Sunday, December 11, 2016

Employee Development

     5 Reasons for a Company-wide Employee Development Plan:

Click Link: 

    Note: (Make sure your speakers are on and use arrows from the beginning to hear audio) 

      Personal Development Plan:
Employee development is crucial to ensuring that employees have the competencies necessary to serve customers and grow. Here is a list of four personal development plans that I am going to present to my company in order to initiative so that I can grow and also strengthen the organization I work in.

Within my organization I can use assessments to identify managers with the potential to move into higher-level executive positions, and use them with work teams to identify the strengths and weaknesses of individual team members. Assessments can help my team and future employees understand their tendencies, needs, the type of work environment they prefer, and the type of work they might prefer to do (Noe, 2013). 

Research indicates that 70% of learning happens on the job, 20% by observing others and only 10% through formal training (Tiao, 2014). The truth is that most business leaders now rate informal approaches as having more impact than formal training initiatives. With this in mind I see mentoring playing a large role within the development strategy within our organization. Through intentional mentoring I can help employees under me understand the organization, guide them in analyzing their experiences, and help them clarify career directions (Noe, 2013).

Professional development:
When professional development is connected to the overall mission of an organization it can prepare employees for other positions. Noe (2013) states that, “development prepares them for other positions within the company, and increases their ability to move into jobs that may not yet exist” (p.367). This type of future oriented professional development is able to retain employees because they see that the company has a vision for them. By having the organization invest in my own personal development I am increasing my own value and overall worth. One example of personal development is my pursuit for higher education in order to advance my career.  

Job experiences:
For any employee to succeed in their jobs, they must stretch their skills and apply their skills and knowledge in a new way, and master new experiences (Noe, 2013). A new job assignment for my role within my company would look like traveling to a new orphan care project in order to learn how they operate. This type of experience would allow me to take advantage of my existing skills, experiences, and contacts, while helping me develop new ones in a new context (Tiao, 2014).


Growth Engineering (2015). How To Promote Informal Learning. Retrieved from:

Laureate Education (Producer). (2011). Employee development [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author.

Noe, R. A. (2013). Employee training and development (6th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw Hill.

Pontefract, D. (2013). Dear C-Suite: We don’t do training. Chief Learning Officer, 12(11), 40-43.

Tiao, S. (2014). Our Tips Revealed: Employee Development Program Best Practices. Retrieved from:

Wright, K (2014) Development is a Marathon, Not a Sprint. (2014). Personal Excellence Essentials, 19(4), 26.

Monday, November 28, 2016

A New Frontier for Training with Technology

Image result for technology images

Learning is a complex and multifaceted process that requires various fields of study to understand how each individual learns. In today’s 21st century, technology is having a direct influence on learning and training across multiple platforms. Through this summary I will be showing how these five selected technologies are having implications on training.

      Computer Based Training (CBT), Online Learning, Web-based training: 
Online learning, e-learning, and web-based training all include delivery of instruction using the Internet or web (Noe, 2013). As technology increases across the globe and as networks of communities become more connected there is going to be an increase in these forms of online learning. This from of training is only going to increase as companies are realizing its cost saving benefits and its effectiveness to train a large number of employees. These web tools, computer trainings and interactive videos are also especially valuable for helping trainees learn technical or interpersonal skills (Noe, 2013). The implication for training with these tools can also provide autonomy to the learner. Noe (2013) states that, “online learning provides the trainee with content, but it also can give learners the ability to control what they learn, the speed at which they progress through the program, how much they practice, and even when they learn” (p.325).

      Distance Education:
Distance learning delivers content to other locations online through webcasts or virtual classrooms and is supported with communications tools such as e-mail, videos and online discussions (Noe, 2013). Today’s modern landscape of distance education is constantly shifting and so are the students who are currently entering this vast field. Simonson, Smaldino & Zvacek (2015) state that the modern “distance learner can be of any age, have attained any educational level, and have a variety of educational needs” (p.188). The implications for this field are going to weigh heavy on the education designers to not only understand the characteristics of the modern distance learner, but also be able to shape learning experiences that engage everyone and meet the diversity of needs. Moore and Kearsley (2005) note that one of main reasons people choose distance education is because it offers the “combination of education with work and family life” (p.8). This is where distance education is evolving and it is also going mobile and transferable to any device across various fields (Moller, Foshay & Huett, 2008).

