Winter 1998



Great for employees—no commute, no morning rush, no day care for kids, no co-worker interruptions, work in pajamas (if commercials can be believed), fun for some!

Great for companies—lower office costs, researched gains in productivity of 20% over office workers, but...hard to manage for some!

The studies of the benefits of employees working at home are so impressive that surveys of today's companies show over 60% allowing employees to work at home, compared with only 27% in 1993. In 1997, studies showed over 7 million employees telecommuting — this doesn’t count the millions of self-employed people who work out of their homes and small businesses operating out of people’s homes.

This sounds like a win/win/win, so what’s the but no fun for some and but hard to manage for some? If your employees don’t have the skills to work at home and if your company hasn’t set up a structure that helps you work together, the productivity and enjoyment won’t be there. In fact, an IIT sociologist found that as many as half of work-at-home arrangements fall apart very quickly. Why?

Employees have vastly inflated expectations of what working from home will do for their life ("I thought I could get up at 8:00 AM, hang out in sweats all day and play with the baby.").

Employees are completely surprised by how isolated they can feel ("I was shocked at how unmotivated I was without my boss & co-workers physically around me!", "I didn’t realize how important getting dressed in business clothes and having lunch with people was to me.").

Employers find themselves uneasy when they can’t see their employees ("We know he’s a loyal, trustworthy, hardworking employee, but it’s hard to imagine what he does all day.").

How to reap the benefits of having employees work from home and avoid the drawbacks?


Assess employees for readiness to work at home:

Have they worked at your company long enough to thoroughly understand its culture and expectations?

Will they miss going to lunch w/colleagues and talking casually without appointments?

Can they perform their job, complete projects, and meet deadlines without supervision?

Can they communicate everything they need for their daily workload via phone?

Does their home have a separate room in which to work, with a door that shuts?

If they have a child, will they have day care available while they work?


Provide training in skills they need to be successful—organization, time management, basics of computer hardware/software, problem solving, communicating with others by phone, fax, modem, and attitudes they need to be successful—self-motivation, balancing work and home activities, and career planning. The training can be group or self-study (one-on-one coaching, books, CBT, audio tapes, video tapes) depending on how they learn best.

Set up and communicate the structure and processes for managers, co-workers, and the work at home employee for equipment, communicating with others (reporting, meetings, informal), traveling, specific work outcomes, and involvement in the day to day activities of the company (including sports, parties, etc.).

Do these three things and you’ll have the biggest win/win/win ever!

Let Training Systems help you manage the process of working with your employees from home, so it’s great for your company, your employee, and your customers! Call us at 800-469-3560.


Did you know that 80% of employees are more likely to stay with a company if they receive training? Get a copy of The Gallup Research "Employees Speak Out on Training" by calling 800-707-7757.



Our clients feel most comfortable budgeting by project fees and so that’s how we quote the fee—a flat, all inclusive fee. Where does this fee come from?

Training Design/Development — We use a formula that’s based on a Training & Development Magazine Survey of large company training departments, which discovered that for every hour of training, it took 40-200 hours to design/develop, with the variable being instructor led vs. self-study and simple projects vs. complex. We thought the hours were too high, so we tracked our time over a 2 year period and discovered that it took us 3-15 hours per hour of group, one-on-one training, or self-study with the variables being knowledge of the client’s industry, and experience with the learning objectives to be achieved. For CBT, it takes 30-100 hours per hour of training and video 1000-2000 minutes per minute of training with variables being media type and effects.

Training Facilitation — the flat dollar amount per day is based on current market price.*

HR Consulting — the flat fee is based on estimated hours known from our experiences with similar projects times an hourly rate, based on current market prices.*

*different rate for non-profit organizations



Jet Aviation, a corporate jet management, maintenance, outfitting & charter company, is launching their Service Enhancement Training Program. Their goal is "to be the BEST in their business and continue to be the BEST"! They wanted to design and facilitate 7 group training modules in-house because of their knowledge of their employees and their customers. The staff who are working on this have little training design or development experience and some facilitation experience.

Enter Training Systems — we’re advising them every step of the way on setting up their training and choosing facilitators. We’re helping them learn how to design their highly interactive training and then we’re doing the development while they design future modules. Finally, we’ll design and facilitate training for their 30 employees who’ll be facilitating all the modules over the next years.

We LOVE to work with exciting, fun companies like Jet Aviation!



