Employee Engagement Archives | VP Legacies

Employee Engagement

Best Consulting Firm: VP Legacies Named Top Consulting Firm by DesignRush

Best Consulting Firm: VP Legacies Named Top Consulting Firm by DesignRush 983 607 VP Legacies

men and women holding trophy best consulting firm We are pleased to announce that we have been named one of the top 25 consulting firms by DesignRush for 2019.

DesignRush ranks and reviews consulting firms from around the country and around the world. The winning firms vary by company size, rates, portfolio, review, and location.

According to DesignRush, the best consulting forms “create custom strategies to improve management, better employee satisfaction, and increase business growth.” These firms also strengthen processes through operations and logistics assistance, marketing campaign guidance, accounting advice and more.

VP Legacies’ online courses help thousands of people worldwide build meaningful relationships every day, including at work. When it comes to considering a consulting firm for your projects, you want one that will best help you enhance your business strategy and grow your business. 

Top Consulting Firms Enhance Business Strategy

The best consulting services take the time to help clients enhance business strategy, offering specialized expertise that caters exactly to their needs and business growth goals. These tools include:

  • Information technology to implement certain programs or systems
  • Marketing to gather competitor analysis, detailed audits, market share information, and business and demographic data to advice on possible ventures
  • Human resources to assist with improving employees relations by defining employment terms, facilitating change in upper management, talent management, and career growth
  • Financial services for revenue-related services to keep your business safe

What to look for in a consulting firm

While there are a number of consulting firms out there, top consulting firms differentiate themselves in how it treats its customers, accessibility, and more. A few factors to consider are:

  • Are they an effective partner? Top consulting companies promote both the quality and expertise in a true partnership, committed to generating results.
  • Do they have a global presence? Business success in the modern world means becoming a global brand, able to the necessary insight and unique perspective to expand operations into new territories
  • Are they digital savvy? Today’s top firms know how to meet the demands of the digital consumer and implement technology to improve business performance.
  • Do they focus on results? The best consulting firms put their clients first, helping them to achieve specific and measurable goals
  • Do they serve multiple industries? The consulting firm you choose must have experience in your industry, giving you insight on the challenges companies in that industry face to offer strategies to uncover solutions

Related: Benefits of Sporting Events as a Team-Building and Personal Connection Tool

Features of top consulting companies

people in open workplace consulting firm A top consulting company is more than just the services they offer; they are about the characteristics, work ethic, and personality they bring to the table. A few key features of top firms are:

  • The experience and expertise necessary to take on the job you’ve hired them to do
  • A proven track record to ensure that your project gets effectively
  • Creative thinking to come up with innovative ideas to meet the challenges specific to your project
  • Communication skills to make sure goals are met, challenges are communicated, and issues are resolved
  • Leadership to take the lead in order to finish the project in a timely and efficient manner

Why VP Legacies?

VP Legacies is a premier personal connection and content creation firm in Denver that helps its clients create a world where people aren’t afraid to personally connect. We want to help not only clients engage externally, but internally to increase employee retention and customer loyalty.

We see storytelling as the key to personal connection, as we are expert storytellers with a process empowering you to truly personally connect with our clients’ audiences. The power in our ability to create personal connection is unending and immeasurable, which has allowed us to grow our business values and processes.

Related: Monochronic vs. Polychronic Cultures: What are The Differences?

Powered by personal connection

By way building trust, sharing story details, and embracing emotions, we help our clients develop personal connection with their employees and customers. We believe that open communication develops rapport, which in turn, builds trust. This trust empowers you to share your story—and its details—with others. Once a story is told, it produces emotion, which ultimately enables you to personally connect by embracing it.

When it comes down to it, we utilize consulting, capturing, editing, and educating services to achieve your employee and customer engagement, education, and experience goals.

Additionally, we pride ourselves on delivering the highest quality of service to our clients. This includes transparent communication, timeliness of delivery, a high-quality end product, and a strong client relationship. With these characteristics, we are able to go above and beyond for our clients.

When working with VP Legacies, you are paying for these factors and how they treat your individual project. You get a company that takes the time to really get to know its clients and goes above and beyond to create videos of the highest quality for its clients.

Your story matters, so let us help you tell your story.


Have you wanted to learn how to change strangers into friends, friends into best friends and create a personal connection with anyone?

5 Ways to Successfully Implement Video-Based Learning at Work

5 Ways to Successfully Implement Video-Based Learning at Work 1600 1067 VP Legacies

man on laptop working with notebook video learning

Written by VP Legacies and Andrea Maliska

Corporate environments allow for so many opportunities to implement video-based learning content to internally educate employees. From new hire training to compliance, the use cases are endless. 

Video-based content can replace your stale email content for something that is more engaging. Employees will respond better to it and learn more from it. Take the opportunity to use it across your organization in all different departments to see where it works and where it doesn’t.

VP Legacies offers online courses that help you make strong personal connections at work, proving the impact video-based learning can have. In this post, we share five different ways that you can implement video-based learning in a corporate environment.

Video-Based Learning for New Hire Training 

One of the most popular and effective ways of using video-based learning is in new hire training. When starting a new job, there are so many things to navigate before diving into your job. What better way to navigate the ins and outs of a company than through video-based training? 

Through educational videos, you can take employees through various parts of their training. This can be areas such as sexual harassment or getting acquainted with the company, its products, and its message. 

Using video helps keep viewers engaged while helping them to consume content in an easier to understand way. If you’ve ever started at a new job, you know that there is a lot to consume at once. A video is easy on your brain so you can really consume the presented content.

Related: Monochronic vs. Polychronic Cultures: What are The Differences?

Video-Based Learning for Compliance

Going hand-in-hand with new hire training is compliance training. This isn’t only for new hire. It can be for seasoned employees when new policies come out, or if they need a refresher on long-standing policies. 

A perfect example of this is if your company deals with Europe’s GDPR regulations. In order to effectively get your employees to complete these, create a video-based course around it. Like new hire training, video content will keep learners engaged, especially when the content isn’t very interesting to begin with. 

Video-based educational content proves to be well-received by learners, which helps them to retain the concepts better after viewing. Chances are, they will better remember the concepts covered than by just reading a slide deck or PDF.

Video-Based Learning for Software Training

Another area where video-based learning can come into play is with software training. Say your company uses software like Marketo or Salesforce. Upon hiring, you’re expected to complete training on these tools prior to starting your job. 

Videos are the perfect tool for that training, especially if you are unfamiliar with the software. The simplest use case when it comes to software training is a short demo video that covers one function of a tool. A demo video can help you navigate the software and perform specific functions within the tool. 

Videos can also help you learn more about the tool’s functions and how to use it to maximize your role. A perfect example of software training done through video is through educational sites such as Lynda or Skillshare. These full-length video courses combine demos and use case videos for maximum impact.

Video-Based Learning for Process Training

man hands talking laptop video based learning

Each department has a number of different processes in place, so it’s key that other employees receive this training. If these processes aren’t followed, then it can lead to confusion and work to correct any mistakes made. Video-based content can aid in training employees on processes by educating employees on how other teams deal with their workflows. 

If a team has a certain process to create a project, video-based learning can outline the steps needed to create that project. This isn’t only used as a demonstration tool, but an awareness tool for how other departments tackle their processes. Take the initiative and set up training to show other departments how yours runs.

