I am not a morning person, by any stretch of the imagination, as my husband can attest (he is bright-eyed and bushy-tailed at sunrise, while I struggle to be civil before 9 a.m.—further proof of the adage that opposites attract). But there I was last month, up at 4:15 a.m. so I could catch a flight to Minneapolis for a meeting with my Lakewood Media Group colleagues about our upcoming Training 2016 Conference & Expo (February 15-17 in Orlando). I was flattered that our conference director had requested me to be at the meeting to add my suggestions about dialing up the conference content, format, and theme. I also was flattered by how quickly the company partners agreed to the trip and delighted when the CFO picked me up at the airport bearing dark chocolate bars and chocolate chip cookies baked by his wife (my chocaholic tendencies are the stuff of legends at Lakewood).
Most of all, I loved bouncing ideas off my colleagues in person, and the meeting yielded some nifty ones (in my humble opinion): potential keynotes from Pixar and Cirque du Soleil; a Future of Learning Forum; Training Top 10 Hall of Fame Town Hall Meetings. I’m so excited! And I’m so engaged! That collaboration and interaction with my colleagues (plus the VIP treatment) was exactly what I needed—an escape from answering e-mails, scheduling articles, and hounding people to meet deadlines. Too often these days, it seems we are too drained by the end of the day to devote much time to thinking creatively about the big picture. That’s why our cover story, “Power Surge,” looks at how organizations can fuel engagement and performance by helping employees renew their four core energy needs: physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual.
My own experience echoes that of some of the companies interviewed for the article, “What Motivates Workers at Small Firms?” According to a Dale Carnegie Training survey, employees at companies with headcounts of less than 1,000 (like Lakewood Media Group) want to feel their ideas and efforts materially contribute to the success of their employers. The survey found that employees feel knowing their expertise is valued is even more important than advancement or raises.
One big question, though, is how much an organization emphasizes to employees that they are valued. As we note in “High Potentials: Tell Them or Not?” identifying employees as having high potential acknowledges their contributions to the company, validates what they are doing, and inspires them. But it also can lead to them resting on their laurels. That said, I have to admit I am a fan of letting employees know they are high potentials—probably because I’ve found I tend to stretch more knowing my employer has high expectations for me.
Speaking of high expectations, I look forward to receiving your 2016 Training Top 125 application. To download the application today, visit:
I also urge you to check out the ISA Directory. It is an excellent resource when you are looking for stellar training providers.
Best wishes for a wonderful summer! I look forward to seeing you October 6-8 in Denver at our Online Learning Conference.