      Social Media:
Social media technology is changing modern forms of communication through interactive communications such as wikis, blogs, Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube (Noe, 2013). This form of social networks can also be known as connectivism and it can create tremendous learning scenarios across multiple disciplines (Davis, Edmunds & Bateman, 2008). As these technologies emerge there are numerous implications for trainings. Now, the learner can receive training from anywhere and connect with anyone from anywhere. Through social media the training can be delivered to geographically dispersed employees and it can be delivered faster and to more employees in a shorter period of time (Noe, 2013).

          Blended Learning:
Blended learning is also a form of instruction that is impacting training. It is generally delivered by combining technology with a face-to-face delivery approach (Noe, 2013). This blended approach serves the both the modern learner and those who need face-to-face instruction. As training programs advance this blended learning approach is becoming more common since technology is readily available and user friendly. 

Stories are an important way to tap into the heart of an audience and provide meaning in alternative ways. This form of digital storytelling combines the ancient form of narrative with new technologies. Research shows that 70% of what we learn is consumed through storytelling (Malamed, 2011). This statistic will begin to affect how training's are designed whether it be online training or a live presentation. Trainers will need to start organizing information into a story arch format, which can work for many topics (Malamed,2011). This is an example of how video storytelling can make an impact on numbers.                                                                                                                                    


Davis, C., Edmunds, E., & Kelly-Bateman, V. (2008). Connectivism. In M. Orey (Ed.),
Emerging perspectives on learning, teaching, and technology. Retrieved from

Simonson, M., Smaldino, S., & Zvacek, S. (2015). Teaching and learning at a distance: Foundations of distance education

Stolovitch, H. D. (2011). Telling ain't training: updated, expanded, and enhanced, 2nd edition. American Society for Training and Development.

Tracey, M., & Richey, R. (2005). The evolution of distance education. Distance Learning, 2(6), 17–21.

Moore, M., & Kearsley, G. (2005). Distance education: A systems view. Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth. 

 Moller, L., Foshay, W., & Huett, J. (2008). The evolution of distance education: Implications for instructional design on the potential of the web (Part 2: Higher education). TechTrends, 52(4), 66–70

Noe, R.A. (2013). Employee training and development (6th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw Hill. 

Malamed, Connie (2011). The Elearning Coach. Retrieved from:

Thursday, November 3, 2016

The Needs Assessment

The Organization that I choose to take a deeper look into was Whole Foods. These stakeholder questions regarding the needs assessment will be focusing on the organization of Whole Foods.  

What stakeholders would you want to make sure to get buy-in from?
Before one understands which stakeholders to get buy-in from they must first understand the company they are seeking to serve. Whole Foods places a priority on organic foods and they strive to bring their clients the best foods that have been locally grown. Whole Foods truly is the leader in organically based food and they have numerous markets across America. In order to get buy-in, I would target corporate managers, specific store owners, employees and the farmers that they use to source food. This organization is multifaceted because it doesn’t follow a typical top down approach to business. Its organizational structure reflects its values, therefore the needs assessment needs to ask specific questions that uncover the need. Noe (2013) states that, “the goal of needs assessment is to determine whether a training need exists, who it exists for, and for what tasks training is needed” (p.116).

What questions would you ask (and to whom would you address them) during the organizational, person, and task analysis phases?
What? Organizational Analysis: (President, CFO, Corporate Mangers, Store Owners)
·       -What is the history of your organization? (Who is involved etc.)?
·       -Will you tell me a little about your mission and vision?
·       -What are the organizational goals?
·       -In order to achieve these goals what are some challenges you are facing?
·       -How do you think these challenges need to be overcome?
·       -How would you define success in your business?
·       -What role do you see the training having you in helping you realize this goal?

The Organizational Analysis phase is the stage when asking questions of stakeholders is the primary task so that you can understand the current situation (reality) alongside the desired situation (goals). A key goal in this section is for the client/stakeholder to put words on their version of success so that the selected intervention sets realistic expectations, meets actual needs and is in line with the client’s current mission/vision.

