Category Archives: Corporate Learning and Development

Soft Skills – How to say ‘No’ How to get to the “No” more easily, and with less blame

What are Soft Skills? Soft Skills are the personal qualities of a person that determines how well he/she can work or interact with others. 

Soft skills are essential in various aspects in an organization – building relationships with people, creating trust, building brand and leading teams. Having good soft skills helps to get positive results from people even in difficult working environments. Good soft skills also help people adapt to changing situations.

Given that soft skills are important for any individual working in an organization, here are some tips of how you can develop your soft skills:

  • Recognise the area of work in which you should improve.
  • Always try working with a mentor who can provide you with feedback.
  • Focus on communication skills. Read more books about public speaking and try to improve your communication by talking to other professionals and colleagues.
  • Accept all positive and negative feedback and create a plan to action them.

A key aspect of having good soft skills is a positive attitude. That being said, there are times when you may not be in a position to do a task due to certain considerations. The correct thing to do is to say ‘No’ to it.  However, a lot of people faced with the above situation, say ‘Yes’ to prevent themselves from being seen as lazy or unhelpful.

Here are some of the ways in which you can say no without blame…

  • How to say No to your Boss: It can be a little frightening when your boss assigns you more work, when your current projects are expected to fully exhaust your bandwidth.

    You can probably say: “I would have done it, but you have already assigned me to other projects. I am busy working on them, so I don’t think I can do this work…”

    Also, consider this reply: “Thank you for thinking of me for this, but would you prefer I take this on after finishing the work on my other projects?”. This can help the Boss to assess the relative importance of tasks and assign you the task basis priority.
  • How to say No to a Co-worker: Say, a co-worker asks you for your help. The work being discussed might not interest you. However, for the sake of politeness or your relationship, you may not want to say no. So, you lie and make an excuse to him/her.

    Instead consider stating a reason closer to the actual problem: “I really appreciate you asking me for help. But I am terrible at handling content for social media. It is neither my skill set nor does it interest me very much. Why don’t we ask XXX for help instead?”
  • How to say No to your Employees: Your employee comes to you with an idea, but you are already having a clear plan of what you are going to do.

    Instead of saying ‘No, we will be working as per the guidelines of the boss’, try telling them: “We are thankful for your ideas but unfortunately, the plan has already been approved. Whenever, there is any change discussed we will definitely work your idea in as well.”

  • How to say No to your Client: First of all, listen to your client fully. Don’t try to stop or cut her in the middle of her idea even though you want to. After hearing her, you may highlight your concerns and reservations on her idea. It is incumbent upon you to convince her of your point of view.

Remember, it is always better to say “No” and not do something than say “Yes” and not do something.

Business Succession Planning

Imagine you are the CEO of a company and have worked hard to build a successful organization. Over the years, through ups and downs, you are proud to say that your company has grown tremendously.

But what would happen to your organization if you retire? Or heaven forbid, something unfortunate happens to you? Would your organization still function properly? Would your business still be able to attract potential customers? What will happen to your employees if the business fails?

There are so many questions to be answered to run a successful business even after you retire. Hence building a Business Succession Plan is crucial to giving security and assurance to your organization as well as your other stakeholders.

A business succession plan makes sure that even after you pass away or retire, your business would still run smoothly. It is very important to create a document, step by step, that instructs your co-workers and employees on being well prepared for the event. The earlier you start to plan, the better it would be for the organization.

Selecting an appropriate candidate for your role can be a tricky thought. The key here is to be confident of the people you are hiring and knowing their strengths and weaknesses.

Succession planning is a process and not a particular event. It takes years of careful decision-making, iterations and finally selection. The selection process should not be biased and it should have the buy-in of all the senior members in your management.

After you have selected your candidates for the potential roles, it’s important to train them for the job. Similarly, the current senior employees need to be made responsible for the next generation of employees to take over the business roles from them. Once the selections are done, give clear instructions to the future candidates on how the structure should look like after the migration.

The other important part of succession is the funding and the financial management of your organization. Potential stakeholders of the company are vital to this decision process. You have to define a specific strategy on how the cash flow of your organization would take place. A legal agreement of buy-sell takes place which decides who will buy the shares of your business, the selling of the shares after you retire, and the value that would be paid for the shares.

In Small business or Family business, succession planning provides a significant improvement to the business fundamentals and improves the chances of survival in the long run. However, it’s very common to see relatives being hired for the post, which could create jealousy and disputes within the organization. To mitigate this issue, it would be wise to take the decision as an organization and generate consensus in selecting the right candidates for the job.

The bottom line is that by having a successful succession plan, you would be prepared for any eventuality that might take place. This plan would reduce the stress of your co-workers and your loyal employees and the organization will have a strong response. Also, knowing that you have selected the right candidates for the job, your business would run smoothly for long years.