Creating Highly Interactive Training Quickly & Effectively by Carolyn B. Thompson

Read the only book of its kind! It gives you the process for putting together classroom or self-study training and the methods! It’s based on our internal document "How to Design for Training Systems" used by all our Designers.

Retailing Smarts by Robert Taggart

You can be among the first to take advantage of training materials developed entirely to support the national retail skill standards for professional sales associates!

How To Give It So They Get It by Sharon Bowman

Explore the ways you learn, teach and train others.

Presenting With Pizazz by Sharon Bowman

Contains a host of easy-to-apply tips and activities for getting learners of all ages more actively involved in their own learning.

The Personal Business Coach by best-selling author, Roger Fritz

A complete set of four books on COMPACT DISC



Carol Delisi has helped hundreds of participants learn diverse topics such as internal consulting, facilitation, adult learning, problem resolution, customer service, needs-based selling, and a variety of software applications. Carol designs, develops and delivers training for a variety of organizations, working closely with clients to understand their needs. Carol loves helping people learn! Her experience in helping people learn, as well as her natural ability to listen and ask thoughtful questions, helps her to understand learners’ needs and help them reach their potential and meet company needs. She has over 15 years of human resource experience working with small to mid-sized organizations as a member of top management and now as a consultant.


How Secure is Your Company’s Employee Information?

In one of the nation’s 10 biggest corporations is an unhappy man. He is unhappy because he’s nearing the end of his career, he’s not making enough money, and he’s been passed over for promotion too many times. He’s also the assistant to a certain vice president. That’s why his company will be unhappy if it ever finds out that he’s giving an industrial spy a copy of every document that crosses his desk for $100 a week.

During a recent internal investigation for problems of theft of company property, a major firm elected to conduct a surprise search of its employees lockers. The mass of stolen company property, which this firm had expected to find in some of the inspected lockers — was indeed there (in fact, they found MORE company property than they originally believed had been stolen!). However, they were quite surprised to find that in one of the lockers searched an employee had installed a telephone connected to one of their primary business lines! This employee (having no technical training) was not only able to make a connection to a company line, but was able to fully conceal both the connection and wire run—all the way to his locker and was able to eavesdrop on all company conversations!

By placing bugging devices on key computers, a thief obtained copies of all data that was processed—in much the same manner as he/she would if they had been after simple office or phone conversations. This included all data being accessed via modem! A company employed a specialized teleconferencing system which provided for the simultaneous phone participation of all present. Interception was easily accomplished by personnel equipped with certain devices. Hackers armed with free software from the Internet breezed past the Los Alamos National Laboratory computer system’s "firewall", forcing the lab to use constantly changing passwords and encryption to stave off similar attacks in the future.

You need to check for potential unsecure practices, like:

*employing an outside janitorial or maintenance service

*employing an outside firm for watering plants

*guards having free access to sensitive offices

*sensitive offices left unlocked after hours

*desk drawers, files, computers, computer files and disks left unsecured

offices contain drop ceilings

*internal memos and daily planners left casually laying around

Stories from Phil Guillen, Omega - a firm that helps companies secure their information. 708-429-1563



Question: What methods do you use to recruit, inspire & retain the best employees, in addition to the ones in the previous issue?

Answer: We’re starting a mentoring program for new employees. A mentor will volunteer from each department for a 1 year period. On the new employee’s first day, they will introduce the new person to everyone in their department, then to other departments. (They’re a pretty big company and they expect this will take all day!) Susan Ramsey, Jet Aviation



You Know Your Employees Need Training When...

They tell the travel agent (actual requests travel agents have received):

*They want to stay at the Bob Newhart Inn in Connecticut.

*They ask for an aisle seat so their hair won’t get messed up sitting by the window.

*They think New Orleans, LA is a suburb of Los Angeles.

*They don’t understand how a flight from Detroit can leave at 8:20am and arrive in Chicago at 8:33am.


Blamestorming: sitting around in a group discussing why a deadline was missed or a project failed, and who was responsible.

Ohnosecond: that minuscule fraction of time in which you realize that you’ve just made a big mistake.

Flight Risk: used to describe employees who are suspected of planning to leave a company soon.

Seagull Manager: a manager who flies in, makes a lot of noise, makes a mess all over everything and then leaves.



Question: In how many articles has Training Systems been quoted?

Answer: 22! For copies of articles on Recruiting, Inspiring & Retaining employees from Inc. Magazine, Small Business Computing, Redbook, Business Week and others, call Training Systems at 800-469-3560 !