CASE STUDY: LMS System Implementation Support

AIA 600x314 (2)The case studies outlined in the “Athena In Action” series are being shared as examples of the variety of solutions we have provided to our clients for over a decade.

TOPIC: LMS System Implementation Support

INDUSTRY: Retail

ASSESSMENT/SITUATION: During a regular follow-up call with this client, I asked her what was new.  She said they were looking at implementing a new LMS system.  They were in the very early stages, and she was committed to move forward within that fiscal year.  She said she wanted to be sure they chose the right system and needed to find support for the implementation.

ATHENA PARTNER MATCHING:  I shared with her that one of the Athena Alliance partners had extensive experience with both the selection process and the implementation of LMS systems.  She said she was surprised because she had thought of me for her training and coaching needs, more of the “soft skills,” so to speak.  I suggested she speak with my partner to confirm if she would be able to support them with this important project.

SOLUTION:  My client and partner had a long discussion about how she could support them.  They put my partner on the payroll in a part-time consulting position and proceeded to select and implement their new LMS system.

RESULTS:  My client was thrilled with the speed and ease in which this project was completed.  During a recent call, she shared with me that bringing my partner into the company was one of the best decisions she could have made, and her boss complimented her on how efficient everything was implemented.  Everyone was very pleased at the success of this project, and we were happy that we could support my client.

Confidentiality is very important to us at Athena Training and Consulting Inc.  The company names and individuals have been kept private in these case studies in compliance with our Privacy Policy.

 

When Outsourcing Training is Your Best Option by Cindy Stradling CSP, CPC

corporatetraining

Training is one of the most critical pieces to ensuring that new employees are properly prepared to do their jobs. It is also a critical piece of employee development, helping employees to grow in their careers, enabling them to take on more responsibility and handle greater challenges.  As important as training is, it can often fall by the wayside, particularly when times arecorporatetraining busy or budgets are tight. However, continuing with training even during these times is important to keeping your business on track.

In some cases, completing employee training with existing personnel as trainers is the best option. However, outsourcing the training is often the best option for your business. Consider the following times when outsourcing a training program might be the bet option.

  1. Time Constraints. When your business is going through a very busy time, outsourcing training to another company or individual keeps all of your employees on their regular jobs, rather than taking their time to train others. When you want to keep productivity high, it doesn’t make sense to have your own employees acting as trainers and students.
  2. Budget Constraints. Though outsourcing training can seem expensive, it can be less so than hiring full time permanent employee trainers. Employees are expensive, particularly when you consider the cost of benefits. In many cases, it is cheaper in the long run to use an outside company.
  3. Specialized Training. It is often more powerful to use outside trainers for specialized training. This is particularly true when you want employees trained on something that is outside your core knowledge base. Outsourced trainers are experts in the field in which they train, and they offer insight into the subject, as well as proven training techniques.
  4. Impact Training. When you need training to have a powerful impact on your employees, it may be wise to use an outside trainer. When you bring in trainers who are new to your employees, they may have more credibility in the field, simply because they are not part of your organization. Many companies use, for example, professional sales trainers to come in yearly to train sales people on new techniques as well as to motivate them for success. This sort of training would not likely be as effective coming from a regular member of the organization, even if that person possessed great training skills.

When you are budgeting and planning for employee training, it is wise to look at a variety of scenarios in order to meet training goals and needs. Successful companies find many ways to train employees, using both in house resources and those that can be outsourced to create an effective training plan.

“Focus” by Cindy Stradling

focus

Over a decade ago I read the book “Rich Dad Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki and my big takeaway from reading this book was the value of focus.  In fact, Robert shared an acronym for the word focus that I continue to use today:focus

F – follow

O – one 

C – course 

U – until

S – successful

 

When I first started my business I had my hand in many different areas and projects. What I realized very quickly is that my efforts were diluted everywhere.  Once I learned Robert’s acronym I took a long hard look at my business.  After exploring the various areas I created a new plan that in my opinion, was much clearer, easier to measure and focused on a specific outcome.  As I enter into my ninth year in business I can see now this strategy worked very well for me.

 

This is not to say I don’t look at new ways of doing things or new opportunities.  I do this regularly as the market is constantly changing and we need to stay abreast of what is happening in our industry.  Where I use focus is when I am working on a project or simply doing my day to day business activities.  As an example if I am making outbound calls, my focus is strictly on doing this, not answering inbound calls or emails intermittently.  

 

I find that the results I achieve are so much higher when I take this approach and the bonus to this is that I feel very good about setting an objective and sticking to the plan to make it happen.  This doesn’t just apply to my business life it also applies in my personal life as well.  When I am with family or friends, I am with them, not texting or answering other calls.  I see people in restaurants all the time sitting across from each other on their cell phones texting.  Personally, I think people miss the human connection when they do this (this is my opinion – maybe it’s my Boomer mentality).

Prioritize and make time for the things that are important to you.

We can (and do) make time for the things that are most important to you. Often these things inspire us and we don’t see them as something you “have” to do versus what you “want” to do.  Even when this work presents us with challenges, it can also produce the highest level of satisfaction.  This is the incredible thing about doing what you were meant to do is that is often doesn’t feel like work at all.  I know for me my work provides me with a great sense of contribution and connection to people.  This makes my commitment to stay focused on my goals so much easier.

What does it really take to move from knowing what to do and actually doing it?

We all know what we need to do to be successful yet we often don’t do the very thing that will have us be successful.  What is the secret? Focus!   We can read books, attend seminars and listen to webinars to learn techniques to make improvements in our personal and professional lives.  It is not until we commit and focus on the actions we need to take that we can yield the results.  If you research anyone who has accomplished great things in their lives you will learn that at the base of everything they did was a dedicated focus in their area of interest.

We have all experienced distractions and interruptions at home and work.  Once interrupted, we have a hard time getting re-focused again. I have listed below some startling statistics and the impact of interruptions to focus:

  1. The average employee spends 28% of their time dealing with unnecessary interruptions followed by “recovery time” to get back on track. (2009, Basex)
  2. The time spent per day being interrupted and trying to refocus is 2.1 hours. (2009, Basex)
  3. Physically co-located workers spend longer chunks of time engaged in tasks for which they are not accountable. (University of California-Irvine)
  4. The average manager is interrupted every 8 minutes. (Study conducted by Priority Management)
  5. The Institute of Psychiatry at the University of London suggests that your IQ falls 10 points when you’re fielding constant emails, text messages and calls.  This is the same loss you’d experience if you had missed an entire night’s sleep.  (Yoga Journal, p. 22, 12/2005).
  6. The cost of managing interruptions at work costs the US economy $588 billion per year. (2009, Basex)