“You can look at the results of performance reviews to gain data in order to determine the kind of training needed. Further, you can include training as part of long-term goals during the performance appraisal process.”
Today, uQualio®, the makers of your favorite eLearning creation authoring software, had the opportunity to sit down and chat with the team at The Lindenberger Group, a team of HR thought-leaders and human resource consultants, about the work that they do in the corporate training space.
Let’s jump into the interview below.
Hello and thank you for joining us today! We really appreciate you taking the time to speak with our blog readers about your involvement in the HR and employee training space. Let's have you kick off the interview by telling us a little bit more about The Lindenberger Group. Can you tell us a little bit more about how and why you got started in this space?
I have an MBA in Human Resources and have worked for the federal government, a large bank, and a Fortune 500 company. About twenty years ago, my family moved from Kentucky to New Jersey and I had to give up my job as an HR business partner. I took a brief stint working for a nonprofit organization, but I knew it was going to be temporary. I asked my boss for her recommendation - should I look for another job or start my own business. I had always thought about having my own business. My former boss told me that she had created every job she ever had and that I should go out and make my own job rather than work for someone else. That was all the motivation I needed. I started my business in November of 2001.
As you mentioned on your website, human resource is an essential part of a business strategy. You deal with many aspects of the HR process from hiring to outboarding and everything in between. This gives you a pretty broad perspective. As we move into a digital economy, more and more companies are working as partly, and sometimes fully, distributed teams. What new challenges does this present and how can companies ensure HR excellence even while working with remote teams?
A lot of what we do is to provide outsourced human resources services for companies that don't want to have, or can't afford, a full-time human resources person. As companies decrease the number of people, and full-time employees, as well as decrease the amount of time required in the office, outsourced HR has grown.
Can you tell us a little bit more about the intersection where HR and employee training meet? In your experience, how does training compliment hiring?
One of the things I am most proud of is creating a mentoring program for Brown-Forman Corporation. The mentoring program, which includes pairing mentors with proteges, providing training, and measuring results, is a mainstay of their recruiting efforts. Companies that provide employee training can emphasize that during the hiring process and have a leg up on their competition.
What have you seen used as effective internal strategies when dealing with employee training? What systems and procedures should be in place from day one to ensure both employer and employee are on the same page in terms of training expectations?
First, you need to do an employee survey to determine the kind of training that is needed. In addition, you can look at the results of performance reviews to gain data in order to determine the kind of training needed. Further, you can include training as part of long-term goals during the performance appraisal process.
When it comes to coaching, we, at The Lindenberger Group, believe that the employee and his or her supervisor need to agree on the key goals to be achieved.
You mention on your website that the right training programs can strengthen the commitment to the organization. However, you also mention that poorly planned and executed training can be a total waste of time. What errors result in companies producing bad training experiences? How can these errors be avoided?
Poor training can be a waste of time and resources. First, you need to design a training program that will meet the needs of the participants. Next, training needs to be practical, relevant, and fun. In addition, it is important to follow up on the training with refreshers or coaching in order to maintain new skills learned. Last, new skills should be rewarded.
What are some effective strategies when it comes to the planning and development of employee training courses? How much should companies involve their employees in this process?
Employees need to be involved when determining key topics for training. Case studies can be developed based on interviews with supervisors and key employees.
What are some of the major obstacles companies face when they bring their training programs online and how can they overcome those obstacles?
Boring training that can be clicked through. It's important to break up the flow of the training every few minutes with a different tack ... like go from video to talking points to a quick quiz. Employees need to be given the time and equipment to take the training.
In your experience, what are some of the most important yet overlooked topics within a curriculum that companies would be wise to explore in more detail? Why do you think these training topics are often overlooked?
Some of the softer skills are overlooked and they can be the most important skills for success in the workplace. Training on conflict management, for example, may be overlooked or talked about in terms of theory when the topic really needs to be explored with pertinent case studies and real-life examples.
How is technology disrupting the employee training space? What are some interesting technological trends you see on the horizon?
eLearning is taking over classroom-based training. That's okay for a lot of training but, in some cases, having a group conversation, guided by an expert facilitator, would be the better tactic to take.
Lastly, what three pieces of training-related advice would you give to companies out there who are struggling with team morale and productivity?
- Provide team-building that is fun and relevant. I'm not a big fan of the building LEGOs type of training. I'd rather see a group use the MBTI to learn about one another.
- Make sure that employees have up-to-date and practical job descriptions so that they understand what they are expected to do and how well.
- Conduct an employee survey, analyze the data, provide high-level recommendations, communicate the results, and follow through on expert recommendations.
Well said! Thanks for joining us today. We truly appreciate you taking the time to chat with our eLearning blog readers about your experience running The Lindenberger Group. To our blog readers, if you’d like to learn more about The Lindenberger Group’s work you can follow them on Twitter.