January 27th, 2016
Organizations can only run at their best when employees commit to relating to one another in respectful and productive ways. Training with harassment videos can be an effective way to help employees avoid behaviors that get in the way of healthy workplace interactions while reinforcing behaviors and attitudes that lead to positive workplace relationships.
5 Concepts Covered in Harassment Videos that Improve All Types of Workplace Interactions
- Inclusion: A workplace can thrive only when all employees are encouraged to contribute their skills and knowledge. Commonly covered in videos that focus on harassment and discrimination prevention, inclusion is about creating a sense of “belonging” among all team members so that people feel valued. While it’s human nature to gravitate toward people who are like us, or with whom we have a lot in common, when we do that, we tend to ignore or exclude those outside our comfort zone. Being more inclusive means welcoming different perspectives and experiences and working to include those who are reluctant to participate, or who may have been overlooked in the past.
- Respect: To many people, respect can be an abstract concept. Harassment training videos strive to depict specific behaviors known to make feel people either respected, or disrespected. Trainees are reminded to avoid clearly discriminatory or illegal behaviors while also learning about other types of behavior that can be equally destructive to a fellow employee’s well-being and productivity. Respectful behaviors taught in harassment training videos include things like: not being a “bully”, letting go of the belief that you are always right, building people up instead of tearing them down, and working through disagreements instead of holding a grudge.
- Communication: In addition to increasing employee awareness about what constitutes “harassment” in the workplace, harassment videos often focus on maintaining a respectful climate through the use of positive communication. In this way, harassment videos not only lessen the number of disrespectful exchanges that occur, they also show people what to do when problems surface. Most of the time, the right kind of dialogue can turn moments of tension into learning opportunities where gain an understanding of one another and find more effective ways to work together.
- Personal Responsibility: The notion that every employee plays a part in building and maintaining a respectful, harassment-free workplace is a key component of any harassment video training. Participants come to clearly understand that, if the video depicts something they themselves have done, they need to stop doing it immediately. Similarly, if the video reveals something they’ve witnessed or experienced first-hand, they need to speak up (see #5 below). Harassment training drives home the point that the “golden rule” still applies at work—every day, in all circumstances, we must choose to treat others as we, ourselves, want to be treated.
- Reporting: The reporting of inappropriate behaviors is an important tool in eliminating them, but many employees are reluctant to call attention to negative interactions. Harassment training videos reinforce the importance of reporting while training employees on when, how, and to whom they should report problematic behavior.
Far beyond simply fulfilling a government-mandate for training, harassment videos allow you to cover a wide array of important topics in an engaging and effective manner. When you ensure your employees have harassment training that includes the five concepts featured in this article, you’ll be on your way to a building an environment where workplace relationships are generally positive and everyone feels safe, valued and able to contribute.
Recommended Training Resource: The Respectful Workplace: It Starts with You brings the abstract concept of “respect” down to earth by outlining common behaviors that erode respect and suggesting behaviors that promote respect instead.
January 20th, 2016
No matter what you sell or what service you provide, customer service is a key aspect of retaining customers and maximizing revenue. A well-trained sales team is crucial to providing a high quality customer service experience. Customer service training videos are an ideal way to train your customer service team and help your business reach its goals: here’s why.
5 Reasons to Invest in Customer Service Training Videos
- Training Videos Expose Your Staff to a Wide Variety of Situations: Your customer service team will undoubtedly encounter a wide array of personalities and situations while on the job. Customer service videos equip your staff to anticipate and navigate situations you or your training team might not immediately think of. Once trained, your staff will be more able to address problems and interact with your customers in a positive way, which can have a dramatic impact on retention.
- Customer Service Videos Boost Staff Morale: Interesting, engaging, and informative training videos leave your staff energized and eager to work. Your customers will see this enthusiasm and respond to it, making them more likely to buy from you than your competitors.
- Training Videos Provide Your Customer Service Team with a Uniform Experience: Providing customer service training in person naturally leads to a variance in the types of information received. When the entirety of your team sees the same video, however, you know they are receiving the same training. You’ll know that they’ll respond to certain situations in a predictable way that truly reflects your organization’s culture.
