Author: Administrative Control Solutions, LLC

Does the idea of training employees seem like a real headache? Are you concerned about the amount of time you spend on internal training? Can you track the quality of your internal training? Do you have a training superstar or someone that is really good at onboarding new employees that you wish you could clone? Do you wish you had a way of re-training existing employees or adding in some formal ongoing training? Have you had a recent Workers’ Comp claim and realize a formal training program could save you tens of thousands of dollars?

A great solution to performing super effective internal training is by using a Learning Management System (LMS). Now, before I go any further I want you to know that I don’t work for any LMS software company and I’m not even going to recommend one. There is no one-size-fits-all solution out there anyway…

An LMS is like having an online school course curriculum custom made for your organization infused with your culture, your rules, your systems, your language and focused 100% on your way of getting work done. Sounds great, right? With an LMS, you can control exactly what you are teaching your employees and ensure that they are actually learning. Yes, there can be tests and even interactions between students and existing employees / managers.

Many industries are required to use training videos and generic content to meet very specific requirements. An LMS unleashes much more potential because you are able to bring strategic content to your training programs. You may still need to use the boring OSHA or safety videos, but you can add in specific modules that speak more clearly to the kind of work you perform. If you build steel buildings for example, you need training modules that cover the safety gear and policies you actually use. Sure, ladder safety has to be covered, but what about the safety items that you are most concerned about?

One of the really great things about an LMS is that it isn’t just useful for training new employees. An LMS is a super-tool for ongoing training. Let’s say that you are going to be implementing a new technology, product, tool or compliance / corporate policy initiative. Do you bring everyone together for multiple training sessions? What if some of your employees miss the training? What if some of them are tired or zoned out or worried about a project they are in the middle of? Do you just send an email with the new information and hope that everyone pays attention?

An LMS allows you to create ongoing educational content and track the progress of your employees as they work through it. Let’s take implementing a new software technology for your organization as another example. You’ll need to train on many levels, including the vision of what the software will do for the organization, the implementation timeframe, how to log into the application, how to get support, how soon any old software applications will be turned off, what to do if… scenarios and of course how to actually use the software. Although training on the software itself will be provided by the vendor, there will be a need for ongoing training and how to use the software “your way.”

You will be able to track your employee’s progress through learning all the different levels of the new software. You can create different educational tracks for the different departments or functions of your organization. Depending on the size of your organization, you can allow managers to track their employee’s progress or you can assign one person to track your company’s progress as a whole.

If you notice employees are struggling to complete a certain section of the training or if training just isn’t happening, you have the ability of ensuring success by identifying problems or bottlenecks before they become an issue.

All of these things can be built into your LMS and will be useful to not only every existing employee but useful for training all new employees.

Why Traditional Training Isn’t Good Enough

I’ll outline some common traditional training methods and give you some questions to think about regarding each one. The answers to these questions will provide a basis for whether or not an LMS is a good fit for your company.

Video / TV Training

  • Do you sit new employees in front of a TV or computer monitor and then send them out on the Job? These videos are often generic, boring and at best only closely related to your industry rather than being a perfect fit.
  • Sure, they may make you “compliant” but do they really offer measurable value to your company?
  • Do you know how much of the video content employees are actually retaining?
  • How quickly can you change the content of your safety videos?

Toolbox Meetings

  • Do you gather your workers around a Foreman or Supervisor for frequent training?
  • How do you track this training?
  • How do you know that the training is adequate?
  • Is your Foreman or Supervisor a good teacher?
  • Can you quantify how much of the training information your workers retain?
  • Do you know if the training is really happening?
  • Can you accurately analyze incidents or close calls and compare them with your toolbox meeting topics and attendance records?

On the Job Training

  • Do you throw new workers into their daily workload and trust them to absorb what they need to know?
  • Do you count on coworkers being friendly, available and capable to teach?
  • Do you use a follow-me approach and assign an existing worker to your new hire and allow your new workers to learn on their own through observation?
  • Does your on the job training positively convey your company culture?
  • Are you able to “show” your new hires everything they need to know to be successful?
  • Can you track whether or not the correct information is being taught or retained?
  • Do you know how long it takes to fully train a new employee?

Training by Email

  • Do you send out emails with new company policies with a read receipt request or an acknowledgement requirement?
  • Do you email out links to new product documentation?
  • Do you email out regular newsletters identifying new risks or opportunities you want your employees to be aware of?
  • Do you know how much time employees spend reading your emails or if they actually read them?
  • Do you ever worry that your emails may contain proprietary information that could be leaked?

