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Dive deep

At Ziiva, we offer more than a comprehensive, tailor-fit Learning Management System. We are always seeking ways to enrich your company culture and improve the online learning experience that you offer to your students, employees, customers, or users.


Don't let overwhelm hurt your training and onboarding programs

Posted by susan reuter on Fri, Aug 11, 2017

You were drawn to HR and training work because you’re passionate about helping people—developing new courses for them, registering them for training, and empowering them to do their best work.

Does your to-do list look like this?

Manage and track online courses, Manage training, Track training, Email students about deadlines, Organize course/content materials, Sell and deliver my content, Find a way to track eLearning content, Administer and track compliance, Track compliance audits, Report on training initiatives to management, Research LMS selection and LMS feature list, FIND A WAY TO DO ALL OF THESE BETTER.

But YOU can’t do YOUR job if the length of your to-do list is mind-stutteringly long.

Unfinished tasks are piling up. Your job description has silently (malignantly) expanded overnight, while your resources and time are still the same… or wait… are they shrinking?

How is there less time when you are working more? Nights and weekends on the clock,  checking email before you’re even out of bed.

This unhappy asymmetry is a symptom of the always-connected-24/7-work environment. It’s infecting the workplaces and headspaces of HR and training professionals across the country, funneling them into a dark place…

Welcome to overwhelm.

You know what really sucks here? Employees who are cognitively overloaded are dramatically less productive.

According to research from professional services firm Towers Watson, employees suffering from high stress levels are less engaged, less productive, and miss more work than those not working under intense pressure.

It’s particularly vicious for HR, because if you can't do your job, the whole organization limps to a bleeding halt.

What happened to my day?

How many times did you check your email or social media? How many things are you doing at the same time, and how many of them did you actually accomplish?

Studies show that people check their mobile devices 150 times a day. They receive 122 messages every day, and spend a quarter of their day reading and answering them. At work, 57 percent of interruptions result from the use of social media or switching among different stand-alone tools and applications.

What happened to my productivity?

The always-connected-24/7-work environment is overwhelming workers, undermining productivity, and contributing to low employee engagement, according to Deloitte’s 2014 Global Human Capital Trends report.

And it hurts the whole company: according to the Deloitte report, “This constant and frenetic level of activity also costs money, perhaps $10 million a year for mid-size companies.”

Psychiatrist Edward Hallowell, an expert on attention-deficit disorders (ADD), suggests that modern workplace stressors induce “attention deficit trait (ADT),” with symptoms similar to those  of ADD.

“[ADT] is brought on by the demands on our time and attention that have exploded over the past two decades. As our minds fill with noise—feckless synaptic events signifying nothing—the brain gradually loses its capacity to attend fully and thoroughly to anything,” writes Hallowell.

What happened to my poor monkey brain?

On a good day, your prefrontal cortex is the master of ceremonies of your life, which means you’re going about the business of supporting and managing your people.

But when you’re feeling anxious and overwhelmed, your calm, capable HR cool can evaporate, and your co-workers are rudely introduced to your secret “evil-twin” personality.

In evil-twin mode, your amygdala and the lower regions of your brain are flooded with a hormone called cortisol, which primes your body for fight or flight. This is a great hormone if you’re running away from a bear, but high levels of cortisol over long periods of time can wreak havoc on your brain, hindering your capacity for rational thought.

What to do? What to do?

Go ahead and wring your hands a few times, take a deep breath and

…prioritize your tasks

What jobs are time-critical? And which ones are you most dreading? Do those first.

…break your big projects into small steps

Focus on one manageable piece at a time, and celebrate each mini-victory.

…delegate or reject tasks

Step aside for a moment and see what jobs you can delegate or officially postpone.

…get some help

Don’t suffer in silence — it’s hard to meet goals when you’re in survival mode. Talk to your managers about your priorities, resources, and job description.

If your to-do list is still hideous, it’s time to enlist some digital assistance and implement or update your Learning Management System (LMS). A good LMS can streamline your processes, offload administrative work, and eliminate repetitive tasks.

Imagine a workday where employees were synchronized with an LMS.

  • Users of your system are automatically assigned training based on their jobs
  • Reminder emails and reports are sent autonomously
  • You are automatically tracking/applying continuing credits and certifications
  • You don’t have to provide technical support to your users.
  • You’re working with an experienced implementation and support team with deep corporate knowledge

You have time to do your real job! You are no longer personally signing people up for courses, sending reminders, tracking certifications—or making sure which state has what requirements.

Yes, there are a lot of systems to choose from (more than 500!) but don’t panic. We’ve got you covered.

