10 Best eLearning Tools Onlinehttps://vplegacies.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/vp-feature-2.png775506VP LegaciesVP Legacieshttps://vplegacies.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/vp-feature-2.png
Learning is a never-ending process for businesses and their employees. In the corporate environment, where hiring new talent is increasingly expensive and cumbersome, eLearning can help engage employees and foster a sense of collaboration and personal connection in the workplace. The best investment a company can make in itself is in it’s employees, and eLearning can simultaneously help employees further develop their skills and boost employee retention. Upskilling existing employees has never been easier and more scalable thanks to the burgeoning eLearning industry.
Learning is a never-ending process for businesses and their employees. In the corporate environment, where hiring new talent is increasingly expensive and cumbersome, eLearning can help engage employees and foster a sense of collaboration and personal connection in the workplace. The best investment a company can make in itself is in it’s employees, and eLearning can simultaneously help employees further develop their skills and boost employee retention. Upskilling existing employees has never been easier and more scalable thanks to the burgeoning eLearning industry.
At VP Legacies, we use multi-modal media tools to improve internal communication and empower your employees to learn new skills and undertake new roles. Here, we will walk you through some tried-and-tested eLearning tools for leaders and their employees to advance their careers with the best possible platforms to understand and develop new methods of leadership/vocational skills and best practises relevant in today’s day and age.
While physical meetings and reading materials can also expand employee skills sets, these strategies alone pose barriers of location, time, and even engagement. Custom eLearning makes resources available to you at the click of a button. These platforms offer many logistical and strategic benefits, like helping employees in other offices feel in the loop, supplementing ongoing learning during conferences, and allowing employees a greater sense of flexibility. Participants can often choose the course of their liking and the topic of their choice, and complete modules in their desired timeframe without feeling overburdened.
The requirements for executives and other upper level employees are vastly different from those just starting out. This is why the tools listed below act as a great resource point for tailored learning according to both employee position and company-wide goals.
What Determines A Good eLearning Course?
Just like any other course, an eLearning course or platform must have a well-rounded approach that will enable everyone in a company to grow. It should also encourage communication and connection rather than give employees a reason to isolate themselves at their desks.
A good eLearning tool should be well-focused, but also well-informed – drawing from multiple sources and knowledge bases in order to reach a high degree of depth and nuance. An eLearning course drafted by experts with credibility in their area of expertise communicates information in an informative but easy-to-understand manner. In addition to these factors, there are elements you should consider according to your company’s brand and goals before starting the eLearning journey.
Every eLearning tool has its own USP and key differentiating factors. Here’s a list with the top 10 eLearning tools that help with leadership, management and enthusiastic productivity at your company.
The custom eLearning solutions and tool and eLearning courses here at VP Legacies emphasize the importance of personal connection and internal communication in the workplace. Humans are what make a business successful, and leaders can tackle the countless problems that arise on a daily basis by keeping everyone on the same page. Our resources at VP Legacies address a wide range of topics ranging from methods to reduce employee turnover to developing an efficient communication strategy and everything in between.
As a business leader, you know the importance of communication both within your organization and outside. As such, the educational material across multiple e-platforms recognizes helps develop vital skills for communication and connection that have a positive, long-lasting effect on the relationships and workflow at your company.
Teachable help creates courses with a user-friendly interface. Students can sign up to a school, view curriculums and previews, and purchase the courses. It only takes a few clicks, and clients will get a fully functional school with payment gateways, sales, marketing tools, and learning management. Since content is the greatest asset for any business, Teachable implements top-notch virtual classroom experience, powerful website customization capabilities, and other personalized features. With Teachable, clients can customize their online school with an innovative user interface and design lectures, homepage, and a sales page that fits their needs. In addition to that, clients can fully optimize the mobile and web platforms to offer students with a captivating learning experience across tablets, smartphones, and desktop. The whole idea is to create a website that looks stunning and functional in any device. With a power editor, clients can code and modify a particular aspect of the online school. With their state of the art technology, clients can now let their ambition fly to the top.
The fantastic part about Kajabi is that clients can access their products, website, community, marketing, and much more from a single dashboard. They can manage and reach their subscribers with customizable emails built with creative visuals to send gorgeous messages with videos, countdown timers, and automation to everyone. Clients can connect their marketing, products, and content in one place. This will create an effortless experience so that people can focus on their business instead of the tech aspect. In less than a minute, clients can turn ideas into reality with endless flexibility and customizable designs for their webpage. They can customize the prices, packages, and delivery with a single click.
The campaign function can help automate, optimize, and scale the business so that clients can focus on other essential aspects of their business. It’s the combination of automation and platform integration that helps business owners thrive and implement a story and personal experience to their audience without too much effort. With Kajabi, clients can tag people based on personal notes and behaviors so that they can implement the data for marketing purposes.
The platform also offers a straightforward integration system with Paypal and Stripe so that clients can get paid effortlessly. The service provides one-click upsell or one-time trial payment plans along with a variety of other options for an unforgettable experience. Kajabi also has services where clients can analyze data to make informed decisions. They can check out the user forecasting, reports, progress tracking, and observe customer engagements. The mobile app system provides customers with full access to the content to create more connections, better engagement experience, and learning tools to connect with the audience and community.
CoachReady is one of the first online coaching website, boasting over 10 years of experience in online coaching for executives. Their specialized coaching tools, courses and one on one interactions are what sets them apart. Their strategy focuses on building connections between employees and realizing the changing scenario in today’s corporate world in order to make key business decisions.
Founded by Harvard University and MIT, edX hosts a large database of courses that help business leaders. With over 550 courses in 10+ languages, edX has created an easy to access database for eLearning. With topics like ‘Storytelling in the workplace’ and others that deal with corporate culture and the importance of different communication strategies for executives, edX is one of the top eLearning tools for today’s leaders. The self-paced courses make it easy for busy professionals to learn and develop their skills at their own convenience and according to their own schedule.
LinkedIn is the go-to place for all things professional. This social media network has carved its presence in the corporate scenario all over the world. LinkedIn Learning is a comprehensive tool for professionals to develop a myriad of skills. Its ‘Leadership and Management’ course, for instance, helps executives undergo professional development with efficiency and strong leadership in mind. It focuses on topics such as ‘Giving and Receiving Feedback’ and ‘Managing Team Conflict,’ which are core topics for internal communication. The learning courses are drafted and presented by executives who are leaders in their space, taking the time to share their knowledge with other upper-level employees across different industries.
A course database for all kinds of audiences, Coursera lets business leaders gain access to resources that will help them develop and enhance employee management skills, become a source of positive thinking for their teams, and develop their influencing abilities within an organization. The leadership and management courses at Coursera are developed by institutions from across the globe to provide a holistic approach to learning in the workplace. Coursera is a well-known eLearning platform with a track record of providing certifiable and reliable resources for leadership and management. Coursera’s specialization courses on topics like ‘Leading People and Teams’ and ‘Dynamic Public Speaking’ are useful tools for developing corporate communication strategies.
IIDM, or The International Institute of Directors and Managers, is home to a vast resource center that includes topics discussed by top CEOs and managers all across the globe. Their monthly roundup of ‘Top CEO issues’ provides a central place to understand common pain points faced by leaders from all over the world. Along with that, they possess a good number of resources on the importance of communication and the right way to tackle tricky situations through collaboration. Their eLearning platform also includes video resources and webinars along with excerpts from top business books.
The eLearning platform, Class Central, provides access to free online courses and MOOCs from the University System of Maryland, Universitat Politècnica de València, University of the Witwatersrand, École Centrale Paris and other universities. Many courses in Class Central focus on personal communication, like their course ‘How Managers Can Learn from Philosophy’ and ‘Different Ways to Implement Positive Change in an Organization.’
The great thing about this eLearning tool is that they offer a wide variety of kinds of resources. These include articles, podcasts, videos, infographics, quizzes, book insights, expert interviews, and more. They cater only to those looking to develop their leadership and management skills along with other aspects of management like personal effectiveness skills. Their resource center is 2400+ strong. The introspective nature of their diverse media and the variety of learning categories makes this a worthwhile eLearning platform that’s intuitive to use and clearly adds a recognizable value to the learning process. The platform has courses on topics like ‘How Approachable Are You?’ and ‘Common Communication Mistakes,’ both essential topics for improved corporate internal communication and engagement.
CatalystX has an inclusive approach when it comes to learning. With today’s rapidly shifting corporate atmosphere, inclusivity on the senior level is of the utmost importance. As a senior-level executive, one needs to be aware of and be informed about issues such as LGBT+ inclusion and workplace bias. The courses at CatalystX are heavily leaning towards these issues and help executives understand their importance and more importantly how to deal with them in the workplace. The materials are available in different languages such as English, Japanese, French, and more.
Skillshare is a popular online learning community with contributors or teachers who have excelled in their respective fields. This video learning platform gives users the perfect opportunity to learn from their peers through interactive videos. They have over 24,000 courses, many of which include many business and leadership focused segments. Learn ‘How to Give and Get Honest Feedback’ along with ‘Mistakes to Avoid for Leaders’. Their vast variety of leadership and executive-level topics make it a great resource for anyone who is at a senior level and wants to expand their knowledge while leveraging their experience.
