products & Services >> Trust AND Verify >> Tech Talk p. 8

and—here’s the part that eludes most—an

online business.
Take a cue from some of the most successful
online product businesses: Ensure your online
learning solution is not a generic rework of
your offline offering, and that your strategy,
business model, and platform are designed
specifically for your online target client.
When considering a new online initiative,
there are several key steps to consider:
1. Start with a business plan. Outline the mar-
ket, learner personas, competition, revenue

Think Like an Online Product Company and cost projections, team and operations re-
sources, e-commerce strategy, positioning, and
By Furqan Nazeeri, Partner, ExtensionEngine unique differentiators.
2. Create the organizational structure, deter-
EVERY DAY, WE SPEAK TO CORPORATIONS, nonprofits, and universities look- mine processes, and secure the resources.
ing to put their training or education online with the goal of generating 3. Articulate your “product” strategy to ensure
revenue, creating impact, or influencing target audiences. People usually the course, training solution, or certificate pro-
anchor their thinking to their existing in-person offerings and ask, “How gram is designed to be unique and specific to
do we create an online course?” what your market wants.
But that’s not the right question to ask. You are creating an online product 4. Determine your learning platform—the cen-
terpiece of your business. Don’t just
Productivity Coach’s Corner jump to a learning management
system (LMS) solution designed
By Jason W. Womack, MEd, MA | for internal online learning. Think
about a solution tailored to your
3 Kinds of Mentors You Never Thought About learners, your vision, your business
plan. Do you think Amazon uses an
How will you grow your career from where you are to where you want
off-the-shelf e-commerce platform?
to be? This month, meet with three mentors and focus on just ONE
question: “How did you get to where you are?”
Of course not. Organizations such as
The Mentor You Know: This could be a The Mentor You Won’t Know: Think of Amazon don’t believe they putting
former manager, a colleague, or someone someone from history. Great people have offline products online; they believe
you look up to in your community. Think of lived and died. Don’t let that stop you from they are online businesses.
someone who will answer your text or meet learning from them! Choose an icon in your 5. Ensure you have complete control
you for coffee. Ask them to tell you their industry, someone you look up to. Find a over the process and end product.
story, and as you listen, wonder how you can biography, a documentary, and a Website 6. Closely monitor progress and user
emulate what they did. about that person and spend three to five experiences to ensure your product is
The Mentor You Don’t Know...Yet: Who hours this month learning about him or meeting their needs.
is out there doing what you’d like to do her. Ask: How did they get from where they
Bottom line: It’s essential that you
and who has a little more than you? Follow where they ended?
revisit every aspect of your business
them on social media. Subscribe to their A year from now, you’ll be somewhere else,
e-newsletter. Watch their videos online. As
to ensure your online offerings truly
doing something different, working with new
you learn about them, discover something engage your learners. Otherwise, you
people and teams. Meet your mentors, ask your
specific you can model after starting now. are setting yourself up for disappoint-
question, and be prepared to grow!
ment before you even begin.

TO SUBMIT NEWS, research, or other Training Today tidbits, contact Editor-in-Chief Lorri Freifeld at or 516.524.3504.

6 | M A RC H /A P R I L 2 0 1 8 training

Benefits of a Global Mindset >> 5J&31FSGPSNBODF4PMVUJPOTacquired

CORPORATIONS THAT VALUE AND Some key findings include: results-based learning and organizational
actively promote intercultural sOFRESPONDENTSAT/VER- change company. Together, the team will
proficiency are more likely to achievers say their organization have a broader impact in creating people-
achieve key business goals and recognizes different cultural centric solutions that help people do their
objectives, according to a world- values and preferences in busi- best work.
wide survey of 1,362 business ness activities, as compared to >> $SFEMZ a platform for credential issuing,
professionals at multinational ONLY  OF RESPONDENTS AT tracking, and management, announced its
organizations conducted by global training Underachieving companies. integration with efforts led by $SFEFOUJBM
organization RW3 CultureWizard. s  OF /VERACHIEVING RESPONDENTS &OHJOF a nonprofit organization dedicated
Survey analysis identified two categories believe their company supports to improving transparency in the
of participant organizations: employees developing a global per- credentialing marketplace. The collaboration
t0WFSBDIJFWFSTThose that achieved or SPECTIVE ASCOMPAREDTOONLYAT will enable colleges, universities, businesses,
exceeded their business targets Underachievers. and professional and trade associations to
t6OEFSBDIJFWFSTThose that missed s OFRESPONDENTSAT/VERACHIEVING publish credentials in a common language
business targets companies agree that their employ- called Credential Transparency Description
The survey then revealed a correla- er values an employee with a global Language (CTDL).
tion between business achievement and mindset, while less than half of re-
>>#MBDLCPBSE*OD an education
companies’ commitment to a global spondents at Underachievers state the
technology company for teaching, learning,
mindset. same.
and student engagement, announced a new
collaboration with 7JUBM4PVSDF an “Inclusive
Access” provider. This new collaboration
provides students with seamless access to
Dream Job Factors course materials in an Inclusive Access
By Bruce Tulgan
model within Blackboard’s learning | Twitter @brucetulgan | management systems, Blackboard Learn
What is the No. 1 issue troubling business advance one’s career. and Moodlerooms.
leaders in nearly every industry today? It’s -PDBUJPOBOEXPSLTQBDF The ability to >> .BOEFM$PNNVOJDBUJPOTformed a
getting harder and harder to recruit, motivate, work near where one lives or prefers to live, technology partnership with 0SBJ a mobile
and retain the best talent. Our research shows plus an overall comfortable workspace. talent development solution that brings
there are eight factors people look for when 4DIFEVMJOHnFYJCJMJUZThe ability to personalized coaching to employees at all
choosing a job—or choosing to stay in a job. set one’s own schedule. Also, occasional levels. Orai combines the latest
We call them the “dream job” factors: scheduling accommodations to help employees advancements in artificial intelligence (AI)
1FSGPSNBODFCBTFEDPNQFOTBUJPOThe respond to real-life scheduling needs. with Mandel’s communication expertise and
basic threshold financial compensation and 5SBJOJOHBOEEFWFMPQNFOU Formal and content to enable users to objectively assess
benefits must be competitive. Next most informal opportunities to build new knowledge their communication skills, get actionable
important is opportunities to earn more money and skills. feedback on how to improve those skills,
based on extra-mile effort and results. 3FMBUJPOTIJQTBUXPSLThe chance to and measure results over time.
4VQQPSUJWFMFBEFSTIJQ Working with an build productive and mutually supportive
>> 4NBTI'MZ5FDIOPMPHJFT an enterprise
immediate manager/supervisor who provides working relationships with colleagues, leaders,
recruitment marketing platform provider,
regular support, guidance, and direction. managers, clients, customers, and vendors.
formed a new partnership agreement with
1BSBEPY creator of the Olivia AI Recruiting
work, per se. Also, control of something, the requirements and parameters that establish
Assistant. The alliance will focus on product
chance to get credit for the tangible results the boundaries within which employees can
integration, co-marketing activities, and a
one produces, and opportunities to grow and navigate with independence and creativity.
formal sales referral process. training M A RC H /A P R I L 2 0 1 8 | 7
>> rolled out the first of
its Grow with Google initiatives with
the launch of the IT Support
Professional Certificate exclusively on
2018 Leader Resolution #2: Trust AND Verify
By Ashley Prisant Lesko, Ph.D.
Coursera. This credential is the first of
its kind to be offered through a Being a manager means protecting your disappointed. Why not trust us with
massive open online platform. The team from certain interactions from the information—when they trusted
certificate program provides a direct above—removing red tape so they can us to run the company?
pathway to jobs—learners who get their jobs done. Each employee on As a manager, it can be hard to
complete the six courses in the your team was hired to do something trust your people. You may feel you
certificate will be able to use specific for the company. Give them can accomplish tasks faster and/or
Coursera’s platform to share their latitude to do so—and trust they under- better. Instead, you need to lead…
information with companies such as stand and support the business. and develop your team. Give them a
Bank of America, Walmart, GE As a mid-level manager at a large chance to make a mistake—it helps
Digital, PNC Bank, Infosys, company, I once found out that them learn. Don’t forget, however, to
TEKSystems, and, of course, Google. the business was being sold…from verify their information. Trust them
an online news article. The senior by communicating clearly what you
>> A new mobile app, “Be A
leaders of the company did not trust need. If they don’t get it right, make
THINKing Partner,” teaches how to
their managers enough to share the a resolution to find out why: It could
help others make better decisions by
information. As a result, the facts have been a misunderstanding on
listening and asking thoughtful, active
emerged through other sources. either side. Resolve to find out and
questions. Developed by the
My peers and I were confused and trust your team.
leadership experts at 2-Way
Communications, this tool
demonstrates how to think through
situations and talk through ideas.

>> OneSmartWorld, a Canadian 21st >> BeBop Sensors, Inc., a leader in now have access to AI-powered
century skills company, launched the smart fabric sensor technology, unveiled productivity tools, in-depth insights, and
newest online versions of the 4D-i the one-size-fits-all Forte Data Glove, data stored in the cloud all in a single
(4 Dimensions of Intelligence) and the which incorporates haptics, wireless interface.
Smarter Meetings collaboration technology, and accurate rapid sensing
>> Pinsight, a global talent
accelerator. The 4D-i is part of a tool for gaming and augmented and virtual
management software-as-a-service
kit that helps people and teams get reality.
company, released its new Leader
work done, effectively and efficiently, >> SMK-Link Electronics, owner of Readiness Platform, which allows
by mastering a common language and Gyration and a subsidiary of SMK companies to develop, evaluate, and
collaborative thinking skills, while Electronics Corporation U.S.A., launched track employees’ leadership skills every
fostering overall cohesion and a new Gyration input device: the Air day. The platform is built around virtual
engagement. Mouse Presenter. Powered by Gyration’s simulations and customized daily
>> Stanford Graduate School of motion-sensing technology, Air Mouse exercises delivered by smartphone app.
Business unveiled its new executive Presenter is both a PowerPoint remote
>> Time to Know, a provider of next-
education course: Big Data, Strategic control and an “in air” handheld mouse–
generation education technology
Decisions: Analysis to Action. Tailored enabling presentations and computer
solutions, launched T2K Echo, the
for senior-level executives, the course control from anywhere in the room, plus
company’s new blended learning
provides participants the framework, clickable access to hyperlinks and other
technology solution. T2K Echo is an
tools, and confidence to ask the right interactive elements within slides.
active learning environment featuring
questions, interpret analysis, and use >>, a chat-based productivity social engagement and human
both to transform data into strategic solution, announced the integration of its interaction for the learner while providing
decisions. The five-day course will be AI-driven automation platform with an array of actionable insights and
held August 5-10, 2018, on the Microsoft Teams and Office 365. Users analytics for the trainer.
Stanford campus. The application
period is open until June 22, 2018.

8 | M A RC H /A P R I L 2 0 1 8 training
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Training and Talent

Development Regain Momentum
Scientific knowledge and technological change are progressing at an ever-
increasing pace. Today, lifelong learning is essential for career success and
advancement. BY EDWARD E. GORDON, PH.D.

or the last 50 years, I have been actively The U.S. Chamber of Commerce estimates a
engaged in workforce development as a loss of $26,000 per vacant job in profit or pro-
provider, researcher, consultant, and au- ductivity for a business. This represents an
thor. It has been a wild ride since 1968! Now we overall $234 billion loss to the U.S. economy.
are at another major tipping point on this journey. The massive U.S. demographic shift and the
Training magazine’s 2017 Training Industry Re- increasing educational demands caused by the
port (Training, November/December 2017) showed introduction of advanced technologies across
that U.S. businesses made an unprecedented $23 every business sector will continue to energize
billion increase in worker training in the last year. more business investments in worker training. If
Total expenditures rose from $70.6 billion to $93.6 this high level of investment is not sustained, it is
Edward E. Gordon,
billion or 32.5 percent. This is by far the largest likely job vacancies may rise from today’s 9 mil-
annual increase reported since 1985. Since 2011, lion to 14 million by 2022.
Ph.D., is president
business investment in training and development
and founder of
grew by more than 50 percent. (See chart.) THE BUSINESS CYCLE
Imperial Consulting
Corporation. He EXPENDITURE CHANGE Between 1966 and 1988, training and work-
is the author of Decade ($Billions) In $B Percent place education underwent a fundamental shift.
“Future Jobs: Solving 1980s $25.6 to $45.5 +$20 +78% Computer-assisted training, which first was
the Employment introduced in “learning labs,” became the busi-
1990s $43.2 to $62.5 +$19.3 +45%
and Skills Crisis” ness response for addressing the need to reskill
(Praeger, 2018 new 20000s $54.0 to $52.8 -$1.8 -7% employees. But during the early 1980s, many or-
paperback edition) 2011-2017 $59.2 to $93.6 +$33.9 +56.7% ganizations began to recognize the limitations
and many other labor Source: Training magazine Training
of stand-alone computerized training. A human
studies on the U.S. Industry Reports 1985-2017 trainer was needed to guide, coach, and motivate
individualized learning. Management response
workforce. Visit www.
With more than 9 million vacant jobs across the to training proposals began to shift away from: for
U.S. economy, companies are beginning to radical- “What do you think this business is—a school?”
more information.
ly rethink their investments in worker training and Gradually, larger organizations began establish-
education. The first paragraph of the December 8, ing Training departments that offered in-house
instruction using training designers and profes-
sional trainers. During the 1980s, U.S. businesses
In 2018, we are returning expanded their training investments by 78 per-
to a training cycle similar cent to more than $45 billion. (See chart.)
By 1990, the workplace learning revolution
to those of the 1980s was popularized by Peter Senge’s seminal book,
“The Fifth Discipline.” American senior man-
or the early phase of the agement began to embrace investing in their
industrial revolution. human capital—corporate universities prolif-
erated and “lifelong learning” and the “learning
organization” became business buzzwords. By
2017, issue of the Kiplinger Letter stated: “Busi- the decade’s end, training expenditures had in-
nesses are turning to a new strategy: train the creased 37 percent to more than $63 billion.
workers they need themselves.” However, by the mid-1990s, a dramatic policy

10 | MARCH/APRIL 2018 training

shift gained momentum. Best-seller “Work- businesses to once again expand employee train-
place 2000” by Joseph Boyett and Henry Conn ing and development and cooperate in programs
advocated shifting the responsibility for em- that prepare people with the skills needed in to-
ployee development back to the individual day’s job market. Apprenticeships, “boot camps,”
worker. People were “empowered” to figure and “earn while you learn” programs are gaining
out what new knowledge they needed and told increasing business support.
to go out and get it. This fit in with an ac-
celerated management focus on short-term WHAT’S NEXT
financial results. Businesses sought to raise In 2018, we seem to be experiencing a return to
quarterly profits through mergers and acqui- a training cycle similar to those of the 1980s or
sitions and aggressive cost cutting, including the early phase of the industrial revolution when
expanding automation to reduce
staff and slashing training budgets.
Short-term profit enhancement re- Retraining adult workers and better
quired eliminating all non-essential
business operations. Non-core func-
preparing more of our students
tions could be outsourced, including for the job market will require an
Training departments.
As more powerful computer instruc- even greater effort than in past
tion programs appeared, management
embraced e-learning because it elim-
eras. Computerization and robotics
inated training staff and classrooms, are disrupting the job market,
and increased employee time on the
job. Another appealing feature was that especially shrinking the demand
it enabled employees to access learn-
ing whenever they wanted it. An added
for manual labor. Some type of
incentive was that e-learning software post-secondary education and
and hardware could be capitalized as an
equipment investment. Over the next training is increasingly necessary
15 years, this business training game
plan gained popularity across the U.S.
to earn a middle-class wage.
By the end of the first decade of the new
millennium, companies had cut their overall ex- agricultural workers flooded into the cities from
penditures on employee training by 7 percent. the farms or from overseas as immigrants—
However, research began to appear that a critical need to update the skills of the U.S.
questioned the effectiveness of stand-alone workforce. Retraining adult workers and bet-
e-learning. While it worked well for self-driven, ter preparing more of our students for the job
highly motivated, well-educated employees, market will require an even greater effort than
studies showed that only about 10 percent of the in past eras. Computerization and robotics are
workforce successfully completed pure e-learning disrupting the job market, especially shrink-
programs. Also, it was found to be less useful ing the demand for manual labor. Some type
for training aimed at changing human behav- of post-secondary education and training is in-
ior, such as supervisory or interpersonal skills creasingly necessary to earn a middle-class wage.
training, teambuilding, or some types of sales Brain power is superseding muscle power.
training. Psychological studies indicate that the America’s wealth is built around a knowledge-
social component of learning is extremely im- based economy. Scientific knowledge and
portant for most adult learners. Thus, blended technological change are progressing at an
learning gained momentum as it enabled train- ever-increasing pace. Innovation requires utiliz-
ees to try out their new skills and obtain coaching ing technological advances to produce new goods
from a professional trainer. Ideally, it marries and services. Lifelong learning is now essential
the best e-learning and virtual reality programs for career success and advancement. A new era
with higher-quality classroom training. of continuous learning has arrived. It will only
Beginning in 2011, the business profit loss gen- grow in importance as 21st century workplaces
erated by accelerating job vacancies has spurred continue to be transformed. Q t training MARCH/APRIL 2018 | 11