Video-Based Learning for Company-wide Announcements

Opposite of formal training, video-based learning content can apply to company-wide announcements to educate employees. This can be in the form of a webinar or a short, commercial-like format. This method can be more engaging, putting employees face-to-face with executives within the company. They can put a face to a name to build a real human connection with the person behind the camera. 

Say you have a new product launch or an acquisition. Video-based learning is the perfect medium to elaborate on these types of announcements, giving employees more information. 

Additionally, employees are able to ask questions that may pertain to them or their department and get the answer straight from the source. Consider video as an alternative to announce news to the company.

Conclusion

When it comes to video-based learning, don’t be afraid to use it in a corporate environment. Video is just as useful in the boardroom as it is in the classroom to educate employees on important company concepts. Take a look at your content to see where you use video-based content to further engage your employees. You never know just how effective it could be.

Looking for more information on creating personal connections at work with video-based learning? Contact VP Legacies today


Have you wanted to learn how to change strangers into friends, friends into best friends and create a personal connection with anyone?

man staring at the computer

How to Sell Upper Management on eLearning

How to Sell Upper Management on eLearning 1280 853 VP Legacies

Written by VP Legacies and Andrea Maliska

Getting buy-in from upper management on any new tool can be a challenge. That challenge becomes even more difficult when you’re introducing a foreign concept to your business like online learning.

Online learning is still making its way into businesses and being recognized as an effective way to onboard new clients, scale employee training, and retain customers. At VP Legacies, we understand the power of online learning, since many of our courses on personal connections and public speaking are impactful despite a lack of face-to-face interaction.

So how do you prove to executives why it matters and how it will help business?

Here are some steps to keep in mind:

  • Identifying business challenges online learning could help with
  • Developing baselines by which you’ll measure success
  • Building your business plan
  • Crafting an argument focused on ROI
  • Pitching it as a pilot
  • Evaluating after implementing

Identifying challenges online learning can solve

woman and man meeting with boss laptops online learning

There has to be a business reason, something that’s not working or could be improved to consider making a change. For example, if the staff is having a hard time adhering to certain policies, what’s the impact those policy violations are having on your business? Is it costing your company money or time? And could some extra education around the issue help?

That’s where you need to start taking baseline readings.

Related: Monochronic vs. Polychronic Cultures: What are The Differences?

Finding baselines to set success measures with online learning

Now that you’ve identified the purpose online learning could serve for your business, take some time to gather data. Depending on the purpose, you’ll want to look at staff time currently spent on a particular task, the dollar amount that time translates to, how much money or how many customers you are losing because of this issue, what your current budget is, and what company goals can you can tie online learning to.

Another approach to finding baselines would be to survey your intended audience, whether that’s staff or customers. What’s their experience like so far? What would they like to see to better understand a policy, concept, product, or service? Later, after you’ve implemented a tool, you can conduct the same surveys and compare the results.

Build your business plan around eLearning

You’ve identified a business need, gathered data, set success measures, and now comes the actual plan. Begin with the end in mind. Your business plan should address the pain points you’re solving for by using online learning. Follow that up with describing the impact you expect to see after introducing e-learning.

The plan should be simple and to the point. It should detail who’s going to be involved, the resources you need to accomplish it, the expected timeline, any potential risks, and it should be delivered with conviction. You can have a well thought-out plan, but if you’re not excited about, how are others expected to be?

Craft an argument focused on ROI

Upper management is going to want to know, what’s the bottom line? How is the investment in an online learning platform going to save the company money in the long-run? This is where some of your earlier steps in gathering baselines and developing success measures will come in.

Besides saving the company money, there are other considerations like:

  • Saving time
  • Reduction in support hours
  • More efficient processes
  • Reduced attrition
  • Number of deals closed before training vs. after

Of course, many of the above translate to money saved, but if you can explain how much manpower is currently wasted on a particular effort, or how many more deals you’ll close as a result of better education around a product or service, your argument becomes that much stronger.

Pitch it as a pilot

Online learning tools can be a major investment both in time and money, which may result in weariness about implementing something of this scale.

So try easing stakeholders into the idea by pitching it as a pilot. Start small with an area of the business where you can easily measure online learning’s impact, and ideally, see quick results. You might even be able to prove the effectiveness of online learning without yet buying a tool.

There are plenty of low-cost ways to create training videos, surveys, and host webinars. If these aren’t already part of your business strategy and your company needs more convincing, starting with one of these options might be a good way to prove the need for and usefulness of an online learning platform.

Related: How to Avoid Transactional Relationships at Work

Evaluate after implementing online learning

people pointing at laptop

If you’ve gone through all these steps and successfully convinced management to invest in an online learning platform, congratulations. That’s no easy feat. But the buck doesn’t stop there. After implementation, it’s critical to continue to gather feedback that hopefully proves e-learning was a good investment.

Some questions to think about when evaluating are:

  • What’s different now than before the online learning platform?
  • How has productivity increased?
  • Has the company saved money?
  • Has your employee and customer turnover decreased?
  • How satisfied are staff and/or customers with the tool/the overall experience?

This is where you need to look back at your baselines and success measures and evaluate whether or not online learning has had the intended impact on your business. And after you’ve evaluated, share out your successes. The truth of the matter is, some will still be unconvinced that e-learning is the best path forward. The more you can communicate your wins, the more management will continue to buy-in.

The Bottom Line

When it comes to pitching eLearning to upper management or stakeholders, it’s all about your communication. It’s not only what you say in your pitch, but HOW you say it. If you are looking for expert advice about connecting with others and speaking with confidence, contact VP Legacies today to learn more about how our courses can help you — and your company. 

 


Have you wanted to learn how to change strangers into friends, friends into best friends and create a personal connection with anyone?

Conference room with rolling chairs

How to Communicate with employees during the coronavirus pandemic

How to Communicate with employees during the coronavirus pandemic 1600 1067 VP Legacies

The Challenge of Communicating Remotely 

A recent study from Harvard Business Review showed that 69% of managers are not comfortable communicating with their employees and 57% of employees feel they are not given clear directions at work. This is quite a high number considering the amount of technologies available to us. One would assume that with so many communication tools at our disposal–smartphones, text messaging, e-mail, WiFi, social media–effective communication in the workplace should be a breeze. But it’s apparent that simply having those tools isn’t enough.

Perhaps fostering our work relationships also means learning how to use technology in a way that serves our professional needs. Here at VP Legacies, we recognize the challenges that come with working remotely and are providing you with free, live shows to help foster communication.  In today’s post, we’ll share our best practices for maintaining communication with your employees during the current global pandemic.

Why is it important to communicate with employees during a pandemic or other crisis?

Two people with laptops in meeting

Effective communication in the workplace is what makes the whole greater than the sum of its parts. In most workplaces, team members are distinguished by varying levels of skill, experience, and expertise. They are further divided by different responsibilities, duties, and tasks. 

Without clear intentions and clarity of expectation from team leaders, even the most devoted and hardworking team members can easily spin off track. Thus, communication can be seen as the glue that keeps a team working together, even as they accomplish their own separate tasks. It’s up to team leaders, department managers, and company executives to establish a culture of transparency and communication so that the company can benefit as a whole.