There are few things in life as enriching as absorbing knowledge and bettering one’s communication abilities. Learning doesn’t stop at the executive level. In fact, in such a dynamic and ever-expanding corporate landscape, it’s more critical than ever that seasoned employees better their skills and expand their repertoire.
The thirst for knowledge and the quest for learning is why CEOs are CEOs. The list above is a compilation of various custom eLearning tools that help business leaders and employees across numerous aspects of leadership and management, all the way from workplace inclusivity to personal and internal communication development.
A Guide to Effective Crisis Communicationhttps://vplegacies.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/feature-for-blog-vp.png767508VP LegaciesVP Legacieshttps://vplegacies.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/feature-for-blog-vp.png
Crisis management is an umbrella term for an extensive portfolio of public relations professions. Among the sub-specialties of crisis management is crisis communication. Without it, you are unable to deploy your plan and maintain the trust of your employees. An internal communication plan must stress personal connection if your employees are to remain loyal to your brand and help you whether the storm. With our expertise in strategic communication and helping companies build personal connections to help businesses reach their bottom line and retain employees, here’s our guide for communicating during a crisis.
What is crisis communication?
Crisis communication is the process of defending the reputation of a person, company or organization that is under attack or public scrutiny for their actions. This involves internal messaging to build a strategy and mitigating internal damage, and external messaging to maintain public image. It involves quick, concise and proactive communication to respond to the allegations and build a better narrative. Remember, first things come first. Internal communication is the first step to a crisis communication plan. Once all of your employees are on the same page, you can more effectively craft messages with uniform tone for the public to read, watch, or listen to.
It’s crucial to note that it’s inadvisable to spin a story when you’re at fault, although some unscrupulous entities take that route. Proper crisis communication is built from integrity and honesty, including apologies when needed and explanations with facts where they need to defend themselves.
Crisis communication is a key factor for Fortune 500 companies like ExxonMobil, which until today remains one of the largest publicly-traded companies in the U.S. – despite accusations against the company influencing the United State’s foreign policy, neglecting human rights issues raised against them, and fighting proven data about climate change and global warming. Through crisis management, Exxon managed to recover, adjust and continue to do business. While they’re still a prominent and influential company, their production has steadily been in decline. Their declining profit margins are in part due to poor crisis management. They were unable to effectively regain the trust of the public.
Some employees have even sued ExxonMobile because of unsafe working conditions. Companies must prove they have learned from crises, especially if they have a direct effect on the safety of employees. A crisis communication plan must communicate to its employees that they are taking steps to mitigate crisis, and maintain a personal connection to let employees know their voices matter.
Crisis communication focuses on these three areas.
Issues can create a crisis, which is why it is essential to have a grasp on issue management. When a problem is managed, it means the stakeholders in the crisis known what actions are being taken. The crisis management team immerses in rectifying the situation and every action taken by the affected party is scrutinized for potential problems. Essentially, stakeholders define and control the issue through targeted communication.
Even when stakeholders are at the executive or management level, it is important to take stock of potentially less obvious effects on other employees. Make sure that you keep everyone in the loop as much as possible without creating panic or exposing confidential information.
This area concerns how messages from the party in crisis are communicated to others. There should be an understanding of how the public or other affected stakeholders apportion responsibility for the problem to craft an appropriate risk communication strategy. Remember that external communication stems from internal communication, and reinforcing a strong personal connection between employees can help make sure everyone maintains consistent, honest messaging.
Three decades later, they remain one of the most unpopular companies on the planet. This is not because of the oil spill, but because of their response to environmental issues thereafter. Their communication strategy did not leave room for accepting blame, and instead avoided the issue while failing to do ample damage control. As we can see from the employees who sued ExxonMobil, accepting the blame is not just a PR strategy, but a way to prevent future crises.
What could go wrong?
When a company is doing well, the thought of a crisis is often the last thing on the CEO’s mind. It’s hard to picture what could go wrong when a business is burgeoning. But those are the very instances that an organization is caught flat-footed by an unforeseen crisis. Failing to have a crisis communication team and plan in place can be fatal for a business in this situation.
The necessary steps to implementing crisis communication are not complicated. However, a crucial factor towards effective crisis management hinges on being prepared even before a crisis ever hits. That means a company needs to implement efficient channels of communication and standard protocols long before a crisis occurs.
Because no one can predict a crisis and what form it may take, preparation cannot be overstated here. Depending on the type of company and services the organization offers, a team tasked with crisis communication should be trained to handle any issue deemed as a crisis. Such a unit is trained in credible response mechanisms in the event of any unpleasant circumstances that requires mitigation between the public or individuals and the company. But even if you hire a unit for crisis communication, make sure to communicate their strategies to the whole team.
There is no shortage of the number of issues in an organization that may require crisis communication. This can range from harassment allegations within the company from employees to any controversial company policies. Such issues can get very ugly very quickly if a business does not act quickly. Eventually, these situations cost a company untold individual losses should the public get wind of the allegations.
A threatening situation to the company, organization or individual
Internal or external damage, shock, and threatened reputation
Limited time to make a defining decision
The rule of thumb for any organization or influential individual is to never underestimate a thorny issue. It is prudent to have an in-house crisis management team that has a separate crisis communication arm. Their job is to monitor even the most mundane complaints and claims and develop strategies to deal with them before it’s too late to salvage a brand’s reputation.
There are three fundamental steps to approach any crisis
Foresee a crisis
All businesses will have a crisis at one time or another. Those that emerge on the other side are those that have prepared with ample planning and communication. Anticipating a crisis will help you develop a team and strategies to deal with any fallout. It may also help the company identify loopholes that can expose the organization to potential crises.
Choose a crisis communication team
A crisis communication team should comprise of high-level executives with an in-depth understanding of the running of the organization. This is because they’re equipped with the necessary information to handle inquisition from the public and stakeholders. The CEO is definitely part of the team, as are the legal and PR teams. Departmental heads may be included depending on the scope of the crisis.
The crisis management team should do a vulnerability audit, which is a risk assessment to determine the weak areas in the organization that opens it up to a crisis. At the end of the vulnerability audit, the crisis communication team should develop a crisis communication plan that will guide the organization’s reaction to any crises that pop up.
From the team, there should be a designated crisis spokesperson. The spokesperson must be equipped to handle themselves when under fire and be eloquent in all forms of media from public meetings to on-camera. Always remember, crisis communication is very different from proactive PR. In the former one is under fire and in the latter, they’re in friendly environments. The spokesperson needs the training to be able to get the message across in a manner that addresses the concerns of all involved.
Develop notification and alerting mechanisms
It is vital to have a way to notify or alert stakeholders about a crisis immediately after it’s detected. The notification can be as simple as a text message or a code that all the members for the crisis management team are aware of. Keeping everyone in the loop can prevent future damage. It is important to make sure that everyone in your company is on the same page and knows these procedures for crisis. Your internal communication plan should have a way to ensure that everyone has the necessary phone apps or technological means to stay up-to-date.
Apologies to employees, clients, and the media must be heartfelt and genuine – however, explanations should rarely occur via social media. In most cases, crises are surprise occurrences, and the situation may still be unfolding, so information is scant. When asked about the crisis at this point, honestly point out that the situation is still evolving and the organization is keeping an eye on it. Once they have all the facts, they will release a statement or address the matter.
This statement should be promptly, but not too soon that it’s hasty. It might be a good idea to create a template ahead of time for general crises and appoint specific employees to be in charge of writing and deploying the message. It’s important that not only executives understand the situation, but all employees. Improve personal connections with employees to motivate them to stay in the loop.
Once the problem has been identified, acknowledge the organization’s role in it and outline what is being done to rectify the situation. “No comment” is a very unsatisfactory answer that tends to fuel more outrage about the situation. A real apology keeps the conversation moving forward.
Listen to the team
This is not the time to be second-guessing each other. Remember, the organization has a guide about how to respond to the crisis, and it should take effect immediately. Instilling trust and loyalty among employees long before a crisis occurs is crucial. If employees like where they work, they’ll be more willing to stay active during the crisis management process.
The spokesperson only communicates publicly messaging that has been agreed upon, and that has gone through all the legal and PR teams checks and balances. These two teams will have crafted the best language for the spokesperson to use during this time.
After acknowledging the role of the organization in the situation, outline actionable steps that are being implemented. The actions must be substantial enough to make a discernible difference in the situation. For example, in cases of fraud, restitution of the stolen funds is crucial to restoring public confidence in the company or organization.
Acting fast is essential at this point in the crisis because what is done can quickly restore faith or make people lose faith in an organization or brand. For example, despite the unlikable reputation ExxonMobil has for lobbying for denial of climate change and global warming data, when the company had an oil spill in 2013 in an Arkansas suburb, they were quick to take responsibility, clean up the mess and pay up $5.07 million for the spillage. They talked less and did more, and with the help of PR images from their crisis communication team, the story faded faster.
Review the crisis
Once the crisis is contained, the crisis management team needs to review the entire process from the notification and alerting system to the response guide, messaging and imparting of approved information and the monitoring of all the media channels. Identify the areas that need improvement and fine-tune those areas. Make sure internal communication persists and everyone understands the external message to be deployed.