10 Reasons Videos
and Visual Content
Optimize Onboarding
Instructional videos, charts, and graphics improve memory
retention; help foster creativity; eliminate recurring questions;
and save time. BY MATT PIERCE

he first few days at a new job often are a good first impression, too.
called “orientation,” and with good rea- Videos and other visual content can be a cure
son. It’s a time when new employees learn for most of these onboarding ills. Visual content
the lay of the land, including the company’s core addresses several challenging parts of the on-
values, the systems they will use every day, and boarding experience, making the process more
where the restrooms are located. Without a good fruitful and less stressful for everyone involved.
“map,” this onboarding process can be bewil- Instructional videos, charts, and graphics im-
dering. Even worse, your company can create a prove memory retention; help foster creativity;
bad first impression. eliminate recurring questions; and save time.
Unfortunately, many companies treat But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Here are 10 rea-
onboarding as an afterthought. When an orga- sons videos and other visual content can help your
Matt Pierce is
nization comprises 100; 1,000; or even 10,000 organization optimize its onboarding process—and
Learning & Video
people—sometimes spread across several states even benefit your existing employees.
ambassador at
1. Visual content helps your employees
TechSmith Corp., a retain what they learn: Visual content is
visual communica- The first few days at a new job efficient and effective. While research sug-
tion company that
empowers people to
is a time when new employees gests that the average worker remembers
just 30 percent of what he or she read (http://
create remarkable learn the lay of the land,
content to share place-productivity/), a combination of text
knowledge and infor-
including the company’s core and images can increase information re-
mation. A graduate of values, the systems they will tention and comprehension by 50 percent.
What’s more, the human brain can process
Indiana University’s
School of Educa- use every day, and where the visuals at astonishing speeds: up to 60,000
times faster than the same information
tion’s Department of restrooms are located. Without conveyed by text (
Instructional Systems
Technology, Pierce a good “map,” this onboarding how-to-increase-workplace-productivity/).
2. Visual content helps employees learn
has more than 10 process can be bewildering. and review things on their own time:
years of experience Many new employees join the workforce
working in Learning Even worse, your company can right out of school. These younger work-
and Development
with a focus on visual
create a bad first impression. ers already know and use visual learning
tools. A growing number of high schools
instruction. He has and universities use videos and other
directly managed the or continents—important on-the-job instruction forms of interactive visual content as part of the
training, user assis-
can be hard to obtain. New employees may not core coursework. Students expect these kinds of
know the appropriate contact for certain ques- learning aids, and they appreciate that this type
tance, video, and other
tions. They simply may be too embarrassed to of content helps them absorb information quickly
teams for TechSmith.
ask other questions. After all, they want to make and efficiently at any time.

12 | MARCH/APRIL 2018 training

3. Visual content can address common questions a great way to show—rather than tell—the most
without disruption: Start developing ideas for important aspects of your culture. Celebrate your
videos, infographics, and other visual content by values by showing them in action.
considering the question, “When I started, what 8. Visual content is a collaborative and creative
do I wish someone had told me?” The first weeks effort: Once employees have a chance to review vi-
on the job aren’t just stressful for new employees. sual materials, ask them for feedback about the
Long-time staffers often get inundated by ques- experience. You’ll gain insight on whether the
tions on how to use tools or who to contact for messages were clear, whether they have further
certain things. Ask your “go-to” people about questions about the subject matter, and whether
the questions they field regularly from new em-
ployees. These will make great topics for your
first visual explainers—and your staff will be Videos and other visual content can
thankful for the effort.
4. Visual content lets you get creative with tutori- be a cure for most onboarding ills.
als: Don’t be afraid to have fun or get experimental
with your visual content. At TechSmith, we have
Visual content addresses several
an espresso machine that’s a bit complicated to use. challenging parts of the onboarding
So we made a video about how to use the machine.
We also put a little QR code on the espresso ma- experience, making the process
chine, so people could walk up to it, scan the QR
code, and then watch a video about how to use it.
more fruitful and less stressful for
It’s a fun little idea that could have helpful applica- everyone involved. In fact, the human
tions around the workplace. Contextual videos can
explain how to reorder supplies, replace the print- brain can process visuals up to
er toner, add participants to a conference call, you
name it.
60,000 times faster than the same
5. Videos convey much more than just information conveyed by text alone.
information: Video captures a whole lot more than
the words being said. It even captures more than
the sound, the expressions, and the emotions of the any production issues detracted from the content.
person delivering your message. Video also conveys 9. Videos are easy to create with today’s
your company’s spirit and culture. Do the people technology: These days, almost everyone has a
on camera look happy to be there, and are they ex- capable high-definition video camera in their
cited to be delivering your company’s message? It’s pocket. A smartphone is all you need to get start-
important for new employees to see enthusiasm, ed, and a low barrier to entry translates to a world
especially during their first week. of opportunity. Don’t worry about shooting an
6. Videos are effective for distributed teams: If Oscar-worthy video on your first try. Just be cre-
a CEO wants to deliver important messages and ative and be open to improvements. The ease and
define corporate values to new hires, time of ac- low cost of smartphone videos offer another key
cess can be a challenge. An introductory video benefit: Updating your videos with new content is
from the leadership team can help make that easy and inexpensive.
personal connection while accommodating busy 10. The more videos you make, the better they’ll
schedules. Plus, introductory and tutorial videos get: Even with a smartphone, you can shoot
are readily accessible across time zones and re- professional-looking videos. This may not happen
mote workforces. The easy distribution of online right away, but it’s important to keep trying. As
video can be a tremendous benefit for many or- you gain experience, you can improve your videos
ganizations, large and small. with simple framing adjustments, lighting tech-
7. Video can show your organization in a natural way: niques, and steadying your camera with a rig or
For global organizations or companies with an ar- tripod. Once you master the fundamentals with
ray of regional offices, videos are a way to show a smartphone, you’ll be more comfortable using
employees in their everyday work environments. a higher-end camera, a three-point lighting kit,
Whether these videos are shot in the C-suite, the and an external microphone. Those aren’t nec-
field, or thousands of miles away, new employees essarily the first things you should invest in, but
gain a greater sense of context and an opportu- experimenting with a smartphone can help get
nity to see your organization at work. It can be you there. Qt training MARCH/APRIL 2018 | 13


Take the Mystery Out

of Marketing Your
Learning Function
You already have all it takes to be a great marketer of training. You just need
to fine-tune your focus on knowing your audience and building relationships
throughout your organization. BY MELISSA SMITH AND MARIA CHILCOTE

arketing is one of those business skills that a single manager’s request, we jump into action.
appear to have eluded many of us in the We begin an assessment to determine whether or
Learning and Development (L&D) field. not the non-performance is a training issue. We
It’s one more thing to do. It’s a bit mystical. And use tools such as performance analysis, target
besides, who has the time? population analysis, goal analysis, task analy-
The reality is we already possess all of the skills sis, etc., to help separate the training needs from
necessary to be good marketers! We just need to the organizational or environmental issues that
Melissa Smith and fine-tune our focus a bit because at the heart of are preventing desired performance. We partner
Maria Chilcote, marketing are two basic strategies: with management throughout this process not
managing partners of 1. Know your target audience only to learn from them but also to educate them
The Training Clinic, 2. Build relationships throughout the about the root causes and possible solutions for
have combined
organization non-performance. In other words, we help them
That’s it! move beyond “training” as the only answer when
60-plus years of expe-
Well, there is a bit more. Let’s take a look at what addressing performance needs.
rience in the Learning
we inherently do as L&D professionals and how we Tweaks we can make…
and Development field. can easily tweak this to up our marketing game. Compared to what we currently do, taking a
Their core business of marketing approach to know our target
training trainers and audience is a more proactive one.
managers in all When marketing the L&D Although there are people in the orga-
aspects of the L&D nization who approach us (or come to
ecosystem has function, when making sure us when their pants are on fire) to “fix”
provided them with a the organization knows who performance problems, there are many
others in the organization who don’t
first-hand look at the
impacts and chal- we are and what we can do know what we can do for them. In fact,
we probably never cross their mind when
lenges of meeting for them, we need champions performance problems arise.
the varied training
and performance of training! To reach these folks, we need to dig a bit
deeper. We need to make sure they know
needs throughout the who we are before they know they need
organization. They are Remember, the objective is to have our marketing us. Their situation is a frustrating one. They have
passionate about maxi- efforts be seamless with what we do every day. As a performance problem but don’t know what to do,
mizing performance you’ll see, we really are accidental marketers! so they try and solve it on their own. And the out-
through collaboration, come is sometimes not a pretty one!
sharing, and growing KNOW YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE So we need to discover the goals and aspirations
across the industry What we currently do… of these folks, as well as their headaches and pain
as illustrated by their As instructional designers and facilitators, we points. For example, an IT department may seek
motto, “We are all on constantly are assessing our audience and deter- to decrease the number of calls to the help desk
this journey together!”
mining their training needs. Whether the request and the amount of times they retrain on systems
for training is initiated by upper management or or processes. Their headaches and pain points

14 | MARCH/APRIL 2018 training

might include an uptick in the number of calls example, helping the finance department im-
and staff complaints about how boring and in- plement a new onboarding program resulted in
effective the training delivered by their subject new hires getting up to speed and contributing
matter experts (SMEs) is. to productivity 50 percent faster than before.
Once you know their goals/aspirations and 2. Stay in touch with the business. Go to lunch
headaches/pain points, you can partner with them or grab a walking break with a manager from a
to help determine the best approach to reach the different department every week. Find out what’s
desired performance. Again, this is a more proac- going on and how you can help. How is business?
tive approach versus waiting for them to come to
you. It takes planning and strategizing on your
part, as well as inserting yourself into their world Take the opportunity to
to create these opportunities.
showcase the achievements
BUILD RELATIONSHIPS you’ve had with other
What we currently do… departments with similar
Through the very nature of what we do, we con-
stantly are building relationships throughout the
challenges. For example,
organization. We work alongside management helping the finance department
when assessing, developing, and delivering train-
ing and performance interventions. We provide implement a new onboarding
SMEs with facilitation skills so they can train
more effectively. We solicit C-suite executives to
program resulted in new
help to kick off performance improvement initia- hires getting up to speed and
tives. We coach supervisors so they can reinforce
training back on the job. contributing to productivity
Tweaks we can make…
All of the above is necessary for the effective im-
50 percent faster than before.
plementation of training and other performance
improvement initiatives. We need sponsors, men- What is getting in the way? How long has this been
tors, and supporters of interventions to implement going on? What do they think is the cause? Then,
them effectively. However, when marketing the to really contribute and create multiple champi-
L&D function, when making sure the organiza- ons, pull back and start looking for organizational
tion knows who we are and what we can do for behavioral trends.
them, we need champions of training! Champions 3. Be the guide on the side. If you see an ex-
of training will go out of their way to advocate our ecutive struggling with meeting facilitation
L&D efforts and market on our behalf throughout or presentation skills or even a “PowerPoint of
the organization because they have experienced Doom,” offer to help but do so discretely. You
the value firsthand. don’t need to take center stage. Once they expe-
How do we create these champions? Essentially, rience the results of your coaching, you can rest
we have to assertively insert ourselves into their assured you have a champion for life.
world and showcase our stuff. Here are some ideas 4. Create recognition programs for those managers
we (and others) have used with great success: who are “doing it right” when it comes to support-
1. Attend managers’ meetings. Someone from ing the development of their people. Publish names
your L&D department should be represented (with pictures) in your virtual and print media,
at managers’ meetings. Not invited? Ask, beg, have C-suite execs issue certificates of recognition,
or just show up. We’re serious. Remember, we or hold a pop-up recognition party to celebrate.
said, “Assertively insert.” Once they see the val- See? You already have all it takes to be a great
ue you can add to their process, they’ll ask you marketer of training. With just a few tweaks to
back. While there, ask performance-based ques- what you already are doing, you’ll be amazing. By
tions and see how you can help them reach their reaching out and getting to know your various au-
business objectives. Also, take the opportunity diences and cultivating and growing champions
to showcase the achievements you’ve had with of training, you are well on your way to having
other departments with similar challenges. For your own internal marketing “social media.” Q t training MARCH/APRIL 2018 | 15


Manage Training Projects

Project management is a critical skill for the training profession.
It enables us to create the solutions so critical to the success of
the organizations we support. BY ROSS TARTELL, PH.D.

n 2015, Training magazine published an article resources, logistics, and project plan
about the importance of project management as s 7ELL DElNEDOUTCOMESWITHSUPPORTAND
part of a trainer’s responsibilities. In that article, buy-in from key project stakeholders
Wolters Kluwer Global Vice President of Talent s !PPROVALTOPROCEED
Development Katie McSporran noted, “Wheth-
er the initial request is for a needs assessment, INITIATE
training/talent strategy, training program/curri- Now you’ll need to create the implementation team,
cula, implementation support, and/or performance with guidance from the sponsor. Great teams have
consulting, project management is a fundamental the necessary technical competence, or access to the
competency for scoping and planning the work, specialized knowledge, to move the project ahead. In
Ross Tartell, Ph.D., gaining alignment on approach and commitments, addition, team members need organizational per-
is currently adjunct and managing expectations” (https://trainingmag. mission to dedicate the required time, and must have
associate professor com/trgmag-article/accidental-training-manager). the motivation and teamwork skills to work together.
of Psychology and Things haven’t changed since 2015. Great ex- The second step is team chartering and launch.
Education at Colum- ecution saves time and money—and increases The project team needs to understand and com-
bia University. Dr. performance. Here’s how it’s done: mit to the project goals, team roles, and the rules
The typical training project has four steps con- governing how to work together. Common tools
Tartell also consults
nected by feedback loops that help you recalibrate used in this phase are the GRPI Model (Goals,
in the areas of learn-
any of the previous steps: Roles, Processes, and Interpersonal Relationships)
ing and development,
to help diagnose issues affecting team performance,
talent planning, and and the RACI Chart (Responsibility, Authority,
organization develop- Consulted, Informed) to clarify roles and decision-
ment. He received his making responsibilities. (Visit
M.B.A. in Manage- for my How-To articles on these topics.)
ment and his Ph.D. PLAN This stage also includes any needed revision of the
in Social Psychology Good up-front planning ensures that the project project plan, based on feedback gathered during
from Columbia Uni- is focused on a realistic solution and defines the team creation and project launch.
versity. He formerly boundaries of the effort, minimizing the “scope
served as Technical creep” that is a common pitfall. The planning phase IMPLEMENT
must answer the following questions: There are three keys to success in this stage. First, an
Training and
s What is the project rationale? What prob- operating rhythm helps the team know when they
lem or opportunity will the effort resolve will meet, how to conduct meetings, and what they
Manager – North
or achieve? What are the project goals/ will do to execute the plan. Second, contingency
America at GE deliverables? Are the deliverables to provide planning keeps critical milestones under control
Capital Real Estate. information, give a recommendation, or when inevitable problems arise. Third, stakeholder
implement a solution? analysis enables the Training professional to focus
s Who is the client/sponsor? Who gives ap- communications and manage politics.
proval and what is the approval process? Who
are the stakeholders affected by this project? WRAP-UP AND EVALUATE
s When does the project need to be finished? Conduct a project briefing with the project spon-
What is the sequence of project steps and mile- sor and client to review the project purpose,
stones that create the project plan and calendar? outcomes, follow-on actions, and lessons learned.
s What resources, such as people, budget, and Also reallocate remaining resources and inform
other assets (e.g., meeting space, technology, key stakeholders of the final project status.
outside expertise), are needed to ensure success? Project management is a critical skill for the train-
Planning stage outcomes are: ing profession. It enables us to create the solutions key
s )DENTIlCATIONANDAGREEMENTONTHE to the success of the organizations we support. Q tt

16 | MARCH/APRIL 2018 training

fall event is
back in Chicago!

