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Training and Development

Active shooter training can empower your staff and help keep your employees safe.

Active shooter training can empower your staff and help keep your employees safe.

By on Sep 11, 2018 in Best practices, Blog, Government and Public Sector, Safety | 0 comments

Organizational Architecture has been privileged to work with The ALICE Training Institute since 2017 as their Human Resources partner.  As we have gotten to know and work with them, we wanted to help get their message out to our other clients who may want to learn more about their training programs and how they can help your employees and customers stay safe. While any of our clients could benefit from this training, organizations that are open and accessible to the public in the course of their business may want to make this training a priority. Organizations such as: Public libraries Community and senior centers Banks and financial institutions Municipal facilities Schools Retail establishments Office buildings Manufacturing facilities The mission of ALICE Training Institute is to SAVE MORE LIVES.  Their program empowers individuals to participate in their own survival using proactive options-based strategies in the face of violence. These life lessons are critical to helping ensure people have an effective response to active shooter situations. Most organizations could benefit from their training. If you would like to learn more, contact us and we can connect you with their Program Management team to get your training...

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Client success story – Aim Transportation Solutions

Client success story – Aim Transportation Solutions

By on Aug 29, 2018 in Blog, HR Consulting, Leadership, Success Stories, Succession Planning, Training and Development, Training and Development Consulting | 0 comments

Most organizations reach a point where they need to get really specific about what traits make leaders successful in their organization.  Sometimes organizations get lucky and promote the right people from staff positions into supervisory roles and these people are successful leaders. But many times, the wrong person gets promoted, and this is because they focus more on the person’s success in their current role and less on what the expected behaviors are for leaders and whether this person has demonstrated their ability to exercise them.  This month’s success story shares our recent work with a company that came to that conclusion. Aim Transportation Solutions is the largest, privately owned truck leasing company in North America. Aim Leasing Company was founded in 1982 as an affiliate of McNicholas Transportation who was, at that time, the largest steel hauler east of the Mississippi. Their initial goal was to purchase and maintain equipment for companies that didn’t have internal logistics capabilities. Since then, they have achieved steady growth and are now considered the largest, privately owned truck leasing company in North America. Like many growing business, identifying and promoting the right people into the critical middle management role was something Aim struggled with. Their people are truly passionate about solving their customers’ problems, but this passion does not necessarily mean that these employees would be good leaders. What Aim wanted to do was develop tools and processes to identify potential leaders in a consistent manner, in order to increase newly-promoted supervisors’ success, and continue to enhance their ability to solve customers’ problems. Vice President of Human Resources Patty Durkin said: We knew that by implementing a process to identify potential leaders in a consistent fashion would greatly enhance our succession planning efforts.  We are a growing company in a very dynamic industry…we need to make sure we have the right people in the right place and trained the right way for our customers.  This is especially true for anyone with the great responsibility for leading people.   We connected with OA based on their experience helping companies implement leadership development programs.  They have a solid methodology for identifying leadership competencies, defining them, and helping organizations integrate them into their succession planning...

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When was the last time you trained your managers on how to spot and address harassment?

When was the last time you trained your managers on how to spot and address harassment?

By on Apr 3, 2018 in Best practices, Blog, Compliance, Harassment, Harassment Prevention Assessment, HR Consulting, Training and Development | 0 comments

It’s no secret that harassment in the workplace is on everyone’s mind.  Many organizations have been proactive in developing policies and procedures, updating employee handbooks, and making sure information is posted for employees to learn what their rights in the workplace are. However, many organizations fail to address one of the most critical links in the chain to prevent and address harassment…training supervisors on harassment prevention.  Supervisors are the people who will most likely hear about possible harassment first…and they need to know what to do to protect employees, your organization, and themselves. Our comprehensive workshop on harassment prevention, Diversity, Inclusion, and Sensitivity Training, provides all the information supervisors need to spot and help address harassment allegations.  We cover: Diversity Inclusion Bias Sensitivity and awareness Harassment prevention Our program is tailored to your organization and utilizes the work you have already done…in addition to our content we leverage your handbook, policies, and internal practices to reinforce all these elements in a seamless fashion. The workshops are informative, engaging, and fun. Learn more about our harassment prevention tools here and all of our training workshops on our website. If you need assistance with other HR projects and want to learn more about our human resources consulting, contact us and check out our blog for more...