In-service Training

  • Do you close up shop for part of a day and bring all your employees together for training sessions?
  • If you train over multiple sessions, is the material always the same?
  • Are relevant questions and answers provided to all employees regardless of what session they attend?
  • Do you offer make-up sessions for employees that weren’t able to attend?
  • Are the actual dollars you spend for these training sessions worth the investment?
  • Can you track how well these training sessions work?
  • Are answers to common questions added to future training sessions?
  • How do new employees get the benefit of previous training sessions?
  • How often do you update in-service training content?

The crucial problem with the traditional training methods above is that you are creating dead-end content. You train over and over and expend immense amounts of energy, money and time without compounding your efforts or increasing quality or consistency.

A Learning Management System will transform your dead-end training content.

Create a dynamic training program that will keep pace with your company’s growth. Your training will become trackable and will provide reportable data. You will cultivate and create super-star employees who are infused with your company culture and the nuances of why your company is better than the competition.

Do you want to turn training opportunities into a continuous improvement machine that continues to work for you day after day? If you are sold on the idea of implementing an LMS, there are five crucial steps to perform before going any further. These steps require careful and methodical planning.

The five crucial steps to perform before choosing an LMS

  1. Write down the details of all of your current training programs – who / when / why / where, etc.
  2. Gather all your existing training content together
  3. Document the critical workflows each department / employee performs
  4. Design training tracks by position or responsibility
  5. Assimilate all relevant training and workflow documentation into modules that align with each training track

These steps are a lot of work but the information you create is critical for choosing the best Learning Management System for your company.

Ready to take the next step in choosing an LMS or need help with the five steps above? Reach out to us. We’d love to talk. Coffee or a phone call is always free!

One of the best and most concise models I’ve ever studied on leadership is the Situational Leadership® model. If you’ve heard of Situational Leadership, then you probably know there are actually two models; SL and SLII. Obviously “SL” refers to the first model and “SLII” refers to a more recently developed model. Understanding the main idea conveyed in these models will absolutely change the way you think about task delegation for individuals and teams.

Situational Leadership® (SL) was developed by Dr. Paul Hersey and Kenneth Blanchard in the late ’60s. Although a new model has been created, the original model is still hailed as

arguably the most recognized, utilized and effective leadership and influence tool in the history of the behavioral sciences.

This model is supported with training opportunities and workshops provided by parent company  The Center for Leadership Studies. SL provides a very clear example of how to successfully delegate tasks through providing just the right amount or blend of direction and support.

The SL and Situational Leadership II (SLII) models both label four quadrants of a square as “S1, S2, S3 and S4.” These quadrants each identify the performance capability of an individual or team in any task or situation. One essential similarity in both models is an agreement on the level of direction and support required in each quadrant.

Here are the basics of the models:

  • If you are “S1” in a task, you don’t know what you don’t know
  • If you are “S2” in a task, you know what you don’t know
  • If you are “S3” in a task, you know what you know
  • If you are “S4” in a task, you don’t know what you know

The goal is to self-diagnose either your own competency in a task which has been delegated to you or the competency in someone to whom you’ve delegated a task. Once you can do that, this diagram will give you some critical information on how to ensure that the task is successfully completed.

Here is how to use the SL model in each of the four quadrants:

  • In “S1” the requirement is high direction and little to no support
  • In “S2” the requirement is high support and high direction
  • In “S3” the requirement is little to no direction and high support
  • In “S4” the requirement is little to no direction and little to no support

This model is incredibly useful because it can explain many of our human behaviors related to task completion and training. If you offer support when direction is needed, you will experience failure. If you offer too much direction when only support is required, you will upset a competent worker with micromanagement. A worker who is “S4” on a task is typically a terrible trainer because he doesn’t know what he knows. How can you expect someone to train on something they don’t even know they know?

Take a look at the websites for Situational Leadership® for yourself using these links below:

The original SL model: http://situational.com/

The updated SLII model: https://www.kenblanchard.com/Products-Services/Situational-Leadership-II

One of the signs of a great relationship – or at least a long one – is the amount of information that can be transferred in just a few words. If I were to spend time with a specific pair of high school friends, I could simply say “Remember that time you yanked Patrick off the wall he was trying to do a handstand on – in his skates?”  That would launch us into hours of laughing and talking and vivid memories. Even the non-verbal communication between longtime friends and partners is quite amazing. Do you have someone in your life that can convey a whole lot of meaning in just a single facial expression?

There is also a tendency to create a secret language in order to forge a bond between people. Clubs and exclusive organizations have a rich history of secret handshakes, recitations and code words. The meanings behind these words and gestures is much greater to those who practice them than to the outsider. Did you ever create a secret club with its own language, handshakes or passwords when you were a child? Do you belong to such a club now as an adult? Many of us do – from Freemasonry to religious organizations to Boy Scouts – much is communicated through “secret club” language.