October 8 (pm) – 10
McCormick Place West
Chicago, IL

Co-Located Events:


“I was really grateful to have “The speakers are there solely “This was my first time
such an exciting experience to impart their knowledge attending Training’s
meeting my peers in other and experience, not to give conference and I was
organizations as well as you an infomercial about impressed with all the
experts in the field. The their company or product. presenters. It’s such a great
connections I made have I was able to immediately conference, not just for the
already made an impact to use the skills and practices tips and industry updates, but
the work I do and the learning that were discussed and for conceptual background on
professional I am.” demonstrated. It was a great how to teach information to
Kristie Mubarak, Senior Training individualized adult learning learners and have them retain
Analyst, Whirlpool Corporation experience.” what they’ve learned.”
Anthony DiMartini, Sr. Training Ashley Berry, Paralegal Specialist,
Specialist, MKS Instruments Nationwide Insurance Company
world view

Focus on Singapore
Western trainers will find Singapore welcoming to outside professionals,
but local customs and social structures should be respected for training
to be effective. BY LILY KELLY-RADFORD, PH.D.

ingapore is a choice assignment for government-owned organizations is significantly
Western Learning professionals for sev- different than in the U.S. Government work often
eral reasons. The democratic city-state has higher status and salaries than commercial
enjoys mild equatorial weather, and the enterprises. Singapore’s airline is government
business climate is welcoming to Western profes- owned, and there are many hybrid, semi-national
sionals and academics. The cultural experience enterprises. But entrepreneurial principles also are
on the ground is rich and varied with a global valued, even in state-led organizations.
outlook. English is the common language of com-
merce. It’s an easy place to feel safe as a foreigner. CULTURAL CONSIDERATIONS
Singapore’s leadership is committed to making Cultural diversity is evident throughout
Lily Kelly-Radford, the city a center of the Asia-Pacific region, recruit- Singapore, but the Chinese family structure
Ph.D., is a psychologist, ing talent from within the region to work in one of prevails in many ways. Students often live in multi-
executive coach, and the most affluent economies in the world. generational and physically smaller homes. Prop-
leadership development Learning, with an eye on meritocracy in the erty in the crowded city is expensive. Commutes
consultant. She is a workplace, is highly valued. As the nation’s econ- in heavy traffic to less expensive housing can affect
partner in Executive
omy currently is slowing down, organizations and promptness and cause training start time delays.
personnel are eager to stay competitive. Singapore When Skyping from New York at 9 a.m., it’s good
Development Group.
may not lead in innovation, but it does set the pace to be mindful that it is 9 p.m. for a Singapore pro-
in terms of business processes and attracting talent fessional who possibly is calling in from a house or
to stay at the top of its game in tourism, refining, apartment with elder relatives and young children
retail, and technology. who may be sleeping. While Asians often speak in
That said, there are inconsistencies in the softer tones than their Western colleagues, don’t
workplace—e.g., leadership is still male dominated— confuse a working father’s quiet presence as “not
that affect training and development. Westerners speaking up.” He’s probably just mindful of his
who have become used to flat corporate structures kids’ bedtime.
will notice elements of hierarchy that keep the C-suite Multi-generational living has advantages as child-
aloof from the rank-and-file. “Skip interviews” in care usually is managed with the help of older
which employees meet with their boss’ bosses, now family members. This can be a big advantage for
women professionals in Asia.

Singapore may not lead in innovation, CUSTOMS THAT COUNT

but it does set the pace in terms of Sharing—housing, domestic duties, food,
etc.—is a dynamic unique from the West
business processes and attracting talent that affects the routines of the office and is
highly observable in the custom of eating
to stay at the top of its game in tourism, groups, which are strong social “real-
refining, retail, and technology. ity testing” groups that provide belonging
and social support.
As a foreigner, you may be brown bag-
common in the U.S., are not practiced here. ging at your desk—if not enjoying a solo spree on
Singapore professionals value Western trade, but any street of amazing restaurants—but you prob-
don’t expect any special deference to your aca- ably won’t be invited to a group. Eating groups are
demic credentials just because they’re American from three to seven colleagues who go out every
or European. There is a sense of pride and a pref- day over the years and provide both support for
erence for the region’s own universities. one another and also a break from the office. You
The blend of private, publicly traded, and must be invited to a group based on common

18 | MARCH/APRIL 2018 training

connections such as your university or job function. arrival and departure times for personal/
The eating group is a source of informal informa- domestic realities, commutes, and multi-genera-
tion exchange that keeps participants in the know. It’s tional living arrangements.
an important feature of networking, and people look tBring “your A game.” Your classes will be highly
forward to it. It’s an egalitarian custom with no group educated and motivated. You will be valued for
leader, just a consensus of texts about
where to go. Everyone in a group has
the same status or pay grade. If you
advance to management, you’re ex-
The blend of private, publicly traded,
pected to leave the group and lunch and government-owned organizations
with your new peers.
It’s a custom that provides a lot of is significantly different than in the U.S.
positive reinforcement and social
validation, but the downside is the
Government work often has higher status
lack of diversity and the potential for and salaries than commercial enterprises.
cliques to form.
For a trainer, it’s unpopular to orga-
nize working lunches, but there’s an opportunity to good performance more than your credentials.
challenge a class to collaborate outside their eating sDon’t be complacent. Singapore is so Western in
group cohorts in various learning exercises. many ways that you might be lulled into doing
things like you do at the home office. Effective
SUGGESTIONS FOR SUCCESS trainers need to push themselves out of their
sDon’t just adjust your time zone; adjust your timing. comfort zones to engage with the diverse and
Remember that you will need to accommodate prevalent cultures.

Training magazine’s 42nd Annual Event

Certificates: February 22 –24
Conference: February 25 –27
Expo: February 25 – 26

Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort

Walt Disney World® Resort, FL

An event designed for learning professionals & executives

Photos ©Disney

Registration opens in July. Visit for more information. training MARCH/APRIL 2018 | 19

world view

Focus on Slovakia
Training programs that run from two days to a week are popular in
Slovakia. The most requested topics are: technical training, sales and
marketing, and customer service. BY DR. NEIL ORKIN

lovakia, with a population of more TRAINING TIPS

S than 5.4 million, is a central European

country that borders Poland, Ukraine,
Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Aus-
tria. This country was created 25 years ago when
Czechoslovakia separated into two: the Czech
s In Slovakia, trainers are expected to lecture. If you
do not begin your training by doing this, your
participants may lose respect for you. Your train-
ing participants will defer to you, and treat you,
their trainer, as an expert they can learn from.
Republic and Slovakia. Like its neighbor, the tAge and job title are respected. Do not call a
Czech Republic, Slovakia has been able to make trainee by his or her first name unless asked.
the transition from a communist system to a t“Small talk” should be minimized when inter-
capitalist one in record time. A great benefit for acting with your trainees. Do not talk about
Dr. Neil Orkin is organizations that want to do business in Slova- religion, politics, or family life if you want to
president of Global kia is that it is part of the European Union, a free connect with your trainees.
Training Systems. His trade, duty-free market consisting of more than tSilence is valued in this culture. Your partici-
organization prepares 500 million consumers. pants want to hear what you have to say, and
corporate professionals Slovakia has a diversified economy. Currently, learn from you. They will not challenge you.
for global business organizations here manufacture and export cars, They may be quiet if they disagree with your
heavy machinery, metals, food products, phar- point of view. It often is felt that challenging
success. For more
maceuticals, textiles, chemicals, and electrical the trainer is disrespectful, and harmful to the
information, visit www.
products in large numbers. It historically has training environment. Do not take classroom
been known and lauded for a strong agricultural silence as a sign your training is not going well.
com. sector. It has a modern telecommunications sys- tEnglish is not spoken widely in Slovakia. It is
tem. The Slovakian government has welcomed likely you will need to translate your training
foreign involvement through legal reforms and materials into Slovak. Hiring a trainer who
policies that encourage direct investment. is fluent in this language, and then training
In spite of the many economic challenges him or her on the outcomes expected will be
Europe has faced in recent years, Slovakia has ex- critical to successful knowledge transfer and
perienced some of the most consistent economic learning. Concurrently, a key training project
growth of all the countries that belong to the Eu- will involve training select management and
ropean Union. It has benefited from the diversity staff in “Workplace English.” Many global
of it economy and the skills of its people. Slova- organizations have had great success by pro-
kia has a literacy rate of 99 percent. Education viding “English Language Coaching” to a core
is free, even at the college and university level. group of professionals in their company. After
this initial rollout, interested professionals are
THE STATE OF TRAINING offered small group training in “Workplace
Most of the companies in Slovakia are located in English.” This language training is highly de-
the capital city of Bratislava, which has a popu- sired in Slovakia. Your company will quickly
lation of approximately 440,000. Much of the be able to generate significant returns on its
country’s corporate training is conducted on- training dollar. In addition, it will position
site in a dedicated training room at the office or your company as the “place to work.” This
in a manufacturing facility. training program will attract top professionals
Similar to the training conducted by its from throughout the country, and serve as a
neighbors, especially the Czech Republic, most valuable recruitment and retention tool.
training programs in Slovakia are short and tSlovakia has a group-oriented culture. Training
focused. Programs that run from two days to participants do not want to be singled out. They
a week are popular. The most requested topics may fear making an error in front of their peers.
are: technical training, sales and marketing, and When praising or providing constructive feed-
customer service. back, always include the group. Q t

20 | MARCH/APRIL 2018 training

in Learning
Collaborating with the right internal partners
within your organization can make the difference
between reaching learning goals and falling short.

hen your company tasks its leaders to reach a corpo-
rate goal, such as moving products to market faster or
reaching out more effectively to Millennial consumers,
what is the Learning team’s role? Your goals are nearly
always tied to that of the company’s other departments, with everyone
working to serve the company-wide initiative. It only makes sense to look
for internal partners to build support for the programs you create. Savvy
Learning groups have a process in place to ensure they reach out to others
across the company to build support for the work they do.

Stakeholder Support
At Training Top 125er Choice Hotels, after initiatives are identified, the Learning
team gathers specific feedback from those who will be the target audience for the
learning opportunities, explains Director of Learning & Development Karyn Ed-
wards. As an example, she points to when the company’s Leadership Foundations

22 | MARCH/APRIL 2018 training

Program, designed for new managers, along with two addi- ment, Edwards points to the company’s Ascending Leaders
tional learning tracks, was launched in 2017. “To develop the Program (ALP), which is supported by direct participation
curriculum, focus groups were held with managers to deter- of senior leaders and executives. A list of high-potential
mine which needs they felt were most important to cover,” directors/senior directors is presented to the executive team
she says. “Talent review data also was analyzed to determine with the request to identify 16 participants to go through
what themes existed in the competencies that needed to be the program. “Our executives take an active role, by teach-
developed. The courses and descriptions were shared with ing select portions of our Ascending Leadership Program;
the stakeholders to ensure we were meeting the desired areas they participate on panels, and actively participate in the
of development.” associated projects that are a core part of the program,”
Key stakeholders include the company’s executive team. she says.
For instance, Choice leaders are engaged in the review and Sometimes the best way to get executive support is to make
approval of participants in the Emerging Leaders Program them sponsors of the programs. Training Top 125er Colora-
(ELP), where high-potential employees are nominated by do Springs Utilities does just that. “As part of our corporate
their leader or peers to participate. Once the initial vetting university model, we use sponsors and executive sponsors for
is complete, Choice’s Human Resources executive team our key programs,” says Workforce Development Manager
reviews the nominees. Renee Adams. An example of this is the company’s Leader
Noting an example of executive stakeholder involve- Connections five-track leader development program. “One training MARCH/APRIL 2018 | 23

Partners in Learning
of our company’s officers and two general managers serve says Tara Wiedeman, senior director, Education and Orga-
as executive sponsors. One of the executive sponsors always nizational Development, who notes that the Learning team
kicks off the opening cohort for each program track,” Adams also works with the organization’s Communication depart-
explains. “Executive sponsors assist with marketing the pro- ment to help develop the communication plan around the
grams, provide the keynote speech at the annual leadership new learning initiative. “We also may work with other de-
program graduation celebration, and promote the success of partments based on the needs of the project/initiative, from
program participants.” the biggest to the smallest details,” she says. “The continu-
At Training Top 125er Carilion Clinic, there is always an um can range from working with our senior executive team
effort to involve all those affected by the training that is to working with our materials management team to help
created. “We often are working with departments that are determine the logistics related to initiatives, such as supply,
affected by the initiative, as well as those who may partici- form name, and number.”
pate in workflows or new processes as part of the initiative,”
Formalize the Process
Some companies find that gaining internal
Interactive Video Breaks Down Silos at PG&E support is easier if there is a set process in
By Kevin M. Reyes, Expert Instructional Designer, and Dave Curtis, Manager, place. Training Top 125er BB&T University
Leadership and Employee Development, PG&E has developed a request process that lever-
To keep pace with the transformational change happening in industries like ours, ages SharePoint and an InfoPath form. “Any
employees need always-on access to information that accelerates their skills and associate can submit a request, but we part-
expertise. At Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), we’ve found that new ner with members of senior leadership to
video technology is helping teams develop critical business knowledge, con- prioritize the request in order to align with
necting disparate business units, and even deepening employees’ connection to strategic objectives,” says Learning Archi-
our company’s mission. tecture Manager Debi Wayne. “In all cases,
As one of the largest combined natural gas and electric energy companies requests are analyzed (root cause and gap)
in the U.S., we have more than 20,000 employees working together to deliver and prioritized.”
some of the nation’s cleanest energy to nearly 16 million people in Northern A methodical process is used when a pro-
and Central California. And because we’re part of the nation’s critical infra- gram is launched and created. For instance, a
structure, safety is paramount, so we set a high bar for knowledge on core major strategic initiative for the company re-
topics across every job function, from power line worker to finance executive. lated to a new commercial lending platform,
Passive training videos or animated slides isn’t enough. called AFSVision, recently was introduced.
In late 2017, our PG&E Learning and Development team debuted the 2.0 This was a multi-year project, and BB&T
version of Knowledge Connect, an online learning ecosystem hosting more than University was involved since inception.
65 e-learning videos and other performance support tools. With 80 percent of This included the following functions:
the content video based, the portal provides six learning channels categorized s $EVELOPING A HIGH LEVEL TRAINING PLAN TO
by company competencies and key business drivers, and curated in alignment include expenditure
with our company’s mission, vision, and culture. s 0RESENTING THE PLAN TO PROJECT STAKE-
By using an interactive video platform (HapYak,, which holders, including members of senior
adds HTML overlays to online video, PG&E Knowledge Connect was able to leadership and executive management
make video content address the expectations, competency, and accountability s 3ERVING ON THE CHANGE MANAGEMENT COM-
of all employees, whether individual contributor or director level. Such shared, mittee and assisting with the awareness
yet personally relevant, content further breaks down traditional silos where campaign communication plan
information trickles down.
Interactivity made it possible for our academy team to quantify knowledge, Leverage Expertise of Others
capture feedback, and tailor the dialogue at all levels. By adding quizzes at the Training Top 125er CarMax relies heavily on
end of e-learning courses, we obtained Level 1 data on whether learners gained the expertise and experiences of its associ-
knowledge, if they liked the content, and if they would recommend it to others. ates to develop technical, competency, and
We insert surveys into videos asking what additional topics employees would leadership training. Chief Human Resources
like to see on Knowledge Connect. Officer Diane Cafritz shares, “At CarMax,
Interactivity also enabled branching, or “choose your own adventure” features we believe our associates are our best asset
—where a viewer selects from among several content options—and hot spots, and differentiator for the company. When it
where the video links to outside content for those who want additional comes to training, we leverage our associates
drill-down. for ideas and execution of new programs.”
Across disparate business units and job roles, employees preferred the inter- CarMax Learning teams regularly seek
activity compared to passive video, and our team valued how using interactivity out top-performing associates in the field
enabled viewers to guide their own depth of learning. to discover the exact behaviors that have
led to their exceptional performance. Once