At this point, it’s a good idea to bring in a third party subject specialist to work with the team on bettering the crisis response mechanisms. A communications specialist helps the organization work on internal strategies for a better response internally and externally to crises.
They will work in conjunction with the crisis communication team at first to set up the proper communication strategies that will work even better than before.
When to outsource for crisis communication
Sometimes an organization doesn’t have the kind of human resources that can make up a resourceful, formidable crisis communications team. That is when there is a need to outsource these services. Such agencies inject:
CEOs, the legal team and other executives have vested interests in the company and their individual reputation, which may cause them to lose perspective in times of a crisis. Crisis communication specialists provide an impartial voice and utilize the best practices in the situation in the best overall interest of the organization.
Third-party crisis communicators have the experience of doing similar damage control with other clients, so they offer their expertise without bias or favour. By being unbiased, they can make sure internal communication covers everyone. While it might seem contradictory, external parties can actually maximize personal connection.
In-house communication teams write with a bias towards either their department or their future aspirations in the company, which is why an outside team can help. Plus, a CEO may have excellent organizational skills when it comes to running the company, but they may not be the best communicator. In crisis management, the messages need to be shorter and more concise with more action to back up the words. These specialists understand that the more words are used in the messaging, the more there is to pick apart and misconstrue. They’ll keep the approved messaging short and precisely to the point so that there is no miscommunication.
A crisis shouldn’t mean the end of the organization, but it certainly can be if it is handled the wrong way. Having a crisis communication team is not just a good idea, nor even a great idea – it’s absolutely vital for a company to prepare for the worst.
That’s why at VP Legacies, we work with you to build an effective communication strategy during times of crisis. With our focus on personal connection and building trust, you’ll enlist all of your employees to play their role during crisis mitigation and find your way through with success.
eLearning vs. Microlearning: What Are the Differences?https://vplegacies.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/el1.jpg1050700VP LegaciesVP Legacieshttps://vplegacies.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/el1.jpg
Custom eLearning and microlearning are two forms of development resources that are quickly gaining prominence in workplaces today. As careers get busier and both time and poses a huge constraint, online learning modules are fast becoming the best way to learn and keep skills updated on-the-job continuously. Meanwhile, microlearning solves the issue of time by encouraging frequent and gradual growth. Keep in mind that the two are not mutually exclusive, and you can definitely incorporate both into your company’s learning and communication strategies to better engage your employees.
In this piece, we’ll dive into the fundamental principles of learning, how they’re used in online learning methods today, and dive into the two trending learning methods: eLearning and microlearning.
What is Custom eLearning?
The capacity to learn is believed to be shaped by two essential factors: high mental functions and practical tools. Since learning involves a response to external stimuli, learning is an active, continuous process. That means that learning is not just a way to help employees develop skills, but encourage their connections with fellow colleagues and even improve retention rates. Learning has come a long way from the 16th century when compulsory learning during childhood was introduced and special spaces (schools) were created for cognitive development. In the 21st century, online learning has changed the face of education, becoming more accessible without needing physical spaces.
Custom eLearning is acquiring knowledge or education remotely or via the internet. It’s a formalized learning system that imparts a formal curriculum to recipients in different parts of the world at the same or different times. By utilizing electronic resources, access to education has become easier, granting users access to full courses taught completely online. Online resources can even increase personal connection within the workplace, giving people something to talk about that fosters a positive learning environment. Employees who are provided with eLearning opportunities by employers quickly become more productive, as their skills and expertise grows within the company and they continue to make valuable connections with their coworkers.
The Four Theories of Learning in the Digital Age
Even though online education has creatively circumvented the overhead charges that come with a traditional class setup, it still relies heavily on traditional learning methods. That means that digital learning used internally in any organization typically incorporate these four learning theories:
Cognitivism is based on conscious thought, emotions, and other mental processes that promote cognitive development. According to this theory, being able to understand learning helps to find meaning in what is being taught. This, combined with previous knowledge, resulting in better productivity. Cognitivism is a considerable part of eLearning, since the learners have to process their conscious thoughts and emotions by themselves. Their decision-making process is challenged, and so is their cognitive development. While solo thinking strikes a key part of cognitivism, it’s important to note that collaboration can enhance one’s cognitive abilities. You can incorporate an eLearning program and tools into meetings, conferences, and other corporate events to help employees grow and learn together.
Behaviorism determines how eLearners act educationally by focusing on measurable and defined goals. One’s behavior will determine how serious and dedicated and committed they are to their learning processes. In a traditional class, the presence of the teacher is motivation to be on the right behavior, but with online learning, personal accountability is key to approaching one’s education responsibly. With this in mind, custom eLearning courses and tools often create discussion topics and opportunities to encourage employees to interact with each other and boost their enthusiasm for learning.
The custom eLearning development process is based on the theory of connectivism, which connects cognitive and behavior methodologies. It promotes collaboration between the tutors and students as well as real time feedback. Plus, online learning provides platforms where the student can be part of a massive and relevant community. Finding answers to questions is easier, and eLearning allows users to learn from several perspectives instead of from one instructor. A custom eLearning program works because it uses a seminar-like approach to foster discussion and connection rather than authoritative learning.
Although traditional classes also tap into connectivism, it’s not the same as building a community online and using eLearning tools to enhance in-person conversation. Employees using online courses to further their skills can simultaneously find answers to their questions, learn meaningful skills, and connect with their colleagues..
This theory promotes collaboration where eLearners build upon information outside of the electronic “classroom” set up. They can use chat rooms, blogs, and online forums to further arguments and share different perspectives away from the traditional approaches. This creative form of engagement creates new channels of internal communication that can re-enthuse employees.
What is microlearning?
Microlearning is a kind of learning, often using eLearning capabilities, that works best for companies and organizations when training their staff. Custom eLearning offers learners everything from a complete university course to learning how to operate a work-related application. Micro learning, on the other hand, offers small learning units to provide bite-sized training to employees over a long period of time. Micro-learning is touted as the best training model for organizations because it takes minimal time to impart essential and crucial knowledge while allowing employees to grow every day. Custom eLearning approaches education in its entirety from the theoretical aspect to increasing skills. Micro-learning, on the other hand, focuses more on providing skill-based knowledge in short training modules.
Advantages of Microlearning
Has very defined goals
Microlearning breaks down complex ideas into simple parts that enable the learner to achieve their goals faster without distracting them from daily tasks. That means that the person using the training goes into the learning session with a specific objective. Employee onboarding is a form of micro-learning and it’s effective in helping new hires understand the work process that comes with their job so they can be effective from day one. The objective here is to learn how to perform their duties, not learn about company culture or other departments. Nevertheless, the right micro-learning skills can achieve both at once, giving employees a chance to connect with their managers and colleagues on a small scale.
Faster to deliver
Because of the size of the trainings, it’s easier to deliver the elearning curriculum to the learner. Sitting through a short course means that one can concentrate better on the content compared to running through an hour-long course on the same subject. Also, shorter training enables employers to deliver any changes in information faster as their business goals change or new regulations are announced. While long training courses can often feel like a painful chore, micro-learning helps employees feel connected to the company by allowing them to achieve goals quickly and with minimal distraction from day-to-day tasks.
Better knowledge retention
Employees are able to retain knowledge from short training better, even if it’s complex. Micro-learning courses deliver 1-2 objectives to prevent confusion. Also, because the courses are short, learners can revisit them repeatedly as a reference point. Micro-learning units are typically self-contained, meaning one doesn’t need to look for the information anywhere else. Learners can take the training at their own pace since they only have to digest small chunks of information. Since micro-learning takes place over time, employees can reinforce goals little by little and incorporate what they’ve learned into their work each day.
Content is tailored to needs
Employees appreciate content that is tailored to their needs instead of sifting through general information to get nuggets that they can use. For example, one company may have implemented custom eLearning development for all employees and another has micro-learning modules that feature specific content for different departments. The latter will pass on information more efficiently to its employees because they are getting concise and actionable information relevant to their work and departmental goals. The former will have less success with employees focusing on relevant content to their work because they have so much information to sift through.
At VP Legacies, our learning modules are tailored to you and can help departments reach specific goals while making sure company-wide goals are met. Our learning modules adhere to your brand in order to spearhead authentic engagement and connection between employees, while also offering individualized content for each module.
It caters to a majority
Millennials will make up 50% of the workforce, and they are first-generation digital natives. They better assimilate information when it’s disseminated electronically because it’s customized to their needs, it’s available on-demand and the learning platform is less formal than a traditional classroom. Bite-sized training meets all the above criteria, making them ideal for providing crucial training to the workforce.
To make micro-learning content even more appealing, trainers are opting to incorporate engagement boosting tactics into the format. They are creating micro-learning modules that look like social media content and also creating feedback channels that keep the audience engaged during the entire training. Micro-learning often incorporates eLearning because it’s accessible, using modes of communication that are proven to work.
It matches the concentration span
A popular tactic in microlearning is launching straight into the how-to section of the training and eliminating sections about background information. This is information that the learner can access on their own. But the main reason behind this is that the human concentration span and memory capacity is best when the information is imparted for three to seven minutes. Training delivered within that time frame has a better chance of being absorbed and understood.
