The Official ASTD Blog
Learning Industry News and Opinion

Hyundai Dealer Counts Staff Training as Major Impetus for CPO Success

December 12, 2011 14:16 by vstgerard

(From Auto Remarketing) -- Keffer Hyundai in North Carolina is one of the top-selling certified pre-owned dealerships in the U.S. for the Korean automaker.  While many elements have helped Keffer become a leading CPO dealer, one thing is for sure: employee training has been a major building block to the store’s success in the certified segment.

“You have to have the personnel that know the program, for one, and know how to sell a certified pre-owned car versus a regular used car. So we do a lot of training with the guys so they know the program, they know the benefits and they can sell the benefits to the customers,” said the store’s vice president, co-owner and general manager.

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Game Over for Dull Training

December 12, 2011 11:43 by vstgerard

(From The Sunday Times) -- Compliance training is tedious. Nobody wants to spend more time than they have to in a windowless room with a folder full of notes and a check list.

Organizations are increasingly turning to gamification, the use of the fun, engaging nature of games to encourage people to complete dull tasks, said Aaron Dignan, author of Game Frame, a guide to using games as a strategy for success, and chief executive of Undercurrent, a digital consultancy.

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Categories: Learning & Development | Learning Technologies | News

Florida’s Unemployed Could Be Forced to Upgrade Skills to Receive Benefits

December 8, 2011 09:35 by vstgerard

(From the Sun Sentinal) -- Unemployed Floridians who don't take free training to upgrade their skills could lose their benefits for any week they don't comply, in proposed legislation by Rep.  Doug Holder, R-Sarasota.

The bill passed the Florida House's Business and Consumer Affairs Subcommittee this week and moves on to the Economic Affairs Committee. Holder was the sponsor of the state's unemployment compensation overhaul in the last legislative session.

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Categories: Learning & Development | News | Public Policy

Fine-Tuning the Perfect Employee

December 5, 2011 10:47 by vstgerard

(From The Wall Street Journal) -- Faced with a dearth of skilled labor, more companies are taking employee education into their own hands.

Unemployment figures are high, but finding workers with the right skills for the job—especially for highly specialized roles such as power plant technicians or laboratory chemists—remains a big challenge, many firms say. In a survey from Lloyd's, the British insurance concern, U.S. executives considered lack of skilled workers one of the greatest risks their companies faced in 2012, second only to loss of customers.

So rather than wait for the perfect candidates to walk through the door, companies have decided to school their in-house staff or train new hires who may lack the exact skills they were looking for.

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Categories: Human Capital | Learning & Development | News

Raytheon BBN Awarded $10.5 Million to Develop Game-Based Training Methods and Systems to Improve Decision-Making

November 18, 2011 09:35 by vstgerard

(From PR Newswire) -- The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity, through an Air Force Research Laboratory contract, has awarded Raytheon BBN Technologies a $10.5 million multi-year contract under the Sirius program. The goal of the Sirius program is to develop serious games that result in better decision-making by teaching participants to recognize and mitigate the effects of their own biases when analyzing information used to make decisions.

The team -- which includes game designers, cognitive psychologists, and experts in intelligence analysis and in measuring game-player engagement -- will design a relevant and engaging game that is based on an international detective theme, blending best research and practices in bias-mitigation with best practices in game-based teaching.

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Virtual Learning Used by Three-Quarters of Employers

November 17, 2011 10:14 by vstgerard

(From Personnel Today) -- Live online learning technologies - such as virtual meetings and classrooms, and video-conferencing - are becoming increasingly popular, with more than three-quarters of employers using them in 2011.

This is according to the benchmark study carried out by learning-technology provider Towards Maturity, which found that e-learning courses were the most popular learning technology this year, used by 80% of employers.

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Emotional Intelligence: The Benefits of Singing the Blues

November 14, 2011 15:34 by vstgerard

(From CNN) -- The concepts of emotional intelligence (EI), self-worth, authenticity, and employee meditation rooms might conjure up thoughts of new-age healing centers. But the benefits of tapping employees' emotional happiness mean the ideas are now being picked up by mainstream corporations.

Brochner Hotels, one of Copenhagen’s oldest and most successful boutique hotel chains, is one business discovering the benefits of EI. Karim Nielsen, the chain's CEO, says he introduced the strategy to shift the company's culture. Nielsen points to a reluctance, at times, of staff members to engage with customers, to sell its products and promote the brand. "The front desk is like a stop sign they don't go beyond," he says.

Now, Nielsen is sending all hotel employees through EI training to help them become more open and confident, understand their own limitations and fears, and to boost their self-worth and comfort in dealing with other people.

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Discovery Communications Expands 'Discover Your Skills’ Job Growth and Skills Development Initiative with New Resources and Programs for Veterans

November 9, 2011 13:44 by vstgerard

(From 3BLmedia.com) -- Discovery Communications announced the expansion of its “Discover Your Skills” public affairs job skills program with new resources and programs to support veterans in locating and accessing the training and resources to translate their military skills and experience into civilian job opportunities.

The veterans-focused initiative includes new training and resource information specifically for veterans on www.DiscoverYourSkills.com, as well as on-air public service announcements on Military Channel, featuring Lou Diamond Phillips of Military Channel’s “Officer and a Movie,” to direct viewers to the new resources.

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New Department of Labor Grants Offer Training and Certification Opportunities for American Workforce

November 9, 2011 09:18 by vstgerard

(From Business Wire) -- Training grants from the U.S. Department of Labor are creating new opportunities for American workers to build skills, attain professional credentials, and fill job openings in a job market that is calling for greater specialization.

In early October, the Department of Labor announced $159 million in H-1B Technical Skills Training grants to 36 job training and placement programs throughout the country. The program aims to increase access to training and certification for Americans in occupations where specialized skills are needed and demand is highest.

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Study of Workplace Priorities Reveals Generation Gaps

November 2, 2011 11:23 by vstgerard

A new study reveals the career-related differences among the four generations of workers in today’s workplace: Matures (born in 1945 or earlier), Baby Boomers (born between 1946 and 1964), Generation Xers (born between 1965 and 1979), and Millennials (born in 1980 or later). More than 3,000 Canadians were surveyed to determine if there were significant inter-generational differences in their work priorities, career attitudes, career experiences, and career outcomes.

Among the findings, data provide evidence of generational differences in terms of work priorities. The youngest generation, the Millennials, placed more importance on work characteristics that lead to self-improvement, as well as social aspects of the workplace. In contrast, the values of Generation X employees emphasized the need to find a balance between work and personal facets of life. Both Boomers and Matures were concerned with staying relevant in an ever-changing work environment. However, these oldest two generations differed in that Boomers remained focused on advancement and achievement while Matures were striving to leave a lasting impression in their organizations.

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Categories: Next-Gen Learning | Learning & Development | News | Research