Effective Refreshers for Employee Training

Everyone learns differently. Some just need to hear information to absorb it, while others require a visual aid or written notes. In any case, your employees will all adopt their own strategies during training sessions. But what about when a month or two passes between courses and you want to hold a random refresher, just to keep everyone on the same page and the business running smoothly? Finding some method that will be beneficial and appealing for everyone in the workplace can be difficult, but your employee training and tracking experts at Conductor have a few ideas to get you started. Game day While you might not normally think of using games as a learning exercise in the office, they can actually be quite effective in helping your employees hang onto vital information passed on during training sessions. A few great options for jogging someone’s memory include group crossword puzzles, hangman, or hosting a trivia challenge. You can even come up with a matching game using simple materials like Post-it notes as your cards. Another way to reinforce key concepts from training using a game is to have your employees do the legwork and come up with the activity themselves. Not only will they be participating, but they’ll have to know the correct answers and details in order to create a game that actually serves its purpose. As long as it helps keep your employees at the top of their game, a little play at work never hurt. Cheat sheets If you don’t have the time to organize a game or two, you can always craft a cheat sheet...

Bridging the Gap in a Multi-generational Office

The modern workplace is continually changing shape, and with more employees choosing to retire later in life, there’s a greater chance of capitalizing on the perks of a multi-generational office environment. But with this great opportunity for multiple perspectives, varying experience levels, and an endless supply of backgrounds and skill sets to draw from also comes the challenge of bridging multiple gaps between coworkers. So if you find yourself heading a team of professionals who all come from different generations, or even if you have just one outlier who happens to be older or younger than the rest, how do you ensure that everyone feels included and up-to-date on work-related matters? With an open mind and a few tweaks to your leadership style, it’s definitely possible, and your business will be the better for a more cohesive working team. Collaborations  In most industries, brainstorming sessions and collaborations are essential parts of getting a project off the ground. You can also use these to bring members of your team together to see how everyone contributes to the work, and therefore get the generations mingling and talking to one another. Things tend to get lost in translation over email or instant messenger, so try to have these activities carried out in person as often as possible with an open line of communication. Flexibility It’s easy to get stuck in your ways when a management style works. But when you’re working with people from different age groups, you’ll find that they respond in varying ways, too. If projects are taking longer than usual to complete, or maybe the quality of the work...

5 Leadership Skills that Help Boost Productivity

As a manager or senior member of the staff, you probably feel a lot of pressure to keep your team motivated and effective. After all, it’s your job to encourage productivity and make both the company and your employees the best they can be, all while doing your part to keep customers or clients happy and loyal to your business. So how do you pull off such a tough feat? It sounds daunting, but you already have the tools you need – otherwise, you wouldn’t be in a management position to start with. It’s time to call on your key skills and use them in a way that keeps your department running efficiently, and lets your employees feel valued in the workplace. To that end, we’ve pulled together five of the leadership skills you need to boost productivity and improve company culture all at the same time. Decisiveness You didn’t get to where you are without making a few tough calls. So when it comes time to be the tie-breaker, don’t hesitate. Your team needs to know that you can keep everything moving by removing the roadblocks, as it were. And when they know that you have their backs, and will support their work on your end, they’ll probably start being a little more decisive on theirs, too. An analytical mind While this skill may not be the one you think of when it comes to connecting with your employees, it’s the one you need to do your part in keeping the machine running. Creativity has its time and place, but as a manager, you deal more in the...

3 Myths About the Weekly Company Meeting

For most office environments, there are a few rituals that get everyone pumped up and happy to be working where they are: coffee in the breakroom, an end-of-week happy hour, staff lunches on special occasions, holiday parties. But, there are also the weekly to-do items that make everyone groan and drag their feet away from their desks, namely internal meetings. Whether it’s to make sure the departments all know what the others are doing that week, or checking in on a particular project, or going over the office budgets and processes, workplace meetings have a bad reputation for being dull and even sometimes wastes of time. The rumors don’t have to be true; in fact, in many cases they aren’t! If you want to improve the way your staff regroups, check out three of the more common myths about weekly company meetings and how you can help change your workplace’s perception of them. Myth #1: A manager always has to lead. If you’re in a leadership position, then you’ve probably been in a position where it felt like you were pulling teeth from your employees instead of asking for a little participation or feedback. So it seems perfectly natural to assume that you will have to be the one guiding all of the company meetings. If not you, then who else? Don’t give your employees so little credit – just because no one volunteers to lead the meeting doesn’t mean there isn’t anyone who could. Instead of making the weekly meetings a general overview of the business, extend the opportunity to one of the senior staff members of a...

How to Personalize a Larger Company

In today’s professional climate, there is no one-size-fits-all work environment. From the home office to a corner desk in the middle of some city’s downtown grind, employees can find a niche and excel at their work from just about anywhere – even from the comfort of their own homes! But that doesn’t mean that the larger companies or corporations have become a thing of the past. And with the rising interest in crafting company cultures to be more inclusive and accommodating, the pressure is on management to make even the widespread team feel like a close-knit unit. So if you work for one of those larger companies managing or operating within a team or department, what strategies can you use to help bring your coworkers together? Besides insightful training systems, Conductor has a few ways for you to bring the whole team up to speed and on the same page! Transparency In any type of work environment, or one that involves a team of colleagues bringing together pieces of a final product or design, it’s important that everyone has a say. Criticism should always be constructive and objective, and to give the best feedback, remaining transparent is key. When you give notes on an employee or coworker’s contribution, be sure to touch on both positives and negatives, and to keep an open mind if you’re engaging in an open conversation about the work with which you were presented. When your colleagues see that you’re willing to see all sides of the coin, and to adapt to a project’s unique parameters based on their interpretations, they’ll feel more appreciated and...