Also, there are interruptions that come with a work environment, like phone calls or queries that need to be answered. Typically, employees can work for eleven minutes uninterrupted. A module that lasts seven minutes is ideal because it prevents employees from self-segregating while trying to complete long sessions. Short training allows them to go about their day and interact with others rather than feel like they’re behind in terms of learning.
Micro-learning trainings can be less expensive compared to the lengthier eLearning courses. Learning developers reduce the time spent on the course by 50% when they create a micro-learning course. This impacts the bottom line, since more learners get valuable and concise information that developers have had more time to polish.
Advantages of eLearning
Facilitates better employee retention
eLearning courses without micro-learning are more detailed and educational, providing knowledge that would be expensive and hard-to-find for individuals on their own. As employees seek to become more knowledgeable, they will stay with a company that is willing to pay for their training and education. eLearning sends them the message that their employers care about them and their growth, and is willing to go out of their way to make them truly feel like a valuable asset to the company. By themselves, microlearning courses do not provide the scope of knowledge and education that a complete eLearning course can.
Has better scalability
eLearning courses can be scaled from an entry-level certificate to an advanced course as the employee grows in their knowledge and skills. A single, in-depth course can be translated into various languages and disseminated to a larger number of employees, effectively standardizing the caliber of productivity throughout the various branches of an organization.
Offers several learning options
eLearning utilizes different learning formats to cater to all learners. The same course can be available as a video, text, games and podcasts, among others. This caters to learners with different attention spans and learning preferences. That’s why at VP Legacies, our learning modules include video tools, written tools, and other forms of media.
Has in-depth information
Using assessment styles like case studies and quizzes give in-depth information that may be lacking in shorter modules like micro-learning courses. An eLearning course features background information, exercise and tests in addition to the thorough course work that comes along with it. There is adequate information to explain crucial parts of the course and impart background knowledge that enhances the learner’s skills on the ground.
Also, the body of information in a custom eLearning course remains relevant for longer unlike micro-learning content that can quickly change depending on departmental goals and changes. Choosing information-rich custom eLearning course development can help build a company’s identity and serve as a central knowledge hub for employee discussions that informs decision-making.
Micro-learning: The Future of Employee Training
While eLearning alone focuses on broader and sometimes less tangible goals, microlearning can effectively train employees with skills in the workplace. That’s especially true if the organization adheres to these best practices
Enable mobile access
Enabling mobile access to microlearning trainings allows employees to access the course while on the go. These trainings are effective if the employee can access them from anywhere at any time. The organization can go further and even enable offline access so employees can still use the resources away from the internet.
2. Use visuals and media
Having visuals and other media can make content more engaging and help employees retain vital information. It’s hard to concentrate on a wall of words, especially when dealing with a complex subject. Using videos and infographics can help employees to remain focused and understand the subject better. Microlearning provides an opportunity for companies to use visual aesthetics to show off its fun side.
3. Customize the course
The more relatable the training, the better reception it will receive. There is no one-size-fits-all model for microlearning resources. If one is working with the accounts department, customize the content to fit their mode of assimilating information. In this case, it may be using more numbers than words. Make sure the courses are adapted to the various departments in the organization. It’s also important to make sure the courses use the company’s brand voice and pillars. That’s why at VP Legacies, we take great care to make sure microlearning tools keep your company on the same page and stay connected
4. Keep it short and precise
Always keep the spirit of micro-learning alive when creating courses. These include short and precise training that last seven to ten minutes, simple language, customization to suit the audience and have clear defined goals. Include only content that is relevant to the objective of the training, including images or videos. Everything that goes into the training should add value. To achieve this, it’s highly recommended to have as few objectives as possible. One objective is great because it’s simple and keeps the employees focused. The most number of objectives a micro-learning course should have is three and they must be very clearly laid out.
Executives should make sure that everyone at every level in a corporate team has access to continuous learning opportunities. Companies must train their staff so that they can remain relevant and successful in their industry. But it’s important to give employees the best chance of success with their training. A company that’s serious about employee learning should employ both eLearning and microlearning techniques to achieve various kinds of individual development. Traditional eLearning tools can help immerse employees into your company by creating opportunities for real connections over in-depth discussions, while microlearning boosts employee confidence by teaching them skills that they can use right away to meet company goals. At VP Legacies, we help you find and develop the right tools for your company, integrating the benefits of eLearning and microlearning into your employee growth initiatives.
9 Reasons Why Your Employees Are Your Company’s Most Valuable Assethttps://vplegacies.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/arlington-research-Kz8nHVg_tGI-unsplash-1080x675.jpg1080675VP LegaciesVP Legacieshttps://vplegacies.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/arlington-research-Kz8nHVg_tGI-unsplash-1080x675.jpg
When it comes to your company’s most valuable asset, a lot of areas come to mind. Research and Development, marketing, or even a patent might take the top spot. But that’s not even close to your company’s most valuable asset. The answer is the tens, hundreds, or thousands of employees that make up the workforce of your company. In the 20th century, companies considered production equipment to be its most valuable asset.
However, today, it’s considered to be the knowledge of its employees and their productivity. All intangible assets such as patents, copyrights, intellectual property, brands, trademarks, and R&D are created by people. Therefore, people matter most to you and your business. They are the most essential contributors toward profits and shareholder value. That said, people are key assets for any organization. In today’s continuously changing business world, it is human assets, not the fixed or tangible assets that differentiate an organization from its competitors. The knowledge economy distinguishes one organization from another.
At VP Legacies, it is our job to help you continuously engage with and add value for your employees by scaling your training with rapidly produced custom eLearning courses. We specifically specialize in turning your macro amount of content into online micro-learning curriculums in record time so you can provide top training quicky to your people.
How people benefit your business
Employees champion your business and determine the success or failure of it. The work they do determines what customers and partners see, so it’s important for you to treat your employees with the value they bring. Employees leading an organization might be able to be replaced physically, but their skillsets and knowledge can’t be. This is because each person hired brings a different set of skills to the table even though the job yields the same set of skills.
Besides, the skillset of employees accounts for 85 percent of a company’s assets. Therefore, employee efficiency and talent determines the pace and growth of an organization. Organizations need to recognize the value their employees have and praise them accordingly. This includes their knowledge, expertise, abilities, skillsets, and experience. These are all invaluable and intangible assets for securing a future for the company. So when employees feel valued, they will gladly compete in the race and beat the competition.
Photo by Marten Bjork on Unsplash
Reasons employees are considered invaluable assets
1. Essential to providing goods or services.
Improving employee efficiency and performance are major priorities for an organization. Employees produce the final product, take care of finances, promote your business, and maintain the records for decision making.
2. Employees are the first customer of any organization.
If the organization does not have happy and satisfied employees, they will not deliver performance-oriented results. Therefore reducing the profits of the organization.
3. Employees give their 100 percent to any organization.
No matter what size the business is, success is the result of continuous hard and smart efforts put in by happy and valued employees. This results in keeping the organization going, competing with its competitors, and elevating ahead of them all.
4. Employees are the face of an organization.
It’s the satisfaction level of your employees that matters the most. So, if an employee isn’t happy, she might spread a negative word about the organization, even after leaving it. What’s more, is that an unhappy employee will lack motivation and will not perform well, leading to unsatisfactory performance. This results in unachievable performance targets, low profits, and employee churn.
5. They are the nurturers of the organization.
Employees are the ones who give their heart and soul to an organization. Similar to how parents raise their children, employees nurture their organization with their values and endless efforts to take it to the top.
6. Skilled people with knowledge.
The most irreplaceable factors employees bring to the table are their skillsets. Their skills include training and development programs, experience in a specific field, and an understanding of companies’ cultures, systems, and work procedures.
7. Employees are the base of a strong and long-running organization.
Employees run the organization, no matter what level. This means their strength, commitment, and dedication, and their emotional connection with the organization can’t be judged as assets in monetary value.
8. Motivated employees make a significant difference.
Employees reach new targets, meet customers’ demands and needs, develop new and innovative products, and perform enormous and huge efforts to achieve the company’s objectives.
9. Employees are major contributors to profits and worth of the organization.
It goes without saying, but employees can’t be given a monetary value for the effort they put in to help the business earn profits. This results in excellent customer reviews and creating brand loyalty from customers. Therefore, employees are the most valuable assets an organization has. It’s their abilities, knowledge, and experience that can’t be replaced. So, going forward, organizations need to place emphasis and importance on the contribution their employees have in order to propel themselves ahead.
To take things to the next level, VP Legacies will help you scale your training so you can provide the best growth and development benefits for your employees. Find out more about our custom eLearning production capabilities for time-sensitive projects.
Top Tips for Having a Tough Conversation with Your Bosshttps://vplegacies.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/boss.jpg1080675VP LegaciesVP Legacieshttps://vplegacies.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/boss.jpg
Just like managers need to have tough conversations with their employees, employees need to have tough conversations with their bosses. Whether it’s a raise, a promotion, or an office conflict, employees need to feel like they can have tough conversations with their bosses without backlash.