Who? Person/Learner Analysis: (Store Owners, Employees, Farmers)
·       -What do they do? Can you describe a typical day in the life?
·       -Can you give me a general sense of their demographics (age, gender, etc.)
·       -What was the process you have for finding and hiring them?
·       -Where do you see a performance or organizational gap occurring?
·       -What motivates and drives their performance? What doesn’t?
·       -How are they currently trained to perform their work tasks?
·       -What is there work environment like?
·       -Do they use any essential tools/methods for performing their tasks?
·       -What is their current skill level? (new, experienced, expert)?
·       -How do you encourage or motivate other lead drivers? Do you use incentives or rewards?

Noe (2013) notes that, “the needs assessment process results in information related to who needs training and what trainees need to learn, including the tasks in which they need to be trained, plus knowledge, skill, behavior, or other job requirements” (p.125). Discovering the knowledge, skills, attitudes and abilities is crucial for this stage along with the tasks related.

How? Task Analysis: (President, Store Owners, Farmers, Employees)
·      - Based upon the performance gap you shared, what do you think the training/learning objectives should be?
·       -What resources or training content do you already use?
·       -What content needs to be covered?
·       -Can you identify behaviors needed for effective job performance?  
·       -What skills are necessary to meet today are needs, as well as the company’s future skill needs?
·       -Can you  provide a common set of criteria that are used for identifying appropriate development training and learning activities for employees, as well as for evaluating and re- warding them?

Noe (2013) noted that the “task analysis results in a description of work activities, including tasks performed by the employee and the knowledge, skills, and abilities required to complete the tasks” (p.135).

What documents or records might you ask to see?
Since Whole Foods in national known I would want to collect their pre-existing data on previous trainings, workplace performance reviews, hiring processes, specific store organizational structures, employee development and incentives, and what areas of learning and development have worked in the past. With this much data it will be easier to understand the instructional context for the need and therefore understand whether it is a performance issues that needs a training solution. Collecting existing data saves time and money for organizations, and also delivers a more accurate solution that aligns with the business goals.

What techniques would you employ and why?
Observations, questionnaires, interviews, focus groups and collecting historical data. Using a mixed method approach that includes collecting pre-existing data, interviews, focus groups, and surveys will target the diverse student population that Whole Foods serves. There needs to be a multifaceted and diverse approach to collecting viable information. Fitzpatrick, Sanders and Worthen (2010) make the exact same point stating that, “in fact, stakeholder involvement in interpreting the results of the data analysis can serve several purposes. In addition to potentially adding to the validity or comprehensiveness of the conclusions, their involvement can increase their later use of the information as they understand more about why the conclusions were reached” (p.448). Using these techniques and showing the findings to the stakeholders during the process will be crucial. 


Noe, R. A. (2013). Employee training and development (6th ed). New York, NY: McGraw Hill.

Stolovitch, H. D. (2011). Telling ain't training: updated, expanded, and enhanced, 2nd edition. American Society for Training and Development. 

Fitzpatrick, J., Sanders, J., & Worthen, B. (2010). Program evaluation: Alternative approaches and practical guidelines (4th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Training & Development

Have you ever wondered why employees leave companies so soon? Or why employees don’t seem to be satisfied in their role? Or why companies seem to be wasting time and money in areas that don’t truly grow the business?

The reality today is that organizations are investing more in training and development than ever. The overall spending on employee training in the United States is around $165 billion (Eades, 2014). Yet, even with all this time and investment towards training, organization are still searching to effectively transfer practical knowledge into performance results. The truth is that when employers realize the power that training and learning development can have on their organization, they will be willing to make the investment because it will pay dividends.  

This investment in training can reap results in:
Less Employee TurnoverKeeping well trained employees pays off significantly because the cost of employee turnover can be high. The reality is that 40% of employees who receive poor job training leave their positions within the first year (Woolf, 2014).
More Employee Satisfaction:  According to statistics 76% of employees want to do their job well, but feel they lack the tools to grow (Woolf, 2014).

The end result is that when training and learning development is weaved together with a business strategy it results in more money and time for the whole business (Noe, 2014)  I would say it’s worth the investment, wouldn’t you?


Eades, J. (2014). Three ways to measure training effectiveness. Retrieved from:

Noe, R. A. (2013). Employee training and development (6th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw Hill.

Woolf, S. (2014). 5 Surprising Employee Development Statistics you Don’t Know. Retreived from:

Tuesday, October 25, 2016


Welcome to my blog. Over the next 8 weeks I will be posting here for my Training & Development course. 

