Dear Boss, I Need Professional Development

Dear Boss,

While I am enjoying my time as an employee in your company, I need professional development.  I would like to enhance my career and increase my chances at being successful.  Career success is not always tied to promotions (Noe, 2013).  In addition, “it’s common knowledge that attracting and retaining good employees is vital to the health of any ongoing business. Also, few would dispute the fact that employees (as a general rule) want to do a good job. Putting these two ideas together, it becomes quickly apparent that for companies to thrive, they need to do whatever is necessary to help employees do well in their assignments, or risk losing them (Gutierrez, 2017).

Here are the reasons I so desperately need to grow and develop in my current position:

  • Training – Other than Leadership training
    • There are a variety of departments in the company.  All working parts of a bigger system.  I would like to learn more about those working parts in order to be more confident in my current position.
  • Job Rotation
    • I would like to rotate positions into the other departments of the company.  I think this would give me a different perspective of what the other employees experience in their own departments.
  • Development Training
    • Although I am happy in my current position, after the job rotation I would like to have feedback from the departments I worked in.  Was I a fit? What could I develop further in order to for both of us to benefit?
  • Mentorship or Job Coaching
    • I would like to experience the benefit of having a mentor or job coach.  I believe that having someone to discuss ideas with and receive direct feedback, both positive and negative, would be extremely beneficial.

I have taken it upon myself to enroll in some additional training in an online course which will also enhance my computer skills.  I am hoping that these courses will provide great benefits to what I am currently doing.

I welcome the opportunity to meet and discuss at your earliest convenience as I am interested in the next steps.

Sincerely

Your anxious to do better employee

References

Gutierrez. K ( 2017) https://www.shiftelearning.com/blog/statistics-value-of-employee-training-and-development

Noe, R. A. (2013). Employee training and development (6th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw Hill. Chapter 9, “Employee Development and Career Management”

Technology, Training and Learning – Oh My!

Fortunately, the idea of technology and training has evolved and continues to evolve every time we sign off each night.  Software is constantly being updated, processes are changing and job requirements are becoming outdated and then updated before our very eyes. While no federal laws, policies or training regulations apply to all employees, specific laws and agency regulations may apply to individual industries or employers. An emerging challenge is how best to adapt and implement technological changes  (Beach, 2016). Technology is having a major impact on the delivery of training programs (Noe, 2013) and it is this impact that is strengthening how we deliver and what we deliver.

Webcasts/Webinars, shared workspaces, distance learning, online learning and blended learning are all offering learners the opportunity to learn at their own pace, where they want and how fast they want to learn it.  All of these types of elearning strategies, make learning through interaction more interesting and valuable to learners.  An inherent advantage of online learning is the ability to reduce the costs associated to delivering training to employees, increase the effectiveness of the learning environment, and help training contribute to business goals (Beach, 2016).

There are a few outside factors that may hinder the availability of such programs like wifi availability, web security and the training environment. The impact of these outside factors is minimal but still need to be considered in all types of trainings.

I have used all types of technology to train and to also be trained.  I deliver webinars about 2-3 times a week.  While I like this type of training, the one downfall I see is that it is difficult to see engagement.  Shared workspace, although new to me, is an absolute favorite of mine especially when collaborating on a project.  It create ease and flexibility when working together.  Online learning and blended learning made it possible for me to continue my education while maintaining my role as a mother and company owner.

Technology, training and learning has really come so far and still has far to go.  Although face-to-face interaction has great benefits, who knew that a pandemic would bring out the best in all of our technological learning choices.

Until next time,  stay home and stay safe!

Peace!

ID Newbie

References:

Beach, D. (2016)  https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/impact-technology-employee-training-david-beach

Noe, R. A. (2013). Employee training and development (6th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw Hill. Chapter 8, “Technology-Based Training Methods”

A Pandemic and Perspective

Like everyone else, the pandemic has done more than scare the wits out of me and my family.  The pandemic has given me new perspective on staying home, being close with my family and working.  One of the things I want to mention is that I like to work – I like everything that it entails.  Getting up, getting ready and doing all the things that we women do, the hair, the makeup and the clothes.  I miss work – terribly.

I am home with 3 of my 5 children.  We eat together, talk, play board games and occasionally laugh until we cry.  We have also designated a specific day in which each of us can cry.  My one daughter, a Senior in high-school, is allowed to cry on Mondays.  I feel for her and all the things she will potentially miss – fingers crossed that she does not miss too much more.

While I do love being at home, the prospect of getting a new job seems a bit daunting.  There are so many of us out of work and finding another position may be harder than ever.  I will continue my hunt and hope that my resume lands on the right desk.  Until then, stay home and stay safe.

Peace!