As an employee, you want to feel empowered and confident to be able to speak to your boss. You want to build a relationship with your boss where they can be your mentor and advocate. Not only do you want to have that professional relationship, but you also want to have a personal relationship too. This relationship allows you to bring problems to their attention freely and openly.
Difficult Conversations with Your Boss
“Your Management Style Doesn’t Work for Me”
As Sun Tzu wrote in The Art of War, “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.” That is not to say treat your boss as your enemy, but you should know what your boss’ management style is and know why it does not work for you. Maybe their demands are unrealistic, or their tone is very abrasive; let them know whatever it is that is bothering you. This discussion is not the time for you to vent all your frustrations, but you will want to take this opportunity to discuss how you can both learn and grow. If you can show your boss that you want to help them become a better leader to you, the message will be much better received and seen as constructive rather than combative.
“I’ve Made a Mistake”
It is difficult to admit that you have done something wrong in general, much more so when it happens at work. However, making mistakes is just a part of life. If you are open and honest about your mistake, you are looked upon much more favorably than someone who does not take responsibility for the error and seeks to blame others. There is an adage, “The first time is a mistake; the second time is a choice” As long as you can take the opportunity to show how you can grow and not make the same mistake, but more importantly, how you can fix it, it will go a long way towards showing that you are a team player.
“I Want a Raise”
Asking for a raise is never an easy subject, but you are only hurting yourself by not asking for it, especially if you really feel like you deserve a raise. If you have self-doubt and do not feel like you deserve it, there are ways to overcome that self-doubt and make your bosses aware of how much you contribute. Keep track of your accomplishments, both big and small. That way, when it comes time to discuss why you deserve a raise, you can show what you have achieved in your time with the company. Being prepared with that information further solidifies your justification for asking for that raise. Additionally, if you are motivated by something outside the company that makes you go into work with a positive attitude, it makes difficult conversations such as this less daunting.
“I Need Help”
As hard as it is to ask for a raise, asking for help is also a struggle for many people. We have this thought that asking for help means that we are weak. That is the opposite of reality. Asking for help means having the strength to realize your limitations. Also, asking for help does not only have to be when you are in trouble. If you want help to become better at what you do, your boss will appreciate you asking for help. Alternatively, maybe you are unclear about how your success will be measured. Ask for feedback, and be proactive about reaching your goals.
Those are all difficult situations. However, they all end with a positive outcome, despite the initial difficulty. Remember, all those conversations will help both the company and you. A happy employee is a better employee. The main thing is to start the conversation. How do I go about starting the conversation, you ask?Without further ado, here are six tips we have for having a tough conversation with your boss.
Without further ado, here are six tips we have for having a tough conversation with your boss.
Explain the situation and context
One of the first steps when approaching your boss with a situation is to state your issue explicitly and give context around the issue. Your boss isn’t going to know what you’re thinking or feeling so you need to explain it to them. You also need to help them understand why you’re feeling a certain way and what prompted that.
Don’t waste time beating around the bush, just go straight into your issue. This doesn’t mean you’re being aggressive; you are just sharing facts from your point of view. By explaining your situation with “I” statements, you can explain your feelings to better explain your situation without coming off as aggressive.
Be honest and truthful
Though this may be a no-brainer, it’s a lot harder than you think to be honest and truthful when approaching your boss. While you want to exhibit candor, you don’t want to do so in a way that comes off as obnoxious. Be graceful and respectful when approaching your boss, choosing your words carefully. Don’t throw people under the bus or play the blame game. Make the conversation about you, not everyone else.
That being said, if something is bothering you, bring it up with your boss sooner rather than later. You don’t want to reach your tipping point before going to your boss with an issue. If you a non-confrontation person, this may be difficult for you because you anticipate the worst-case scenario if you do say something. However, it’s quite the opposite; it might be the best-case scenario if you have the courage to speak up.
Ask for your boss’s perspective
As an employee, you don’t have all the visibility into why your boss makes the decisions they do. You have no idea why they picked your co-worker for a project over you. That’s why it’s key to ask their perspective on the issue you bring to them. Don’t be afraid to ask them why they gave the project to your co-worker and ask what you can do next time, so you are at the top of the consideration list.
Go into the conversation with an open mind. Don’t think that your boss has it out for you because in most cases, they probably don’t. Finding out the reasoning behind their decisions can help you better understand their thought process. As a result, you might end up shifting your attitude and perspective to something more positive by the end of the conversation.
Make sure you reach a resolution and decide next steps
The worst thing you can do when talking to your boss is leaving the conversation unresolved. The whole purpose of meeting with your boss was to resolve the issue by the end of the conversation. You don’t want to leave anything unresolved. Use the time with your boss to bring up any and all issues to make sure you have answers for all of your concerns. Not only will laying everything out on the table will help with your conscious, but it will also help your boss’s too.
A way to do this is by assigning each party action items to complete. Maybe you need to follow up on something or your boss needs to talk to their supervisor. Whatever it is, make sure you decide what needs to get done before you end the conversation, so you have something to circle back on.
Ensure that you and your manager are in a trusting relationship
When talking with your manager, you want to make sure that you can trust them. Like a friend, you don’t want them to spread your conversation around as office gossip. You want to make sure they approach your conversation seriously and with full confidentiality.
In the case that you don’t trust your manager, reach out to another colleague in the company who you can trust and feel comfortable talking to. You want a good gut feeling about the person you’re talking to without questioning their level of trust. If employee-manager confidentiality becomes an issue, reach out to their supervisor to bring the issue to their attention.
Find a time to meet with your boss to make sure you have their full attention
Like many bosses, your boss is probably busy every day between meetings they have and work they need to get done. Set up your meeting with your boss at a time where you know you’ll have their full attention, so they can focus on the conversation with you without getting distracted by other work.
You also want to set up a meeting in person and in private. While a phone meeting is great, it doesn’t lend itself to emotion and body language, both of which convey how you are really feeling. Make sure your meeting is in a private room or your bosses office to have full confidentiality without the office hearing what you have to say.
It’s no easy feat talking to your boss. For some, it’s the hardest thing to do. However, it’s necessary to not only address conflict but build a relationship with your boss. With these tips, you’re sure to feel comfortable talking to your boss the next time a conflict comes up.
Templates for Difficult Conversations with Your Boss
Your Management Style Doesn’t Work for Me
I have thought about how you are managing my work, and it is not a style that makes me comfortable. I am uncomfortable with your management style because [insert reasons why it makes you uncomfortable]. I realize that your style might work with other employees, but maybe we can try [insert suggested alternative] when it comes to managing how I work. I have been working with your management style so far, but I would like for us to work together to help each other become both a better boss and a better employee. If we can agree on how to best work together, we can both learn and grow.
I’ve Made A Mistake
I have made a mistake. It is not easy for me to admit that I [insert mistake committed], but I want to be transparent and assume full responsibility for my error. It is my hope and my desire never to make this mistake again. Since it was my mistake, I will also be the one to fix it by [insert how to fix mistake]. I would appreciate any assistance in instructing me in what I did wrong and how best to avoid making this mistake. I will take this as a learning experience and use it to become a better employee.
I Want A Raise
I would like a raise. I believe I deserve a raise due to my hard work and contributions to this company. I have been here for [insert amount of time with the company]. During that time, I have achieved the following for this company: [insert list of accomplishments, big and small, that you have personally contributed to the company]. With those accomplishments, I believe I have earned a proportionate increase in my compensation. Other workers with the same job title in this area make [insert amount made by similar workers in your area if it is higher]. I do enjoy working with this company; I would just like my work to be appreciated appropriately.
Personal Connection and Tough Conversations
It goes without saying that tough conversations with your boss are virtually unavoidable. Don’t be caught off-guard if you ever find yourself in such a situation. Instead, prepare yourself to make sure you have a level head and clear goals. These strategies will help you engage and connect with your boss in meaningful ways so you get as much out of your meeting as possible, no matter the circumstances.
Employees’ relationships with their direct reports are some of the most important ones at work, and cultivating strong professional relationships over time can help you collaborate better when conflict occurs. Our courses at VP Legacies prepare you for the successes and challenges by giving you the tools to form authentic personal connections with your colleagues. Take a look at our courses and find out how eLearning can help you resolve conflict and solve problems with improved internal communication.
Have you wanted to learn how to change strangers into friends, friends into best friends and create a personal connection with anyone?
Key Takeaways from Recession-Proof Businesseshttps://vplegacies.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/Screen-Shot-2019-12-09-at-2.41.39-PM.png986574VP LegaciesVP Legacieshttps://vplegacies.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/Screen-Shot-2019-12-09-at-2.41.39-PM.png
Only a short year ago, the U.S. economy was experiencing what the Wall Street Journal called “weak momentum” and “stalled growth” at the start of 2019. Little did we know, the COVID-19 outbreak would wreak havoc on every country’s economy by March 2020. With forecasts of Q2 continuing to decline in the 2020 financial year, it is evident that we need to prepare ourselves for a recession. Is your company a recession-proof business or is it taking a hit like many others? How are businesses surviving during this significant economic downturn and what are they doing to stay afloat?