We put together an LMS checksheet that will help you articulate the LMS feature list and requirements that would best meet your needs.

Happy de-stressing, and be sure to take it one step at a time.

 

Topics: learning management systems, employee training, training development, global human trends





Corporate Training: Well-trained workers save time and money

Posted by susan reuter on Wed, Sep 01, 2010

Why train employees?

If you’re using Ziiva’s Prosperity Learning Management System as part of your corporate training efforts, your answer will likely be to roll your eyes and ask, “Duh? Why NOT train employees?”

Sadly, online learning isn’t a no-brainer for everyone. Here are four ways that a lack of proper employee training can hold your business back:

It will cost you time: California’s inspector general recommended that a contracting company which received nearly $3 million inemployee training, education, learning management, employee development federal stimulus money to weatherize homes stop work because it did not train its employees, the Associated Press reported. The inspector general also said state officials should verify that the 38 other companies receiving stimulus money to weatherize homes are using properly trained workers.

Now, even if these other companies have a trained workforce, they could lose business while they gather the documentation necessary to prove it. In a case like this, using an LMS that tracks individual employee development and provides instant documentation can resolve the situation quickly.

It will cost you money: Last month, an untrained employee dumped 100 gallons of sour milk down a storm drain outside a grocery store in Santa Rosa, Calif. The milk could have harmed wildlife if local officials hadn’t cleaned it up before it reached a nearby creek. “This was just an untrained employee who didn’t know the difference between a sanitary sewer and a storm drain,” police told the Press Democrat newspaper. Nonetheless, the store may end up on the hook for the cost of cleaning up the spill, as well as a possible fine.

It will corporate training, online learning, cost savings, employee developmentcost you customers: There are numerous sites where consumers can register their displeasure with you for any reason, including having to deal with untrained employees. It’s important to monitor these sites and respond to legitimate complaints, but it’s even more important to train your workers so that you can avoid the sort of issues that lead to complaints in the first place.

It will cost you your reputation: The examples above came up in a simple Google search. If your would-be customers do even the most rudimentary due diligence, they’ll find any potential problems with your organization this way, as well.

The bottom line: Corporate learning isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity.

Topics: lms learning, employee training, corporate learning, learning management system, employee development, online training





eLearning and Learning Management Systems news & July Notes

Posted by susan reuter on Fri, Aug 06, 2010

Here is this month’s installment of recent e-learning-related blog posts and articles that are worth a second look:

Brain dump

If the words “cognitive load theory” make your brain hurt, check out Jane Bozarth’s article in Learning Solutions Magazine, which put this esoteric-sounding concept into plain English and explains what it means for eLearning designers and instructors. Reading it will not harm your brain. Honest.

Eyes on the prize

The eLearning coach offers a dozen ideas to help online training designers and developers improve their focus while working on a big project. These are good, common-sense tips that apply for any sort of project work, not just eLearning. We can’t want to try them in our own workday.

Drinking in knowledge

OK. We admit it. We may have overlooked Tom Kuhlman’s outstanding post on the fact that there’s no one-size-fits-all way to approach creating eLearning courses were it not for this headline: “Want to Build Better E-Learning Courses? Think Beer.” But there’s a lot more to this thought-provoking post than a gimmicky headline.

Instant blog roll

In a recent post on her Experiencing E-Learning blog, Christy Tucker shares her collection of blogs by instructional designers, e-learning developers and workplace learning specialists.  Whether you’re just jumping into the world of LMS learning or looking to expand your horizons, this list is a fine place to start (behind us, that is).

Everyone loves a list

Want to add your two cents on The Emerging List of Top 100 Tools for Learning 2010? Well you’ve got about two more months to chime in. As of Aug. 10, there were 358 entries (and counting). As of this writing, a little bird (tweet, tweet) is flying on top of this list.

The big picture

Finally, it’s easy to get caught up in the minutiae of eLearning, or of corporate learning in general. If you feel you’re trapped in the forest, check out the treetop view from Jon Lloyd on the VelocityMG blog. Here’s a link to the first post of a five-part series on managing learning teams.

The buzz on employee training and elearning tools only gets bigger, so if you don’t have time to track down all the relevant news yourself, stop on by and we’ll pass along what we found. Your suggestions are always welcome, of course, so please post a comment if there’s anything you want to share.

Topics: lms learning, employee training, e learning tools, corporate learning, learning management system, online training





LMS Implementations: Four corporate learning lessons from NASCAR

Posted by susan reuter on Fri, Jul 30, 2010

Nascar, lms

The LMS is at the starting line, the crowd is pumped, the flag drops and it’s off to the races.