This kind of instant communication cuts through the barriers of time and space. It’s almost magical.

You have the same opportunities of transcending time and space in your organization. Given the right blend of culture, dedicated work, education and practice, you have the ability to attach great meaning to simple words and phrases in your organization. Doing this will set you apart from your competition and increase both productivity and revenue.

Your Organization’s Sweet Spot

The sweet spot you are after is when your organizational culture meets a practical aspect of your operations and the result is verifiable growth. This is a powerful situation and where the true magic of your organization happens. One of the most powerful places to attain this merging of growth and culture is in the successful implementation of your “secret club” language.

Creating positive changes in organizational culture is an extremely difficult task which must start from the top of the organization and move its way down. The only culture which starts from the bottom and moves its way up is negative culture! We won’t focus on building culture in this article. Instead we’ll focus on just the element of creating your own “secret club” language.

I’ll Let You In on One of My Company’s Secrets

Stick around us for any length of time at all and you’ll hear us say “I’m S1 [or S2, or S3, or S4] on that.” These are four extremely powerful words that carry a great deal of meaning to us. We’ve put significant effort into making this a part of our company’s “secret club” language.

Wondering what S1 / S2 / S3 / S4 means to us? It has everything to do with delegating tasks.

Cure Delegation Problems

Delegation is a huge concept in achieving increased productivity and can make or break our best efforts to get more done. Our company’s solution to solving the problem of incompetency in delegated tasks was to adopt an idea created in the ‘60s by Dr. Paul Hersey. He created what he called the Situational Leadership® model. Basically, he said that we all perform any task in one of four quadrants. These quadrants are laid out in such a way that as you become more familiar with a task and eventually master the task, you move from quadrant S1 to S2 to S3 and finally to quadrant S4. The Situational Leadership model makes it extremely clear what is required for success by the person delegating the task.

When a task is delegated to me, I have a critical and powerful tool which I can use to quickly tell the person who gave me the task exactly what my competencies with the task are. This communication method and corresponding training give us both a way to ensure success with the task regardless of my competency level. This is truly where organizational culture and verifiable growth meet.

Work to Create Your Own “Secret Club” Language

Any training material which is applicable to your organization can be weaved into your organizational culture if you take the time to do it. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that information will easily be assimilated into your workflows.

Adopting a “secret club” language that actually works requires a great amount of work upfront. The leadership team in an organization must first understand how important the new terminology is to the growth of the organization, then fully adopt it and finally practice the terminology themselves. It is critical that new terminology be introduced by leadership for it to actually become part of the organizational culture.

The very best and profitable organizational training is that which becomes part of your culture. This kind of training is a critical element in all organizations. You need to ensure that your “secret club” language is well documented and included in all new-hire orientations and training material. When all managers and all employees use your “secret club” language frequently, you will find that your productivity, revenues and overall quality of work will increase.

Do you have any phrases or “secret club” language you’d like to share?

Need some help identifying and creating your organization’s “secret club” language? We’re here to help share our recipes for success with you! Just reach out!

Our greatest reward and sense of satisfaction is to participate in your predictable success!

1st Quarter GrowthCLUB 2018 by Rob Gariby:

Strategy and Annual Plan

Do you have clear strategies in place to achieve those goals for 2018? Make 2018 a winning year and join us!

This workshop will guide you on creating an actionable plan for 2018 that will make a material difference in your business.

A few topics I will cover:

  • How to create an industry dominating strategy for your company
  • Discovering your core purpose to drive your team towards your vision
  • Discovering your business’s core values to drive your company culture
  • Understanding your business’s strengths, weaknesses, and threats
  • How to simplify your strategy onto one page to align your entire team

What’s GrowthCLUB?
Every 90 days as a business owner, it is important for you to step away and focus! GrowthCLUB is a full day of training and workshops for business owners, CEO’s, and leadership teams to get clarity on the direction of your business.

Confidently Scale Your Business:
By the end of this high energy day, you will have a clear picture of where your business will be in 5 years, 1 year & the next 90 days, with a one page plan giving you clarity that you haven’t had before! Using this roadmap, we will take your business from where you are to where you want to be.

Achieve Team Alignment for Your Vision:
Get faster results with less effort when your entire team is on the same page and inspired to follow your clear and sustainable growth plan.

Learn How to Execute the 4 Decisions in Your Business:
The Four Decisions refer to the critical decisions that growth companies must get right to maximize their revenue, profit, and time. This workshop, modeled after Verne Harnish’s #1 best selling book “Scaling up”, will give you the tools for making the right decisions to drive business growth in the areas of People, Strategy, Execution, and Cash.

