Winter, 1999



Did the companies in these studies find training to be such a great productivity and profit increaser simply because it was training OR because it created learning that was retained and used? (If your answer included the words after the "or" — great answer!)

The companies and others who actually see their money/time investments in training to be an investment with a return know and have implemented the ideas below daily:

$ Executive commitment to and implementation of creating learning that’s retained and used toward the goals of the organization. (You may ask — "Don’t you need the direct managers/supervisors to buy in since they take a lot of the actions that allow learning and retention in the first place?" You bet!) Executive implementation means they hold those managers/supervisors responsible through job descriptions, their raises and their performance appraisals for the learning retention and use of skills.

$ Training that is really necessary.

$ Has specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, timely organization objectives and learner objectives.

$ Learning methods designed to help learn quickly and easily.

$ Uses real job examples.

$ Measures the level that the skill/knowledge is being used on the job.

$ Training includes ongoing reinforcement.

$ A climate that encourages (through performance appraisal, career growth, raises, modeling by executives, etc.) ongoing self-education, open conversations, constant questioning and sharing knowledge.

$ Collaborative interactive learning (instead of listening to presentations and speakers).

Call TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC. for ways to make these ideas and more fit your company, your time, and your budget! 800-469-3560


An American Management Association study of 1,003 large- and medium-sized organizations in down-sizing mode found that:

Those increasing training budgets were more than twice as likely to improve profits (79%)

70% of those companies expanding training experienced increases in productivity

The University of Pennsylvania measured the impact on productivity of a 10% increase in money spent on:

Education = 8.5%

Hours worked = 5.75%

Capital stock = 3.5%



IVEC — HR Director needed to find a training company who could help the executive staff have fun at their Annual Cabinet Retreat. Lucky for him his wife came home with a Fun Meter!

Northwest Airlines — Flight attendant tried to give hers back to Training Systems saying she thought I’d need it!



Many Desks, No Ownership:

"In my office, no one owns a specific desk. Anyone can work at anybody’s desk, regardless of rank. Since half of our staff spends much time on outside assignments, we do not have to allocate so much space. As a result, the cost of office space is reduced, and a family atmosphere is fostered." (Dr. Ismail Noor, CEO, Norconsult K.L. Sdn. Bhd., Malaysia in World Executive’s Digest, April 1994.)

Virtual Space:

Caroline Davis has surrounded herself with a stellar management team. Well, not literally. Davis, president of the Worth Collection, a $25 million women’s clothing company, is based in New York City, but her four vice presidents are in Indiana, South Carolina, New Jersey and Florida. Why? "I’ve always looked for the right person, regardless of location," says Davis. Moving key executives to pricey Manhattan would have cost Davis a small fortune, so she decided to make long-distance managing work. (Inc., January, 1996)


Tents are making happy campers of employees at Gould Evans Goodman Associates in Kansas City, Missouri. The architecture and interior design firm pitched tents for workers to crawl into to chill out or snooze. Each three-person tent is equipped with an air mattress, an alarm clock, earphones, cassettes of relaxing music, eyeshades and pillows. The tents fit with the office’s nomadic style: people’s workstations are on wheels, and they’re allowed to bring in their dogs. Before the tents, people used to crawl under their desks for a quick nap. But, says one VP, "The tents are used only a few times a week [as a] getaway... It’s not meant to be a hotel room." (Training News, 8/99)



Apply learning immediately! We just helped 50 busy business owners and key employees in a wide variety of businesses learn how to prioritize their overloaded days. It was a one-hour breakfast session co-sponsored by the Joliet Chamber of Commerce and Business Referrals, Inc. Training Systems has designed and facilitated training for trade and professional associations, chambers and business groups for 10 years, but never with the immediate response we got this time. Within a 48-hour time period, cards, e-mails, and phone calls poured in telling how their work had gotten done. Each one stated how much more they got done and how much better they felt about what they chose to work on vs. move to another day.

Our favorite is a card that reads: "Used your ideas today. Now here it is only 3:00 pm and I’m out of work. Now what am I supposed to do!?"



Most group and self-study training includes people who learn one way better than another. Because of that mixture, we use a variety of participative learning methods to meet their needs:

Application Projects

Articles & Books

Audio Tapes (music and speaking)

Book Groups


Buddy Meetings

Case Studies

Challenge Courses

Charts, Graphs, Posters

Computer-Based Training

Concept Interference Lecture


Expert Call In Lecture

Field Trips


Ice Breakers

Job Aids

Lecture in a Fish Bowl

Magic tricks




Post Work


Real Time Video Tutorial Lecture

Reference Manual

Role Plays

Self-Analysis, Reflection

Self Study

Sharing Best Practices



Study Groups

Team Quiz Lecture

T.V. & Video Tape

Voice Mail, E-Mail

Web Page (Internet/Intranet)

Working Session

See our book in "Tool Box" for ideas on how to design and/or facilitate any of these methods. 800-469-3560.

Paula Feeney is an experienced facilitator, designer and consultant. Paula specializes in leadership development, and process and procedure documentation and improvements, systematic problem solving, as well as end-user computer systems training and design. Paula is a dynamic and energetic facilitator who gets the learners actively involved. Learners in her seminars enjoy her thorough knowledge of the subject and ability to relate the subject matter to real world application. Paula is a results oriented performance technologist with over fifteen years of business experience. Paula holds an MA in Instructional and Training Technology, a graduate certificate in Organizational Development, and numerous program-specific certifications such as MBTI, Ford 8D TOPS and Zenger-Miller.



Resources to Help You Recruit, Inspire & Retain Employees

"Creating Highly Interactive Training, Quickly & Effectively," by Carolyn B. Thompson. The only book that practically designs and develops the training for you! $20.00 (plus shipping/handling). 800-469-3560.

Publish your training on the Web at Asymetrix Learning Systems Inc. of Bellevue, WA, says its site now lets anyone author and publish a course at the site free and collect royalties when the course is sold through the site.

The Directory Browser is a "corporate white pages application" that gives quick access to employee directory information via a corporate intranet. Employees keep their own information current.



*Join our fast-paced company" means "We have no time to train you."

*"Casual Work Atmosphere" means "We don’t pay enough to expect that you’ll dress up (well, a couple of the real daring guys wear earrings)."

*"Must be deadline oriented" means "You’ll be six months behind schedule on your first day."

*"Some overtime required" means "Some time each night and some time each weekend."

*"Duties will vary" means "Anyone in the office can boss you around."

*"Seeking candidates with a wide variety of experience" means "You’ll need it to replace the three people who just left."



Question: What day of the week is best to help employees learn something?

Answer: Tuesday! (Accountemps, Inc. study finds them most motivated and productive that day.) Call 815-469-1162 for more information.