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Performance review best practices for 2018

Performance review best practices for 2018

By on Jan 30, 2018 in Best practices, Blog, Coaching, Performance Management, Performance Review | 0 comments

The beginning of the new year is well behind us and we are in the thick of the first quarter.  By now, your finance team has done most of the work determining your financial results for 2017, and many companies are getting ready to launch their annual performance review process. While there has been an ongoing debate about whether to do annual reviews, or replace it with a continuous feedback approach, many organizations still follow the annual review process.  There are many reasons for this: the organization already has the tools in place, managers understand the current process, and employees have come to expect it.  We’re not saying the traditional process is perfect…but it can nonetheless add value if done correctly. Here are some tips to make the process go smoothly and more importantly, have meaning. Focus the review period: instead of requiring reviews be done on the employee’s anniversary, schedule the reviews to occur at one time of the year.  This has many benefits: it makes financial planning for increases easier, ensures better compliance because the organization is focused on doing them, and avoids that feeling managers have that they are ‘always doing reviews’. Make it simple: if you’re a manager with ten reviews to conduct, you don’t need a process that will take hours and hours to complete. Don’t overwhelm them with dozens of factors to rate.  And speaking of ratings, limit the number of ratings that can be given so that the distinctions in performance are meaningfully shown. We recommend three- or five-point rating scales. Add some constraints: some managers can barely write two sentences about someone, others can write a novel.  Don’t make them use a format that requires them to write essays.  And if you are using ratings, you should use a tool like MS Excel so that you can not only control the inputs but make the tabulation of the ratings easier. Collect, review, and use the data: after all the effort of conducting reviews, don’t let them disappear into a personnel file never to be seen again.  Take the time to aggregate and review the ratings, both overall and by rated dimension.  This can give you insight into your bench strength and...

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The importance of interpersonal communication

The importance of interpersonal communication

By on Apr 27, 2017 in Blog, Communication, HR Consulting, Training and Development, Training and Development Consulting | 0 comments

Interpersonal skills are also known as “people skills”. By forming interpersonal relationships with customers and employees, you are able to acknowledge the feelings of others and convey respect. You can also focus on the positive outcomes of varied viewpoints, while nurturing professional growth. Your ability to realize optimum performance from employees is greatly enhanced by “just being nice”. Communicating appropriately is an essential factor. Seeing yourself as others see you is the first step to improving your interpersonal communication skills. Here are some other ways to improve your interpersonal communication skills. Be more approachable – implement an open door policy; determine if you are perceived as unapproachable and work to resolve; become more involved in your employees’ daily functions. Build rapport – take an interest in your customers and employees; engage in periodic, casual conversations; discuss mutual non-business interests; share your personal interests. Strive to make others comfortable with you – refrain from being overly serious; control your intensity; smile frequently while speaking; use appropriate humor; monitor sarcasm. Develop your ability to make “small talk” – prepare opening statements about current events; discuss the weather; listen for “free” information while others speak; ask questions about the “free” information you heard. Treat others fairly – offer recognition to everyone as appropriate; monitor and avoid favoritism; remain neutral in workplace disputes; explain the rationale behind decisions you or the organization makes. Become more social – widen your group of acquaintances; speak up in group situations; network whenever possible. Be sure to request feedback from a trusted source to determine if you have any areas of opportunity. Do you need help developing your manager’s communication skills or other training and development needs? Contact us and check out our blog for more helpful resources....

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Barriers that inhibit effective communication

Barriers that inhibit effective communication

By on Apr 25, 2017 in Blog, Communication, Listening, Non-verbal, Speaking, Training and Development, Training and Development Consulting | 0 comments

Several challenging communication issues exist in today’s business environment. A clear understanding of these issues will enable you to overcome these challenges and communicate more effectively. The words you choose can mean the difference between retaining or losing an employee or a valued customer. You must be sensitive to the feelings and perceptions of others. As diversity in the workplace increases, you must avoid words that might stereotype, insult, or intimidate another person. Intercultural communication also presents a big challenge. It becomes challenging when communicating with people from another culture because the same words may have different meanings between cultures. There are three specific barriers associated with intercultural communication are tone differences, word connotation, and perceptions. Tone differences in formal and informal languages generate a message of indifference if used in an inappropriate setting. Word connotations create issues when the same word has a different meaning in another culture. Both speakers are challenged if they do not understand the meaning held by the other person in the conversation. Perceptions are held by people who speak different languages or come from varying backgrounds within the same language. Any given situation can be viewed differently, based on the language used or the cultural background. As a manager, it is your responsibility to be aware of any other possible barriers that inhibit communication between you and your employees. Do you need help developing your manager’s communication skills or other training and development needs? Contact us and check out our blog for more helpful...

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