Related: Working from Home: Tips to Stay Engaged and Connected

6 Steps to Effective Communication with Employees During a Pandemic

Person working on laptop computer with notebook

Technology affords us a multitude of ways to communicate with employees even while working remotely during the pandemic. But as we hinted above, merely downloading the right apps isn’t enough to create a culture of meaningful communication amongst your team. How can we use our tools and resources to increase the quality of communication with our employees? 

First, we recommend establishing clear goals for each encounter. This allows you to express to employees or team members why you’re contacting them and what you hope to accomplish. Getting everyone on board from the outset of the conversation will help you focus the direction of the meeting. 

Second, share your thoughts on the topic at hand and how discussing this topic is beneficial to a particular project or to the company as a whole.This establishes a level of transparency on your part, thereby encouraging others to be transparent as well. It’s also a way to remind employees that you’re prioritizing the company and starts the conversation off with a positive tone.

Third, open up discussion to receive feedback, suggestions, and observations from your employees. Recognize the value of your employees’ points of view and let them know you’re considering their needs and expectations. Communication is a two-way street so this step is important if you’re serious about connecting with your employees.

Fourth, if necessary, make plans for following up on any ongoing topics or addressing suggestions made by you or others. This shows your employees that you want to continue to communicate with them and also expresses that you care about their feedback.

Fifth, thank your employee or employees for their time. This gesture of respect and gratitude will keep communication lines open and help your employees feel appreciated for their efforts.

Sixth, keep a record of your communication so that you’ll remember what you talked about when you communicate with employees again. The record will also be helpful for keeping minutes of meetings that you’ll share with your employees.

These steps can be used for an entire conversation or you can repeat the first three steps throughout if you’re handling multiple items during a meeting. Let’s take a closer look at how we can apply these steps to remote communication with your employees.

Related: 8 Tips for Effective Communication Online

Phone

Man holding smartphone

The phone has been a tool for communication for much longer than any of the other technologies on our list. Even so, it’s easy to become complacent and resort to picking up the phone and rattling off a list of to-dos. In the meantime, all of your best intentions to improve workplace communications are quickly forgotten.

Instead of catching your employees off guard, set up a time to talk on the phone through text message or email (whichever is more appropriate in the context of your workplace). Let them know ahead of time what you want to discuss and your goals for the phone call. This gives them some time to prepare any documentation you’ll be discussing and to consider any suggestions they want to share with you regarding the topic to be discussed.

Once you’re on the call, be sure to share your own thoughts on the topic at hand and why you think this call is necessary. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or are experiencing stress about a certain task, be sure to use your words in a non-threatening manner. Remember, the ultimate goal is figuring out together what is best for your project or company.

Don’t forget to invite suggestions or comments from your employee. Show sincere interest in the employee’s experience of what they’re working on and take note of what they share with you. Finally, ask the employee what they need to complete the task and whether they feel fully equipped to do so.

End your call with an expression of appreciation and be sure to save your notes. You can reference them on future calls with the employee and you’ll be even more prepared the next time around.

Email

Computer screen with email page 

Email is a pleasant and professional way of communicating with employees. Be sure to follow email etiquette whenever sending correspondence to your staff. Opening communications with a personable greeting and using the employee’s name is advisable (example: “Hi Tim…”).

Explain why you’re emailing and what you hope to accomplish. Next, share your thoughts on the progress of the task at hand and what you think would benefit the project or company. Then invite the employee to share their suggestions or thoughts on the topic. 

Finally, sign off with a gesture of gratitude (example: “Thanks for your help on this project”). Send a follow-up email if you find there are more topics to discuss later on or you want to continue discussing a particular topic. Save your email thread so that you’ll have it as a record of communication.

Related: How to Maintain Real Connections With Your Professional Network

Video Conference

Person using Skype on smartphone

Video conference applications have become increasingly popular in the past few months as workplaces strive to find ways to stay connected while practicing social distancing. Apps such as Google Hangout, Zoom, and Skype allow businesses to conduct group work meetings even while employees are working from home.

Plan a video conference by scheduling a conference date and time with your employees. You can give them advance notice of what you’ll be discussing through email or any work messaging system you’re currently using. Doing so will allow employees to prepare any documents, presentations, or work product they’d like to discuss on the day of the video conference. If there is anything you’d like employees to see during the online meeting, be sure to email it to the group before the conference starts so they have time to review it.

Start the video meeting off by introducing any new members of the team and expressing what you’d like to accomplish during the meeting. This is a good time to list multiple meeting items so that everyone is up to date. Next, bring up each meeting item, updating your employees on the progress of that task and what you’re hoping to accomplish by the next meeting. Invite the team to share any recommendations or observations for accomplishing that task. 

Once each meeting item has been addressed, open up discussion with your employees as to whether they feel the goals of this meeting have been accomplished. Discuss any ongoing topics that you’ll be addressing in future meetings and whether there’s anything you or your team need to follow up on. Thank your employees for their time, energy, and contributions. If you or anyone else at the meeting has taken minutes or recorded the meeting items, email this out later in the day so that everyone has a record of what was discussed.

Clear Communication Will Ensure the Health of your Business

Woman using a laptop

Let’s recap the six steps to clear remote communication:

  1. Establish clear goals and objectives of the conversation or meeting.
  2. Share your thoughts on the meeting item or topic and discuss why addressing this item is beneficial to the company.
  3. Invite employees to share their comments, suggestions, experiences, and observations regarding the topic.
  4. If necessary, plan to follow up on any ongoing items or suggestions/concerns.
  5. Thank your employees for their time.
  6. Keep a record of the encounter and send out meeting minutes, if any.

Creating an environment of clear and open communication in the workplace is important to the health of your business. Even while working remotely, strong team leaders can take this opportunity to boost morale and foster growth by prioritizing meaningful connections with employees. With the help of modern technology and our six steps to effective remote communication, you can continue to accomplish important tasks and build team culture through the pandemic.

Take this time to advance your communication skills to the next level. VP Legacies is currently offering a free course to help others like you improve their soft skills and maintain important connections during this time of isolation. Check out How To Personally Connect in the Midst a Global Pandemic, live daily on Instagram and Facebook.

Related: Implications of Technology for Personal Connection


Have you wanted to learn how to change strangers into friends, friends into best friends and create a personal connection with anyone?

5 Ways to Build Personal Connections in the Workplace as a New Hire

5 Ways to Build Personal Connections in the Workplace as a New Hire 1280 720 VP Legacies

Everyone knows that awkward feeling of being the new hire at a workplace and not having anyone to spend the lunch-break with. Building a social network fast at work will help you in many different ways: it will make it easier for you to seek help, it will open more career opportunities, it will help you to stay motivated, and keep track of the emotional atmosphere at work.

In short, it will simply make communication easier. Therefore helping you to connect with your peers and to enjoy your time at the office.

 

Introverts vs. Extroverts: Can Both Make Personal Connections?

We are usually taught that there are two types of people, extroverts and introverts. And that extroverts have a much easier time relating to others and building social networks. While this is true, being social is not a gift. It is a trainable skill, and with practice anyone can become better at making interpersonal connections.

Let’s have a look at 5 ways that can help you build your social network at work more efficiently and effectively.

 

1 Be present in your space to personally connect

Don’t be the person who shows up at work every morning, works at the desk, and then leaves without anyone noticing. Start presenting yourself to everyone you meet at the office the first day, and tell them why you are there. From there on, greet everyone in the morning and say goodbye to them in the evening, even (and especially) if they are not in your way.