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Scope Creep

            Around 10 years ago I was living and working internationally with refugees who were displaced from a neighboring country. I was helping facilitate language programs for them and also building an internal network for their transition back into society. We had a small group of 10 managing this specific project with various stakeholders involved. While the altruistic goal of service was commendable, the definable objects of the mission were lacking and scope creep began to sink in fast and often with the team I was working with. One of the greatest factors that contributed to scope creep in this situation was a misguided plan. The overarching vision was clear, but definable objects within a realistic timeline lacked. Looking back I can see how the major factor that contributed to scope creep was vague plan. Portny et al., (2008) states that, “the first step toward a successful project is to develop a plan that allows the project team to do the work required to produce the desired results in the available time for the available resources” (p.377). One way that our team should have addressed this issue was through updating the plan as the project progressed. It’s called scope “creep” because it slowly changes the direction of the project before anyone can really notice it. This is why a detailed plan needed to be in place and constant evaluation needs to occur so that addendums can be made. Greer (2010) makes a similar point calling for the project manager and others to “update the project scope statement and overall plan. Make an addendum or a complete revision, if appropriate, of the project schedule, work breakdown structure, scope description, and so on. Make sure you note all of the conditions that led to the change, the people who discussed alternatives, and the people who selected the recommended alternative. Document it—get it in writing” (p.36).
            Another major factor that contributed to scope creep was the aspect that the team didn’t plan for it to happen. Portny et al., (2008) states that, “avoiding scope creep is not possible. However, monitoring it, controlling it, and thereby reducing some of the pain is possible if the project manager follows a few guidelines” (p.347). The best approach is to set up a well-controlled, formal process whereby changes can be introduced and accomplished with as little distress as possible (Portny et al., 2008). The team didn’t define the outcomes so that when the change and scope creep entered the project the group was surprised it was there and didn’t know how to handle it. Every plan that is enforced needs to factor some form of flexibility and change. Portny et al., (2008) states that, “project managers give themselves the greatest chance for success if they confront head-on the possibility that some things might change. They need to prepare at the outset for how to minimize any associated negative consequences and maximize any positive consequences” (p.377).  


Greer, M. (2010). The project management minimalist: Just enough PM to rock your projects! (Laureate custom ed.). Baltimore: Laureate Education, Inc.

Portny, S. E., Mantel, S. J., Meredith, J. R., Shafer, S. M., Sutton, M. M., & Kramer, B. E. (2008). Project management: Planning, scheduling, and controlling projects. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (n.d.). Monitoring projects [Video file]. Retrieved from

Friday, July 15, 2016


Communication plays such a vital role in the success of any project. This role of communication most times falls directly on the project manager. Portny et al., (2008) states “the key to successful project management is effective communication—sharing the right messages with the right people in a timely manner. Through communication people exchange and share information with one another, and influence one another’s attitudes, behaviors, and understandings” (p.357). The message that Jane communicated to Mark carried different meanings across different modalities of communication. Even the message was the same, the modality directly impacted how that message might be received. Jane chose to communicate informally in person, over the phone and formally over email. The message was the same, but the best option that Jane chose was over email for a variety of reasons.
            When Jane communicated informally in person, Mark might have been working on a project or preoccupied with something before Jane walked up. Also a key point to understand is that just because something is shared in person doesn’t always mean it will be understood or applied (Portny et al., 2008). Jane would also need to document that informal conversation she had with Mark, which could have been done, but it is much harder in an informal meeting. The phone call was a good approach, but it was hard to see and document the words she was trying to communicate.
            If Mark is as busy as Jane suggests, then she needed to adjust her communication to fit the person  (Portny et al., 2008). This is why email was the best approach. In the email Jane explained “what” she needed, “why” she needed and “when” she needed the missing report. The tone was respectful, but also assertive to keep the project moving in the correct direction. The written form of communication was also able to also allow the recipient space to form a response, which will minimize the chance of miscommunication.  Portny et al., (2008) states that, “to minimize the chances for misunderstandings and hurt feelings, project managers should do the following: Confirm in writing the important information that was shared in informal discussions” (p.357).

Portny, S. E., Mantel, S. J., Meredith, J. R., Shafer, S. M., Sutton, M. M., & Kramer, B. E. (2008). Project management: Planning, scheduling, and controlling projects. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (n.d.). Practitioner voices: Strategies for working with stakeholders [Video file]. Retrieved from