It’s hard enough to run and operate a business in the best of times and these responsibilities become especially difficult during a recession. That’s why people in an industry with an unpredictable market look for protective measures to weather the storm of economic declines. Even if you started your business during a strong economy, a recession could quickly turn that successful business into a sweet memory.
Some businesses, on the other hand, are essentially recession-proof. That means they either provide goods and services that people always need (perhaps even more during a recession), or their earnings are always low to moderate, so they always have to take extra precautions with their business strategies.
No matter the current financial health of your business, you never know what’s in store several years from now. In this article, we’re discussing some of the most popular recession-proof businesses and ways that you can learn from them to prepare yourself for the fluctuating economy. At VP Legacies, we believe in the power of communication. By learning how recession-proof businesses communicate effectively to maintain their cash flow and keep employees on board, you can learn how to help your company succeed in even the worst of times. By building personal connections through your communication strategies, you can help keep your business recession-proof.
Is there such a thing as a recession-proof business?
The short answer to that question is yes. During a recession, people turn towards cheaper product alternatives and certain financial services for assistance. In the era of the COVID-19 pandemic, more and more people are drawn to lower prices in order to hold on to cash for emergency situations.
If at one time someone shopped at a luxury boutique for their clothing, they may now turn to an outlet or department store. If they originally went to custom furniture manufacturers, they’d likely turn to retail furniture stores during a recession. Where customers were previously dining out 3-5 times a week, most are now social distancing at home and cooking instead.
We will always need and want things, but where we get them will change during a recession. The best recession-proof businesses are discount purveyors who offer cheaper items at a lower price in whatever industry. Further, businesses that stay in touch with their employees are more likely to experience higher retention rates and save orientation and training costs to the company. Finally, some businesses are thriving post-coronavirus by paying attention to consumer needs and pivoting their services toward a changing economic landscape.
Examples of recession-proof businesses
As we mentioned, the best recession-proof businesses are the ones that take an expensive offer that someone else has and they present it at a discounted price. That doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to lower your prices during a recession in order to stay afloat.
When audiences transition to a more affordable alternative, they’re likely to choose one they’ve already heard about. That means that the key to staying recession-proof is taking control of communication. Learn more about how recession-proof businesses use internal and external branding to prepare for tough years.
Food and Beverage
People need to eat to survive, but today’s global pandemic situation and associated social distancing measures means dining out is no longer a possible option. High-end restaurants take a significant hit during a recession because people stop eating out and start cooking at home more often. For that reason, grocery stores are also a solid business model during a recession.
The grocery chain Hannaford owes its success to decentralized leadership. The 1980s recession hit many businesses in New England hard, but the company expanded into New York State and its profits increased to 18%. Its socio-technical model meant that both managers and employees had a say in hiring, pay scales, and rules – making sure that everyone felt heard. Because this fostered strong personal connection, employees were more likely to stay.
As fears about infection and viral spread mount during the pandemic, cleaning services are emerging as a high-demand commodity. Cleaning companies that specialize in commercial buildings and healthcare facilities are experiencing a dramatic uptick in demands for their services. This also means many are depending on cleaning businesses to keep them safe and to take appropriate measures to ensure proper disinfection measures.
Because their clients are counting on them, cleaning companies are realizing that client communication is more important than ever. Illinois-based company Aftermath Services typically cleans up crime scenes and biohazard areas, but has been deluged with phone calls requesting coronavirus-related cleanings. In response, the company has redirected a large number of its workforce to answering calls and pivoting its services toward cleaning in a post-coronavirus era.
By opening up communication lines, many cleaning service companies are able to stay updated on their customers’ changing needs and expand their business scope in previously untapped areas. In what ways can your company optimize communication lines and learn how to grow even in an ever-changing economy? Take advantage of this downtime and learn how to level up your staff’s personal communication skills here.
Like cleaning services, delivery companies are enjoying a rise in business these days. Social distancing measures across the globe means consumers are staying home and ordering groceries, household items, and other necessities to be sent to their house. However, this business model comes with certain responsibilities as well.
It’s up to each delivery service to make sure its customers feel safe ordering from their stores or warehouses. Companies like GrubHub and Instacart have offered “no-contact” delivery options for those who take social distancing seriously. Other businesses can take inspiration from these responsible companies by outlining how they are taking care of their staff and clientele. Effective communication about how a company is handling COVID-19 concerns is crucial to establish trust between the company and its employees and customers.
We see more and more of these stores pop up all over the country. They are second-hand stores that offer clothing that is either previously worn or improperly designed. When people don’t have a lot of money, they turn to places like these to get their clothes. If you’ve ever heard of the clothing stores Gabes or Marshalls, these are great examples.
TJ Maxx and Ross outperformed the entire retail industry during the Great Recession because they provided significant discounts. This has influenced the retail industry as a whole, causing consumers to expect deals and discounts constantly. When you enter either store, you’re likely to see advertisements reminding customers they’re doing themselves a favor by shopping there. In other words, customers feel valued when they get a bang for their buck.
Other businesses can extrapolate from this business model the principle of rewarding clients and customers. Instead of simply lowering prices, brands can use clear messaging to remind clients or customers why they chose them. By developing a communication strategy that clearly breaks down the services you provide and why they’re valuable, you can remind clients that they’re getting a good deal.
This strategy also applies to employees. You want your employees to feel just as valued as your customers since they’re the ones who keep everything running. Providing ample benefits and offering resources to attend training and conferences are just a couple of ways to do this.
There will never come a time when things don’t break, and your car and home will always need someone to come and fix something. For contractors and mechanics, people are actually more prone to fixing something instead of replacing it during a tough economy. Areas like electronic and appliance repair struggle immensely during a good economy, but they thrive during a bad one.
This factor is also true for automotive repair. The LA Times shared an article about a $36 billion increase in sales at automotive shops between 2010 and 2011.
Places like Jiffy Lube can thrive during a recession because people will still get their oil changed. The company will advertise coupons and discounts to bring people in (meanwhile, their prices are still higher than your local garage).
These businesses prosper because they feel absolutely necessary. In your branding, you should emphasize how your products or services are vital for expansion. By presenting your brand as a necessary tool instead of a nice-to-have perk, you’ll create a sense of urgency. But remember not to be too pushy. Like a good auto technician, you should present yourself with hospitality. Use branding to show the utility of your bottom line and to build personal connections with potential long-term clients.
Economists define a recession as two consecutive quarters of negative economic growth. As we move through 2020, it’s apparent the U.S. will continue to experience an economic slowdown due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. During a recession, we’ll experience job loss, income decline, reduction of manufacturing, and a reduced amount of spending in the marketplace.
Recessions impact all businesses big and small. For large businesses, stocks and dividends fall. When this happens, the investors who hold that stock may sell it and move their money to another stock that is performing well. This will only hurt the large business even more, which will lower the price of the company stock.
Accounts receivable for both large and small companies will struggle as well. If customers are struggling to make ends meet and stay afloat, they will have a hard time paying bills, which can reduce or slow down revenues. Bankruptcies increase during recessions. From retail advertising and repair industries, we learn how rebranding your products and services in the context of a recession can show relevance. In turn, this helps your accounts payable remain stable.
Employee layoffs are common, and businesses will try to get more work out of each individual. This may lead to burnout and low morale by the employees left behind. Not to mention the employees who are without a job collecting unemployment benefits due to their layoff. As we can see in grocery employee management at Hannaford, communication between employees is vital to retain their trust. Whether to relay bad news or keep them at your company, communicating with true empathy can help you maintain your good name and stay afloat.
Tips for recession-proofing your business
While there is no straightforward answer to recession-proofing your business, there are some things you can do.
Rebrand to focus on a discounted business model
Expand into previously unexplored markets where your services may now be in demand
Re-examine the ‘necessity’ of your business. Since the CDC has effectively shut down all businesses that do not provide an “essential” function, explore ways to pivot your business toward changing consumer needs
Emphasize the ‘necessity’ of your business
Run with low overhead (people are less prone to judgment during hard economic times)
Involve employees in crisis conversations and strategic decisions
Economists are saying the U.S. is already in a recession due to the global effects of the current pandemic. An economic decline of 2.5% during the first quarter of 2020 is expected to balloon into a 26.5% downturn in Q2. It is estimated that the U.S. labor population will lose over 4.5 million jobs by the end of the second financial quarter. But there is some light at the end of the tunnel.
Experts predict a return to growth in the latter part of 2020. With help from the Federal Reserve, small businesses and consumers can benefit from a proactive fiscal and monetary stimulus. Businesses must do what they can to survive through the second half of this year when the economic forecast is decidedly sunnier.
Though we can’t say for sure whether the American economy will bounce back anytime soon, using the tips in this article for strategic communication, predicting consumer needs, and re-branding during a recession will help you stay prepared. To learn from our skilled communication strategists, check out VP Legacies’ free course How to Personally Connect in the Midst of a Global Pandemic, live daily on both Instagram and Facebook.
What to Include In an Internal Communication Planhttps://vplegacies.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/image5.png1050700VP LegaciesVP Legacieshttps://vplegacies.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/image5.png
The way an organization communicates internally can directly impact the quality of goods and services produced, ultimately affecting your company’s bottom line. Well thought out and effective internal communication models help employees feel valued and heard, in turn boosting productivity and ensuring a strong brand reputation inside and out.