24 | MARCH/APRIL 2018 training

identified, CarMax crafts programming around these behav-
iors so other associates can benefit from their peers’ success. QUICK TIPS
CarMax even asks associates to write content, or be featured t)BWFTUBLFIPMEFSTTIBSFHPBMT DPODFSOT BOEUIFJSPXO
in training videos or articles, to share their keys to success. JEFBTGPSIPXUIFQSPHSBNTZPVSUFBNDSFBUFTDPVMECF
According to Cafritz, “not only does this process result in ef- SPMMFEPVU
fective training, it also empowers our associates and provides t'PSNBMJ[FUIFQSPDFTTPGDSFBUJOHMFBSOJOH TPZPVSUFBN
Cafritz also remarks on how the Talent Management group FYFDVUJWFHSPVQXIFOFWFSQSPHSBNNJOHJTCFJOHQMBOOFE 
works closely with business leaders and the HR strategy team BMPOHXJUIXIBUFBDITUFQPGUIFQSPDFTTTIPVMECF
to measure the effectiveness of its programs. “Prior to any t-FWFSBHFFYQFSUJTFPVUTJEFPG-FBSOJOHCZVTJOHTVCKFDU
new pilot, we work with the business to select the right way NBUUFSFYQFSUT BOEIBWJOHNBOBHFSTBOEFYFDVUJWFTIFMQ
to test and measure any new program or training. This al- EFUFSNJOFUIFQSPHSBNDPOUFOU
lows the Talent Management team a way to monitor the t6TFTUFFSJOHDPNNJUUFFTUIBUNBLFJUFBTZUPJOWPMWFUIF
work and adjust based on the data and feedback before roll- QFPQMFZPVBSFSPMMJOHPVUUIFUSBJOJOHUP8IFOEFQBSUNFOUT
ates from outside the Learning team become a key part of UIFDIBODFTGPSTVDDFTT
most of the programs that are created. “We are fortunate
that Buckman associates are highly involved in their per-
sonal learning,” says Learning Effectiveness Analyst Lauren “The conversations not only brought up training needs,
Warren. Buckman does not have full-time trainers; instead, but also surfaced process improvement needs (which then
its subject matter experts (SMEs) double as trainers and were submitted to a group that handles those) and man-
treat this as a complementary addition to their full-time agement gaps,” says Small. “The conversations helped
roles. “The benefit of this is managers and leadership are in- to educate the Learning group on actual training needs
timately familiar with the current state of training, as well that then could be prioritized and planned for, as well as
as a desired future state per market trends,” says Warren. educated the business group on the difference between a
For example, a sales manager in Europe noticed there was a training need and something their management group had
need for up-skilling novice associates more than the current to address.”
global training provided. This manager then worked with The use of the steering committee proved so effective that
Buckman’s Human Resources team to identify a program it set the stage for an ongoing dialogue. “The relationship
that filled this gap. “When our team received the business with the group has strengthened, to the point where we don’t
case and budget, we set a schedule to review and potentially need to have the formal steering committee anymore,” Small
replicate the process globally if performance metrics indi- notes. “Instead, we’ve included Learning representatives in
cated improvements in our new hires,” she says. existing key meetings where these conversations occur as
part of everyday business.”
Use a Steering Committee to Get on Track Another organization that found it useful to create a
Training Top 125er Cartus recently used a steering commit- committee to help keep learning on track is Training Top
tee to generate support from, and serve, learners. The steering 125er BayCare, a hospital system in Tampa Bay, FL. In
committee comprised a group of employees who speak di- 2016, the Learning team created the Talent Advisory Coun-
rectly with customers of the Learning team. “We found that cil (TAC), says Instructional Technologist, Organizational
although we were delivering training for their new hires, we Development & Learning Nancy Sawayda. This council is a
weren’t in communication with management after that,” says cross-section of all levels and roles within the leadership of
Vice President of Global Learning and Development Patricia the system, with approximately 30 representatives from both
Small. “The result was that management would approach corporate and clinical environments. The charter of this
Learning with an ‘emergency’ training need they felt was group is to provide insight and oversight into any large-scale
mandatory for all of their employees. Because of the percep- talent management initiative. It weighs in on the modality of
tion of criticality, we didn’t have time to properly vet the need, the training, helps prioritize and/or identify the target audi-
and had to design and deliver based on their request.” ence, and helps determine how success will be measured and
To avoid last-minute “emergency” requests, and make sure communicated.
the best learning was always delivered, Cartus organized a “Many members of this council are also active in the roll-out
committee that included various levels of the department and facilitation of the trainings, and are instrumental in our
the training was being developed for. Meeting monthly, the marketing and socialization of these efforts,” Sawayda says.
committee’s goal was to discuss: “This council is co-chaired by the director of Organizational
1. What business goals they were trying to accomplish Development & Learning and the director of Talent Acquisi-
2. What gaps they perceived in their ability to achieve tion. Each member is asked to serve a one-year term, at which
their goals point they can re-up for the next year if they choose.” Q
t training MARCH/APRIL 2018 | 25

Crafting a
Companies are finding that learners increasingly
benefit from courses that are offered in many different
ways, partly for convenience, and more importantly,
for knowledge retention. BY MARGERY WEINSTEIN

rganizations today are struggling benefit from courses that are offered in many
to figure out how to create a well- different ways, partly for convenience, and more
rounded, all-inclusive approach importantly, for knowledge retention. Presenting
the content in more than one form gives learners
to learning that appeals to multiple gener-
more of an opportunity to assimilate the content.
ations of learners and makes the learning
stick. An ideal holistic approach to learn- Offline, Online, and Beyond
ing might include: Some companies find that courses that start by
s Innovative learning through a blend of tra- being delivered in a traditional, live format can
ditional classroom, virtual classroom, and be augmented by additional online content and
Web-based (on-demand) modalities, as well technological support. Training Top 125er Bank-
as performance support through multimedia, ers Life and Casualty has found it useful to do
mobile-accessible digital assets. just that, says Director of Learning Management
s Everyday learning through job experiences, Mike Catania, who points out that the compa-
feedback and coaching, and peer-to-peer social ny’s mostly field-based workforce benefits from
collaboration, as well as by training engagement a multifaceted approach. He points to the com-
managers and performance managers on effec- pany’s Life Certification Program (LCP) as an
tive coaching and feedback. example. “This was a live classroom-based train-
s Independent learning, where Learning and Devel- ing program we transitioned into a virtual format
opment (L&D) encourages professionals to take with some live post-session field support. This
responsibility for their ongoing development. program is 11 sessions, spanning 11 weeks, with a
Many companies today offer both recorded new topic of focus each week,” he says.
and live e-learning, and many of those same Focus group respondents spoke highly of
companies offer learning live in a traditional, LCP, reporting that it was a “phenomenal” and
off line classroom environment. But how many “must-have” training, with 96 percent report-
offer the same course in both modalities, as ing in surveys that they will be able to apply the
well as make the content for the course avail- knowledge and skills learned in LCP to selling
able on learners’ mobile devices? life insurance in their business.
Companies are finding that learners increasingly The classroom-based elements alone of Bankers

26 | MARCH/APRIL 2018 training

Life programs encompass a wide breadth of learning options: s"REAKOUTSESSIONSFORSMALLERWORKINGGROUPS

Crafting a Holistic Approach to Learning

In addition, courses often have a coaching dimension, such s#HANGE-ANAGEMENT

as Ken Blanchard’s Coaching Essentials, which Muentzer de- s'OAL3ETTING
scribes as “a part of our Emerging Leaders Program focusing s,EADERSHIP2EVIEW
on newer high-potential managers. They have peer-to-peer !DIFFERENTMEMBEROFTHE!RC"EST,EADERSHIPTEAMKICKS
informal coaching sessions included in this program, as well.” off each of these instructor-led classes. Instructors lead par-
The company also offers the coaching program, Firm Foun- ticipants through discussions about the topic, and then have
dations, to its branch managers. “Professional coaching is them engage in exercises and/or role-plays to reinforce the
offered through an outside organization, LIMRA. The inter- content. These 10 leadership classes are presented in two-
nal management and leadership team gives a group coaching and-a-half-hour sessions, taught over a 10-month period.
session, while peer-to-peer coaching is going on within their “We utilize pre- and post-course assignments to supple-
study groups,” Muentzer says. ment the material covered in the class,” explains ArcBest
Senior Training Manager Bradly Truitt. “We also created an
Multi-Part, Multifaceted online cohort within our talent management system, where
Courses that are sweeping in scope give companies an op- the participants and graduates of the Leadership Series can
portunity to offer the learning in many different ways. One share best practices and engage in peer-to-peer learning.”
example is Training Top 125er ArcBest’s Leadership Series. Truitt notes that the Leadership Series is taught to leaders
“This comprehensive leadership training program is designed and future leaders from all of ArcBest’s subsidiaries, and
to develop leaders at all stages of their careers, and help us meet classes are customized for each audience.
our strategic goal of improving employee engagement,” says !RC"EST ALSO TAKES A MULTIFACETED APPROACH TO MEASURING
Jason Turner, vice president of Talent and Growth Initiatives the results of its training. “We utilize several different types
at ArcBest. “The program emphasizes retaining our high- of metrics to measure the effectiveness of our training class-
potential employees and boosting leadership bench strength, es,” says Truitt. “These include: revenue and tonnage growth,
while also demonstrating and promoting our core values.” employee engagement scores, employee retention rates, inter-
The 10-part series was designed and implemented by nal promotions, and post-class surveys.”
the ArcBest Training group, and consists of the following !NOTHER COMPANY THAT TAKES A MULTIFACETED APPROACH TO
s,EADERSHIP/VERVIEW ment, where a systematic approach to diagnosing, designing,
s"UILDING4RUST and delivering learning ensures each course is tailored to the
s4EAMBUILDINGAND%MPOWERMENT “Our aim is to create learning that can be transferred seam-
t6UJMJ[FQSFBOEQPTUDPVSTFBTTJHONFOUTUPTVQQMFNFOUUIF experiences that act as catalysts for personal and profes-
BOEHSBEVBUFTPGUIFDPVSTFDBOTIBSFCFTUQSBDUJDFTBOE development journey—online or face-to-face or with
t1SPWJEFDPBDIJOHUISPVHIBOPVUTJEFPSHBOJ[BUJPOJGZPVDBOU s%MBED Collaborating with clients to facilitate the trans-
JOUFSOBMNBOBHFNFOUBOEMFBEFSTIJQUFBN XJUIDPNQMFNFO mentoring, on-the-job learning, digitally facilitated
t6TF8FCJOBSTUPGPDVTPOBQQMJDBUJPOPGTLJMMT LOPXMFEHF BOE 0HASE  Sales representatives are introduced through a
1PXFS1PJOUQSFTFOUBUJPOT IBOEPVUT BOECMBOLBTTFTTNFOUT  assessments, and Webinars. The representative spends a day
TPUIFZDBODPOUJOVFUPUFTUUIFJSTLJMMTBGUFSUIFDPVSTFJTPWFS in the field observing product presentations and interactions
with providers,” says Fullowan.

28 | MARCH/APRIL 2018 training

Phase 2: This one- to two-week initial training helps Another company that uses a different blend of learning
representatives prepare for application of day-to-day modalities depending on the course is Training Top 125er
sales experiences. “Participants learn through trainer-led Assurant, Inc. “We look for ways to maximize learning by
workshops, role-play simulation exercises, knowledge assess- thoughtfully choosing the appropriate way to learn. Class-
ments, and evening assignments,” she notes. room-based elements often are reserved for education that
Phase 3: Continuous learning begins as early as one requires dialogue and collaboration, practice, and/or culture-
month after Phase 2, and encompasses Kirkpatrick Level 3 building,” says Vice President of Global Learning and Talent
evaluation. “Reps are immersed in instructor-led Webinars Development Kimberly Kavala.
focusing on application of skills, knowledge, and behaviors One example is Assurant’s people-leader program called
relevant to daily tasks. Surveys and roundtable discussions Experience 2.0. “It is an intensive learning program for all
are designed to gather feedback to gauge their learning, and leaders, from the front-line to the director level. We aim to
to continue providing relevant training,” says Fullowan. deepen our leaders’ knowledge of key leadership processes,
The process wraps up with Kirkpatrick Level 4 evaluation. mindsets, and skills that will help foster a culture of engage-
“Through the ‘Transfer Matrix’ with the rep, direct man- ment, growth, and performance,” says Kavala, who explains
ager, and trainer, results are measured before, during, and that learners begin by completing an e-learning course that
after each time period, which reflects employee engagement, introduces key concepts, and then spend three days in class.
morale, and productivity,” says Fullowan. To stay sharp following their classroom experience, learn-
ers can access related resources at any time on MyLearning,
Blended to Reinforce Learning Assurant’s learning management system.
A key to a holistic approach to learning is effectively blending a “The classroom portion is important, not only for the
variety of elements. Training Top 125er Arrow Electronics tries practice time in a safe environment,” says Kavala, “but also
to do that in all of its offerings, says Learning and Development, because it instills common language and behaviors, and
Business Coaching, and Consultant ReLita Clarke. “Class- establishes a network of peers who support the learning long
room-based elements that are within some of our programs after they leave the classroom.” Qt
include discussion questions that reinforce an
objective, or important topic, and activities
such as group discussions and role-plays that REKINDLE CONNECTIONS
By Bill John, President and Founder, Odyssey Teams Inc.
engage our learners to comprehend a concept
in the classroom,” Clarke explains. “In addi-
tion, all students have the option to print the If the term, “holistic,” brings to mind incense, candles, and the faint air of mysti-
class materials, including PowerPoint presen- cism, you’re not alone. However, when it comes to the corporate world, a holistic
tations, handouts, and blank assessments, so approach is critical to successful training, learning, and team collaboration. Here are
they can continue to test their skills.” three realistic and applicable tips to keep in mind when planning your next session:
The organization also offers on-demand op- 1. USE AUTHENTIC TASKS TO ENGAGE TEAM MEMBERS. Nothing gets eyes rolling like
tions. “Many of the courses are geared toward an inauthentic role-playing game or a scenario that is far removed from partici-
soft skills, such as time management, e-mail pants’ reality. Instead, introduce activities that mimic the situations your team
etiquette, communication, and leadership encounters on a daily basis. If it’s meaningful, it will motivate and resonate.
skills. This allows employees to enhance their 2. FOCUS ON BUILDING KNOWLEDGE VS. REPRODUCING FACTS AND OPINIONS. While
skills or gain insight into a topic they haven’t having an employee who can parrot page 5 of the company handbook may stroke an
yet explored,” Clarke says. “The ability to executive ego, being surrounded by “yes men” weakens corporate decision-making.
continually develop knowledge around ev- Fostering opportunities for team members to constantly learn increases collective criti-
eryday skills to perform their job successfully cal thinking, challenges the status quo, and boosts tolerance of other viewpoints.
assist in meeting company goals.” Although this may sound obvious, think of how many times you’ve completed a
The key, Clarke notes, is that it’s a blend workshop or professional development session feeling empowered by a new skill or
of learning opportunities, rather than just knowledge, only to file it away forever. Without application, both soft and hard skills
one or two, and the blend differs depending fade. If you’ve invested in training or continuing education for your team, offer encour-
on the course. “Not all classes incorporate agement and opportunities to apply that understanding whenever possible.
all three classroom elements. We may have It’s a new year and an optimum time to rekindle the connections among the
different engagement components, such as members of your team. By providing them with opportunities to both engage
videos or materials from an online resource. with real tasks that build knowledge and apply that understanding together,
A course on business professionalism, for ex- you’ll be taking an important step toward a more connected, motivated,
ample, may have an instructor-led course and engaged, and ultimately happier team. As Jim Goodnight, co-founder and CEO
a follow-up on-demand course a few weeks of SAS said, “Treat employees like they make a difference. And they will…”
later to assess their knowledge.” training MARCH/APRIL 2018 | 29

Adapting to
Adaptive Learning
Adaptive learning enables
an individualized, contextual
approach that focuses on
what learners need and
directs instructors to where
they are most needed.

rganizations hold up Amazon’s cus- can analyze to improve their own courses.
tomer experience as the Holy Grail However, before adaptive learning can be deployed effective-
ly, three myths must be overcome.
for adaptive learning, but relatively
few have developed a similar expe- Myth 1: Adaptive learning
rience for their employees. Adaptive is always computer-based
learning is an educational method that uses interac- Adaptive training at Parexel, a global contract research organi-
tive teaching devices and orchestrates the allocation zation, relies on close interactions with L&D and with learners’
of human and mediated resources according to the supervisors. Currently, Parexel only uses adaptive learning to
train the clinical research associates (CRAs) who monitor
unique needs of each learner.
clinical trials to ensure that trial protocols are followed and
Integrating adaptive learning is more of a cultural challenge that documentation is appropriate and up to date. Approxi-
than a technological issue. Like anything new, it can seem mately 60 percent of CRA training is online and 40 percent is
threatening to trainers and learners alike, who fear the re- face to face. Eventually, it will be rolled out to other learners.
moval of experts from the classroom. But contrary to those “The CRAs usually have scientific backgrounds, but we must
fears, adaptive learning enables an individualized, contextual provide training regarding regulatory requirements that vary
approach that focuses on what learners need and directs instruc- country by country,” as well as trial protocols that vary accord-
tors to where they are most needed. It also provides a new data ing to the pharmaceutical product and the trial sponsor, says
stream that Learning and Development (L&D) professionals Albert Siu, Ph.D., corporate VP, L&D, Parexel. Some conflict

30 | MARCH/APRIL 2018 training

interactions with students by automating the basic ones.” In his
experience, that means designing extension courses in ways that
provide extra materials, examples, and problem sets to students
who need them. “Students still have access to an instructor,” An-
derson emphasizes, “and the instructors have access to students’
tests, so they can identify where individuals are experiencing
problems and work with them to overcome those problems.”

Myth 3: AI eliminates training

Computer-based adaptive learning that uses artificial intelli-
gence algorithms doesn’t eliminate the need for training, but
it can eliminate the need to train employees to use certain
applications by providing just-in-time help.
“Training isn’t about teaching employees to use applica-
tions, but about making them productive,” says Amir Farhi,
VP of Strategic Development at WalkMe. Therefore, WalkMe
developed a transparent layer that sits atop any underlying
digital application like ADP or Workday to deliver just-in-
time information. The application uses machine learning to
deliver help based on users’ history with the application and
the content on their screen. Consequently, experienced users
don’t see the basic information that new users see and appli-
cation training classes are minimized.
“The application constantly measures what happens to the
user—for example, how long they take to access certain proce-
dures, where they get stuck, how they get help, etc.,” he adds, so
L&D professionals can adjust resources accordingly.

