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In the early 2000s, the Field Training department of Farmers University set out to develop the ideal learning experience for its agents, a project that ultimately would lead to the establishment of the University of Farmers in 2003.

Carefully considering all the pluses and minuses will secure the best ROI for the program.

Performance support tools—whether traditional in the form of mentoring and coaching or technologically advanced and online—can be workforce game-changers. When your employees find themselves stumped in the middle of a challenging task, these tools give them a place to turn for quick, just-in-time answers.

Performance support tools—whether traditional in the form of mentoring and coaching or technologically advanced and online—can be workforce game-changers. When your employees find themselves stumped in the middle of a challenging task, these tools give them a place to turn for quick, just-in-time answers. The challenge is understanding the support tools available today and which are right for your employees.
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Helping Trainees Succeed Overseas

I was having brunch recently with the former VP of sales for one of the world’s most prestigious and elegant hotels, which is based in Singapore. As we got to talking, he mentioned that he was asked to be the VP of sales for a brand new hotel that was considered one of the top hotels in the world. I mentioned that one of the areas I work in is the training and development of expatriates for international assignments. His reaction was one I have heard more than 50 times: “I wish I had known you before I went to Asia.”

Focus on Norway

A country famous for its islands, forests, and fjords, Norway never ceases to amaze the world, especially during the Winter Olympics. Her graceful athletes usually win countless gold medals based on their great skill and connection to the land. This country has a population of approximately 5 million and is blessed with natural resources. Your organization will benefit greatly by doing business in this Scandinavian paradise. Building your training capacity here can benefit your company in myriad ways.

How To: Use Focus Groups for Rapid Needs Analysis

Almost all Learning and Development professionals have experienced the demand, “we need the training delivered yesterday!” This has led to the development of a range of rapid prototyping design and development methodologies—techniques that require a strong needs analysis in order to be successful. As Peter Drucker wryly noted, “There is nothing quite so useless as doing with great efficiency something that should not be done at all.”

Fostering the Strategic Employee Lifecycle

Today’s business landscape requires that companies foster the development of new ideas, tap into critical employee thinking and knowledge, and enable the synergy of teams to revolutionize their existing business in order to establish an effective roadmap for a strategic employee lifecycle.

Building a Strong Brand for Career Success

For companies smart enough—and lucky enough—to sustain a strong brand, that brand is a gold mine. For a great brand, customers will drive the extra mile, pay the extra dollar, and refuse to consider lower-priced “me too” offers from competitors.

Career Steer

While not yet back to the levels seen in a buoyant economy, a substantial majority (72%) of respondents to a BlessingWhite survey believe they personally have the biggest control over their next career move (as opposed to their manager or the company they work for).

Sticky Notes: The Training Investment Paradox

One question business leaders are still asking: “How are we going to get a return on our training investment in people who don’t stay for the long haul?” The question you should be asking: “How are we going to change our approach to training so our investment is not so vulnerable?”

What’s Training Worth?

NEARLY 71% OF 200 WORKERS between the ages of 18 and 60 believe their employers consider training to be important, but only 38% said they received 20 or more hours of training in the last year, according to an online survey by Mindflash. On the other hand, almost 58% of participants said that training was helping them to do their jobs a lot better, while approximately 38% said training helped their job performance “a little.” Along the same lines, a large majority (nearly 67%) said that more training would deliver further on-the-job benefits, and most workers (almost 62%) would be willing to take training courses during non-work hours.

Productivity Coach’s Corner: Sharpen Your Focus

If you have a goal to get more things done today, step back and reflect on the environment you work in and ask yourself, “Is this workspace designed to help me focus on the work I have to do?”

Priming the Pipeline

IN ITS “PUTTING THE SUCCESS IN SUCCESSION” REPORT, PwC U.S. examines how workforce challenges are having a ripple effect on corporate succession planning. These include declining retention rates, an inability to consistently identify and develop pivotal talent, disconnected processes throughout organizations, and a lack of reliable talent data. “While most organizations conduct succession planning, too often it doesn’t get the full attention of the leadership team until a crisis forces it on the agenda,” notes Sayed Sadjady, partner in PwC’s People & Change practice.

Go Figure

Math was never my best (or favorite) subject in school. You’d think with parents in the aerospace and computer industries that I’d have a math gene advantage, but apparently I take after my grandfather, who started out as a copyboy for wire service UPI and worked his way up the editorial ladder. Two decades in the workplace later, I still have not developed an affinity for numbers - which is why I have an accountant do my taxes and a researcher tabulate our surveys.

Top 10 OTI: Microsoft Corporation: Pitch Perfect

For the first time since the creation of the Training Top 10 Hall of Fame in 2008, Training magazine required all Hall of Famers to submit an Outstanding Training Initiative that would be shared with our readers throughout the year. Here are the details of Microsoft Corporation’s submission.

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Training Top 125

Excelsior, MN (February 18, 2013)— Verizon picked up the No.

From the Editor

Math was never my best (or favorite) subject in school.

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Emerging Training Leaders

By Lorri Freifeld

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