This will show them that you are open to communication and that you are aware of them, stimulating your peers to do the same. You will more likely not be able to greet everyone, but that is not the point. Building personal networks is all about going out of your usual social environment and trying to develop communication channels with people you would not connect with otherwise.

 

2 Divide social time from work time

We easily lose the balance between social interactions and productivity. We either neglect work to build relationships or we focus too much on our tasks and forget everyone around us.

Work hard during your working hours, and enjoy a good cup of coffee with your coworkers during the breaks. In this way, you will make your boss happy without risking to overwork or being the “antisocial” one on the team.

 

Related: How to Avoid Transactional Relationships at Work

 

3 Embrace emotions to personally connect

This is something we all struggle with: in an attempt to please everyone, some people fall into a state of “emotional neutrality,” suppressing every strong emotion they feel.

 

Why show your personal feelings?

If you do this, you will either be seen as someone emotionless or someone who hides their own true feelings, therefore who is better not to trust.

What you want to do is embrace your emotions and show your personality to your peers, it will tell them that you are genuine and show them your taste. They will either sympathize with you or at least respect you for being honest.

 

Develop emotional awareness

In addition to this, try to be aware of other’s emotions and relate to them.

Try to talk to many different people and get a feeling of what the common feelings at the workplace are. Discovering the “emotional atmosphere” will help you to move better in the social environment and ease your communications.

Lastly, ask questions if you feel like your peers are not doing well and offer your help or support. Remember that people connect through joy or pain, and emotions are the best gateway for long term relationships.

 

4 Promote professional and personal social events to create a personal connection

The best environments to create new connections are in person at social events, therefore, you should do your part to encourage them. Participate in the ones you like and most importantly explain why you don’t go when you don’t.

The last thing you want is people to think that you didn’t go because you don’t like them or because you have better things to do with your time. Don’t get us wrong, it is ok to dislike someone, but try to always be fair and don’t let your bias influence you. Give everyone a chance, you might be surprised how they behave in different situations.

 

How to connect if you don’t enjoy standard social events?

Furthermore, if you find yourself skipping all the social events because you just don’t like them, then start proposing different ones yourself. Try to bring your peers in an environment in which you feel comfortable and in activities that you enjoy.

 

5 Be aware of other’s importance to win more connections

Lastly, let’s focus on the most crucial concept to build more social connections. This last section is about being true to yourself and practicing what you preach.

Be aware that your coworkers are people just as important as you are, and deserve the same respect, attention, and care that you do. Understanding this is what will really make a difference in your social interactions. It will teach you how to judge your own behavior and how to improve it. If you are genuine and honest to yourself, people will feel it, and they will naturally start to gravitate around you and build interest in you. Remember that after all the work, the salary and the business, people and personal connections are all we have left, and they should be our priorities.

To sum things up:

1: Show your presence to others and be the first one to start the connection. Don’t wait for the perfect moment, just start trying.

2: Get your tasks done but enjoy your brakes. Separate work time from social time.

3: Emotions are powerful. Don’t fear them but embrace them and use them to build strong relationships.

4: Social events are the best way to build networks, use them. If you don’t like the current one propose different activities.

5: Understand that your coworkers are just as important as you are. Act as you would like others to act.

 


Have you wanted to learn how to change strangers into friends, friends into best friends and create a personal connection with anyone?

Remote Team Best Practices

Remote Team Best Practices 1009 712 VP Legacies

Remote Team Best Practices

Remote work is slowly gaining popularity and many studies are starting to indicate employees are more productive in remote teams. Other than workplaces deemed “essential” by state governments, offices have been forced to embrace a remote teamwork environment given the COVID-19 pandemic. During this time, we have seen people struggle to maintain their ability to stay connected to others remotely. That is why we built an online series of courses to help address this problem. Here are some remote team best practices so your team is thriving while at home. 

Infographic on remote work and its benefits

Source: Datastore365

Remote work pain points

Typically, the main challenges remote work brings to employees are:

Communication

Face-to-face interactions bring with it an organic and seamless way of communicating between team members. This is naturally lost with remote work where managers or team leads are never sure whether employees are working, or what their status is on certain items. Pair this with no effective communication platform and things can be quite radio silent. In addition to this, a lack of communication within the company and teams can erode any culture and camaraderie that exists between employees, negatively impacting productivity in the long-run. 

Setting boundaries

Remote work will also involve team members operating on different schedules and slowly blurring their distinction between work and leisure. This means some employees may choose to work longer but more relaxed hours and send off messages at various times of the day. This can disrupt the cohesive work life delineation that is provided when in the office. 

Socializing and Personal Connection

A lack of communication comes with less socialization and culture-building activities. Gone are the ways of grabbing a beer with colleagues at the end of the day before heading home or going on an impromptu coffee break. All of this can negatively affect culture within the team and the necessary bonding between colleagues required for productive and creative work. Improving your ability to personally connect with others is a skill you have to develop just like any other. 

person using black smartphone

Related: 12 Corporate Communication Challenges

Be organized with documentation

Documentation becomes ever more important when remote working as no one can be fully in sync with what’s happening, who’s working on what, and why. This means tools such as Google Drive, Trello, and Asana are required to help organize information virtually for the company so that those required have easy access. 

Use intuitive remote communication software

Intuitive remote communication software is critical to enabling a remote team to thrive and stay productive. Here are some tools to consider:

  1. Use video conferencing tools such as Zoom or Google Hangouts to manage live team meetings. 
  2. Pair this with a powerful open communication platform such as Slack where employees can create their own public channels, group threads, and actively communicate across multiple devices such as Web, Tablet, and Mobile.
  3. Help your employees with better task management and team transparency through project management tools such as Monday.
  4. Establish an online documentation repository by leveraging free tools such as Google Drive and it’s associated Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides. Another popular alternative is Notion.

Encourage employees to turn work notifications off when the day ends

When fully connected throughout the day at home the line between when work starts and ends can quickly blur. This can mean as your remote employees adapt to different schedules and routines, many of them may be getting a lot more notifications past business hours. It can be tempting for them to reply but over the long run this will just encourage a culture where everyone is connected and working all day – not good for long-term employee well-being. 

A good way to establish boundaries and not tempt them into replying to a notification at any other, for fear they’re not a ‘team player’ is to encourage your team to switch off notifications when their day ends. You can also educate them on methods of selective muting. If there are certain notifications they need (e.g. your VP) then messaging apps such as iMessage or Slack do enable custom do not disturb toggles to turn off for certain contacts. 

Related: How Internal Communication Strategies Boost Employee Engagement

Reply quickly during the day

Active communication is necessary when remote working as the face to face presence of knowing everyone is working on different tasks goes away in remote settings. A good practice in communication is to reply quickly during business hours, even if employees are engaged in other tasks. If employees are going to take a break, head out for lunch, or even into a meeting. Encourage them to utilize status messages and ping their active teammates to let them know what they’re up to. 

Make time for socializing virtually

A big part of why we love working as a team is the culture and camaraderie that forms when in the office. Your colleagues are also your friends and this means while working remotely a more active effort needs to be made to enjoy the same socialization a team would get in-office. Encourage your teams to host social sessions virtually where everyone is on video conferencing tools such as Zoom or Google Hangouts. Some ways to spark a social occasion is to celebrate the end of the week by having a virtual beer and wine after-work chat, or celebrating successes and special occasions such as a team members birthday. 