Streamline Existing Processes

“Adaptive learning uses a broad array of teaching and learning
techniques and technologies. Implementing it is far more subtle
and challenging than simply deploying tools or techniques,”
Dr. Siu says. Before integrating this approach into a course, Dr.
Siu recommends streamlining the processes that are associ-
ated with the learnings. By tagging, organizing, delivering, and
measuring learning and levels of competencies relative to a set
resolutions skills are included, he says, to help CRAs hone the of requirements, he says, “you’ll be better off afterward because
skills needed to contradict physicians. “For us, time is of the you’ll be more informed about what you need.”
essence, so adaptive learning is very important.”
Parexel first identifies CRAs’ strengths and weaknesses Think Holistically
through simulations, on-the-job observations, analysis of Expanding one’s frame of reference is integral to successful
their reports, and online and face-to-face training. “These adaptive learning curricula. “What makes adaptive learning
methods triangulate a certain level of competency, which we work isn’t technique, but mindset,” Dr. Siu says. “For ex-
correlate to a set of training requirements,” Dr. Siu says. ample, people often look at challenges as technical problems,
but, in reality, they’re often adaptive problems. Seeing the dif-
Myth 2: Adaptive learning ferences requires the ability to look at the whole system and
replaces instructors understand the issues.” Then, with this holistic understand-
At the University of Wisconsin – Extension, reassuring pro- ing, L&D professionals can consider effective technologies to
fessors that they aren’t being replaced by artificial intelligence address those issues.
(AI) is among the first steps in online curriculum development. “Think big, but act small,” he advises, by breaking big
“Online, adaptive learning is hard to sell to faculty accustomed challenges into small steps. At Parexel, he designs the over-
to being in the classroom, as well as to students,” admits Ryan arching plan and determines how changes will be made
Anderson, director of Instructional Design and Development. within courses. His local L&D team spots trends and de-
Anderson’s team counters their concerns, explaining, termines which adjustments are needed, while the actual
“we’re actually helping professors have more sophisticated adjustments are offshored. training MARCH/APRIL 2018 | 31

Adapting to Adaptive Learning
Integrating adaptive learning into the development program to him or her,” Anderson elaborates. “It’s a small thing, but
requires collaboration from many constituencies, Dr. Siu it offers a big benefit.”
stresses. For example, business leaders must be engaged early The challenge, he says, is in asking faculty members who
and must see the benefits. “Therefore, form a close partner- are used to being in charge to trust the system and to spend
ship with the business units,” he advises. “Adaptive learning their efforts determining where and why students fall short of
can’t be developed alone.” attaining certain scores.
“You also need strong governance around how you en- In terms of integrating adaptive learning into the L&D func-
gage others to make collaborative decisions and position the tion, “step back,” Anderson says. “You probably can leverage
learning agenda for the company,” Dr. Siu says. He’s worked some things you’re doing already. Before buying new software,
with five companies during his career and is convinced that understand how you will use it on a fundamental level. Iden-
a centralized L&D organization provides the most effective tify what you want to achieve before investigating technology.
governance. “Decentralized learning only develops certain The LMS, for example, has a lot of data on student behavior
pockets of the company, and hybrid L&D organizations be- that can be aggregated.”
come political.” That data can inform curriculum design by identifying the
zone of proximal development—the peak performance level
Use Your LMS a student can reach without additional help, which, thus,
At the University of Wisconsin – Extension, Anderson uses identifies where extra materials (such as presenting the same
assistive technology and intelligent agents to deliver an material in a different way, showing real-world applications,
adaptive experience. “We use a learning management system various contexts, and in different formats) may help him or
(LMS) called Desire to Learn (D2L). Our courses are based her master the material.
on a student’s performance, so instructors may choose to “Particularly in courses where students progress at their
release or withhold information to facilitate success.” own pace, an adaptive learning approach can be very helpful,”
Intelligent agents help professors have closer contact with Anderson says. Right now, adaptive learning is geared toward
students by setting up the LMS for alerts. “If a student hard skills with definitive answers. In the next few years, he
hasn’t logged into the system for a certain number of days, predicts advancements in AI will help adaptive learning to
or isn’t progressing, you can use an LMS alert to reach out become common for soft skills instruction, too.

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The key element, which all Agile frameworks boast,
is that whatever method you use supports the development
of multiple iterations and constant evaluations in a
short timeframe. BY GAIL DUTTON

34 | MARCH/APRIL 2018 training

gile project development methodology has be- manageable chunks. One week later, the new pro-
come fashionable these days. Leaders watched gram was ready to deploy and students arrived
one month afterward,” says Michael Sunderman,
what it did first for product development and executive director of Verizon Learning & Devel-
then for software development. They soon opment. “Development would have taken eons
realized the principles of cooperative develop- using sequential methods.”
ment, many iterations, and short design cycles could be applied The hybrid Agile approach Sunderman and
his team used combined elements from multiple
throughout business regardless of application or industry. Agile frameworks to develop an efficient meth-
odology for this particular project. Basically, it
For leaders today, the question isn’t whether to use Agile, but included sprints from SCRUM for iterative development and
which Agile method to choose. workflow visualization from Kanban.
Before development started, Sunderman assembled every
Methods Are More Alike Than Not piece of hardware and equipment the learners would work
All Agile methods are based on the Agile Manifesto. The with in the field—chainsaws, construction clamps, pole pull-
Agile Manifesto specifies multiple iterations, small teams, ers, etc. This ensured course developers could see and handle
short timelines, constant validation, and inspections before the equipment themselves. Importantly, developers performed
iterations. This approach can be applied to many things, from their work together, working in one 4,000-square-foot room
software development to learning, points out Alex Lopes, for five consecutive days.
clinical professor and director of the Technology Consult- Next he assembled the right people. “I brought about
ing Workshop for Operations & Decision Technologies at 40 people from L&D (including video production and
Indiana University. graphics designers), along with safety experts, outside plant op-
Built-for-purpose adaptions have resulted in multiple Agile erations workers and supervisors, fleet operations managers…
flavors. SCRUM, Kanban, Lean development, and Dynamic anyone who had a say in how this was done.” The L&D ex-
System Development Model (DSDM) frameworks, for ex- perts worked in teams of two, consulting with subject matter
ample, focus on project management. The Crystal Methods experts (SMEs) as needed.
framework streamlines communications within the develop- “After 24 hours, the teams made their initial presentations,”
ment team, while Extreme Programming (XP) aids software Sunderman says. “After 48 hours, they delivered prototypes.
development and code validation. If their section taught people to operate a chainsaw, for ex-
Of all the recognized Agile frameworks, Lopes favors SCRUM. ample, that team would go out to see firsthand what lesson it
“It’s flexible and has processes that are good for project man- was trying to get across and perhaps film the experience.” That
agement, but what sets SCRUM apart and makes it powerful is hands-on experience and immediate access to SMEs helped
its supplementary approaches,” he says. SAFE, for example, is ensure L&D team members had command of the technical
a scalable version that breaks large projects into small-
er sections for development. “This method is used by
Deloitte and Ernst & Young, among others,” he notes. Before developing the OPT Groom construction maintenance
Scott Ambler, senior consultant for Scott Ambler + training program, the Verizon L&D team assembled every piece of
hardware and equipment the learners would work with in the field—
Associates, prefers Kanban because of its clear work- chainsaws, construction clamps, pole pullers, etc. This ensured
flow visualization. “Having said that, it doesn’t really course developers could see and handle the equipment themselves.
matter which version of Agile you use,” Ambler notes.
“The primary concept of Agile is collaboration and
incremental, evolutionary advances. Therefore, my ad-
vice is to use a blended approach that fits your situation.
Strict adherence to formal frameworks works for the
situations for which they were designed, but if you’re
not in that situation, you need to think things through.
Do what makes sense for you.”

Verizon’s Hybrid Approach

Verizon used a hybrid Agile approach to develop its
OPT Groom construction maintenance training
program for new workers who maintain telecom-
munications equipment (notably, telephone pole
replacement) throughout the northeastern U.S. “We
started with a blank slate and broke the project into 24 training MARCH/APRIL 2018 | 35


terms and also enabled rapid course corrections from the oth-
er disciplines in the room. QUICK TIPS
Daily presentations enhanced continuity from module to t$IPPTFBO"HJMFGSBNFXPSLUIBUTFFNTUPmUZPVSHPBMT5IFO
module, too. What stood out most, Sunderman says, was NPEJGZJUBTOFFEFE CMFOEJOHUIFCFTUBTQFDUTPGNVMUJQMF
the way the groups revised content based on real-world situ- NFUIPET BTXFMMBTCFTUQSBDUJDFTBOEZPVSPXOFYQFSJFODF
ations and feedback. “A SME might say, ‘Here’s how to do t6TFBCMFOEFEBQQSPBDIUIBUmUTZPVSTJUVBUJPO4USJDUBEIFS-
this,’ but the Safety department would say, ‘No,’ and show FODFUPGPSNBMGSBNFXPSLTXPSLTGPSUIFTJUVBUJPOTGPSXIJDI
a different method. Together, they’d develop a safe solution UIFZXFSFEFTJHOFE CVUJGZPVSFOPUJOUIBUTJUVBUJPO ZPV
The last 30 minutes of each day was devoted to preparing for t%FmOFZPVSFBSMZSFRVJSFNFOUTUIPSPVHIMZXIJMFNBJOUBJO-
tomorrow. This involving planning for any adjustments and JOHnFYJCJMJUZGPSUIFNUPFWPMWFBTUIFVOEFSTUBOEJOHPGUIF
ensuring each team had the time and tools it needed. QSPKFDU NBSLFUDPOEJUJPOT PSQSJPSJUJFTDIBOHF
Throughout the week-long development cycle, the project t1BZBUUFOUJPOUPWJTVBMDPOTJTUFODZGSPNEBZPOF*GQPTTJCMF 
manager used a Kanban board to track workflow. “That way, VTFBDPNNPOUFNQMBUF
we knew which team would be ready next for a particular t,FFQJONJOEXIJDIEFWJDFTMFBSOFSTXJMMVTFUPWJFXUIF
SME or for a review,” Sunderman says. DPOUFOU
One of Sunderman’s lessons learned is to pay attention t)BWFUIFSJHIUQFPQMFPOTJUF JODMVEJOHTVCKFDUNBUUFS
to visual consistency from day one. “If you can use a com- FYQFSUT -% BOEBTUSPOHnPXNBOBHFS
mon template, you’ll save yourself work on the back end,” he t#FXJMMJOHUPFNCSBDFDIBOHFBOEUSBEFBDFSUBJOBNPVOUPG
says. This will help the modules flow together. He also ad- CVSFBVDSBDZGPSSBQJE SFTQPOTJWFEFWFMPQNFOU
vises considering which devices learners will use to view the
content. The construction maintenance team worked from
tablets in the field, so that was the technology platform the Preparing the Agile Mindset
development team used. “The biggest issue for any Agile approach is the mental
For any Agile approach to work optimally, have the right preparation of the company,” Lopes says. This involves a
people on site. “Some SMEs want to phone in comments. That willingness to change, and to trade a certain amount of bu-
only works if they’re ready at the moment they’re needed and reaucracy for rapid, responsive development.
have good video access,” Sunderman says. Otherwise, reviews Transitioning from a sequential waterfall approach to Agile
take longer and the creative spark wanes. can be challenging, particularly for project managers, Ambler
In addition to SMEs and the L&D team, he also advises adds. “They like predictability, but Agile is very flexible.” To
having a strong flow manager on site. This person’s role is to embrace the rapid iterations such flexibility enables, they must
keep the development teams on track and coax the groups be able to sever themselves from the overburden of bureaucracy.
that want to do more—and there’s always one, he says—to Some find this threatening, he says.
share their work. To help with the transition, Lopes advises defining the early
requirements thoroughly while maintaining flexibility
for them to evolve as the understanding of the project,
market conditions, or priorities change. Developing the
requirements just before each new iteration allows the
project to evolve despite changing circumstances. “The
main principle is to embrace change,” Lopes stresses.
Ultimately, the choice of an Agile framework is less
important than the use of one. When making your se-
lection, choose a framework that seems to fit your goals.
Then modify it as needed, blending the best aspects of
multiple methods, as well as best practices and your
own experience. When you do this, you will have an
Agile framework that’s effective and efficient for your
specific needs. The key element, which all Agile frame-
works boast, is that whatever method you use supports
the development of multiple iterations and constant
evaluations in a short timeframe. Qt

Throughout the week-long development cycle of For more information on Agile methods, read the Training Top 10
Verizon’s OPT Groom construction maintenance Hall of Fame white paper, “Turning on a Dime with Agile Learning
training program, the project manager used a Design,” at:
Kanban board to track workflow.

36 | MARCH/APRIL 2018 training

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In-House L&D Pros
Can Become More
By prioritizing your internal clients’
needs, wants, and demands, you
can position yourself as
an indispensable in-house
training professional.

he 21st century work- In the face of shorter job tenures and increased outsourcing, how can

T force is becoming more internal Learning and Development (L&D) professionals stay valuable
and competitive? Here are five tips from external training consultants
temporary and fluid: for how to remain indispensable to your internal training clients.
Forbes predicts that 34
percent of workers will 1. See yourself as an internal consultant, rather than as an
employee. Develop the mental traits of a successful entrepre-
neur, advises Dr. Richard MacKinnon, occupational psychologist and
freelance by 2020, and 91 percent
managing director at WorkLifePsych. Focus on maximizing the benefit
of Millennials expect to stay in a
you bring to your internal clients, while minimizing your use of time,
job for less than three years. money, or other company resources. “The easier thing for L&D pros

38 | MARCH/APRIL 2018 training

is to adjust their mindset,” Dr. MacKinnon says. “It doesn’t This applies to a variety of behaviors, not just responsiveness.
require a formal change to their job or responsibilities.” Conflict management, ethics, anything that allows a person
Employees think of their job like a checklist: Show up, fin- to form a negative opinion can hinder his or her training,
ish the tasks in their job description, then clock out when it’s says Markin. The solution? Make sure your behaviors out-
done. This is not enough in today’s world. It’s better to start side of the training context are congruent with what you
seeing your job description as a starting point or guideline want to convey to your internal clients.
for your role in your organization, but focus on the needs,
wants, and desires of other departments. A good way to start
acting like an internal consultant is to quit being an order
4. Look outside your industry for new paradigms.
Companies spent an estimated $93.6 billion on train-
ing in 2017, according to Training magazine’s 2017 Training
taker, and start becoming proactive. Industry Report, yet only 30 percent of these initiatives re-

2. Ask questions and seek out problems, instead

of simply taking orders. It’s tempting to simply de-
liver on requests other departments make, but in order to
turned a positive ROI, according to Jason Forrest, CEO and
chief culture officer of Forrest Performance Group, an Inc.
5000 fastest-growing company two years in a row. The solu-
become like an internal consultant, you’ll need to be more tion? “When a Training department has a problem, don’t look
proactive in handling orders. “The line manager often sends at what other training organizations are doing,” Forrest
a first request for training, and there is
always a pressure to go with that, but
it’s better to ask questions,” says Dr.
MacKinnon. “Ask, ‘Why?’ See if you
Start seeing your job
can find a solution that is better. It’s description as a starting point
more useful to ask what problems we’re
trying to solve, over simply taking an
or guideline for your role in
order for a training.” your organization, but focus
Instead of waiting for orders, go a step on the needs, wants, and
further and actively seek out pain points
your clients face. “You need to provide
desires of other departments.
programs that are relevant to what your
internal clients struggle with,” says
Dan Markin, leadership consultant and CEO at The Dan says. “Instead, ask yourself what other industry has been in
Markin Company. “When I market to a client, I’m trying to this situation, and how did they handle it?”
demonstrate my relevance and my expertise. Internal L&D He notes that his company is part of the 30 percent
professionals need to do the same thing.” that are succeeding because he didn’t study other train-
Start by asking about pain points your clients experience. ing methods that are failing. Rather, he studied models
Try to find solutions to problems you can help them with, that are working, such as the 12-step behavioral change
then outline a training program specifically addressed to program for alcohol abuse, and coaching strategies from
these. Use checkpoints that address each issue, then interact the world’s greatest sports coaches. He then used these as
with the internal client as you develop the training program models for his own training programs.
so you can customize it—in real time—for their needs.
“This allows you to build a program in a timeframe that’s
current—then sell it back to the internal client,” Markin
5. Take full ownership of training outcomes. Many
trainers make the mistake of thinking some employ-
ees are going to get it, some won’t, and some aren’t capable
says. Reiterate the issues you uncovered, and show how your of getting it. “They can’t think that way,” Forrest says. “It’s
program addresses each pain point. important for trainees to see that it’s up to them to figure out

3. Build credibility by being a good role model.

Have you ever delivered a training program, only to
be telling your coworkers to do things you don’t do yourself?
how to help the students get it. Trainers should see everyone as
being enough.”
As an external trainer with monthly contracts open to
One of Markin’s key advantages, in his opinion, is that his cancellation, Forrest has to perform consistently to avoid
trainees only know him in the context of the training: They being fired. If his team does not perform, or delivers irrel-
don’t see him every day and know him in that context, so evant training, his clients won’t pay for it. Internal trainers
they can focus on the actual content of the training. can follow the same lead by taking full ownership of out-
“It’s a little harder for internal consultants because their clients comes from every learner. “The company does not need
interact with them every day and form an opinion,” Markin training for the sake of training,” Forrest says. “They need
says. “The advantage I have as an outside consultant is they only training to achieve the outcomes they desire, to fulfill their
know me in the context of the training.” If your internal clients overall mission.”
have a good opinion of you, it will help your training, but if, for By prioritizing your internal clients’ needs, wants, and de-
example, you are a customer service trainer, and you talk about mands, and adopting the habits of successful entrepreneurs,
being responsive, but other departments e-mail you 500 times you, too, can position yourself for a successful career as an
and get no response, it makes it hard to stay credible. in-house training professional. training MARCH/APRIL 2018 | 39


The Business VR Leaders




Thank you to our Sponsors!



