Office Design and Inclusion

Over the past month, temperatures have soared across the United States–except in most workplaces. And as a widely circulated new study, published in Nature Climate Change last week, concludes, the chilly climate of many offices may reflect a problem that can’t be easily solved by simply adjusting our thermostats. Indeed, the study suggests that the chilly climate of many workplaces reflects deeply rooted assumptions about the “normal” size and gender of workers. Continue reading

eLearning TrendWatch: Characters and Avatars

Learning professionals are always looking for ways to jazz up their eLearning and other corporate training content, and making good use of characters and avatars is a great way to do that. This article will cover some of the basics as well as latest developments in eLearning trends for leveraging characters and avatars into learning content for greater impact and personalization. Continue reading

eLearning TrendWatch: HTML5

As a learning professional, you already know how important it is to stay on top of all the latest developments, and while many have probably already started working with HTML5, even more have yet to jump onto that bandwagon. In this article, I’ll cover what’s important to know about HTML5 and what to keep in mind as you make the switch. Continue reading

Learning Management Systems and Training Resistance

Although training is now part of the culture of most contemporary workplaces, there are still some employees who resist training or resist training under specific circumstances. While it can be frustrating when employees refuse to participate in mandatory training, by analyzing their reasons for resisting training, organizations can gain insight into their workplace culture and assess what is and is not working with regards to their approach to training. Continue reading

Training Options for Your Customer Service Team

In 2012, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that were more than 2.3 million customer service representatives across the United States. Most customer service representatives make less than $35,000 per year, but this in part reflects that fact that 1 and 5 customer service representatives work on a part-time basis. Customer service representatives work in retail, call centers and other front line service capacities. Their primary role is to process orders, respond to customer complaints, and communicate information about their company’s services and/or products. While the vast majority of customer services positions require little formal education beyond a high school diploma or associate’s degree, customer service representatives have much to gain from additional training offered on the job. As the first and often only people who have direct contact with a company’s customers, employing a team of well trained and committed customer service representatives is essential. It also means that investing in training for customer service representatives can yield a high return on investment over time. Continue reading

Responding to the Training Needs of EMTs

Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) have one of the most high-risk occupations in the United States. For only a fraction of the pay earned by other first responders, such as fire fighters, or emergency room doctors and even nurses, EMTs deliver vital medical services and often do so under highly perilous conditions. While their low compensation reflects the fact that the initial educational requirements needed to become an EMT are less demanding than the requirements to work in most other front line medical careers, EMTs must possess a high level of knowledge on a range of emergency medicine topics and must constantly retrain to stay on top of new procedures and most notably, the myriad of compliance issues that impact their work. Continue reading

Learning Management Systems for Change Management

There is nothing that drives business more than a great, even revolutionary, idea. Failing to prepare one’s employees and clients for big changes, however, can be catastrophic, no matter how great one’s idea may appear on the surface. For this reason, managing change is essential and training is a key part of change management. A flexible learning management system can help organizations prepare and train for change in an integrated manner and help them track the impact of change as it unfolds. Continue reading

Training for Shift Workers

By definition, a shift worker is any worker who follows a work schedule that deviates from the typical 9 to 5 business schedule. Traditionally, nurses, doctors, pilots, flight attendants, security guards, fire fighters and truck drivers were among the most common shift work positions. Today, shift work is becoming increasingly common across sectors, including in many so-called white collar professions. Indeed, an estimated 8.6 million US workers engage in some form of shift worker. The reason for the increase is simple. As US businesses strive to keep up in a global market, being available 24-hours a day, not simply during one’s local business hours, is becoming increasingly important. While many businesses opt to hire overseas workers (e.g., many US banks employ customer service agents in India to field late night and early morning calls), other companies opt to employ shift workers in the US. While being on all the time may be good for business, the negative impacts of shift work are well documented. But what are the implications for training and can adopting a learning management system help?
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Learning Management Systems for Any Attention Span

Earlier in 2015, Microsoft Canada’s consumer research division released a new study on attention spans. Based on a survey of 2000 adult respondents, the company’s researchers discovered that over the past 15 years, our attention spans have been plummeting at a rather alarming rate. Indeed, among the study’s most alarming observations is the fact that since 2000, the average human attention span has dropped from 12 seconds to 8 seconds, which even puts us behind goldfish (goldfish have an average attention spam of 9 seconds). The same study reports that Internet users rarely spend more than 10 seconds on a single page. The study’s results not only have implications for consumer research and marketing but also for education and training and more specifically, for the development and adoption of learning management systems. Continue reading