Keep everyone in the loop

Utilize tools to ensure that all business agendas and updates are transparent and easily accessible for anyone to be in the loop. There are tools such as Notion that can be used to capture any notes, and embed recorded meetings or screenshares for employees to access later. A more open communication platform such as Slack or Microsoft Teams will allow dedicated channels for employees to join if they’d like to see group conversations happening and stay in the loop. It’s also a good practice for any larger company meetings to be followed up with a recap email send out to all team members. 

Related: What to Include in an Internal Communication Plan

Make opportunities for professional development

It can be easy to keep tabs on professional development and team one-on-ones when in the office by heading out for coffee or lunch. When engaging in a remote working practice, try to schedule in such sessions even though they are virtual. Similarly, since managers and employees won’t be actively working together, it’s important to establish more documentation and project management so that when it comes to providing feedback supervisors can reflect on tangible work outputs. 

Another great way to keep employees engaged while working from home is with a dynamic eLearning program customized to your company’s needs. VP Legacies saves you valuable time and effort by providing eLearning content with 50% higher employee engagement than the industry average. This cost-efficient opportunity not only expresses to team members that you care about their professional development but also maintains a sense of momentum and accomplishment that will bolster morale even as work continues from home.

Related: What Learning Objectives are Compatible with eLearning?

person writing on white paper

Key takeaways to keep your office thriving

The most important aspect of ensuring a thriving remote office is mirroring much of the personal connection and socialization that already exists within the workplace. This dynamic develops organically given the face-to-face nature of working on-site, but maintaining it remotely requires a more proactive and dedicated effort. A culture of clear communication, transparency, relationship-building, and professional development is crucial to keeping your remote office flourishing.

Strong professional connection and adept communication is ultimately what stands out in the most successful remote work teams and companies today. Give your company the opportunity to grow and advance beyond expectations. Whether it’s a customized eLearning course developed to inspire your team or a life-changing Personal Connection course to expand the meaning of personal connection, VP Legacies is here to help.

Man working remotely working on his computer that has two monitors

Working From Home: Tips to Stay Engaged and Connected

Working From Home: Tips to Stay Engaged and Connected 1197 798 VP Legacies

To help stop the spread of the coronavirus, many companies have opted to have their employees work remotely. For a lot of people, this is the first time they’ve ever worked from home. It might feel a little strange. Maybe a bit lonely. If it’s something you’re not accustomed to, working from home can feel like you aren’t really connected to your co-workers like you were when you were able to stop by their desk throughout the day or see them at lunch. 

For some employees, working from home can leave them feeling a lack of motivation. It’s hard to feel as involved with a project when you aren’t working on it face-to-face with your team. And it’s hard to not feel discouraged when you hear the latest news about COVID-19. When will you ever be able to go to the office again? 

While life will return to normal sooner or later, there are ways to feel engaged and connected while working remotely. First, take a break from the negativity and check out VP Legacies’ newest course, How to Personally Connect in the Midst of a Global Pandemic. It’s streaming free daily on Facebook and Instagram, sharing some positive news and tips for remote workers. Then, follow some of the advice below to make working from home an experience you enjoy. 

Have a Dedicated Workspace in Your Home if Possible

Very  clean and organized work space at home

It can be hard to get in the zone when you’re trying to work while on the same couch you were playing video games on or binging Netflix on just a few minutes ago. And sitting on your bed is making you just want to lay down, watch YouTube videos, and sleep with your dog. To stay motivated, create a temporary workspace that gets you feeling productive. Clear off the kitchen table and replace dinnerware with office supplies. Set Up a Schedule

When you’re not at the office, you can start feeling like there’s a lack of structure. You have Slack and Zoom meetings here and there, but it’s so easy to get distracted by Disney+ and even walking around the neighborhood. To keep yourself on track, set up a daily schedule, just like the one you would have at work. Even hang it on the wall if you have to!

This schedule should include a timed lunch break, a set amount of time for each project you’re working on, and even when you’re going to “go home.” Knowing that your day will indeed end will give you a better sense of urgency during work hours and give you a chance to relax come dinner time. 

Stick to Your Goals

The lockdown has led a lot of people to feel discouraged or unmotivated. The world is scary outside our makeshift office space and it’s hard to ignore it. Keep a sense of hope and normalcy by not letting go of the goals you had for yourself and your work before the coronavirus pandemic. Discuss your goals with your boss or supervisor and let them know what you need to succeed. 

Keep Checking In 

To stay connected to your office as a whole, keep Slack — or whatever you guys are using to chat with — open at all times during the workday. Think about all the times you interact with people at work, whether it’s checking in on an assignment in the morning, walking by and chatting before a meeting, attending a meeting, working on a project… To maintain that sense of collaboration and engagement, make sure you’re checking in with your co-workers consistently from home. This could be a simple, “Hey, how’s your day going?” to a more in-depth discussion on a presentation you’re working on. 

It might be a great idea to implement a daily morning coffee, where everyone just chats for a few minutes each morning. Maybe create themed photo contests and other interactive activities that keep everyone engaged and interacting throughout the day. 

Don’t Lose Touch With Your Work Friends

Friends having a personal conection and having fun

One of the keys to feeling connected to the work you’re trying to focus on at your new workspace is your co-workers. Yeah, it’s definitely not the same when you can’t see them face-to-face in the office, but it’s important to maintain a relationship with them any way you can. 

Go on video chats with them throughout the day to discuss what project you’re working on, hit them up on Slack for more than just work-related jargon. Have virtual lunches together to just joke around and have some fun face-to-face. 

If you’re worried that being physically apart will weaken your personal connection with co-workers, check out VP Legacies’ Personal Connection 101 course. This interactive video course will show you how to build deeper connections with just about anyone. 

Take Care of Yourself

It can be hard to adjust to working remotely at first. You are used to your co-worker stopping by to show you photos of his cat. And you always had lunch with those women who cracked you up. You felt motivated after those morning meetings and felt a sense of inclusion when you collaborated together on projects. You’ll start to realize that being alone doesn’t mean you’re truly alone. It means you’re alone with yourself — and for a lot longer than usual. Learn to connect with yourself through VP Legacies’ course, How to Build a Strong Relationship With Yourself. You’ll learn things about yourself you never knew, from strengths to the ways you work best. And you’ll even start to appreciate this time spent alone even more than ever before. You’ll start working better alone once you realize what your strengths are and what there is to appreciate about yourself and the way you work. 

Conclusion

The COVID-19 epidemic has created a lot of obstacles, including learning to transition to remote work. At first, it can be hard to stay focused. You may even feel disconnected from your coworkers and yourself. But with a little bit of motivation and a little bit of adjusting, you’ll soon be loving all the benefits of working from home, like getting to type with a cat on your keyboard and wearing sweatpants during a meeting. 

There’s a lot of perks to working from home, including learning more about you and the connections you have with your co-workers. Contact VP Legacies today if you want to learn more about staying connected and engaged while working remotely

The Top 7 Tips on How to Deal With Anxiety at Work

The Top 7 Tips on How to Deal With Anxiety at Work 940 627 VP Legacies

The Top Tips on How to Deal With Anxiety at Work

Most of our lives are centered around our careers. Our jobs provide money for the things we need. As a result, we often feel the pressure to outperform ourselves and succeed to the highest degree.