Visit to learn more about Training 2O19 Conference & Expo in Orlando, FL.
2017 SHOW
Attendees drew energy from the blue waters SHOW
of San Diego Harbor and made their own
waves during the keynote session (below).

in Hotlanta
The Training 2018 Conference & Expo ignites participants’ passion
for learning and making connections. BY LORRI FREIFELD

few days of rain did not dampen the enthusiasm of the 2,000 increased their knowledge and skills in
Learning and Development (L&D) professionals who attended the 100-plus breakout sessions, 11 certificate
Training 2018 Conference & Expo held February 12-14 in Atlanta. programs, 16 hands-on clinics, and 23
Indeed, the passion for learning burned brighter than the sun ever could. sponsored sessions. They found out
From the fierce competition during the Not-So-Trivial Pursuit about the latest and greatest products
Opening Reception to the hands-on Training Technology Test Kitchen and services from nearly 100 exhibitors in
demos, Sewa Beats drum the Expo Hall. Last but not least, Training
session, Lightning Shares, and 2018 featured a brand new leadership
Second City Works improv track and another full-day special event in
workouts, attendees gave it partnership with Duke Corporate Education, then continued on for
their all. They gained insights two more days with the Innovations in Training event.
from five game-changing Keynoter and Jeopardy! champ Bob Harris shared his secret for
keynoters, including a special retaining copious amounts of knowledge (think review, renew, and
creative performance by dance reward). Hopefully, Training 2018 attendees will spread those tips
troupe Pilobolus (see p. 42 for and others gained at the event throughout their organizations and
keynote quotes). They keep the learning fires burning hotter than ever.

KEYNOTE “Like manyy organizational
QUOTES employees, dancers are
SHOW WRAP-UP trained for compliance,
conformity, and precision.
Butt we actuallyy are more
rested in curiosity,
empathy, and agility.”
—Itamar Kubovy, Executive
Producer, Pilobolus

Attendees kicked
off the first keynote
session with a wave.

“We are att the dawn

off the second age of
audio Audio is good
att th
three thi
things iin
particular: narrative,
“Our data is connected to honestt emotion,
the people around us. The and empathy.”
question is: Howw do you —Alex Blumberg, CEO and
Co-Founder, Gimlett Media
gett people to consider their
relationship with their data?”
—Mimi Onuoha, New w Media
Artistt and Researcher

“The mostt beautiful

wayy to connectt with
someone is to show
them yourK
Ke scars.”
otte e
o emcee
“Your brain is always on Record, —Jayy Williams,
Andy dyyESPN
n ng
Eninger Analyst
particularlyy when itt comes to and Author,of
f The
ThheeI SSNec
survival. The trick is making your an AccidentC iAy
Attyy Works
City Wororkksoir
s of
g ets ts tthe
he p
he oinntt
brain think you have to remember whhilile e
while nne
energizing ing
this particular thing or you will attte
a tennd
attendees deee e
ess between
die.”—Bob Harris, Author, “Prisoner of ssp
pe eaakke
speakers. ersrs.
Trebekistan: A Decade in Jeopardy!”

42 | MARCH/APRIL 2018 training

These attendees earned first place
in the trivia contest, proving once
again that Training Matters! MOMENTS

Attendees at the Not-So-Trivial

Pursuit Opening Reception
show their Gangnam Style.

Dance troupe Pilobolus

performs “Transformation” Drummers from
and then flips to the front of Sewa Beats lead
the screen (right) to show attendees down to
attendees how it’s done. the Expo Floor.
It’s all about the booths as
attendees hit the Expo Floor to
find out about the latest training
products and services.

An attendee takes a
Warming up the crowd for virtual reality spin in the
some Second City Works Training Technology
improv at the Expo Stage. Test Kitchen.
These attendees are Lunch is the perfect time
on the same page to compare notes and
when it comes to make new connections.
books on training.

Training Top 10 Hall

of Famers Debra Fine
(Capital BlueCross),
Candace Haynes
(PwC), and Catherine A view from the
Rickelman (IBM) take simulator cockpit
the stage for a Town at Delta during
Hall on Leadership. Innovations in Training. training MARCH/APRIL 2018 | 43



Training recognized innovative and successful
learning and development programs and
practices utilized by the 2018 Training Top
125 winners. Best Practice and Outstanding
Training Initiative winners received crystal awards
during a ceremony on the Expo Stage and were
congratulated by Training Top 10 Hall of Famers
Robin Renschen of McCarthy Building Companies
and Stacia Thompson of Keller Williams Realty.
The winners are:
BEST PRACTICES Anthem Inc. for Flipped Edward Jones for
Anthem Inc.: Flipped Classroom Strategy Classroom Strategy Insurance Partnership
Edward Jones: Insurance Partnership
Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company:
My Health Learning Initiative
Smith & Nephew: Integrity Selling
WellSpan Health: New Employee Orientation
Best Buy: In-Home Advisor
Hagerty: Automotive Enthusiast Certification
Iron Mountain: Driver Growth and Revenue
Pacific Gas & Electric: Becker Valve Operator
3-D Simulator
Wequassett Resort and Golf Club: Star Coach Nationwide Mutual Insurance
Company for My Health Smith & Nephew
Learning Initiative for Integrity Selling

Hagerty for
WellSpan Health Automotive Iron Mountain for
for New Employee Best Buy for Enthusiast Driver Growth and
Orientation In-Home Advisor Certification Revenue Program

2017 Emerging Training Leaders Fourteen of the 25 2017 Emerging Training

Leaders attended an awards ceremony held on the Expo Stage. The Emerging Training
Leader awards program highlights training professionals who are relatively new to the
Pacific Gas & Electric Wequassett Resort field (minimum of two years and maximum of 10 years) and who have demonstrated
for Becker Valve and Golf Club for exceptional leadership skills, business savvy, and training instincts. To read about the
Operator 3-D Simulator Star Coach winners, visit:

44 | MARCH/APRIL 2018 training

125 GALA
The 2018 Training Top 125 rankings were unmasked
during the Masquerade Ball held February 12 during the
Training 2018 Conference & Expo at the Georgia World
Congress Center in Atlanta, GA.
Attended by nearly 600 Training Top 125 representa-
tives and Training Top 10 Hall of Famers, the black-tie
gala was sponsored by Brella Learning (which produced
the gala), Pelucida (crystal award provider), Seiko (official
timekeeper and provider of keepsake watches and the
commemorative clock for the No. 1 winner), and the
Training Top 10 Hall of Fame. A special performance by
dance troupe Pilobolus wowed the crowd.
Leading Real Estate Companies of the World nabbed
the No. 1 listing on the 2018 Training Top 125. New York
Community Bancorp and BNSF Railway Company retained Putting the
their spots, No. 2 and No. 4, respectively. Sonic mask in
Automotive moved up to No. 3. Dollar General Corpora-
tion rounded out the Top 5 for the first time. Some 31 Crystal Top
new companies broke into the Top 125 this year. 125 awards
During the gala, Training inducted Blue Cross Blue Shield add sparkle to
the gala.
of Michigan and Keller Williams Realty, Inc., into the Training
Top 10 Hall of Fame after they ranked in the Top 10 of the
Training Top 125 companies for four consecutive years.
Earlier in the day, Training Top 125 Best Practices and
Outstanding Training Initiative award winners received
crystal trophies during a ceremony on the Expo Stage
(see opposite page).

Two organizations, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan An air of intrigue pervades
and Keller Williams Realty, Inc. (bottom), are inducted the ballroom right before the
into the Training Top 10 Hall of Fame. Masquerade Ball begins.

Training Top 10 Hall of Famers raise their glasses

in a toast to the 2018 Top 125 winners. training MARCH/APRIL 2018 | 45

125 GALA

Top 125ers enjoy

drinks during the Top 125ers
cocktail hour before move to the music
the rankings are of The After Party
revealed. Experience.

A Top 125er at this

table rocks her mask.

Dance troupe
Pilobolus shows
the results of its
training with this
artistic performance.

Paying homage to the

Training Top 125 award,
proof of months of hard work.

46 | MARCH/APRIL 2018 training

12 ALA

Dollar General BNSF Railway

Corporation breaks into stays on track
the Top 5 at No. 5. at No. 4.

Sonic Automotive, New York Community

Inc., accelerates Bancorp, Inc., takes
into the No. 3 slot. the No. 2 spot.

Leading Real Estate Representatives of Sanofi (China)

Companies of the Investment Co., LTD., traveled from China
World notches No. 1, to receive their Top 125 award from
earning a keepsake Training Publisher Mike Murrell and
clock from Seiko. Editor Lorri Freifeld (right). training MARCH/APRIL 2018 | 47

L&D Best Practices

Training magazine taps 2018 Training Top 125 winners and Top
10 Hall of Famers to provide their learning and development best
practices in each issue. Here, we look at how Penn Station East
Coast Subs drafts a training program and how Windham Professionals
creates employee satisfaction.

The Fundamentals of Drafting a Training Program

By Lance Vaught, Vice President, Operations, Penn Station East Coast Subs

oday’s competitive work environment has made hiring information that is relevant to each task. Information overload
more difficult than ever. As a result, developing and —particularly information that doesn’t allow the trainee to
implementing an effective training program is more be successful—simply gets in the way of effective training.
important than ever. It is critical to train employees Don’t waste time on information that is not applicable to the
correctly the first time around, and a well-designed and specifi- current training initiative. Instead, narrowly focus on informa-
cally followed training program is key in achieving that goal. tion that is relevant to the specific tasks the employees will be
responsible for. We take the approach of creating a series of
Create a Training Identity modules that introduce the trainee to compacted information
Creating a training program requires thought, patience, and pieces that are quickly read or observed and easily retained.
measurement to ensure the program is working. It should be
proactive and carry the goals of the organization throughout Decide How to Deliver Information
all parts of the business. Once you have created your train- Before creating any materials or tests, you must decide the
ing program’s identity, you can focus on the fundamentals best way to deliver the information to trainees. Using multiple
and specifics of the program. methods can help ensure you are effectively communicating.
While each position or department should have a unique set It is important to accommodate the different ways people
of training materials, the fundamentals of the learning process learn to help all employees succeed. Some trainees are visual,
should be the same throughout the training program. Training while others simply want it explained verbally. There is no
is a conditioning process, so consistency is key. For example, one-size-fits-all when it comes to training employees.
at Penn Station, everything the Operations and Training depart- For example, Penn Station’s training program has evolved to
ment produces uses the same style and tools—down to specific a more holistic approach in the last few years as our trainees’
details such as consistent use of brand vernacular, font, spacing, preferred learning style has evolved. Penn Station uses differ-
and margins. This way, once learners adapt to our style, we ent materials and methods for training so all learning styles
don’t have to reteach them how to learn with each initiative. Our are accommodated. Employees read from the operations
approach to training is the same no matter if it is food prep for manual, practice with a supervisor, and watch videos. Using
a new hourly employee or management skills for a managing multiple strategies is the best way to reach all trainees, but it
owner. Consistency in all areas of training is paramount. is critical to ensure the message is consistent throughout the
different training materials.
Analyze Relevant Information Delivering information also should be a process. Instead
Often when designing training programs, trainers want to of a fire hose method where you drown a new employee in
cover too much information for the task at hand. Only include information and expect 100 percent retention, use a sprinkler

48 | MARCH/APRIL 2018 training

method. Constantly water employees with information over Station assesses the information we are passing on to see
the course of the training program, allowing them time to if there is new information trainees need. If the business
absorb it. Information retention increases by 90 percent if model changes in some way, we draft new questions to test
an employee is exposed to the same idea or initiative three employees on that new information.
times over a 30-day period, so the sprinkler method is much Don’t let the program stagnate, but also don’t update it just
more effective. for the sake of updating it. When Penn Station first created
our training program, we were constantly updating it in an
Follow Up to Make Sure effort to maintain relevance. Over time, we learned that it
Information Is Retained is much more effective to roll out all of your changes at the
Without evaluating performance, you will have no way of same time once a year unless something critical comes up.
knowing if your training program is successful. Similar to This way, employees know when to expect updates and the
using multiple teaching styles to deliver the information, adjustments don’t become white noise.
multiple testing methods will make sure all employees have
a chance to show they have retained the information. For Results from Establishing a Training Program
example, Penn Station uses written tests and live demonstra- Since Penn Station has implemented its training program,
tions to evaluate employees. we are constantly evaluating it to make sure it is effective,
Testing also should be different than it is in school. Instead of and our results show success. Our managing owner and
simply requiring a passing grade or looking to see how much general manager training programs prepare candidates for all
learners know, you need to know what—specifically—learners aspects of the business through a three- or four-week course
do not know. If they didn’t retain some information, it needs and two-day certification process. Since implementing the
to be positioned differently or they need to be retrained. If one program, restaurants with a certified managing owner or
area is commonly missed, look back at how you are presenting general manager have seen sales growth of more than 15
the information or the way the question on the test is asked. percent. Penn Station also saw a 2.1 percent improvement in
A common mistake in creating a training program is disregard- final exam scores for these programs.
ing feedback. Broaden your expectations and make sure you In addition, the onboarding part of Penn Station’s training
are open minded in assessing the program itself. Sometimes program has been updated to include print media, electronic
instead of being a problem with the learner, a policy is written media, video, and gamification strategies. It has reduced
unclearly, information isn’t positioned in a way that is easy to turnover levels on both management and hourly employee
retain, or a question is written poorly. tiers, which average 18 percent below industry standards.
Training often is viewed as an expense instead of an invest-
Constantly Evaluate Your Program ment, but a well-trained employee is a great investment.
Once a training program is in place, it needs to be constantly Creating an effective training program is a time-consuming
studied. Just as your business is always changing, your process, but it benefits all aspects of the business to be
training program will need to change, too. For example, Penn successful at training.