Organizing the Office for Productivity

It’s no secret that when you’re set up for success, you perform better at work and find yourself feeling less stressed and more optimistic throughout the work day. But if you’ve never been a stickler for neatness, or had the freedom to set up your workspace the way you might have liked, how do you even begin to find the right layout for your desktop, let alone the drawers below? Everyone has different preferences, but there are a few characteristics of a desk that’s organized for success that we think will at least help you get started. From there, you can always rearrange and try out new ideas to get it exactly how you like it, which will in turn make you and your staff much more productive in the long run. Logic over style Yes, we know that this is a boring one. But before you can put your own personal flair on your workspace, you need it laid out in a way that makes sense. So, start with the items you use more often than any others. Make sure they’re arranged in a way that enables easy access, without overcrowding you where you need to be able to sit comfortably. Productivity begins with having what you need at your fingertips, so why not organize your space to make it happen? Adjust your environment You might not actively think about it during the work day, but little details like the amount of natural light you can see to the temperature in your office can have a major impact on how productive you are. Take a look around and...

Training Employees in Between Summer Vacations

Summertime is usually an employee favorite for time off and vacations, either with the family or as part of a retreat all to one’s self. And if your business is the kind to offer flexible leave time, then your employees are bound to appreciate being able to tailor their season with vacations that best suit them and their schedules! But there’s always that lull that occurs when someone returns from a long trip, or even just a week away from the office; it can be a real struggle to return to the grind of a normal work day, let alone any kind of training you already had scheduled over the summer. So how can you help keep them on track if they’ve got multiple vacations planned throughout the season? Offer refreshers It might sound somewhat tedious in the abstract, but sometimes all you need is a quick jolt to your memory and you have what you need to keep learning something new. When your employee comes back from a vacation, and it’s time to dive back into training modules, give a quick refresher before you begin. This could be verbal, or you could even send a quick email for him or her to review alone. Either way, it just needs to jog your employee’s memory enough to add on the next lesson or skill training. Encourage detailed notes While we understand all too well how hard it can be to focus when a vacation is looming on the horizon, we suggest encouraging diligent note-taking during training sessions before an employee takes time off. That way, he or she knows...

How to make your office more parent-friendly

Offer flex time or remote-working polices With technology like video conferencing and cloud storage, employees around the world can share ideas and files as if they were right next to each other. These advances in communication have made it possible for many industries to operate with some or all of their employees working remotely. Consider if your company is in one of these industries; whether there’s a need for employees to actually be in the office to be productive. If not, allow your employees—especially parents—the chance to utilize flex time, work remotely, or work part-time. Offer child-care If you can’t give your employees the option to work remotely, consider offering childcare at your workplace. This will not only allow your employees to continue their regular work hours, but it will give them peace of mind knowing their child is close by. If you have a large enough company, you can invest in an on-site daycare program. If you don’t have enough employees to make this kind of initiative worth the investment, you can partner with nearby companies to create a program. Offer leniency for new parents When new parents do return to the office, remember that they are juggling their workload with their responsibilities as a new parent. There’s a good chance they’re functioning on very little sleep. Respect that by not coming down too hard on them. At the same time, make sure you’re not belittling them or depriving them of difficult tasks because they are a parent. Let them dictate what sort of workload they can take on. A parent-friendly environment can help immensely in employee retention...

How training benefits all levels of employees

New hires A standardized training program greatly helps in onboarding new employees. They will know what is expected of them and feel prepared for their role. Mid-level hires Your mid-level hires also benefit from a training program, because they can refresh their skillset on a regular basis. The tracking aspect of Conductor’s employee training tracking software is also helpful because it helps employees who have been with the company for a few years keep track of what training they have completed. Senior employees Your senior employees can not only keep their own training current, but they can use the software to track training for junior employees. Conductor’s training tracking software allows managers to access, maintain and manage all employee training metrics in one location. They can retrieve relevant records in a matter of clicks if the need arises.  Sometimes, human resources personnel or senior managers must provide proof of employees’ professional development history, completion of necessary training certifications and specific class attendance records. Conductor’s software allows them to access over 30 reports without the need for software add-ons or manipulating information contained in an external database. The reports are fully customizable for any date ranges, user-defined filter parameters and more, giving you hundreds of options for producing documentation. If you’re ready to see how Conductor Orchestrating Training can help your company and its employees at every level, download our free...

Summer workplace hazards

One of our goals at Conductor Orchestrating Training is to mitigate workplace accidents by enabling easy and thorough employee training. But when it comes to workplace safety, one factor many don’t consider is how season changes factor in. Especially if your employees work outdoors, you will face different hazards in the summer than in the winter. Here are some risks to be aware of as we move into the heat of summer. Heat-induced illness If your employees are working outside, they are susceptible to dehydration, overheating, and other issues exacerbated by hot temperatures and direct sunlight. Give your employees regular breaks; at least five minutes every hour. Provide shade and water or cold popsicles to help them lower their body temperature. Remind them to protect themselves by wearing sunscreen and a broad-brimmed hat. Make sure they recognize the signs of dehydration or overheating so they can recognize the symptoms in themselves or their coworkers. For example, they might be dehydrated if they feel dizzy, extremely tired or have a sudden headache. Symptoms they can watch out for in others are sunken eyes, rapid breathing or a rapid heart rate. Stress from overworking Summer is a popular time for employees to request time off to go on vacation. While a short summer vacation works wonders for these employees’ mental wellbeing, it can leave your other employees stressed as they compensate for the reduced manpower. Carefully document time-off requests so you don’t end up understaffed. The fairest method for handling this is to grant requests on a first-come, first-serve basis. Be on the lookout for employees who are working extra hard...