Hold on just a second.

Employee training shouldn’t be a street race. It’s not sound business to jump into the shiniest hot-rod in the parking lot, find a reasonably straight stretch of blacktop and go hurtling off into the night, racing to meet your corporate eLearning goals without any thought to what lurks around the corner.

It’s better to steal a page from NASCAR and take a more methodical, professional approach to training development. Figure out where you want to go, find out who’s going to be in your way, and use the best equipment you can to get across the line first.

Here are four lessons for employee development from the world of racing:

Know the course

Professional racers don’t show up at the track and hit the gas, first they study the ins and outs of the course. You need to do the same. How long will the training take? How many people will be involved? Have you scheduled your pit stops effectively? Are there any quirks you need to account for that are particular to this course?

Use the best tools and technology available

Even the driver who finishes last – or crashes and burns – is an elite member of their profession, the best of the best. Sure, raw talent, guts and luck are important, but the machines themselves play a crucial role in who wins and who loses. Does your learning management system meet the needs of your learners? Do you have the eLearning software and hardware to go the distance? Is it easy to handle? Does it give your pit crew the data it needs to make effective assessments?

Have a capable pit crew

There’s a crew of unsung heroes behind any driver. Without them, the wheels will come off – literally. When it comes to computer-based training, you need a strong pit crew, as well. From the course developer to the administrator to the trainer to the back-end IT muscle to the vendor support, every link in the chain must be able to participate as needed.

Have fun

Drivers love what they do. It’s more than a job to them, it’s who they are. That may be asking too much of someone doing compliance training, but that doesn’t mean training still can’t be fun (or at least not un-fun). Make sure your online training provides a positive user experience.

OK, with these lessons in mind, now it’s time to wave the green flag: Ready, set, learn!

Topics: lms, employee training, corporate learning, e learning software, learning management system, training development, employee development, computer based training, corporate e learning, online training





Client profile: Abreon uses LMS as a change-management tool

Posted by susan reuter on Fri, Jul 16, 2010

Change is difficult.

Change is scary.

Change is painful.

Change, done for the right reasons, can be transformative. And profitable.

Abreon is in the business of change management, helping organizations of all sizes – including some Fortune 500 companies – with technology adoption, corporate learning, organizational change and healthcare transformation.

In most cases, eLearning software plays a major role.

“Ninety-nine percent of all projects have an eLearning component,” said Fred Nolte, Abreon’s director of education practice. He noted that eLearning is a cost-effective solution for many change-management efforts.

“We customize, we do blended solutions for clients,” Nolte said. “Any time you are doing a technical change or business process change you need to educate workers and have a good education strategy.”

“We do an awful lot of eLearning for places that don’t have an LMS,” Nolte added.

The learning management system that Abreon uses to meet its wide-ranging needs is Ziiva Prosperity LMS.

Nolte has used Prosperity to customize eLearning programs for several employee training efforts, including enterprise resource planning (ERP) and electronic health records (EHR) projects.

Dealing with multiple clients with multiple needs, Abreon needs an LMS platform that can be easily customized. Turn-around time is also an issue. “People wait until the last minute to think about training end users,” Nolte said. “The challenge is to have a system that can be rapidly deployed to meet their needs.”

Through a strategic partnership between Ziiva and Abreon’s parent company, Prosperity’s html-based eLearning software is used to quickly create unique, easy-to-use Web-based training sites that have the branded looked and feel of the client, including company-specific URLS. “From the standpoint of end user perspective, they see (the LMS interface) as their company,” said Nolte.

That flexibility is one of Prosperity’s best features, said Nolte. “The flexibility – how quickly we can load things and get them up and running, along with the support that Ziiva provides on the back end.”

Nolte said the partnership with Ziiva has been “very successful” for Abreon.

Although Abreon uses Prosperity for short-duration change-management projects, Nolte – who has worked with other learning management systems in the past – believes it can be a long-term solution for a business because of its ease of use and flexibility.

“It’s pretty straightforward in the way it functions,” Nolte said, noting that his clients’ needs vary. “Some customers want eLearning, some want certificates, e-mails – all that capability resides within Prosperity.”

From an end-user perspective, he’s had no complaints. In fact, one recent client is now looking at using Prosperity as its corporate LMS.

“Everybody likes it,” said Nolte.

That’s a good thing, because while change can be painful, an LMS shouldn’t make it any more difficult.

Topics: lms, employee training, corporate learning, e learning software, learning management system, learning management, web based training