Posts tagged development

Your Organization Can Encourage Learning Transfer

We all know that employee training and development is important, crucial to an organization’s success. But how can we ensure that it is effective? How do we know if training affects actual job performance? Training professionals have coined the term learning transfer to describe the learning that takes place after the training, the kind of learning that is translated into doing.

Many experts agree that a supportive work environment can increase learning transfer. There are many things an organization can do to support learning. A few common threads include:

Encourage learners to create goals
Talk with learners about how the training will affect job performance
Explain the new skills obtained in the training will improve job performance
Learners should create goals that directly impact their job behavior

Follow-up is essential
Learning transfer occurs after the training ends, find opportunities to keep the focus top of mind
Coaching has a direct impact on learning transfer
Learning buddies help to share new knowledge in a more social atmosphere
Mentoring allows someone other than a direct supervisor to help with learning transfer
Find creative, social ways to reinforce learning – picnic lunch, bulletin board, electronic newsletter

Space out learning opportunities
Learning takes time to apply, be sure to give enough time and attention on reinforcement and integration of the material

Learning happens in the everyday interactions after the formal training workshop has occurred. Creating an environment and culture that is receptive and encouraging to the learning that happens will encourage actual learning transfer – which impacts job behavior and performance.

School’s In Session … For Your Employees

Stores are stocking shelves with back to school items; folders, pink erasers and glue sticks galore. This time of year is a great reminder of the importance of preparing for education; although this reminder should not end with your kids back packs. Education should extend long beyond those yellow school bus days. Organizations that incorporate education and training into the workplace are more successful and profitable, and their employees are happier.

In a recent study of 550 U.S. CEOs, 25 percent identified the need for workplace education programs as a top challenge. Research shows that improving employee skills creates employees who work smarter and better cope with change in the workplace, management relations and result in higher profitability. When employees learn that high-quality work is crucial to the success of the organization and to their own job security, they are more meticulous. Understanding how their efforts fit into the big picture, and then receive the skills to meet those demands, the quality of their work generally rises.

This leads to a host of direct economic benefits for the employer, including increased production of products and services, reduced time per task, reduced error rate, a better health and safety record, reduced waste in production of goods and services, increased customer retention and increased employee retention. It also produces a variety of indirect economic benefits, such as improved quality of work, better team performance, improved capacity to cope with change in the workplace and improved capacity to use new technology. These indirect economic benefits, although less tangible and more difficult to measure precisely than the direct benefits, have an important impact on organizational performance.

Organizations can take baby steps to get started. An important first step is assessing the education needs at your company. Understanding what skills and learning gaps exist is essential to designing a well-founded program. Education and training partners like NorthStar360 can help design and implement a survey tool to help the management team assess and prioritize these training needs. Next comes the training and then an assessment tool to see quantitative results. The qualitative results are evident in the new found confidence of your employees and new energy in the hallways.

Administrative Assistants Day Provides Opportunity for Development

Administrative assistants may be best associated with the many clerical tasks performed throughout the day. We may forget to recognize the importance of a warm greeting, the filing of important documents or managing a busy calendar full of appointments; but these tasks have a resounding effect on the success or profitability of a business. April 25 marks this year’s Administrative Assistants Day, an annual reminder for us to say, “thank you.”

Having a right-hand gal or guy is essential to successful business growth. A strong administrative assistant has been linked to improved employee retention, financial growth and higher productivity.

The International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP) founded Administrative Assistants’ Day and suggests recognition go beyond the traditional Hallmark card and flowers. The IAAP suggests recognition that provides opportunities for learning and growth, including tuition reimbursement, participation in professional organizations and business workshops.

“We work with a variety of businesses that incorporate business and leadership training as a token of appreciation,” advises Susan Riddering, vice president of NorthStar360 Business Solutions. “One of the best things is to query your administrative staff and ask what areas they would like to develop.” Workshops can focus on any aspect that would improve skills and build confidence, such as High Performance, Teamwork, Time Management, Goal Settings and Customer Service.

Consider adding professional development to your plan for showing appreciation, ”But don’t forget the flowers!” advises Riddering.

Based in Dyer, Ind., NorthStar360 Business Solutions was founded to help businesses maximize their success through comprehensive hiring practices and in-depth employee development programs. The company customizes its training and tailors its development programs to meet the specific business goals of its clients. For more information on NorthStar360, please call (219) 864-1576 or visit