ID Newbie

Whole Foods and Their Gap in Customer Service

I have been asked to perform a needs analysis on the Whole Food Distributor. This company has a strong mission and values and includes all of their employees to be responsible for customer happiness.   They also have a great program that extends loans to local producers to help expand their businesses.  This program supports the development of farmers to organic products.

My first responsibility is to identify the stakeholders I need buy in from.  I believe the managers of the customer service department, supervisors of the same, Human Resources would be a huge asset as well as anyone else involved in the promotion of products sold by customer service. As an outside source, I would like to invite one of the local farmers so I could get their opinion in hw customer service sells their products.  To have support from the customer service reps would also provide leverage towards the training needed.

Some important questions to be considered are:

  • When was the actual gap noticed?
  • Is the gap still there or has there been an increase/decrease?
  • Does customer service know there is a gap?
  • What if any were the previous trainings – what were the results? Was there a gap analysis done and can you provide me the results?

I would need to see the sales as required by customer service and possibly identify when the gap happened?  Is there any results from attempts at trainings or performance evaluations that I can see?  This would provide me the opportunity to see if there were any improvements as a result of these trainings.

I would use the following techniques in implementing the training program:

  •  Observation of the culture of the department
  • Interviews of current employees and the human resource department
  • Documentation of the current gap and how it is affecting sales
    •  I would possibly use some collaborative planning towards the implementation of the project.

Once the buy in is solid, the hard work then begins.  Stay tuned as I complete the project.

 

Peace!

ID Newbie

The Truth About Training

I think I have probably trained about 100 Customer service reps in my career in the corporate world.  Some are fast learners, some daydream as you are instructing, and some never make the cut.  So far, as I have begun learning the truth about training, not a lot has changed but the outside factors affecting the training. In the following “elevator speech” I have to convince a company that their customer service reps need more training even though they don’t think it is necessary.

Learning Theories and Motivation – A Reflection

Reflection

In one of my prior weeks in one of the discussions, I had mentioned how learning theories were introduced to me in a foundations course in my pursuit of my Early Childhood degree.  I remember being so bored and I did not really grasp the concept or see the importance.  That has totally changed for me at the completion of this class.  Getting a better understanding of learning theories has opened my eyes to a world of differences in how we learn in addition to what we learn.  Once the adult learning theory was the focus, I really started to enjoy the course and begin to absorb the different theories.  I had written a training document applying adult learning theory in one of my recent positions and I could really relate to this type of theory.

Any educator knows that the different learning theories exist and more than likely applies adaptive methodology to reach the students in the class.  This course helped me look at how I learn and my hope is that by having this additional insight, it will make me a better instructional designer as well as teacher.  I also was able to get a stronger grasp on learning style as opposed to learning theory, which I think will broaden my perspective when beginning a new design project.

Motivation was an important part of the course, specifically for me, only later to find out that motivation is a strong part of learning theory.  When given the question does motivation have to come from within? I think the answer is obvious – motivation always has to come from within.  What motivates us to wake up, take a course, go for a run or even have a conversation?  I believe that human nature makes us want to progress, move forward, and sometimes even discover.   The motivation is there, however small or insignificant it may be, it is always there.  Of course, there are extrinsic factors that spark the motivation and we may have to rely on that spark to keep us going, but some days the intrinsic outweighs the extrinsic.  Of course, I have my days where nothing motivates me, and I am sure I am not alone.  It is okay to have those days, but it is important to not let those day turn into weeks.

I am new to the instructional design world and honestly can say at the beginning of class felt very out of place and overwhelmed.  It took a lot of motivation to not withdraw and stay put, but then what would I have learned – that I am a quitter? Instead, I pushed forward, read diligently, and found the motivation to continue especially since the reward was at the end of the 8 weeks.  I found that I am a behaviorist and constructivist – I love to collaborate, learn from others, and I especially enjoy being part of a team.  I am so glad that I continued on and am looking forward to the next course – that I already feel out of place in again.

I will continue to be the ID Newbie – PEACE!

 

 

The Amazing Journey of Learning Theories – Is It Really Amazing?

Over the past 7 weeks I have taken the deep dive into Learning Theories.  What a journey it has been – some weeks the ride was very ho hum while other weeks the ride was filled with scenery and plenty of great rest stops. But like most rides, it is coming to an end or is it?

Learning theories are around us and definitely have evolved in their definition from when I was in undergrad school.  I also should mention that I found them completely boring and irrelevant at the ripe old age of 22.  Now that I am a bit more “seasoned”  I find some of them fascinating and more often found myself saying ” No way” when it described how I learned and put a name to it.  I am a combination of a behaviorist and a constructivist as I love to collaborate for the primary reason is that I enjoy learning from others and their experiences. The idea of being immersed in a project and not being a bystander excites me and the takeaway is so much greater for me personally.  I like to include behaviorist because I believe this is how I learned as a child and part of me still likes a rote method of learning.

