Setting Your Team Up For Learning Success

Each Friday, RPS highlights five popular news stories from the world of training professionals. Visit our blog each week to see which stories were trending amongst your industry peers.

Harvard Business Review
Make Your Team Less Hierarchical by Chris Fussell
The cargo door of an aircraft opens at 25,000 feet. The dark, freezing air rushes in and swirls around the Special Operations Forces (SOF) team that stands on the ramp of the aircraft, ready to jump. Their team leader stares into the darkness through his night vision goggles. He spots what he’s looking for, raises a hand, and then quickly points into the dark. Without hesitation, the team dives silently into the blackness. Most of us have read about elite teams, seen them depicted in movies, or perhaps been fortunate enough to be part of one. Elite teams win the big games, save lives in emergency rooms, and fight in conflicts around the world. And there was a time when creating highly effective small teams was a sufficient way to set the conditions for success. In the military, for example, winning a war was a matter of scaling with efficiency while ensuring that every fighting unit was superior to the enemy unit it encountered.

Personalization: The Next Generation of Learning by Mike Hawkins
Currently, the most engaging Internet applications offer highly personalized content. Music providers, entertainment providers, dating services, news services, and most large companies now offer content that targets individuals rather than markets. Content is now personalized to user preferences and system learned behaviors. People receive information that is uniquely relevant to their needs and interests. Learning and development (L&D) organizations are no exception to this trend of personalizing content, and are finding ways to leverage interactivity and personalization in the context of delivering learning content. L&D leaders are delivering rich libraries of classroom and online content in more relevant and engaging ways. They are mixing existing content with new personalized content to the individual needs of their employees.

Self-Directed or Employer-Managed Learning: A False Choice? by David Vance
There have been numerous articles recently extolling the benefit of employee-directed learning and suggesting that it is the wave of the future. These authors believe the old model of an employer directing the employee’s learning is dead. Like many issues, I disagree that we have to pick one model or the other. Why not have both? First, some authors go so far as to claim that in the past employers managed all the employee’s learning. They claim employers decided what the employees needed, when they needed it and how it would be delivered. While training departments in many organizations did work with goal owners (the employer) to provide training to help achieve the owner’s goals such as sales or safety training, it was certainly never the case that the learning and development department provided or directed all of the employee’s learning.

Training Zone
Five actions of an outstanding trainer by Paul Russell
Training – a necessary evil or an enhancing, uplifting experience that can improve our professional persona considerably? Well, whether it is the former or the latter depends greatly upon the skills of the course or workshop trainer. We’ve all sat through that interminable training presentation, using matchsticks and the companionable nudge of our fellow course participants to keep us awake, but how many of us have had the pleasure of being trained by a master in the arts of commanding attention, maintaining it, getting us involved in the process and keen for more, much as a rock star or theatre performer holds us in their thrall as we watch them on the stage. Here we share the five actions that top trainers use – adopt them and you too could become an outstanding trainer in front of your very own crowd.

Fast Company
How To Hire And Manage Remote Employees by Sara Sutton Fell
Picture your last job interview—whether you were on the employer or candidate side. What was it like? Was the handshake awkward? Could you sit comfortably in the chair? Was it too hot or too cold in the room? Did the other person seem nervous? Now imagine an interview process where none of that matters. Instances like the ones described above don’t happen in almost all remote job interviews. From the very beginning of the hiring process, it’s easy to see how different hiring and managing remote workforces are. Some companies started to grow their remote workforces years ago, while others are testing the waters now. Wherever yours may be in the process, companies can benefit greatly by putting in place hiring and managerial practices that work well in remote environments. Your employees are likely already telecommuting to some degree—whether it’s formally acknowledged or not.

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