Is your company drowning in an ocean of anxiety? According to Jeffrey A. Miller, author of “The Anxious Organization” (Facts on Demand Press, January, 2008), it could be.

Consider the following questions:

>> Do people take sides with other people instead of taking stands on issues? Do they form coalitions and/or cliques?

>> Do people assert their territory to the detriment of the organization as a whole? Are feuding, back-stabbing and turf wars a way of life?

>> Do work groups tend to come to rapid agreement, with very little discussion or dissent?

>> Do particular individuals or departments tend to be blamed consistently for organizational problems?

>> Is there a problem with disruptive employee turnover? Are people constantly quitting due to job stress or dissatisfaction with the organization?

>> When conflicts and problems arise, are people exhorted to show more “team spirit”?

If your answer to most of these questions was an emphatic yes, you probably are dealing with a level of anxiety that’s too high to be healthy — for employees or for the company itself.

“Anxiety, like anything else in life, is best in moderation,” says Miller. “If you work for an overly anxious organization, it may be a good idea to seek a fresh point of view. Sometimes it only takes one person to recognize the destructive cycle and break out of it. You could end up greatly improving your company’s profitability. In fact, you could end up saving its life.”

Published in Trends

The consolidation of LMS’s is a major challenge for many organizations, according to Bersin & Associates research. About 30 percent of large enterprises operate more than one LMS. And of

Published in Top Stories

Virtual Web Conferencing for Training

QualComm Wireless Business Solutions (QWBS) has provided integrated wireless systems and services to businesses around the world since 1988. The world-class technology infrastructure, customer care and professional services of parent Qual- Comm, Inc., enable QWBS to meet the increasingly complex needs of many industries, such as mobile enterprise, transportation and logistics, construction equipment and health care. QWBS’s customer focus is based on the knowledge that leveraging technology is critical to creating business insight that helps clients achieve their vision. 

But by 1999, its managers had pinpointed a big problem: Each time the company introduced a new software product or upgrade, trainers needed to travel (usually by air) to each location to deliver a one-hour live training session. Hardly time- or cost-efficient. 

After analyzing the leading Web conferencing vendors, QWBS chose to launch its first virtual training program using LearnLinc software. At a meeting of the division’s customer- service group, iLinc was presented live to the first group of users. At that time, just after the advent of Webbased technology, users had to install programs from CD onto their laptops, many of which were barely Internetcapable (i.e. equipped with low-speed, dial-up modems). Some of the users traveled three to four days a week and even with powerful laptops, often couldn’t get broadband Internet access from hotel rooms.

INITIAL RESISTANCE 

Because of these challenges and the frustrations with technical limitations, many of the QWBS staff resisted Web conferencing at first. As more powerful equipment was dispersed and the learning curve was climbed, QWBS’s LearnLinc users began to embrace online training. Adoption grew again when QWBS offered its first recorded sessions. Users who had juggled schedules to attend live, online classes learned that they could now meet training requirements on their own time. “It took some time to get everyone high-quality laptops and stable connectivity, but as time and technology progressed, our users began to see the benefits of training online,” says Traci Schaible, QWBS’s senior manager of product training. 

“Especially with asynchronous courses, they appreciated the freedom to set their own training schedules.” 

Since the original LearnLinc launch, QWBS has tripled its number of iLinc users and expanded usage to other groups within the division. Customer service groups are training customers on service upgrades. Among the most popular features with this group are application sharing and the ability to set up individual meeting rooms from which to launch on-the-fly training sessions. “The benefits in our customer service department are the most dramatic,” says Schaible. “We have significantly reduced travel costs with the exception of very large roll-outs, which we still do in person. The ability to provide training in multiple ways (live and recorded) enables the customer service team to meet a wide variety of needs using a single tool.” QWBS’s sales teams have recently begun using MeetingLinc, a product optimized for use in meeting format, rather than that of a class, to perform product demonstrations. MeetingLinc represents a striking change from the team’s former demo process, which included walking prospects through a demo Website via phone. 

“Our sales teams are now able to present uploaded content in sessions, as well as to use interactive tools such as highlighting and pointers to help keep people engaged,” says Schaible. “It’s is a much more effective sales tool than our former one.” 

MORE GOOD NEWS 

In addition to QWBS, two other divisions at QualComm have begun using iLinc based on internal recommendations. 

QualComm also broadened its utilization of Web conferencing to include educational customer Webinars. These sessions have been very well received because they conveyed compelling content in an easy-to-use online setting. “We received great feedback from our customers about our Webinars,” says Schaible. 