6 Must-Use Video-Based Learning Strategies In 2019

While the usage of videos in eLearning is not a new concept, the wider adoption of mobile learning and microlearning has accelerated its use for learning. In this article, I outline 6 video-based learning strategies that you must adopt in 2019.

Video-Based Learning Strategies You Should Definitely Use This Year

We consume video-based content several times during our day for a variety of reasons. These include videos for entertainment, infotainment, learning and so on.

It comes as no surprise that video-based learning is fast becoming a “must-have” component of an organization’s training delivery. Fueled by increased adoption of mobile learning and microlearning, video-based learning is surely becoming a core component of online training.

Take a look at the stats that affirm the popularity of videos, and why they should be adopted for learning:

  • According to Forrester Research, employees are 75% more likely to watch a video than to read documents, emails or web articles. (Panopto)
  • 97% of businesses using explainer videos say it helps users understand their business better. (Wyzowl)
  • Studies have shown that adding video can improve people’s ability to remember concepts and details with effects that increase over time. Presentations that include visuals like video along with slide text are 9% more effective than text alone when audience comprehension is tested right away. (Panopto)

Where Can Video-Based Learning Be Used?

Video-based learning can be used for:

  1. Formal training (online)
  2. Performance Support (learning aids/job aids to support formal training)
  3. Social learning
  4. Support Instructor-Led Training (ILT)

This is not all. Video-based learning can also be used very effectively to:

  1. Create awareness
  2. Support crucial change management initiatives

Are There Any Parts Of Corporate Training That Video-Based Learning Cannot Address?

While video-based learning is a very high impact training, it does have a drawback of “passivity”. This means that the only control learners have is play/pause/stop.

This can become a limiting factor when:

  1. The run length of the video is over 3 mins. Beyond this run length, the user’s attention wavers and you may not see the required learning impact in longer run length videos.
  2. The expected cognition level is beyond recall or understanding. To achieve the mandate of application, you need to look beyond the classic video-based format.

However, NextGen approaches like interactive video-based learning offset these challenges and enable you to create highly interactive and immersive video-based learning solutions.

A very powerful approach, interactive video-based learning features:

  • Learning interactions similar to traditional eLearning (hot spots, click-and-reveal, and so on)
  • Quizzes and assessments
  • Learning paths that branch to different tracks based on learner’s choices

What Are TheVideo-Based Learning Strategies That You Must Adopt In 2019?

As I had mentioned earlier, video-based learning can support all facets of corporate training.

The strategies that you should adopt in 2019 should map to enhancing the impact of your training. Essentially, they should help you create training that:

  1. Motivates learners
  2. Engages learners
  3. Is relevant and relatable (preferably personalized)
  4. Is challenging
  5. Is rewarding
  6. Facilitates not only acquisition of learning but also the application of learning
  7. Helps learner walk away with a feeling of accomplishment
  8. Helps learners upskill
  9. Triggers the required behavioral change in learners
  10. Helps learners practice and gain mastery

Let me show you how you can accomplish this through the following video-based learning strategies:

1. Use Video-Based Learning To Create The Buzz

Use teaser videos to highlight the significance of the program and its value for the learners. This will help you motivate learners and drive better engagement.

2. Use Video-Based Learning To Teach Concepts

Even if you are using a traditional eLearning approach, you can embellish it with conceptual videos.

3. Use Video-Based Learning For Learning, Practice, Application, And Summaries

If you are using a microlearning-based approach, you can intersperse the learning path with varied videos offering:

  • Watch and learn
  • Practice
  • Apply the learning
  • Learning summaries/takeaways

4. Use Video-Based Learning To Checkpoint Learning

You can opt for interactive video-based learning and use scenario-based assessments to:

  • Checkpoint learners’ knowledge.
  • Provide feedback for further improvement.
  • Practice and hone their skills.
  • See the impact of their decisions and help them recalibrate the way forward.

5. Use Video-Based Learning To Reinforce

Did you know that learners forget nearly 80% of what they had learned if there is no reinforcement after 30 days of a successful training program? You can offset this “forgetting curve” by providing video-based learning reinforcements as:

  • Learning summaries
  • Challenges
  • New supporting material

6. NextGen Approaches That Are A Must-Have As You Implement Video-Based Learning

  • Microlearning Videos
    These are short, focused bite-sized videos (featuring a run length of a few seconds) that map to a specific learning outcome. These are a great fit to offer formal learning as well as Performance Support or just-in-time learning aids.
  • Microlearning Videos As An Effective Informal Or Social Learning Tool
    This can be leveraged to share learning, encourage contribution, and create “learning as a continuum”.
  • 360* Video Format And VR
    This high-impact format can be used with technologies like Virtual Reality (VR) to create engaging and immersive learning experiences.

By Asha Pandey, Chief Learning Strategist at EI Design

This article was first published on EI Design

Reasons to Use Videos for Employee Training

Creating training videos is one of the most effective ways to develop your team, both in terms of cost and engagement. This Video highlights 6 reasons why Videos for employee training is important for their development.