This quarter, we will focus on developing an annual one page strategic plan to keep your vision and team aligned. Make 2018 winning year and join us!

All workshop participants will receive:

  • Full day of training with one of the top business coaches in the US
  • Opportunity to connect with other CEOs and executives
  • Hot breakfast and lunch
  • Face to face strategy session after workshop to implement concepts*

Questions? Contact us at 405 237-0019 or email robgaribay@theclaritypro.com

*exclusive for first time attendees

Sign up here: https://strategyworkshop2018.eventbrite.com/

Sales is the lifeblood of any profitable organization (duh!). Great salespeople make great money (again, duh!). Great sales processes generate even more money. If your organization operates through sales people rather than sales process, your organization is missing out on big money. Keep reading and I’ll prove it.

 

People-Centric vs Process-Centric Sales Process

Think you’re running a well oiled sales process? Here’s a quick test to see if that’s true:

Take all your sales people and line them up in a row. Terminate every other sales person without regard to how much revenue they generate or how long they have been with your company. You now have half your sales force remaining. Oh, and your sales manager just quit as well.

  • How quickly can you get your sales team back up and running?
  • How much recurring revenue will you lose?
  • Will your sales pipeline be dramatically affected? If so, for how long and what areas of the funnel will suffer the most?
  • What information regarding current deals and prospects will you lose?
  • If all the sales people you lost went to your competition, how would that affect your future business?

Did the above exercise scare you? Losing half your sales force is obviously an extreme example, but the mental exercise should reveal any weakness in your sales process. If your answers to the questions were not what you’d like them to be, your sales efforts are most likely based too much on sales people rather than sales process.

Sales process is the answer to any less than ideal responses to the questions above.

Contact Administrative Control Solutions for a detailed sales process analysis. Let us help you build a sales machine and help your organization become less sales people dependent and more sales process oriented.

I think by now we’re all aware of credit card skimming. We’ve heard countless news stories about how our credit cards can be skimmed by anyone who gets their hands on our card and even at gas pumps. Some fuel stations have caught on and made an effort to increase their customers’ peace of mind.

Have you seen the little security labels that are appearing on the pumps these days? They’re intended to reveal the word “void” or some such thing if the label is peeled off. And why would a skimmer need to peel the label? The label is intended to cover both sides of the pump’s access panel. To open the panel, one must remove or break the sticker. Seems like a step in the right direction. I’d scrutinize a pump that had a voided security sticker.

Here’s what those stickers look like:

I ran across this today while I was fueling my car:

Notice the stickers – (two of them for extra peace of mind??) are simply adhered to the flat panels of the pump. They are doing nothing. Is the gas station trying to save money by only having to purchase a single set of these stickers ever?

Note here there are no stickers where they’re supposed to be:

The company who makes these stickers is TydenBrooks. I went to their website to see if they include any installation documentation along with their security stickers. I thought “hey, maybe they’re pushing a product without adequate documentation.” But why sell something if you can’t easily explain how to use it? Their website does include pictures of the security labels in use on gas pumps – clearly positioned across the access door panel.

There is no excuse for missing these kinds of details other than poor communication and lack of documentation. I’m sure this fuel station is part of a larger chain and I’m sure they invested some amount of money in product and time to get these stickers out to all the fuel stations and onto the pumps. 100% of that money was wasted. Consumers like me have to wonder what else they’ve screwed up on and whether I should find another fuel station.

Getting these kinds of details right is truly not that difficult. Decision makers and managers need to pay better attention and plan to get projects done correctly. The better your implementation is, the better your bottom line. Guaranteed!

 

Ever have that rare moment when you wish you could connect a hard-wired LAN port to your phone’s mobile hotspot?

I mainly use a laptop when I’m out and about or with a client, so if I need Internet, I just fire up my hotspot. There are the rare occasions, however when I wish I could connect a hard wired machine to my hotspot. Today, for example! I was working at a client’s office and the internet to the building went down. This client works entirely from the cloud (thanks to their forward thinking attitude and a little help from G Suite!) and I didn’t want to fire up my laptop. Plus, I was interested in providing continued productivity to more users than just myself.

So, I reached for one of my TP-LINK routers and quickly made just a few configurations. Moments later I had a fully functional hotspot-to-wired-LAN connection that I could use on my machine only or simply plug into our SOHO switch here at the office. Granted, the huge warning here is that a large amount of mobile data will be consumed, but a loss in productivity would cost much more than a handful of gigs of data.

Here’s what I used:

You’ll need two wireless devices to make this work. One will be used to provide the hotspot and the other to access the router’s settings.