Naturally, this can lead to anxiety. Anxiety to perform well, get along with our co-workers, and stay in our boss’s good graces. However, while some of these stressors help drive us to become the best versions of ourselves, they can also lead to crippling anxiety.

At VP Legacies, we strive to make your workplace environment healthy by creating channels for positive Personal Connection®. Follow along as we dive into our top seven tips on how to deal with anxiety at work, where it comes from, and how it can affect you.

Related: Why Empathy in the Workplace Matters

Why Do You Get Anxious?

First, let’s talk about why you get anxiety.

For many people who suffer from social anxiety, there’s a level of nervousness that presents itself simply from being around others. However, there are a wide variety of jobs, work environments, and causes behind work-related social anxiety.

To learn how to deal with anxiety at work, you must first establish where the anxiety comes from. Here are the two most common sources.

High Expectations

The business arena is a dog-eat-dog world. More than 50 percent of small businesses fail within the first five years. If the company you work for isn’t better than it’s competitors, it will soon go under and you would be out of a job.

There’s a reason your boss pushes for efficient work environments and ever-improving productivity. Unfortunately, these high expectations from above can lead to overwhelming anxiety, which can have several negative side effects.

Tip #1 – Learning how to deal with anxiety at work means learning how to communicate openly with your boss. Don’t agree to improbable deadlines or take on more than you can handle. Ask for clarification if you’re confused or need more guidance. 

Related : Tips for Having a Tough Conversation With your Boss

Facing New Scenarios

Another common source of anxiety in the workplace comes from facing new and potentially “scary” scenarios at work. What if you can’t handle it? What if you somehow embarrass yourself?

In a growing and thriving business, new scenarios are inevitable. They’re also desirable. By embracing new scenarios and responsibilities, you can grow with the company, improve your skillset, and learn new things, making yourself increasingly valuable to your employers.

Tip #2 – Accept that anxiety isn’t reality; it is a limiting fear of a possible event that may never happen. The more you indulge those negative thoughts and feelings, the more you will be crippled by them and lose opportunities to build Personal Connection® with those around you. Stay conscious about the things you’re telling yourself and shape them into positive thoughts.

Related: Crisis Management for Businesses

How Anxiety Can Affect You

As we have already suggested, anxiety can be a debilitating mental disorder. Learning how to deal with anxiety at work is vital for your performance but also your sense of well-being. Failing to address your anxiety can lead to several negative outcomes, such as:

  • Inability to focus
  • Irritability
  • Poor performance
  • Lack of communication
  • Distancing yourself from co-workers
  • Nervous habits (excessive eating, chewing your fingernails, restlessness, fidgeting, etc.)
  • Potential disciplinary actions

Tip #3 – Some anxiety at work is unavoidable. Learn to embrace the natural feeling of discomfort and work through it by turning your thoughts outward toward the task, rather than focusing on your anxiety. 

Facing Anxiety in Different Scenarios

Let’s take a closer look at different scenarios in the workplace that may cause you anxiety. Keep in mind, once again, that some of these scenarios do entail a certain level of expected anxiety. The key is learning how to overcome debilitating or detrimental anxiety.

Daily Interactions

Daily interactions is an especially important area to focus on how to deal with anxiety at work. Soft skills are an important part of everyday life at work.

Soft skills refer to your ability to communicate and get along with others. While it may be your anxiety keeping you from speaking with others, it may be misinterpreted. Your co-workers may find you unfriendly or your boss may see you as uninvested.

Tip #4 –  Educate yourself on and practice soft skills. For example, learn everyone’s name and something important about them. Say “hi” or acknowledge people in passing and avoid gossiping. You can educate yourself on soft skills by taking a look at our Personal Connection® 101 course. If you’re a manager, you can implement it as part of ongoing training.

Small Meetings

Three employees on their laptops hold a small meeting.

For some people, a small meeting may pose a bigger opportunity for anxiety than larger meetings. They’re more intimate and it’s probably inevitable that the attention will fall on you at some point.

However, small meetings are vital for increasing productivity and critical thinking. It’s important that you’re fully present and involved. This is not a good time to retreat into yourself and shy away from the conversation.

Large Meetings

If larger groups of people intimidate you, learning how to deal with anxiety at work may be vital for functioning in bigger meetings. Fortunately, in bigger meetings, you’re less likely to be in the spotlight. However, should the spotlight fall on you, you need to be able to speak and perform.

Tip #5 – Avoid obsessing over the room’s attention falling on you. Instead, focus on what the speaker is saying. This will help you stay in the moment and soften the internal monologue of negative thoughts in your head.

One-On-Ones

One-on-one scenarios, especially with executives or people with management positions, can be exceedingly difficult for people who suffer from social anxiety. In these scenarios, you have the undivided attention of the person across from you. This can be made worse if the one-on-one is with your boss. 

Once again, we encourage you to direct your attention outward. Don’t get sucked into worrying about how nervous you are, how you look, what they’re thinking about you, and so on. Remember that it doesn’t have to be scary, and this is one of the best chances to really get to know someone and build Personal Connection®.

Giving a Speech

A man in a blazer gives a speech.

In America, people’s biggest fear is public speaking. It’s normal for you to have anxiety before speaking in front of a group of people. However, if it’s part of your job, it’s something you’ll have to learn to overcome.

Tip #6 – Focus on the facts and the issue at hand. While it may feel overwhelming to have all eyes on you, remember your purpose for being there. Focus on using neutral language (“I think, I feel”) and ask for input to keep everyone involved.

Realizing Discomfort is Normal

Finally, we spoke earlier about how certain levels of anxiety are normal, and can even be good. If there was nothing new, nothing challenging, and nothing uncertain in life, we would be a truly boring existence. 

Not only is it normal for you to feel anxiety, but everyone around you feels it too. While some may be able to handle it better or in different ways, understand that you’re not alone.

Tip #7 – Practice radical acceptance that certain moments in life and at work are going to be uncomfortable. Embrace these moments for what they are – the ultimate teachers. Most of our significant growth happens through pain and discomfort.

Do You Need Help Learning How to Deal With Anxiety at Work?

If you want to advance in your career and thrive in life, learning how to deal with anxiety at work is paramount. However, depending on the severity of your anxiety, you may not be able to do it on your own, and that’s okay. We can help.

Take a look at some of our courses, like Personal Connection® 101, designed to immediately create positive changes in your life. 

Related: What is the Personal Connection Crisis?

How to Retain Top Level Employees (The Right Way!)

How to Retain Top Level Employees (The Right Way!) 1138 642 VP Legacies

The tech industry has the highest turnover rate out of all other business sectors at 13.2%. If you work in tech, this might not surprise you at all. Still, it’s getting more and more difficult to retain top level employees at any business and within any industry. On average, employees switch jobs every 4 ½ years.

But creating a strategy to keep top talent is a must if you hope to maximize your company’s success. Employees are your company’s best asset. Building genuine personal connections with your employees can help them envision a long-term career path at your business.

Empty promises and meaningless employee resources aren’t enough for your most talented employees. By focusing on communication and Personal Connection®, you can create an authentic retention strategy that truly works. VP Legacies creates courses around the value of Personal Connection® in the workplace. With this ideal in mind, here’s our guide to retaining top level employees.

