Spring, 1998



What should I spend on training per employee? What do my employees need to learn so we’ll be competitive? What is the best way for us to help our employees learn? At Training Systems, we are regularly asked these questions both by clients for whom we’re designing/delivering training, and from clients we’re setting up, running, or evaluating their training function.

Here’s the most recent information we have about your neighbors:

How Many of These Trends Are You Seeing?

* Customization of training, rather than off-the-shelf programs, including tailored for specific units within a company.

* Cross-training to give employees a range of competencies beyond their specific tasks.

* Individual career building activities, including coaching, task forces, mentoring, and shadowing.

* Large-scale change efforts that will involve all levels of employees representing all units, with participation from customers or other stake-holders.

* Computer-based training through the use of intranets, interactive televisions, CD-ROMs and other emerging technologies.

* On-the-job training, and training with existing work teams.

* Line managers and non-training professionals conducting structured OJT.

* Senior managers’ involvement in training and development, including reviewing proposals developed during training for performance improvement.



*Average Total $ Spent on Training per Employee: $50-$1659/year

*Average Training Expense as % of Payroll: 1.46%-3.93%

*Greatest Amount of Time Spent in: job specific skills training

*% of All Training Conducted in Classroom: 81%-84%

*Training Methods Used by Most Companies: video, role play, case studies

*Training Methods Used by Least Companies: Internet, Intranet, EPSS

*Average # of Different Training Sources: 4.6-5.7

*Types of Training Sources Used: employee, training companies, independent training, product suppliers, universities/community colleges, trade/professional associations, unions

*% of Total Training Expenditures to Training Companies: 17%-49%

*% of Companies Training Employees to Train: 59%-85%

*% of Companies Stating Training Increased Overall Profitability: 69%

For more information on either of these surveys, call TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC. at 815-469-1162.



Training success = after the training, your employees are able to do the very specific activities/tasks you planned and the money you spent was a wise investment.

In order to help you achieve this we:

* Help you write very Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timely outcomes.

* Use these specific outcomes to design the training for you.

* Help you develop the steps you take to measure that the outcomes were achieved (including using our worksheet, Ten Steps to Determining the Return on Your Training Investment.

* Deliver the training if classroom; help your trainers learn to facilitate if they’re delivering the training; help you plan to get the material to the learners if CBT, video, or self-study.

* Contact you at pre-determined times to see how your measurement steps are going and hear your ROI results (some clients ask us to actually do the measuring)!



Mary Beth Brennan is an innovative training designer, fast-paced/fun facilitator, & incredibly thorough HR Consultant. Clients love working with her because her skills came from working in the very situations with which they’re dealing—real life! She is particularly knowledgeable in PR, computer software, HR, customer service and marketing.



1998 Inspire Your Employees to Excellence Award Winner is Mid-Michigan Industries, Inc.

Mid-Michigan Industries, Inc. (MMI) inspires their employees in ongoing, creative, exceptional ways and TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC. is proud to honor them.

Entries were judged by their originality, influence, effectiveness, creativity, and implementation. "Our employees are our greatest strength," said M. Judith Garland, President of MMI. "They need to know how important they are to us and that we appreciate the exceptional work they do."

Team members at MMI are provided with many incentives to work to their fullest potential. Ongoing programs like Breakfast With The President, safety rewards, Star Spirit Award, regularly scheduled staff training days, Christmas party, recruiting incentive, and Productivity Incentive Plan offer employees tangible incentives. "Our staff members work very hard at what they do." Ms. Garland said, "This is our way of recognizing their efforts."

Mid-Michigan Industries, Inc. provides jobs and training to people with barriers to employment in Clare, Isabella, and Gratior Counties in Michigan.



Needless rules and policies may be sucking the productivity out of your organization and destroying morale among employees. Before you can weed out these rules, you have to identify which ones employees find useless. To find unnecessary red tape, form a "Mickey Mouse Brigade". Here’s how to do it:

* Assemble a group of employees once a week (or some other regular time-frame). Have them talk with other employees and ask them what the dumbest rule (or form or report) they have to deal with is.

* Meet with the employees. Act on as many of their recommendations as you can. Either revise the rule, or get rid of it altogether.

* Post a scoreboard, charting "Mickey Mouse Rules Removed".

* Issue regular reports on the Brigade’s process. Be specific about why you revised or removed the rule.

WARNING: This process will work. And it will snowball. It’s easy to get overwhelmed if you don’t stay on top of it; and backing off the program will make you look hypocritical.



Resources to Help You Recruit, Inspire & Retain Employees

301 Ways To Have FUN At Work

by Dave Hemsath & Leslie Yerkes

Features over 300 real-life examples of what individuals and companies are doing to create an atmosphere of fun in the workplace, with illustrations, fun facts, fun quotes, and fun resources.

Interviewing Skills from Knowledge Communications

One of the most effective simulation-based learning programs available—full of fun, engaging scenarios. Premise: you’re hired to turn around a company by hiring the best candidates. Full of feedback and expert tips. 800-851-4134

Scheduled online chats include topics such as: Work From Home, Career Makeovers, Find a Job, Building Your Business Plan (hourly: Eastern time)



What are some ways you help staff retain and use what they learned in training?

"We design all our training to build on previous skills learned and further reinforce it by saying "Remember when you learned _____, you’ll....". We also use games and quizzes during training to give the learner confidence that they actually know/can perform the skill."

Mary Ann Blackmore, Analyst & Training Specialist in Credit Services for Tech Data Corp, Clearwater Florida.



When we congratulate people, we feel great and so do they. Congratulations to TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC.’s Ongoing Clients!

7 Years Illinois Association of Rehab Facilities

7 Years REM Wisconsin

6 Years SBM Maintenance Contractors

6 Years OMTI

6 Years Water Quality Association

6 Years Dun & Bradstreet Business Education Svcs

6 Years Michigan Assn of Rehab Organizations

5 Years Michigan REACH

5 Years Milano Baking Company

5 Years Missouri Training Institute

4 Years Harris Bank Frankfort

4 Years Stepan Company

3 Years International Car Wash Association

2 Years Jensen Consulting

2 Years New York Employment & Training Institute

2 Years SECTC

1 Year Ulbrich Stainless Steel

1 Year Honey Board



Question: In how many states will you find Training Systems working with clients in March 1998?

Answer: 15 states! That number changes every month as new projects begin.