Creating Employee Satisfaction

By Tracy L. Ward, Senior Director, Talent Engagement, Windham Professionals

e all define employee engagement and voluntary six-month financial coaching program provides the
workplace happiness differently. Career tools, resources, and experts to educate employees on how
growth and mobility, employee apprecia- to spend and save their money more wisely while helping
tion and recognition, environment, culture, them reach their financial goals.
professional development, and pay all factor into employee Not only does the program show employees that Windham
satisfaction and retention. At Windham Professionals, a cares, but the benefits of financial security have the potential
leading customer care and accounts receivable manage- to positively impact employee retention and productivity. With
ment company, this quest for more engaged and even fewer personal burdens to carry into work, account specialists
happier employees led to the creation of our most popular who participate in Dream Maker may be more focused on job
employee engagement initiative: Dream Maker. This performance. training MARCH/APRIL 2018 | 49

L&D Best Practices

Small Pilot Leads to Increased was getting buy-in from employees. It sometimes can be dif-
Performance for Employees ficult to share their personal goals and current situations with
In August 2015, Windham launched Dream Maker as a pilot the financial coach, as it’s not always easy to admit when
program in our Hendersonville, TN, office, which included 38 you need help, especially when it comes to finances, so it’s
voluntary participants who were all account specialists. As understandable that many initially were skeptical about the
the pilot progressed, not only did the participants seem more program’s intent and outcomes.
energized and motivated, but also less worried about their The program is designed to communicate results to
finances and achieving their financial goals, allowing them to employees both during and after the program with a recogni-
focus more at work. By feeling more secure with their own tion ceremony at month three and a graduation celebration
finances, participants reported they could discuss consumers’ that affords them the opportunity to share their lessons
financial accounts with more confidence. learned and successes. Advertising the successes with real
Along with this positivity, we began to see improved perfor- numbers have helped skeptics see value. When someone just
mance and decreased attrition. Performance bonuses tripled like you has increased their credit score to 800 or paid down
for 78 percent of the participants during the six-month pilot. their debt in a matter of months, you definitely start to ask
Some 71 percent of pilot participants also saw an increase yourself, “Why not me?”
in accomplishing critical tasks that help them meet or exceed With two years of Dream Maker success under our belt, we
pre-set goals. These accomplishments can allow for bonus, offer advice for companies seeking to create a similar program:
as well. Combined, these results are indicators that partici- First, outline the key components of success that you know
pating employees are better situated to assist consumers. are essential for your employees’ financial wellness and
schedule orientation sessions to educate them on expecta-
Establishing the Program Company-wide tions. Customize the program to fit your employee base.
The results justified the expansion of the program to all four Second, onboard a certified financial coach independent of
Windham locations by February 2016. Since that time, the the company to ensure accurate information and counseling
program has had 138 participants, with 93 of them graduat- for participants. Having an expert on hand also will increase
ing. Graduates of the program have become ambassadors, employees’ confidence in the program. Be sure to allow and
increasing the popularity of the program to the point where encourage participants to spend some time with the program
there is now a waiting list to join the next cycle. The rate of at work, as well, not only for completing coursework and
employee retention for Dream Maker participants has grown to meeting with the coach, but for celebrations, too.
nearly 70 percent. Finally, leadership support is a must. When employees are
supported by their managers and site leaders, it increases
How Dream Maker Works motivation and follow through to achieve those big results
The program is rigorous and multifaceted. Participants volunteer you and your employees want.
and are selected based on identified internal eligibility require-
ments such as employee tenure of at least 90 days. Participants Results
are accepted from account specialist to senior director level. In 2016, eight Dream Maker participants received promo-
Each participant is assigned a financial coach who provides tions. Over the last year, seven employees purchased new
guidance around budget management, credit management, homes during the program or shortly thereafter, and more
interest rates, components of credit scoring, and strategies for than 20 employees increased their credit scores above 700,
saving. This coach also helps employees set SMART (Specific, with three of them attaining 800. Other accomplishments
Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound) financial from the program range from eliminating or paying down debt
goals. Goal progress is reviewed bi-weekly in one-to-one to lowering interest rates on loans to increasing savings and
sessions with the counselor, and next steps are laid out. Partici- establishing emergency funds.
pants also must complete a minimum of two financial education The positive impact on day-to-day job soft skills should not
modules via Financial Avenue, an online financial education be discounted. To succeed at Dream Maker, participants have
platform, to reinforce the concepts of making well-informed to set clear goals, create the steps to success, and follow
financial decisions and the importance of thinking ahead, as well through on the plan. We’re showing employees how to hold
as building self-confidence. themselves accountable and persist when things get difficult.
Heading into 2018, Dream Maker plans to welcome ap-
Lessons Learned proximately 50 new participants, and Windham continues to
As with any new program, reflecting back can lead to some evolve the program in conjunction with employees’ needs and
thoughts for improvements. One of the biggest hurdles faced financial goals. Qtt

50 | MARCH/APRIL 2018 training

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Each year Training magazine requires all Training Top 10 Hall of Famers to submit an
Outstanding Training Initiative that is shared with our readers in a print issue. Here are
the details of Capital BlueCross’ Consultative Training with Insights and PwC’s Project
Management Foundations for Assurance adaptive e-learning.

Capital BlueCross: Consultative

Training with Insights

ales training and sales effectiveness has become online assessments and mobile reinforcement post-training.
a cornerstone of Capital BlueCross’ strategy to The training was delivered to 200-plus employees across
increase revenues and drive efficiency. In 2015, all sales segments within Capital BlueCross (Commercial,
the volatile health-care marketplace made it clear Medicare, Individual, Retail, and Ancillary). Sales leaders also
that Capital BlueCross needed to overhaul its sales ap- participated in the training in conjunction with their teams.
proach in order to thrive. Brands that remain static are at During the first year, sales teams participated in a two-day
risk of becoming irrelevant or stagnated. Consultative Selling Skills with Insights program to build
The organization’s new sales strategy reflects a paradigm better dialogue skills and half-day Negotiation (Closing
shift from a commodity-centric approach to a customer- the Deal) and full-day Sales Presentations workshops to
centric approach that has transformed what customers reinforce core selling skills. To supplement the fundamental
previously knew as a health plan into a health experience. skill development, Capital BlueCross developed a sales
and sales management process to build accountability in
Program Details alignment with These processes provided
In crafting the new Consultative Training with Insights the organization with verifiable outcomes supporting funnel
program, Capital BlueCross used various assessments to management and coaching dialogues.
obtain feedback on the organization’s current climate on In year two, Capital BlueCross introduced the two-day
sales techniques (individual skill sets) and performance/ High Performance Selling session to help teams link dialogue
effectiveness (organizational factors) that affect sales skills, sales process, and opportunity strategies in their
performance. The assessment process included: day-to-day activities, and the high-level half-day workshop,
tSales Approach Assessment: Assessed how the sales Consultative Negotiations, to enhance capabilities.
team currently is selling and what techniques they are This year, Capital BlueCross will roll out a blended learning
using, as well as determined the new/future focus sales platform to sustain the learning strategy, keep sellers en-
reps need to be using to successfully meet organizational gaged in the field, and transition to a level of mastery. There
goals. will be a combination of gamification, video-based learning
tSales Performance “Health Check” Assessment: scenarios, and social elements that will help sales reps feel
Focused on the sales organization’s effectiveness in nine confident in applying new behaviors immediately in the field.
areas with each topic or skill ranked by the degree of Reinforcement of the training includes online assessments,
importance to the success of the sales organization. Richardson QuickCheck (a mobile reinforcement tool),
Based upon the final results and analysis, Capital BlueCross team huddles and insight meetings, coaching sessions, and
identified Richardson as the right partner to build the core quarterly skill reinforcement (based on assessment results,
fundamentals of its new sales approach. To date, the training leaders select topics to present as “leader as teacher”
has primarily been instructor-led, with a mix of pre- and post- sessions).

52 | MARCH/APRIL 2018 training

To date, training results have shown an increase in t4PMVUJPO%JBMPHVFQFSDFOU
the proficiency of Capital BlueCross’ sales force, High Performance Selling:
Consultative Selling with Insights: t3FTPMWJOH3FTJTUBODFQFSDFOU

PwC: Project Management

Foundations for Assurance eLearn
the quality of the audit. The Assurance practice needed EJBUJPOQSPDFTT5IJTDZDMFJTSFQFBUFEVOUJMNBTUFSZPGFBDI
er devices as interactive teaching devices and orchestrates MFBSOJOHPCKFDUJWFTJODPSQPSBUFUIFJNQPSUBODFPGQSPKFDU
NPEVMFTBUUIFTBNFUJNFJOBOBHJMFNBOOFS4NBMMUFBNT Without an adaptive approach, the content for this course
BVUIPSJOHEJSFDUMZJOUIFQMBUGPSN5IJTSFEVDFEUIFOFFEGPS is highly structured and every learner proceeds through each
tt training MARCH/APRIL 2018 | 53

best practices

Micro-Aggressions and
Phubbing in the Age of FoMO
Phubbing (phone snubbing) has been identified as one of the most common forms
of unconscious bias in today’s workplace and society due to the fear of missing out
on important information from our social networks. BY NEAL GOODMAN, PH.D.

he need for diversity training focusing gender, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity,
on overt forms of bias in the workplace or appearance. They are deeply rooted in the sub-
has almost been eliminated due to so- conscious, so much so that the offender may not
cial pressure and legal statute. The focus even be aware of the bias or its expression. Micro-
of diversity training now has turned to systemic aggressions can take the form of body language,
organizational processes and social interactions. tone of voice, facial expressions, or word choice.
Micro-aggressions, a form of unconscious bias, re-
main a significant problem that directly influences EXAMPLES OF MICRO-
employee engagement, morale, and retention. AGGRESSIONS AT WORK
Diversity training now is focusing on how to s #ONSTANTLYINTERRUPTINGSOMEONEWHILETHEY
Neal Goodman,
eliminate micro-aggressions at work (https://www. are speaking s -ISTAKENLYLEAVINGNAMESOFFALIST
Ph.D., is president
of Global Dynamics,
One particular form of micro-aggressions, s 2EPEATEDLYMISPRONOUNCINGSOMEONESNAME
Inc., a training
phubbing (phone snubbing), has been identi- or misspelling it
and development fied as one of the most common and insidious s ,EAVINGSOMEONEOUTOFADISCUSSIONORA
firm specializing in forms of unconscious bias. Phubbing increasing- project
globalization, cultural ly has become a social issue in today’s workplace s 2EADINGSENDINGE MAILSDURINGA
intelligence, effective and society due to FoMO (the fear of missing out conversation
virtual workplaces, on important information from our social net- s ,OOKINGATYOURWATCHWHENSOMEONEIS
and diversity and works). Training programs that address these speaking
inclusion. He can current issues effectively can improve a sense of s .OTINTRODUCINGSOMEONEINAMEETING
be reached at belonging and inclusion, especially for those who s !VOIDINGEYECONTACT
305.682.7883 and
may already feel disrespected, powerless, and dis- s 2OLLINGYOUREYES
at ngoodman@global-
Chances are good that everyone has observed entertained For
micro-aggressions at work. Micro-aggressions s #HANGEINBODYPOSTUREBODYLANGUAGE
more information, visit
are barely noticeable tiny expressions of a deep- s #HANGEINVOICEPITCH VOLUME ORRATE s&AKE MASKED ORFORCEDSMILES Have you ever approached your
Micro-aggressions, a form of manager and he or she addresses you
unconscious bias, remain a while looking at his or her cell phone?
How does it feel? What can the im-
significant problem that directly pact be, especially when it seems to
be one more example of disrespect
influences employee engagement, you are feeling? Drop by drop, each
morale, and retention. micro-aggression adds up.
nor, but since small imbalances
seated (and often, unintentional) bias against and disadvantages accrue, they can have major
someone else based on something that is core consequences in terms of an employee’s feel-
to their identity, such as their race, religion, age, ing of belonging. The cumulative impact of

54 | M A RC H /A P R I L 2 0 1 8 training
micro-aggressions on groups who already feel excluded at work. Additionally, men differ from
ignored, disrespected, and powerless can be sub- women in that they view phone call interruptions
stantial. As one attendee in a micro-aggressions as more appropriate in virtually all environments.
class explained, “Mountains are molehills piled This male/female dynamic exacerbates any exist-
on top of each other.” ing inequity between male bosses and their female
peers or subordinates.
A major scientific study on phubbing describes HOW TRAINING REDUCES
the growth of this trend and its consequences MICRO-AGGRESSIONS AND PHUBBING
at work and socially (http://www.sciencedirect. Awareness is the only way to reduce and
com/science/article/pii/S0747563216303454). In prevent phubbing and other forms of
another study, titled “Put Down Your Phone micro-aggressions. We often are unaware of our
and Listen to Me: How boss phubbing under- micro-aggressions, even though those we of-
mines the psychological conditions necessary fend can be very conscious of the situation. Due
for employee engagement,” Baylor Universi- to inequities of power, those who suffer from
ty professors James A. Roberts and Meredith micro-aggressions often suffer in silence, while
E. David report that as a result of “boss phub- those who commit the micro-aggressions may
bing,” employees expressed less trust in their have no idea they are being disrespectful.
manager. Phubbed employees were less likely to Training in a safe environment with a sensitive
feel they could trust their “supervisor to keep and experienced facilitator can result in quick,
the promises he or she makes” or trust their impactful results and many “aha moments.”
“supervisor will treat them fairly.” This lack of Such training, which should be done in person,
trust led phubbed individuals to be less psycho- brings the unconscious to the conscious level
logically available to perform their jobs since for all.
they felt they did not have adequate managerial The most effective training approach com-
support, tools, or information. bines assessments, group discussions, videos,
This study demonstrates that a phubbed em- and simulations. The simulations and follow-
ployee’s psychological safety also is
imperiled by such behavior. These em-
ployees were less confident that they
could reveal their true selves without
Those who suffer from micro-
fear of negatively affecting their sense of aggressions often suffer in silence,
self-worth, job security, or career path.
Furthermore, phubbed employees were while those who commit the
less satisfied with opportunities avail-
able for their advancement and less loyal
micro-aggressions may have no
and proud of their organization overall. idea they are being disrespectful.
The end result of micro-aggressions
and phubbing is lower levels of job
satisfaction and self-reported job performance. up discussions are particularly useful if you have
Boss-phubbed employees rated their job perfor- several levels of employees in the same room
mance lower than fellow employees who reported who represent the diversity of the workforce.
lower levels of boss phubbing. Participants can practice how to respond to
micro-aggressions directed at them and others,
FOMO, GENERATIONAL, while those committing micro-aggressions learn
AND GENDER DIFFERENCES to become more mindful, and practice how to ask
FoMO, which includes the fears, worries, and anx- for forgiveness and learn from their mistakes. Iron-
ieties people may have in relation to being in (or ically, the mobile phone—which has improved
out of) touch with the events, experiences, and communication—has become a ubiquitous tool for
conversations happening across their extended so- exclusion, as well.
cial circles has been found to be associated with Please share your experiences and insights re-
persistent mobile phone overuse. Generational garding micro-aggressions and phubbing with me at
differences in mobile phone overuse contribute to for possible use in
different norms in phubbing and feelings of being a follow-up column. Q
t training MARCH/APRIL 2018 | 55

learning matters

Navigating Complexity:
It’s NOT Complicated
When navigating complexity, leaders need to reframe what they see,
rewire how they think, and reconfigure what they do. BY TONY O’DRISCOLL

s the connectedness and complexity of In complicated operating contexts, leadership fo-
an organization’s operating environment cuses on action path analysis, risk optimization,
increases exponentially, its ability to accu- and control. To succeed, leaders must counteract
rately predict outcomes and anticipate disruptive their desire to over-analyze, avoid placing too much
shifts plummets precipitously. stock in the advice of subject matter experts, and
In navigating today’s volatile, uncertain, and overcome the blindness of their own biases.
ambiguous world, organizations find themselves vac- Leaders seeking to navigate complex operating
illating between complicated and complex operating contexts must unlearn the lessons of experience
contexts. Many end up plunging into the chasm that they acquired in successfully navigating com-
lies between them, resulting in their demise. plicated ones. Complex operating contexts are
Tony O’Driscoll is global unordered, unpredictable, and uncontrollable.
head of DukeCE Labs, COMPLICATED CHALK AND COMPLEX CHEESE They consist of polarities to be navigated, not
whose purpose is to In complicated operating contexts, the connec- problems to be solved, and they require a much
discover what’s next for
tion between cause and effect is knowable. Decision more agile and adaptive leadership response.
trees of possible outcomes can be identified, risks To lead in a complex operating context, leaders
leadership development
and probabilities around these outcomes can be must sense, learn, and respond; track assumptions
by experimenting with
calculated, and contingency plans for each path can and unknowns; identify patterns; develop insights;
new methodologies, be predetermined, controlled, and de-risked. and discover high-leverage progression paths.
approaches, and In complex operating contexts, the relationship
technologies to uncover between cause and effect cannot be predeter- REFRAME, REWIRE, AND RECONFIGURE
where leverage lies in mined. Both outcomes themselves and the paths To avoid peril in navigating the complexity chasm,
building the leadership to get there are emergent and cannot be controlled leaders must reframe what they see, rewire how they
system capabilities and de-risked ahead of time. think, and reconfigure what they do.
required to survive and In short, they are completely different. Complicat- Leaders must reframe what they see by adopt-
thrive in an increasingly edness is like chalk, while complexity is like cheese. ing a beginner’s mindset. Before answering a given
complex world. As leaders navigate between complicated and com- question, leaders must engage others in question-
plex operating contexts, they must recognize which ing the question itself and synthesize the multiple
side of the chasm they are operating on and apply diverse perspectives into a holistic appreciation for
the leadership response required for that context. what is happening.
Leaders must rewire how they think by ensur-
Navigating the Complexity Chasm ing that every perceived mistake is reframed as
an opportunity to learn and adapt. Tolerance for

making mistakes and resilience in recovering from

them is core to sense making.
Environmental Certainty

Leaders must reconfigure what they do by cho-

reographing actions and interactions between the
informal network and the formal hierarchy that
s5NPREDICTABLE mobilizes and synchronizes discretionary effort
s5NCONTROLLABLE around a particular progression path.
So when it comes to navigating complexity, al-
ways remember that it is not complicated!
s0REDICTABLE Author’s Note: I’d like to thank the students of the Mak-
ing Sense of Complexity Course in the Adaptive Strategic

Execution Program at Duke for contributing their insights
(IGH Outcome Predictability ,OW to this article.