Related: 9 Reasons Why Your Employees Are Your Company’s Most Valuable Asset

Interviewing and On-boarding to Retain Top Level Employees

Applying and interviewing can be an employee’s first impression of a company, so it’s important to get this stage right. The recruiting and application process allows you to show off your company culture. You can then find attributes in your candidates that are well-aligned with those of your company, making both the hiring and retention process easier.

A person’s resume is also a good opportunity to see if they often switch jobs and to ask them why. Maybe they’re looking for the perfect role and your company has that to offer them. But if they seem to be bouncing from one place to another, this may indicate that they don’t have a strong sense of loyalty or follow-through.

Another one of the first impressions of a company is its onboarding program. A positive onboarding experience will stick with an employee and give them a clue in to the kinds of professional development you have to offer.

Increasing Engagement Opportunities

employees having a discussion in a conference room with laptops

Retaining these employees also means increasing engagement. When employees feel disengaged, the company may start to see them leaving in large numbers.

Employee engagement goes beyond the initial weeks of on-boarding. If you’re first starting with creating an engagement strategy, you can rely on the opinions of employees.

Gather information from your employees with a survey of intelligent questions. This will give you a pulse-check on their feelings and help you think about ways to improve workplace culture.

Anonymous surveys can be a great way to allow employees to be open and honest without fear of repercussions. Use the information in these surveys to create an engagement strategy that will work for both the company and employees.

Only 33 percent of new employees feel engaged. To beat this statistic, companies will need to have a strategic approach to engagement. This is an important stage in retaining top-level employees within their first year.

To keep up with engagement, it’s essential to check-in with employees beyond their initial onboarding. Pair your engagement plan with an internal communication strategy to guarantee success.

Once you’ve gained an employee’s loyalty and engagement, they will expect to be paid based on industry standards.

Related: 9 Ways to Reduce Employee Turnover

Fair and Competitive Compensation

With sites like Glassdoor, employees are more informed than ever about industry standards for pay. If you’re not meeting these and making competitive offers, employees will know.

Revenue-sharing can be key here, as you’re tying a part of the employee’s wages to the company’s performance. This can help align their productivity with the company’s revenue and profit. So the incentive to stay with the company as it grows is tied to their compensation.

Another important aspect of compensation is an employee’s benefits package. This also helps to entice top talent during the hiring stage. A competitive benefits package is second to salary but can help to make an employee feel valued.

But an important aspect to keep top of mind is that the benefits program should not be so general that it could be applied to any employee. Targeted benefits packages create a more effective strategy for improving engagement and retention because they show that upper-level management has taken the time to connect with employees as individuals.

The rewards you give to employees should also stretch beyond financial compensation. All employees want to feel valued in ways that are not just monetary.

Genuine Employee Recognition

Employees appreciate the recognition that feels genuine and tied to their hard work. Giving awards in front of a large company audience can go a long way by making a top-level employee feel appreciated.

You can increase engagement by having department or company parties, along with other special events. Lunches with executives, free clothing with the company logo, and volunteer outings are all great options. All these efforts build good employee morale and provide a chance for them to connect with other top employees.

To remain competitive with hiring and retention, flexible schedules and paid time off will be considered.

Flexible Schedules and Generous Time Off

women relaxing on bed with a laptop and holding a hot mug

Today’s workforce wants flexibility in their schedules that allow them to be remote. When employees can work from home, you’re showing them that you’re willing to adapt to their home life and help them maintain a healthy work-life balance. Flexible hours and having the option to work from home (at least occasionally) keep employees happier and more productive. That’s because employees tend to be highly productive for 3 hours in an 8 hour day. Flexible schedules can allow them to take breaks when they need to, creating efficiency when they’re actually working. 

It’s also important to set work from home expectations and a clear policy ahead of time so that there’s no ambiguity. An employee will want to be set up for success while having a flexible schedule so that they can continue to enjoy this perk.

Employees also want generous time off for both vacation and sick days. Having breaks from work can be beneficial to an employee’s productivity and the relationship with their company.

It’s unreasonable to expect employees to keep operating at 100 percent efficiency without having time off to relax. Having breaks and relaxation time is important even on a day-to-day basis. Pacing work can be key to keeping employees efficient so they don’t easily burn out and become resentful.

No matter your work-from-home and vacation policy, it’s important to communicate clearly. You’ll run into fewer issues with your top level employees if you set guidelines in a way that’s easy to understand.

Related: Denver Startup Week: What To Do with Employee Engagement Data

Invest in a Professional Development Program

After you’ve hired top talent, you know they’ll be great at what they do. But it’s important to allow them to keep growing and enhancing their skills.

You can devote some of your resources to providing ongoing training, whether they are short eLearning modules, longer lectures and media courses, or a combination of all of the above. Companies have a great opportunity to provide online courses to their employees. This can help them improve their skills.

A mentorship program also helps employees grow. This can create a new pool of potential leaders by pairing more senior employees with newer ones. This type of training program can be a cost-effective strategy for building a positive company culture.

Once employees have loyalty for their company and a desire to build on their skills, they should also be allowed to grow from within.

If you continue to hire outside talent, the best employees will receive the message that their career path will be short-lived. Create paths to promotion and employees will want to stay put.

Employees Remember How You Make Them Feel

smiling man in professional attire and holding a book

Beyond having opportunities to advance, employees want to feel seen and respected. Indeed, people will always remember how you made them feel. Focusing on employee happiness creates an intangible sense of company loyalty within employees.

Having solid support systems from the highest level will allow managers to be respectful and help to grow a positive workspace. The managers will then take the support they’re given and help to support their contributors. Remember that an overworked and stressed employee will likely feel demoralized and disconnected from your team.

Also, if you want employees to be self-sufficient and productive, even while working from home, you want to show that you trust them to do so.

Giving employees new responsibilities shows that you value their abilities and know they are hard workers. It will also encourage them to continue to grow.

Related: What is the Best Strategy for CEO Communication?

Retaining Top Level Employees Will Help Your Company Succeed

It’s important to keep in mind that all this effort will go both ways. When you show employees respect, they will feel more enthusiastic about staying at your company. If you continue to create opportunities for advancement and give employees fair pay, they’ll remain engaged.

About 1200 CEOs left their jobs in 2019. To avoid your top talent leaving, it’s important to take the time to invest in the right strategies that will keep employees engaged and invested in your company. That means creating a strong recruitment plan that clearly shows your company’s identity and providing plenty of opportunities for employee feedback, recognition, and learning every year. Get started with VP Legacies to build an effective employee branding strategy. We’ll help you develop an actionable plan that reaches current and prospective employees on an emotional level.Connect with us to find ways to improve relationships at your company and retain top level employees.

A Basic Guide To The Types Of Learner Engagement

A Basic Guide To The Types Of Learner Engagement 1216 806 VP Legacies

Did you know you can lose 31% to 51% of your employees as a result of low engagement in the workplace? For high retention rates, your staff not only needs to feel appreciated for what they do, but they also need to know they have a chance to improve and grow professionally. This makes them feel a Personal Connection® to your team and fosters a sense of enthusiasm for their roles.

The best way for you to create a positive environment is to implement a learner engagement strategy to raise individual morale through practical training methods. 

With that in mind, find out how VP Legacies can improve Personal Connection® with your employees to customize training strategies. 

Related: How to Incorporate Microlearning into Corporate Training

What is Learner Engagement?