An internal communication plan that hasn’t been given much thought can end up causing time lags in message delivery, resulting in delays and reduced efficiency. That can be the beginning of deteriorating relationships with customers and subsequent negative effects on the organization’s bottom line. VP Legacies values personal connections within the workplace to create an environment where your employees want to stay. By keeping employees happy and increasing retention rates, you can develop long-lasting professional relationships with quality employees, helping your business to grow.
What is an internal communication plan?
Simply put, it’s a plan that articulates how messages and information are disseminated across various departments to employees to help drive business outcomes for the organization.
To build your internal communications plan, we must first examine the seven components traditionally used to create a successful strategy in doing so.
Analyze the current condition of your business.
What is your internal communications plan going to achieve (consider overall and communication department goals?).
Who needs to be kept informed? Is it the entire organization or just select teams.
What you want to say, what topics you wish to address, how, and why.
How you get your message across, sharing your strategies, tactics, and preferred channels e.g., email.
When you will communicate your internal communications messages (Considering what time your employees are most receptive to internal collateral).
How will you measure the performance of your internal communications?
Internal communication channels popular in the workplace
The first question you should ask is, “Which channel will work best for the content and the audience you have in mind?”. It’s important to remember how you relay a message is equally as important as the message itself. You must choose the channel that best engages your employees when faced with a wide selection of internal communication channels. Below are three of the more popular internal communication channels in the workplace and their benefits.
Email can be an excellent channel for internal communications. You can communicate with multiple people at once, send copies to ensure everyone is in the loop. Ensuring entire teams can receive the same information at the same time with no time restrictions. While easily attaching Files and images to emails. You can receive emails any day, as you can obtain on your mobile device.
Face-to-face Meetings have many benefits, such as reading the speaker’s body language, facial expressions, and gestures. These visual cues drastically improve the ability to communicate effectively. It can also build trust and transparency while fostering an atmosphere of equality, allowing for discussion through brainstorming, productive talks, and constructive arguments.
Private chat and messaging apps
Private chat and messaging apps provide real-time and direct information side-stepping small talk more commonly found in email and phone calls. For fast-moving projects that demand immediate responses from individuals or groups, while helping to Connect Remote workers and fostering a rapid flow of ideas for brainstorming and problem-solving.
Why do organizations need an internal communication plan?
There is a game played in many employee communication training sessions called ‘broken telephone’. It’s more of an experiment that shows how original information can be transformed by inaccuracies as it is relayed across a sea of employees.
The game starts with the facilitator whispering something to one of the participants, who in turn relays the message to the next person in a whisper. So if the training session has 30 attendees, all members will have relayed the message to the next person in a whisper. The facilitator will then ask the first and the last employee to receive the message to share what was relayed to them out loud with the rest of the group.
More often than not, the difference between the original message and what it becomes by the time it reaches the 30th employee in the session is laughable.
This silly yet fun game is a powerful illustration of how a clear message from the top of the organization can lose its original meaning by the time it is relayed to junior employees.
Although operational models of various organizations may differ, the need for correct and precise communication to be disseminated remains key to the successful meeting of any organization’s business goals. That is the reason why having an effective internal communication plan is paramount. Alongside accuracy, an internal communication plan must ensure that information actually reaches employees. By creating an environment with strong personal connections where all employees feel heard, they are more likely to listen to you.
The fundamental goal of most organizations is to turn in a profit. In the quest to meet and exceed bottom lines, initiatives to that end are set by management and hinge on every employees contribution towards that direction to achieve success.
An internal communication plan ensures that all departments and employees at different levels receive communications and understand the direction the company is taking. A solid communication plan also provides a clear layout for consistent, clear communication that keeps employees in the loop about your business’s goals. That puts them in an empowering position where they are able to take right actions that are aligned with achieving those goals.
With everyone pulling in the same, defined direction, it’s more likely that the business outcomes are met and perhaps exceeded.
Benefits of a communication plan
An internal communication plan empowers employees and makes them feel a part of something. In addition to integrating the team for increased productivity, implementing a communication plan can:
1. Create a yardstick for successful implementation
Internal communication plans aid an organization in prioritizing communication strategies and when they should be implemented. They also help measure the value of already implemented communication strategies, and the positive or negative impact they have on the business.
With a plan in place, the internal team has parameters and guidelines that help funnel their efforts on what is most important to the business. An internal communication plan also helps to customize content and delivery methods to suit employees that are computer-based or out in the field.
It is a tool that enables the organization to get vital information to all employees within a short time. The information should also be easy and quick to read. Fast message delivery and short concise information ensure that employees get information promptly.
The whole purpose of adopting an internal communication plan is to improve the collective output of employees while reducing or eliminating the percentage of customers who aren’t satisfied. If a customer’s dissatisfaction is a result of inaccurate information provided by an employee, then such an issue can be resolved through speedy delivery of messages and vital information to front line employees.
It’s important that the information is delivered quickly, but not coldly. Maintaining a sense of personal connection across all messaging increases the likelihood that employees will pay attention.
Such an analysis will help determine if improvements on a current plan are needed or a total overhaul of the plan is necessary.
2. Assess needs across the board
A continuation of the previous step, talking to employees and internal stakeholders ensures that your internal communication plan is guided by the people throughout the organization, and not just the goals of management and leadership. Collect data from all department and all employee levels to make sure that everyone feels heard.
3. Consider the organization’s goal
Regardless of the internal communication plan you choose, it should be aligned with clearly defined organizational goals. An organization that knows its business goals, as well as communication goals, is better placed to choose an internal communication plan that communicates those goals effectively.
Analyzing the kind of audience will not only inform what tactics to employ but also what communications channels to use for maximum impact. While the amount of information disseminated will change depending on the audience and the tone/medium might also change slightly, remember that meaningful connections are important across the board.
5. Time of information release
When preparing internal communication plans, it is vital to consider methods, time, frequency and channels of relaying information to various employee segments. Basically, a business’s communication strategy must be compatible or adaptable to their messaging timeline.
What should an internal communication plan comprise of?
Having considered the above factors, it’s time to look at the elements a business should include in their plan. For that purpose, an internal communication plan template will prove helpful. It helps an organization cover all the internal communication bases while customizing sections in the template to suit their model of communication needs.
For most organizations, a one-size-fits-all internal communication plan may not work. Usually, this is because the employees in different departments and in various company roles may communicate differently. Some might spend more time communicating with clients on the phone, others might use their computer more, and still others might work remotely.
Whereas relaying information via email may work for computer-based employees, it may not work as well for front line employees dealing with customers directly. They simply don’t have the time to check their mail while manning a cashier till or front desk.
However, a messaging method similar to the news feeds such as desktop tickers might work for front line staff. The message text scrolls across the bottom of an employee’s work station so it is highly visible.
The message is short and precise so that even in a busy environment, an employee is able to see time-sensitive time information pertinent to his/her role on time and without fail.
When choosing an internal communication plan, an organization will have to not only consider their audiences but the environments of various employee segments.
But above all, it is vital to create an internal communication plan that keeps everyone in the fold and maintains a personal connection. By communicating adequately and attentively, employees will feel like they’re part of the group.
Let’s take an in-depth look at what an internal communication plan should include.
Based on the goals and objectives set by the company, an internal communication plan should have a way to measure how it impacts business goals and affects employee relationships. This is possible through a number of different analytic tools.
Note: it’s effective only if the organization’s goals are clearly defined. Then, it can show whether company objectives are being met. Positive signs may include:
Positive feedback forms for employees
Improved survey scores
Increased product sale or share value
Better employee retention rates
Improved percentage of employee sign-ups for initiatives
3. Effective communication channels
An internal communication plan that has multiple communication options can help an organization prevent loss of man-hours, improve employee engagement as well as the percentage of customer satisfaction.
One of the key challenges in communication is an overload of information. Not all employees prefer reading long detailed emails from management. Depending on the employee’s job role and environment, they may express that they prefer short and precise messages on alternative channels outside of emails. That is reasonable if they happen to be on the front line of service dealing with customers directly.
Adaptability shows employees you are willing to work with them to suit their needs. An organization will benefit from an internal communication plan that allows multiple communication channels such as the following:
Employee satisfaction questionnaires
Desktop tickers allow instant communication with employees in busy front line environments. The short, concise and visible nature of desktop alerts increases the percentage of employees who’ll see crucial information at the beginning of their shifts. Such alternative channels of communication ensure that employees receive, read and assimilate information that impacts customer satisfaction and company business goals.
Since communication is a two-way street, capturing employees’ feedback on what they feel about certain internal communication strategies will help management evaluate the effectiveness of their plan. Anonymous questionnaires are an effective method of gathering that feedback.
Challenges that an internal communication plan should seek to address
Having established that the business success of an organization hinges on its ability to have a cohesive intra-departmental communication plan, the goal of an effective internal communication plan is to maximize effective communication for all employee levels.
Identifying and resolving communication issues that compromise support staff and front line employees. This can range from company protocol on dealing with prevalent customer issues to something as basic as how to answer the phone.