56 | MARCH/APRIL 2018 training

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The Emotional Future
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More than hearing, I want to feel what my learners are
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Taking Training (and Results)

to the Next Level
Training measurement helps us get rid of “scrap learning”—learning that is
delivered but never used. BY BOB PIKE, CPLP FELLOW, CSP, CPAE

hat does it take to be a master trainer? know the number, you can do something about it.
For close to five decades now, I have There are at least 15 things that cause scrap
been training trainers in more than 25 learning. Here are six of them:
countries. In all that time, my focus has been on 1. Training isn’t the solution. How often do we
helping people get results from their training. So thoroughly examine systems, policies and pro-
to me, the answer to how to be a master trainer is cedures, recruitment, placement, and coaching
to get results from your training—each and every as possibilities for solving performance prob-
time it is delivered, in whatever form it is delivered. lems? Training as a solution costs the most time
So the question becomes: How do you get bet- and money—especially if it doesn’t solve the
ter results? It starts by being willing to honestly performance problems.
Bob Pike, CSP, CPLP look at where you and your training programs 2. Poor manager engagement. When managers
FELLOW, CPAE- are right now. Answer this question: How do you pay no attention to whom they select for training
Speakers Hall of currently measure the results of your training? and how they support their use of what they’ve
Fame, is known as the Do you use Kirkpatrick’s Four Levels of Eval- learned after, scrap learning soars.
“trainer’s trainer.” He is
uation? Do you use each of the four levels 3. Content chunks are too large. When I start
consistently? If not, why not? According to ATD working with a new client, we find the average
the author of more than
research, 93 percent of organizations regular- content chunk is 45 to 65 minutes. The ideal
30 books, including
ly use Level 1 (which I call “Did they like it?”), content chunk is 20 minutes or less.
“Creative Training
typically end-of-course evaluations. 4. No revisiting strategy. Many instructors
Techniques Handbook” Only 27 percent of organizations use Level 2— review, but few revisit. Review is when the
and his newest book, “Did they learn it?”—which most often involves instructor covers the content again (and par-
“The Master Trainer’s a test of some sort. However, if you don’t pre- ticipants stop listening because they’ve already
Handbook.” You can test, then your post-test really isn’t valid because heard it). Revisit is when participants look at key
follow him on Twitter you’re assuming that all the knowledge and skills content chunks themselves—this drives reten-
and Facebook using a participant has are learned within the train- tion and increases energy.
bobpikectt. ing itself—which would be nearly impossible for 5. No transfer strategy. Transfer doesn’t happen
adults who normally bring a significant amount by accident; it happens by plan. There are things
of prior knowledge, skill, and experience to the that must happen before, during, and after
classroom. training to reduce scrap learning—and maxi-
For the sake of this brief article, I won’t drill mize on-the-job use of knowledge and skills.
down further; the numbers drop significantly How do managers in your organization current-
for Levels 3 and 4—“Did they use it?” and “Did ly prepare people to attend training? How do you
it make a difference to the organization?” Suffice equip managers to have a pre-training conversa-
to say, if you don’t measure it, you can’t celebrate tion with participants to maximize their focus
it. If you want to improve your results, you have and involvement during the class? How much
to rigorously measure your results. reflection time do you provide during class so
participants can develop action plans for apply-
ELIMINATING SCRAP LEARNING ing the knowledge and skills back on the job?
There’s another reason measurement is impor- These are just a few considerations.
tant: It helps us get rid of “scrap learning.” Put 6. No action plan. If participants don’t plan for
simply, it is learning delivered that never gets how they’ll use what they’ve learned back on the
used. Various studies across multiple organiza- job after the class, chances are they won’t have
tions have put scrap learning at 45 to 85 percent time to develop a plan once they are back at work.
of the learning delivered! So does your scrap Until next time—continue to add value and
learning number matter? Absolutely! Because if you make a difference.

60 | MARCH/APRIL 2018 training

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talent tips

Maximizing Learning
at Work Holistically
Making the most of the learning we should be experiencing within the
workplace requires looking at learning as a whole—from the organization’s
perspective right down to the individual’s needs. BY ROY SAUNDERSON

hat did you learn at work today? Let’s look at the learning programs we spon-
Sometimes that seems like a tough sor as an organization and ask how they enable
question to reflect on and answer. It is a participant’s ability to reinforce the living
difficult to realize that learning should be hap- of our values. Sometimes we need to develop
pening on an ongoing basis. Too often, we think conflict resolution skills and collaboration, so
learning only occurs in a classroom or through we can have those hard conversations that iden-
some online-delivered learning content. tify neglected problems and lead to innovative
Learning should not always be about theo- solutions.
retical approaches and trying to integrate new 3. How is learning synchronized with the job
knowledge and skills into our workday. Learning design and work expectations? Typically, many of
Roy Saunderson is should be happening in the real world each and the training and learning programs we send peo-
author of “GIVING every day at work, home, and play. ple to address compliance needs or required new
the Real Recognition Maximizing the learning we should be expe- skills. What we also should be doing is sculpt-
Way” and Chief riencing within the workplace requires looking ing the career path with employees so learning
Learning Officer at
at learning as a whole—from the organization’s is preparing them for future job demands and
perspective right down to the individual’s needs. potential.
Rideau Recognition
Let’s explore this topic through two categorical Many employees share how their jobs have
Solutions. His
lenses and with some questions you can use to evolved over time, along with the nature of the
consulting and learning
evaluate learning in your own organization. work itself. But they often are not being trained
skills focus on helping to do these new tasks well. Improving the quality
companies “give real LEARNING NEEDS OF THE ORGANIZATION and effectiveness of the work through appropriate
recognition the right 1. What are the overall learning objectives and learning can help employees be more productive.
way wherever they expectations from the company? Most formal 4. What are the talent and performance manage-
are.” For recognition educational courses have established specific, be- ment requirements? We keep hearing about the
insights, visit: http:// havioral learning objectives. From these criteria, challenges of finding skilled and prepared people
AuthenticRecognition. learners and organizational leaders can evalu- to fill positions. The greatest resource strength
com. For more ate an individual’s skills and knowledge and the comes from within your own organization. Map
information, e-mail him
instructor’s effectiveness. out your talent acquisition needs and see if you
However, other than possible performance can’t develop the people you already have with
at RoySaunderson@
development needs, rarely does leadership artic- the right learning content. or visit
ulate what the organization expects from learners The same goes for developing people following
going into a learning experience or what they performance management reviews. Natural de-
will do with what they’ve learned afterward. velopment needs can be identified through these
Leaders need to provide more of a strategic fo- reviews and signed off on as an employee’s learn-
cus of what the company needs employees to ing plan over the next year or so.
be learning. That way, employees can decide
if their personal interests mesh with what the LEARNING NEEDS OF THE INDIVIDUAL
company needs. 1. What does the employee want to learn? You might
2. Is the learning aligned with the strategic goals think you know your employees. But ask them what
and organizational culture? Most often, learning they would like to learn and you might be surprised.
comes from an individual motivation or need. Consider some learning opportunities as pure
What if those desires were meshed with the com- recognition of the individual’s contributions.
pany’s strategic goals, so you could feel your Certain subjects might appeal to several of your
learning would make a difference? employees. When you identify this for a few of

62 | MARCH/APRIL 2018 training

your employees, it might merit creating a group- colleagues acquiring knowledge and skills that fit
learning situation. their needs. Learning should be an inclusive rath-
2. Is delivery of the learning at the pace and style er than exclusive experience. This allows friends at
they prefer? Ever been in a course where you wish work to encourage one another to keep learning.
the instructor would finish already? We need 4. How are employees encouraged and rec-
to do a better job of assessing each employee’s ognized for completing the learning? It goes far
learning preferences. Armed with this knowl- beyond the certificate of completion. What
edge, you can assist employees with finding the about setting some personal learning goals
desired learning content delivered the right way shared with your manager before attending the
just as they would like it. learning program? Then you can share a report
Some people will do better with in-class in- and the outcomes of your goals with your man-
struction and require some follow-up and ager afterward.
homework. Others are self-motivated, indepen- With permission, managers can highlight
dent learners who like and can navigate online employees’ attendance at the learning opportu-
e-learning programs without difficulty. nity at a staff or team meeting. Consider inviting
3. What are the rewards or benefit for taking them to give a lunch-and-learn session on what
this learning? You can’t ignore the “what’s in it they learned or write a review to be shared with
for me?” motivation of the learner in taking se- team members.
lected learning programs. There will be personal When a company provides supervisory or
benefits for doing so, of course. But where will management programs and leadership curricu-
this learning program take this employee along la, we tend to think of the learning opportunities
his or her career path? It could elevate chances of given to the employees. We must turn this idea
promotion or taking on new job responsibilities. around and allow employees to teach us what
By making learning a part of the organization- they’ve learned formally and informally on the
al psyche, peers will look favorably upon their job, so we can all progress and grow. Qt

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last word

Me First Doesn’t Work

Great leaders, great parents, great partners, great friends, and
great organizations all have one thing in common: They are
contributors—and a better world is created because of their

O ne of the great ironies of life, and what might

be a stroke of metaphysical genius, is that
lasting success in any endeavor requires that
we put ourselves, our own wants and needs, second
job?” My counsel is straightforward:
“Keep in mind that no individual or or-
ganization wants to ‘give’ you a job, but
there are many organizations looking
for people who will contribute to their
in line. There is only one exception and that is giving success. Your first task is to discover an
priority to, and paying attention to, our physical, organization to which you would make
emotional, and spiritual well-being. that level of commitment.”
Also, keep in mind that job descrip-
Much has been written both in support and tions define tasks and responsibilities. They do
David McNally is critical of the “Law of Attraction.” I have no ar- not define contribution and yet that is what you
an internationally gument with its intent; however, I have learned ultimately are measured by.
acclaimed business there is a principal that supersedes any other Life is at its very best when people are com-
speaker and the author when it comes to “attracting” success. It is called mitted to contributing to each other. We love to
The Principle of Contribution. Successful people work in a team where our gifts are appreciated,
of the best-selling
understand the principle as follows: “Before and our contribution is valued. We love to be
books, “Mark Of An
crops can be reaped, seeds must be sown; before with friends who accept, encourage, and listen
Eagle—How Your Life
profits can be reaped, problems must be solved; to us. We love to dine in restaurants where not
Changes the World,” before love can be reaped, love must be shown.” only the food is delicious, but also where the staff
“Even Eagles Need In a world that is being transformed at break- contribute to an exceptional dining experience.
a Push,” and “The neck speed, The Principle of Contribution has We love to go to concerts where the musicians lift
Eagle’s Secret,” among never changed—its truth is timeless. Contribu- our spirits and move our souls.
others. For more tion is the invisible thread woven into the very Wherever you look, the evidence is clear—
information, visit: fabric of the universe. great leaders, great parents, great partners,
www.davidmcnally. Contribution is also the magic word for under- great friends, and great organizations all have
com standing how to achieve what we want for our one thing in common: They are contributors—
lives. If we want a successful career, we must and a better world is created because of their
discover ways to maximize our contribution to existence.
the organization we work for and the people we Each of us will define and measure success in
serve. If we seek rich relationships, we look to our own way, but no matter your choice, if you
how we can contribute to enriching the lives of are to succeed, you must understand that your
our loved ones, our friends, and our colleagues. rewards in life are connected to the contribution
What businesses have you as a loyal customer? you make.
Those that consistently contribute value to you. Here are two questions to assess the contribu-
What businesses fail? Those that fail to contribute. tion only you can make:
What friendships or relationships mean the most s(OWDO)WANTMYFAMILY FRIENDS AND
to you? Those that contribute value in ways that are colleagues to remember me?
important to you. Who are the people who are uni- s7HATDO)WANTTOBEREMEMBEREDFOR
versally most admired? Those who make the most of As I note in my book, “Mark Of An Eagle—
their lives and contribute to the betterment of all. How Your Life Changes the World (Calumet
Editions), the lesson is this: “The difference
CONTRIBUTING TO EACH OTHER between luck and good fortune is that the first
When I am asked to speak to college students, is arbitrary and the latter a consequence of
an inevitable question is: “How can I get a good contribution.” Q t

64 | MARCH/APRIL 2018 training

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You will receive numerous job aids and examples to
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Project Management for Learning

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OFF A 2018 CERTIFICATE Russell Martin and Associates,
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*This course will use the latest version of Captivate. You successful project.
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Registration within 30 days of course start date: $995 has become a standard for learning teams
1 ONLINE SESSION STARTING MAY 7 all over the world. Virtual classroom
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Articulate Storyline Fundamentals immense challenge. It requires a unique skill set that
combines using virtual presentation, facilitation, and
“I started from zero, never design techniques with technical knowledge to skillfully
deliver online learning events.
having opened the program
This certificate helps you to identify, develop, and
before. I can now confidently practice the necessary skills to become savvy virtual
trainers. The certificate also addresses what is required
start and finish a project!” to be properly prepared to deliver online, what you need
Hollie Thomas to do adjust your individual beliefs around online learning,
Instructional Designer/Facilitator, and how your organization can begin to make the shifts
Arise Virtual Solutions necessary to support a virtual learning culture.
You should come prepared with an idea for a future live
online event. You will complete a project related to that Scenario-Based eLearning Design
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session for peer and instructor feedback. “All sessions were highly
BONUS ITEMS! Receive a participant guide containing interactive and thought
job aids (including The Virtual Trainer’s Competency
Model and a 4-Step Virtual Activity Design Process); provoking. Ray’s keen wit
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various live online platforms (WebEx, Zoom, Adobe
Connect and GotoTraining); and key points to remember interactive stories is great.
for you to use as you design, develop, deliver, and
support your live online courses.
Thanks for helping me grow
This certificate program is designed for those who professionally!”
desire to build the skills necessary to design, develop,
— Alanda Carter, Instructional Designer,
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With the right practices, any training
Simplify Design and Development.
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Systems architect for Vignettes Learning
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and Training Magazine Network.
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Learners and managers are demanding more effective by gaining in-depth focus and practical
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mobile learning tools and faster and more reliable examine practical ways, sound
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you to “rethink” and “invigorate” the design of your organization’s training and yield tangible, bottom-
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learning suited for those who are on-the-move, on-the-
BONUS! You’ll receive the Training Manager’s Tool Kit
job and connected with mobile technologies. You’ll
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examine the methods of micro-learning content design
Tool, 100-point Classroom Instructor Skills Inventory, and
and delivery that facilitates quick transfer of knowledge
a Performance Improvement Plan Template. PLUS you
and application.
can earn up to 1.9 CEUs when you successfully complete
This is not a software course. This certificate is not this certificate.
about authoring and mobile software. It focuses on
Early-Bird Rate 30+ days prior to course start date: $1,145
content development, design and delivery. The course
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will focus on eLearning and performance support
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This certificate is designed for subject matter experts, produced Certificate
training designers, and eLearning designers and of Completion
developers. Note: This certificate focuses on eLearning signed by your
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for full Certificate descriptions.
OF F E R Register for both
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Fundamentals Certificate Next Level Design Certificate
To keep pace with today’s fast-moving world, training Ready to take your Articulate Storyline skills to the next
organizations are increasingly including the use of more level? This certificate program builds upon your basic
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an eLearning authoring tool built from the ground up with practice needed to move beyond “out of the box”
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is easy enough for novices to learn quickly and powerful Object States, Master Slide Layers, Variable Programming
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capabilities, Storyline lets you focus on what’s most course offering you:
important: delivering more effective and appealing
eLearning that saves your organization time and money. · A focus on interaction design using Storyline’s
features in smart, creative new ways.
BONUS ITEMS! This is the only Articulate Storyline
· Dozens of free Storyline source files
course offering you:
for self-paced learning.
· Dozens of free Storyline source files
· Detailed step-by-step exercises for
for self-paced learning.
self-paced learning.
· Detailed step-by-step exercises for
· Custom Course Template
hands-on practice.
· Custom Interactions Template
· Custom Course Template
· Instruction blended with practical design and
· Custom Interactions Template
development guidance from an award-winning
· Instruction blended with practical design eLearning developer with many years of industry
and development guidance from an award- experience.
winning eLearning developer with many years
of industry experience. The certificate is designed for those who are familiar
with the basic features of Storyline such as story view,
This certificate program is designed for scenes, slides, layers, triggers, the timeline, importing
non-programmers who wish to learn basic to assets, and creating simple quizzes and interactions.
intermediate authoring features of Articulate Storyline. Are you new to Articulate Storyline? We recommend
A basic understanding of computing concepts is that you complete the “Articulate Storyline
required. A basic understanding of eLearning is helpful. Fundamentals Certificate” prior to registering for
Managers may also benefit from seeing the creation this program.
and development process so they may more accurately
estimate course development time and cost. Already Early-Bird Rate 30+ days prior to course start date: $945
have basic Articulate Storyline experience? Consider Registration within 30 days of course start date: $1,095
registering for our “Articulate Storyline for Next Level
Design Certificate.”
Early-Bird Rate 30+ days prior to course start date: $945
Registration within 30 days of course start date: $1,095


MAY 8, JULY 17 OR OCTOBER 30, 2018
Kevin Thorn
Chief NuggetHead, NuggetHead Studioz

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