  1. Activate your hotspot and note the wifi network’s name and password
  2. Connect to the TP-LINK router
  3. Access the TP-LINK router’s configuration page
  4. Select Quick Setup from the TP-LINK router’s menu
  5. Choose Client as the Operating Mode
  6. Choose your hotspot from the AP list
  7. Reboot
  8. Plug in LAN

Done!

You now have a backup hotspot-to-wired-LAN connection which will be good for a few users’ Internet access. You’ll obviously lose printing and access to any shared resources, but for Internet-only shops this is a great emergency backup. Oh, and by the way Google Cloud Print for non-network printers works great! You don’t HAVE to lose printing when you drop your main router.

In case you’re wondering, I put instructions for operating the TP-LINK on the back of the router via QR code. This works great because it can teach another person how to set the connection up and its a great reminder to me! I also don’t want the instructions visible to anyone outside of our G Suite domain, so the instructions require a log in.

Please visit my blog here for more.

I guess if all stores and vendors backed up their marketing propaganda with actual results, we’d be less impressed with the ones that do! I was recently helping a friend of mine find a pair shoes that really fit well – shoes that she would wear often and that would make her life better. We found some to “settle with” at Kohl’s, but they weren’t 100%. I looked up running stores to see if there was some kind of custom shoe shop that could get an exact amazing perfect fit. I came across this on OK Runner’s site:

One of our missions is to provide all guests with a warm, friendly attitude. We provide each guest with a foot assessment, gait analysis and evaluation to ensure him/her a proper fit.

Well, we decided to give their Edmond location a shot. We arrived one hour before closing and were greeted immediately. The gentleman that took care of us was personable, patient and actually did what their website said they would do. He made a very accurate and professional foot assessment and gait analysis. His observations were confirmed by my friend and we were sold on his ability to provide proper footwear. He quickly boiled my friend’s needs down to a few pairs of shoes, educated us on what he was thinking and after trying on a few pairs of shoes, we were sold!

And guess what? If you were the one calling while he was taking care of us, sorry – he didn’t have time for you and instead spent 100% of his time with us and got the sale.

OK Runner is a store that everyone should go to for both running and walking shoes. Why pay slightly less for a pair of shoes that doesn’t fit your foot and gait properly? Go for the best fit and your body will thank you every day.

Here’s a 360° shot of the store:

Have you started creating a training manual and gotten in over your head? Or is your training manual project taking FOREVER to complete?

You aren’t alone. Creating intelligent and useful documentation is definitely a daunting task. If not organized properly from the beginning, your materials will likely take forever to complete and be extremely short-lived. We don’t want to see you waste your precious time!

A word of caution: Don’t fall victim to one-size-fits-all or off-the-shelf documentation. Unfortunately, there are very few shortcuts when it comes to documenting your vital (and confidential) information. The reason for this is your company culture and the unique mix of products, services and tools utilized by your company. Your documentation should be as unique as you are as a company.

If you haven’t checked out our Process Documentation 101 eCourse, you may want to do that first. Click here to enroll (its free!).

Process Documentation 101

The first thing you need to determine when writing your training manual is whether you are writing role based or task based documentation. This is critical.

Example of role based documentation: A role based training manual makes the most sense for an organization which hires workers into specific roles. School workers are a great example. If you work in a school, you may be a teacher, secretary, janitor, principal, vice principal, counselor, etc. but you will likely not switch between roles. You are hired into a particular role and will continue in that role until a significant change involving human resources is made.

Example of task based documentation: A task based training manual makes the most sense for an organization which needs to document specific tasks which will be performed by workers who may be in different roles or when most workers are in the same role. A machine shop is a good example. Multiple workers in a machine shop will perform the same task and each worker will have varying degrees of experience and proficiency. Regardless of experience, a particular task must be performed your [company] way every time.

 

Sign up below to receive a free copy of our short guide: Getting Started with your Training Manual / Procedure Guide. This document will walk you through getting started with role and / or task based documentation. Or you can always reach out to us directly here!


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I realize that we haven’t adopted the use of QR codes here in the States like some countries have, but I find myself using them more and more.

I have discovered a really easy way to scan QR codes with my iPhone without having to install another app. This isn’t an iPhone hack or anything of the sort, but it is a feature that is new to me!

All you need is the Chrome app and a newer iPhone which supports 3D touch.

Simply hard press Chrome and touch Scan QR Code.

Scan QR Code iPhone

It scans incredibly quickly. You can have a QR Code scanned and recognized in under 5 seconds.

Pretty cool, huh? Perfect for scanning QR Codes in Bullet Journals.