Teaching without engaging your students is a waste of time. This is true for professional development too; any parlayed information won’t have an effect if your audience doesn’t feel a Personal Connection® to the topic.

To create this connection, a specific learner engagement model must be used according to the individual’s preference. Every learner is engaged differently, so how do you reach everyone in one setting?

Offering several learning options is a way to let the learner choose how to best retain and use the information given to them. Learning methods are based on personality types and a combination of teaching techniques. 

Old ways of teaching are based on repetition and memory. This old teaching method does not take into account the limitations of our memory. Placing information into long-term memory takes more than repetition. 

In a learner-based environment, the goal isn’t just to retain facts and information. Instead, it uses engagement to make information relative and practical. This makes the learned content a part of your student’s life.

In the workplace, you don’t want your employees to go through training only to show that they have completed a course. The purpose of the training is for the employee to excel in the field and feel more connected to the work they do.

How Do You Know When a Learner is Engaged?

Showing up to the class is not a clear sign that a student wants to learn or even be there. 

Learner engagement becomes evident through participation, self-initiative, and even feedback on the course.

When employees in training ask questions, make suggestions, and ask for additional resources for the topic, they show their excitement. Sometimes the course sounds exciting to your employees, but the method of teaching does not translate.

Give your employees a voice in how the modules will be taught in addition to the topics and skills to be learned. Communicating with your staff will actively engage them in the course before it even begins. 

You also need to keep in mind that every learner is different. So, keep an eye on the entire class and be flexible. New methods of teaching can be introduced when you need to accommodate various learners. Because we know how important it is to reach everyone, our eLearning courses at VP Legacies include videos, short readings, and multiple choice questions. Helping all kinds of learners engaged on multiple levels is key, as you’ll see below.

Types of Learners

2 women discussing and learning by drawing out designs on the white board

Your learner engagement playbook will include 3 basic types of personalities based on how your student learns best.

You can use these personality types to develop lesson plans and make personal connections in the classroom. These connections will transfer into the office as a form of respect and understanding.  

Remember that these traits are broad and intertwined. One person may reflect the characteristics of all three personality types, but one may be more dominant. Others may have an even combination, and still, others might clearly identify with just one.

So, use these qualities as a base for learning, not as a definitive guide to the complex structure of the human mind. 

Related: How Microlearning Helps with Better Engagement

Achiever/challenge-based

The achiever thrives on setting goals and meeting them. They like a challenge because they aren’t afraid to show off what they learned. 

They may also be competitive in nature and desire to be the best at a new skill. It might seem easy to engage this type of learner, but keeping them actively engaged requires stimulation. This might include multiple choice questions and multimedia presentations, like we have in our Personal Connection® 101 course.  

The method of micro-learning effectively breaks information into pieces. For an achiever, this creates levels and mini-goals to tackle. It also uses steps to focus on one topic at a time. 

For an achiever, moving too fast is a common pitfall. By separating information into segments, the learner can move at a slower pace. Each level is an accomplishment that doesn’t feel rushed. 

Encourage achievers to stay focused on one topic at a time to retain information with learner engagement strategies that reward progress often. Each step should effectively teach a new skill that will lead to the next lesson.

Achievers also have a lot of energy and enthusiasm that can be useful in the classroom. They can be engaging presenters and mentors to more shy classmates and coworkers. 

Explorer

To an explorer, it doesn’t matter how fast or efficient the learning process is. Instead, they enjoy connecting with peers and mentors to discover new information. The reward isn’t in the end result, but the journey of learning and making mistakes. 

In fact, it is the mistake that teaches an explorer a lesson and leads to progress. This makes them great planners and reflectors of the past. They see their mistakes as a map toward the future. 

Let explorers be creative and free. They should be trusted to come out of their learning experience successfully. 

They may also be shyer than achievers, as they prefer to work on their own methodology of learning. While they like to work on their own, explorers can still be guided. This might mean using a microlearning module for individual learning and holding group sessions in which everyone can communicate and discuss what they have learned.

Don’t let an explorer go too far on their own since their way of learning can be beneficial to the whole class. They discover things that may go unnoticed even to you, as a teacher. 

Keep them engaged by asking for updates on their progress. Let them criticize, edit, and alter the course of your teaching. This is the way to get explorers to communicate and open up to you and their classmates.

Socializer

On the learner engagement rubric of personality types, there is always the person who prefers group activities. They don’t like to tackle a problem alone as they see strength in numbers.

This isn’t a fault, but a useful skill, since they feed off of others to grasp concepts and encourage people to connect. They also love to share their insights, as they understand deeply the benefits of cooperation and collaboration. 

Make it easy for socializers to discuss the topic with their coworkers. You can include group activities, presentations, and role-playing to the lesson plan to accommodate the socializer. 

Let them be expressive by allowing them to use a more hands-on approach to learning. They may prefer offline activities over eLearning modules. 

Socializers tend to enjoy group success as they congratulate each other for achieving a goal. Allow socializers to complete tasks that they can then translate into a personal milestone.

Related: What to Include In an Internal Communication Plan

Holistic Teaching Methods

Despite having many personality variations to consider and to cater to in your lesson plans, your approach should be holistic. 

A holistic teaching method includes more than a relay of information. It considers the emotional, behavioral, and cognitive abilities and experiences of the learner. 

Taking these factors into consideration will help you develop a course that fits each personality type. 

As you develop your course, consider these levels of pedagogy that allows employees to conceptualize and retain course material. 

Procedural

This is the basis of your lesson plan. It includes the steps to complete the course without further insight. Think of it as the outline that displays your topics and subtopics. 

While this is necessary to develop a course, this alone doesn’t allow any student engagement. Further structure is needed to expand your employees’ knowledge by actively including them in the topic. 

Conceptual

This part of your course offers your students an objective for learning – in other words, telling them what they will learn. It may explain the skills that your students will acquire, but without practical application. It is important to incorporate conceptual learning, especially to connect with explorer-type learners. This helps them get a sense of how they will engage with the material and what kinds of thinking they will use.

Consequential

Explaining why and how the skills translate to a particular life function will offer your students a sense of purpose. They will be able to see why the lesson is important to their job.

This will also provide excitement for the learning process and, once the class is over, a feeling of accomplishment. This is an especially useful way to engage the challenger-based aspect of learning. 

Analytical

2 colleagues working on 2 laptops, and analyzing their notes

This is the most important part of your class because it leaves the classroom. Allowing your employees to analyze the skills learned and apply them to their life is the goal of the class. 

They should make the skills personal and transferable to various aspects of their life. The student should also be able to expand their knowledge of the topic on their own, making improvements and additions. 

Related: What to Include In an Internal Communication Plan

Getting Help With Learner Engagement

Creating learner engagement strategies in your company takes some trial and error. Fortunately, getting help from our professionals at VP Legacies to develop communication strategies can point you in the right direction. Learners tend to fall roughly into three categories – challenge-based, explorer, or socializer. In order to engage all three kinds, you can use holistic teaching methods that explain procedures, explore concepts, show consequences, and utilize analysis. A learning course that engages your employees on multiple cognitive levels and appeals to different personalities is one that will aid professional development and enhance your company’s ability to reach and exceed long-term goals.

    coworkers looking at a laptop

    Free Personal Connection 101 Course

    Learn to speak with confidence, have deeper conversations, and easily meet new people (even in a pandemic).

    We help thousands of people worldwide build meaningful relationships everyday.