What I found as the best part of the learning theory journey is the impact it has had on my thoughts surrounding instructional design.  It has forced me to concentrate on my audience and the different abilities they are bringing to the table.  I also believe that when I am in the early planning stages of a project, the idea of learning theories will help me look at the end result with a broader vision.  In addition, as a new instructional designer having  a fresh perspective about learning theories will allow me to bring something additional to the table.

So in reality the learning theory journey has been pretty educational and dare I say – enlightening.  My hope is that the personal journey in to learning theories continues and I keep my mind open to receive the whole thing.

Until the next time, I will continue to be the ID Newbie – PEACE!

If It’s Free It Is For Me…..Sometimes

I recently started following an Instructional Design site The ELearning Coach and let me tell you, she offers some great tips, instruction and resources.  There was a free offer for 12 lessons for those who are new to instructional design or thinking about taking the leap.  It is being offered for free.  My first thought was, free but I have to give my credit card in order to cancel “at any time.”  Just another thing I have to remember or put on my calendar.  Nope, not this time – it is legit for free. No credit card or any type of payment information.  Well then it is for me – definitely.

I believe that in any industry, we need to constantly learn, stay ahead of the game and use the resources that are available to us.  The 12 lessons may be brief – what are you expecting for free – but are informative and insightful.  As a former teacher, I have always stood by the idea that if I can give or get a tidbit of information to anyone in the audience, then there is success.  I am glad that I am taking the free 12 lesson course and I look forward to sharing and applying what I have learned.

Until then I will continue to be the ID Newbie – Peace!

Let’s Connect over a cup of Connectivism

According to George Siemens, “Connectivism integrates technology, social networks and information” (Siemens,2005). In other words, connectivism is how we all operate everyday when we do a Google search, collaborate with a co-worker, or check a social media page for an update. Personally, every time I do one of the above mentioned actions, I am learning.

My mind map certainly does show my emphasis on my professional life and that the other two areas in my life could use some help – I think they call it work-life balance.  Anyway, I digress…

Through the networks listed, each one brings a special something to my learning.  If I have a human resource question, I talk to one of my friends who is a whiz at HR.  If I need to know about a bear or an animal siting in my neighborhood, then NextDoor Digest is my go to.  I recently found the Elearning Coach and joined her email list so I could get her free book of resources.  She is awesome and I would definitely check her out – www.theelearningcoach.com.  I wish I would have found her sooner, because she offers some great tips for writing for Instructional Design.

Truthfully, I think I am a little old-school when it comes to learning and figuring out what to do next.  Countless times, I have been in a predicament where I simply did not know how to get from Point A to Point Z.  Time was always never on my side, and I have the tendency to get a little wound tight under stress.  Instead of wasting time (my pet peeve) I normally would pick up the phone and start calling my resources to get me to the finish point – even if it means calling some of my higher up friends at the government level.  Most people would rely on Google or other web-based apps to steer the ship, but I like the idea of a person walking me through the steps.   I don’t know why talking to an actual person would be considered “old-school” but I know for sure none of my adult children would dare to pick up a phone to ask for help – unless it was me doing the helping.

Connectivism is not new just putting a word to the process of what we do every day – especially if you are taking a course, looking for a job or simply cruising the web.

Till then, I will continue to be  the ID Newbie – old-school or not  as I trudge my way through the complex world of instructional design.

Peace!

 

The Brain and Learning – Who Knew

I was searching around the www looking for further information on the brain and how we learn. I came across this one website https://www.sciencenewsforstudents.org/article/learning-rewires-brain and learned some fascinating information.  First, who knew that once I learned a new skill it allowed more time for me to daydream.  The following excerpt:

“Areas that allow people to pay attention became most active as someone began a new task. But those attention areas became less active over time. Meanwhile, areas of the brain linked with daydreaming and mind-wandering became more active as people became more familiar with a task (Pierce Stephens, 2014). ” I am not a daydreamer by nature, but this definitely provided me with the why it happens.   Secondly, who knew that by performing a task without giving it much thought was the way to do it flawlessly – hopefully.

The second site I found was https://elearningindustry.com/information-processing-basics-how-brain-processes-information

Great information here about the memory and the storage of information – especially useful to the instructional designer.  Sensory memory, short term memory and long-term memory all play a part in how something is presented to a learner.  The author, C. Pappas intertwines the types of memory with how to appeal, grab and keep your elearner engaged.  Very insightful and worth the brief read.

 

Till then, I will continue to be  the ID Newbie as I trudge my way through the complex world of instructional design.

Peace!

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