“We didn’t encounter any problems with disconnection, complex client download processes, or firewall issues.” The company is enjoying cumulative cost savings and efficiency benefits, but cites customer service as the primary reason for remaining loyal to iLinc over the years. 

“The biggest thing is customer support,” says Schaible. “iLinc was our first e-learning tool and since then we’ve implemented others (such as learning management systems), but have never experienced the level of customer support that we get from iLinc.”  

—Learn more by visiting the Website www.iLinc.com.

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Top vendors discuss how their organizations are addressing the future of e-learning.

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GENEED, INC., a leading provider of online training in the life sciences, has appointed Terry Carmichael to head up its Internet marketing efforts. He will oversee Internet marketing and online sales for GeneEd’s more than 240 online training courses, covering the major therapeutic areas of medicine and best practices for clinical research, bio-manufacturing, laboratory science, validation, quality control, and medical devices. During the past 10 years, <place w:st="on">Carmichael</place> founded the <place w:st="on"><placename w:st="on">GeneTree</placename> <placename w:st="on">DNA</placename> <placename w:st="on">Testing</placename> <placetype w:st="on">Center</placetype></place> and the Biotech Learning Institute.

Published in People on the Move

GIUNTI LABS HAS ANNOUNCED a new partnership with Cegos. Under the terms of this strategic partnership, Cegos will promote Giunti Labs’ learn eXact learning content management system (LCMS) suite of products as its first-choice content production tool. Giunti Labs will promote the Cegos course catalogue alongside its own bespoke content production services. The partnership began last year, with Giunti Labs’ e-learning suite and e-learning content production services supporting Cegos developing its international multilingual e-learning catalogue.

Published in Deals

360TRAINING.COM has named Skye Mackie as director of e-learning for its Europe, Middle East and Asia markets. Mackie will be responsible for 360training.com’s sales, marketing and growth of its emerging European product suite for compliance training. Mackie brings more than 14 years experience in HR management, training and development.

Published in People on the Move

ENTREPRENEUR MAGAZINE has released its “Top 500 Franchises” and “Top New Franchises” for 2008, and LearningRx has made both lists. The Colorado-based company was also recently named as one of the fastest growing franchise systems by Franchise Times, and for two years in a row has been named one of the “Top 100 Franchises” by Franchise Market magazine. In addition, the company recently received an exceptional franchisee Net Promoter Score of 69 percent. LearningRx is at the forefront of brain training, offering tremendous potential to help people of all ages, from kids with learning disabilities and soldiers to adults with ADD and aging seniors who are worried about cognitive decline.

Published in Deals

According to a study by the American Sociological Association, reported in the December, 2008 issue of the Journal of Health and Social Behavior, creative work is good for your health, and employees who have more control over their daily activities and can do challenging work are likely to be in better health.

“People with higher levels of education tend to have more creative activities, paid or not,” says lead author John Mirowsky, a sociology professor with the Population Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin. “Something about education helps individuals to find creative things to do and get the resources to do them.”

The most important finding, Mirowsky notes, is that creative activity helps people stay healthy. “Creative activity is non-routine, enjoyable, and provides opportunity for learning and for solving problems. People who do that kind of work, whether paid or not, feel healthier and have fewer physical problems.

“The health advantage of being somewhat above average in creative work [in the 60th percentile] versus being somewhat below average [in the 40th percentile] is equal to being 6.7 years younger. It is also equal to having two more years of education or 15 times greater household income.”

Although the authors didn’t examine specific job positions that may confer this health advantage, professions considered not to involve a “creative” environment were those such as assembly lines. Jobs that are high-status, with managerial authority, or that require complex work with data, generally provide more access to creative work, Mirowsky says. 

Published in Trends


Money isn’t even in the top 10 reasons an employee in China remains on the job, according to a study conducted by Development Dimensions International DDI and the Society for Human Resources Management SHRM. In fact, out of 20 retention drivers, compensation was the 14th on the list.

Chinese workers typically stay for a short time, gaining some experience and then jumping to the next opportunity. They’re not looking for longevity — they’re trying to climb higher and faster and changing jobs helps make that happen.

The study showed that there was more retention than compensation. An even more disturbing figure showed that mid-management and executives indicated a higher likelihood of leaving the organization within the next year than did individual contributors. The higher the executive, the more they indicated more dissatisfaction and less loyalty to the company. 

Published in Trends
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