Reducing the volume of data sent to employees and tailoring message and delivery channels. This will achieve a higher percentage of message reception and assimilation by employees.The subsequent results will translate to a success indicator such as improved customer satisfaction and fewer customer complaints related to the provision of inaccurate information.
These are a few internal communication challenges common to most organizations. Using an internal communication template can help a business cover every angle of its communication needs for better productivity. This plan will optimize targeting and timing of messaging to the right audience.
An effective internal communication plan also helps prevent information overload by tailoring messages to be shorter and precise. Overall, delivering messages through methods that take into consideration the employees environment goes a long way in communicating effectively to employees on time-sensitive issues that affect their role.
Most importantly, an internal communication plan should help businesses fortify personal connection with their employees. Informing them on important matters and maintaining frequent communication will ensure them that they are in the loop, and finding opportunities to get feedback will let them know they are heard. VP Legacies is here to help you with your strategic communication consulting needs. With a three-step process we apply to any aspect of corporate communications, our expertise will help you succeed with better employee retention rates and, as a result, a better business.
Internal Communication Best Practiceshttps://vplegacies.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/image3.png1050700VP LegaciesVP Legacieshttps://vplegacies.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/image3.png
Communication is a key ingredient for any business to foster sustainable and scalable growth. Whether with customers, partners or employees, lacking a solid communication strategy makes it difficult to execute even the simplest tasks on a daily basis. It is especially important to build efficient, high-quality communication with internal stakeholders and employees. In order to do this, take an empathetic approach and build personal connections.
Technology is changing by the minute, which means it’s more important than ever for companies to be in touch with business trends, changing expectations and strategic developments. Across the board, employees expect faster and more personal communication – and rightfully so. If your employees are connected through effective internal communication strategies, productivity and morale will increase by an order of magnitude.
At VP Legacies, we develop and deploy strategic communication strategies to help you develop and maintain a strategy for meaningful connections in the workplace. With our experience in meaningful communication and strong personal connections, we’ll walk you through some internal communication best practices you can start implementing today.
Have A Strategy
The absolute first step that a company must take before thinking of internal communication ideas is to develop an overarching strategy. Examine which internal communication workflows and norms are in place right now at your organization, then evaluate their effectiveness or lack thereof.
The mark of an effective strategy for internal communication is a consistent corporate voice and personal attention. If your employees understand your business’s workflow philosophy and you make everyone feel heard, communication becomes easier and sometimes even enjoyable.
Do a gap analysis and figure out the current communication logjams you’re running into.
Without a thorough foundation of the strengths and weaknesses of your current internal communication processes, an organization can’t develop the necessary adjustments to scale impact.
“Collaboration is a key part of the success of any organization, executed through a clearly defined vision and mission and based on transparency and constant communication.” – Dinesh Paliwal
Use The Right Communication Tools
Thanks to technological developments, there are many tools available that are so well established they’re essentially internal communication best practices. The last thing you want is your team performing poorly because of an old-fashioned communication method or process.
Adopt tools like Slack, which are not only easy to use but are designed to streamline the communication process between departments and the entire organization as a whole. Tools give the opportunity for fast personal connections that might otherwise be difficult to initiate and allow horizontal and vertical communication to occur at a rapid pace.
Don’t get caught up in the flurry of tools, however – it’s best to keep them at a minimum and focus on the most essential pieces so employees don’t feel burdened by a steep learning curve. An excess of tools can leave a poor impression on employees, who might think your business is impersonal.
Keep it simple, effective and productive.
No Communication Overload
Too much communication can also be a bad thing for your organization. Employees can’t keep track of regular updates or policy changes that are sent to them every other day – reduce the frequency of internal newsletters while maintaining the effectiveness of the message conveyed. This will not only bring more attention but also increase the level of importance of the message for your employees.
With less communication, you can really take the time to craft thoughtful messages that convey what’s necessary but also remind employees that you care. A thorough, friendly email rather than an onslaught of dense information encourages employees to stay up to date and makes them feel welcome.
Gone are the days when “work” is strictly “work” – the definition of work culture has evolved over the past few years, and so should the internal communication best practices. Don’t hesitate to use an informal or casual tone within your organization comms.
Make your communication visual and easy to read rather than full of jargon that people don’t care about. Foster a feeling of oneness within your organization by allowing employees to communicate and even have some fun while they get some work done.
Encourage the Use of Social Media
The need for brands to communicate with their employees effectively has always been a point of discussion. However, the way that brands approach this issue has dramatically evolved over the years. Brands are always looking for new ways to effectively communicate brand news, policies, and information to their employees.
We now see a need to communicate not just with the employee but with the target audience through the employees. The most common way to achieve this is to encourage your employees to be active on social media, sharing branded content, industry-relevant articles, and write their own content. Otherwise referred to as ’employee advocacy’.
Employee advocates are extremely common in today’s workplace by merely implementing the informal version by encouraging employees to share brand values and messages through social media in an organic way. However, for employee advocacy to be genuinely successful, employees’ social media activity must remain authentic.
Cross-Department Communication Is Crucial
It’s a challenging task to monitor and bring together a large team within various departments, by encouraging cross-department communication practices, such as team building activities or Q/A sessions, where people learn more about everyone else’s jobs and how the company functions as a whole will reduce the chances of potential isolation among departments. Employees might even pick up some friends along the way.
Monthly sprint demos for different departments to share work and current development are great ways to maintain context without contributing to information overflow. Discussion-based collaboration helps ease the feeling of pressure and creates a sense of personal connection and shared goals.
One of the major complaints employees have is that no one listens to their problems or appreciates their contributions. If you develop a systematic feedback process where employees have the freedom to express themselves and raise any concerns, they’ll feel like they’re being heard in the organization – a major boost in your internal communication strategy.
The goal of being able to see how the company is performing can be a phenomenal experience for your team member’s work ethic. Metrics reveal the company’s current and past performance, trends, goals, and progress. Digital signage is an excellent way to display metrics throughout the office. It inspires your team to work harder and improve tremendously by showing them metrics for the company, departments, or even individuals.
The more open and clear the internal communication strategy is, the more valued an employee feels. If you’re sharing the growth of the company with the employees and keeping them updated with all the major updates that you deem necessary, not only will it motivate them to work harder, but it will also create a sense of mutual trust and importance within the organization.
Set And Monitor Realistic Goals
You need to know whether your internal communication practices are having a positive or negative impact on your organization. Set benchmarks and determining factors (i.e real business metrics) upon which the internal communication best practices will be judged upon and track them regularly.
Never Lose Sight of the Big Picture
Exceptional leaders never lose sight of the bigger picture. A universal paradox of leadership is balancing the competing strains that pull apart our available resources, such as time, money, and people. It motivates us to prioritize immediate execution, but that shouldn’t be at the expense of losing sight of the overarching goal.
As a leader, by remembering Bad times don’t last and that markets and economies go through cycles, in varying degrees. You must be ready and able to jump back into the game. Keeping in mind that people in markets have short memories When bad times come, “ask yourself what you’ll do when it’s over?”
Staying relevant is critical, with on-demand business models, disruptive technologies, and fickle customer loyalties, it’s more difficult staying relevant. Your organization was set up to serve a purpose. Building capabilities around this purpose is an excellent way to achieve success.
Being a great leader Isn’t just about selling an idea, although that’s an excellent foundation for building strong leadership skills. There are three qualities that I believe transforms a good leader into a great leader that inspires action.
1. The Ability To Create Loyalty
Leadership expert Simon Sinek stated on his TEDTalk that a leader’s goal should be to create relationships with people who has the same ideas and goals. But equally as important is maintaining and growing those relationships to develop trust. As the best companies, teams, and organizations have a low turnover rate because their leaders can instill loyalty.
2. Recognizing and Utilizing Talent
As a leader, Being aware of the individual strengths and weaknesses of your team members allows you to understand how best to guide each individual to the highest level of performance. This type of leader recognizes that the same approach that inspires action from some people may not motivate others, thus tailoring their approach.
3. Communicating Effectively
Without effective communication, leaders will find it challenging to inspire action in others. By taking the inside-out approach, and effectively communicating the underlying reasons why that drives their organization, inspiring their people to take action and reach higher goals.
Communication is one of the most difficult practices to optimize at scale, which is why an organization needs to constantly be vigilant about its challenges and processes. Implementing solid internal communication best practices are not only beneficial in the long run for employees, but they’re also a godsend for the organization.
Being clear about the goals of your organization and maintaining a culture of internal communication best practices can have a positive ripple effect within all departments of your organization. It takes practice, trial and error and the will to follow through with the internal communication ideas for an organization to see it come to fruition after a while – which is why many companies shy away from it without realizing the benefits it brings.
Holding pace in this fast-moving corporate world requires that an organization and its employees are on the same page and there is ample motivation, connection, and trust within the organization. This is where a strong internal communication strategy continues to play a crucial role, and will continue to do so for the foreseen future.
VP Legacies is prepared to give you a helping hand for a strong internal communication strategy. From development to implementation and assessment, we offer internal corproate communication consulting, custom eLearning development and employer branding solutions for all forms of internal corporate communication.