Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Why Was Classroom Training Rated So Poorly?

Monday, September 25th, 2017

In “The Changing Nature of Organizations, Work, and Workplace,” Judith Heerwagen of J.H. Heerwagen & Associates and Kevin Kelly and Kevin Kampschroer of the U.S. General Service Administration note that work is now more: cognitively complex; team-based and collaborative; dependent on social skills; dependent on technological competence; time pressured; mobile and less dependent on geography.

Managers and employees need new skills to effectively manage these challenges- and they require learning and professional development options that go beyond traditional classroom training.

This is validated by the results of a 2017 survey of Learning in the Workplace conducted by Jane Hart, the Founder of the Center for Learning & Performance Technologies. Over 5,000 managers and employees were asked to rate the importance (value/usefulness) of 12 work-related learning methods as either: NI = Not Important; QI = Quite Important; VI = Very Important; or Ess = Essential.

The results of the Survey are identified in rank order below, with 1 being the highest ranking learning method. The methods were ranked by their combined VI+Ess (Very Important and Essential) scores. (The VI+Ess total is in parentheses after the method):

1. Daily work experiences (i.e., doing the day job) (93)

2. Knowledge sharing with your team (90)

3. Web search (e.g. Google) (79)

4. Web resources (e.g. videos, podcasts, articles) (76)

5. Manager feedback and guidance (74)

6. Professional networks and communities (72)

7. Coach or mentor feedback and guidance (65)

8. Internal resources (e.g. documents, guides) (60)

9. Blogs and news feeds (56)

10. E-learning (e.g. online courses for self-study) (41)

11. Conferences and other professional events (35)

12. Classroom training (31)

As you can see, the survey results reveal that the least valued way of learning in the workforce is classroom training!

We don’t know why the respondents give classroom training such a low rating. There can be many reasons, such as:

  • Content focused on theory rather than on practical application.
  • Too general one-size-fits-all examples difficult for the participants to translate and apply to their own work situations.
  • Ineffective training methods, such as a predominance of lecture with PowerPoint.
  • Lack of useful job aids.
  • The wrong people received the training, due in part to a need to ensure a sufficient number of butts in seats.
  • Inconvenient scheduling.
  • The time commitment and high cost of registration and travel for off-site classes.
  • Poor content, either outdated or irrelevant to real work needs.
  • Poor instructors, lacking effective presentation skills and/or classroom management skills.
  • No follow up by supervisors to reinforce the learning.
  • A lack of support for implementing any new learning.

Since I design and deliver classroom training, I would like to believe that it is not classroom training per se that the respondents rate so negatively- just poor curriculum design, delivery and facilitation.

What do you think?

Christians, Who Will Take Care of the Poor?

Monday, September 25th, 2017

There are a number of categories of “the poor.” One of those categories are those persons with very limited financial, and thereby all other material resources. Those who are financially poor may have no income or be low-wage earners. They may be relatively poor, possibly disaster-ravaged, with nominal food, shelter, clothing, and means by which to do better.

Statistics regarding the financially poor are alarming. A quarter of the world’s population lives in poverty by U.S. standards. Additionally, even here in the United States, approximately twenty percent of children live in impoverished families, with many tens of thousands of them homeless, along with their families. The numbers continue to worsen via natural disasters such as hurricanes Sandy, Katrina, Irma, and Jose. There have been numerous tornadoes, floods, and wildfires in the south, Midwest and far west over the past fifteen years, their effects compounded annually by poor economies for the working classes whose jobs are exported to other countries or taken by foreigners hired via H1B, J1 visa legislation or other laws that favor employers wishing to hire lower wage workforces (American or not).

There is no need to act as though persons outside of our borders or those who have made their way across and stayed illegally are all our responsibilities. Right in your own communities, there are many citizens whose daily needs, much fewer desires, are never met. They are persons without families, friends, peers and political representation. They live under bridges, in alleys, in the shade of subways, under the cover of vacant, dilapidated buildings, and cardboard. Some, kicked out of mental facilities, find no room in shelters because their minds, ravaged by disease and recurrent, limited pharmacotherapy coupled with their distasteful appearances make them the unwanted. They are the ones for whom no federal money is earmarked, for whom no political jobs are assigned, who have even lost their ability to dream. They are your citizen brothers, sisters, and neighbors that you have given up in exchange for more recent, politically favored voices. They are hustled off the streets and harassed until maybe they find homes in barb-wired, concrete and steel facilities that you pay for via taxation.

God informed us that the poor will always be with us not so as to precipitate desensitization, rather to heighten our awareness of their need. Many recently went to the polls believing that government should not excessively burden its population because those who often espouse the mantra of care, but usually apply for funding inappropriately and inefficiently. However, even the most fervent conservatives cannot keep the poor outside of their peripheral vision as if they do not exist. They must simply turn the five loaves and two fish into many thousands, appropriately distributing them, teach the recipients who are capable to bake and fish, and care for the residual poor citizen neighbors who are simply too beaten down by life.

So, who will take care of the poor? It is intended for you (His people) to enjoy the blessings of God (including wealth) so that you may spread the gospel, simultaneously living life more abundantly and taking care of the poor (Lev. 25:35-36). But, until your ability and willingness to do so are more abundantly developed, the Syrophonecians will have to tend to their own. Prosper now and live as God wants you to live!