- Customer Service Training Videos Focus on Your Team’s Needs: No two customer service teams are alike. There will be strengths and weaknesses in your team that differ from your competition. Using videos to train your team allows you to focus on areas you may not be performing as well in, reducing mistakes that may prompt customers to look elsewhere next time.
- Training Videos Help Maximize Revenue: Every business has “good” customer service: to stand out, you need to go above and beyond. Video training exposes your team (and you) to ideas that will make a huge impact in your customer’s happiness and, by extension, your ability to retain business. As a result, your revenue will only grow.
Customer service training videos are an efficient and effective way to create a customer service team that is well-equipped to address the needs of today’s customers. When your customers are happy, your ability to maximize your revenue will follow.
Recommended Training Resource: The Employee’s Guide to Customer Loyalty trains workers to view creating a base of loyal customers as a vital job goal and teaches the most important skills for making every new customer want to come back for more.
January 13th, 2016
Has your group ever gone down the road to Abilene? This type of trip occurs when a group or team goes ahead with an idea or project due to the phenomenon of “false consensus”: everyone communicates their agreement with the idea, when in fact, some or all actually have objections or concerns, but fail to state them. This occurs in organizations because many people feel they’ll be ridiculed or censured if they voice objections. Trips to Abilene are a waste of time and resources and leave team members frustrated. Avoiding the road to Abilene in the first place is the best way to keep a fear of speaking up from causing your group to support a bad choice.
How to Avoid the Road to Abilene
- Encourage Disagreement: Create an environment in which group members are comfortable voicing differing opinions and are expected to stand up for their convictions. Facilitating discussion, keeping conflict healthy, and specifically asking for conflicting viewpoints allow groups to determine whether or not everyone is on board with a given idea.
- Avoid Depending on Unanimous Agreement: It takes an inordinately long time to truly reach a unanimous agreement. If people in a group know that the only way the project can move forward is if they pretend to agree with an idea, they are much less likely to present an opposing position.
- Create Avenues for Everyone to Voice their Opinions: No matter how you set up a discussion, not everyone is going to feel comfortable voicing their opinion. Setting up alternative avenues for discussion can help avoid that trip to Abilene. This might mean creating an anonymous suggestion box or hotline, or asking people for their opinion one on one. Everything you can do to diversify the way opinions are voiced reduces your chance of pouring resources into bad ideas.
- Be Careful with Language: The way a group leader constructs his or her comments can have a vast impact on whether or not members speak up. For example, saying “So we’re all in agreement?” encourages everyone in the group to say “yes.” Instead, consider asking “Does anyone have anything to add?” Being precise with language when wrapping up a discussion or responding to criticism can encourage, rather than put a damper on, opposing views.
- Ask “Are We On the Road to Abilene?”: If your group is familiar with the Abilene Paradox, asking straight-out whether it may be in play can help you recognize and get off of the wrong road.
Groups are most able to avoid taking the road to Abilene if they are first familiar with the concept. Video training is an effective way to introduce the Abilene Paradox and reinforce methods for avoiding it. Good training paired with thoughtful group management can dramatically cut back on ineffective group dynamics.
Recommended Training Resource: The Abilene Paradox is one of our best-selling videos. It’s an entertaining introduction to the concept of the Abilene Paradox that helps team members improve their ability to interact in groups and overcome their fear of speaking out.
December 30th, 2015
Out of all the factors that contribute to the long-term success of a business, one of the most (if not THE most) important is customer retention. Every time your business loses a customer, there is an impact on your bottom line. Satisfying and retaining customers is a multi-faceted challenge, but ensuring that you have a well-trained service staff is a great place to start.
How Customer Service Skills Training Improves Customer Retention
Building a loyal customer base requires an organization-wide commitment to providing high quality service on a consistent basis. Once that commitment has been made, the key to carrying it out is ongoing customer service training. Here’s a quick look at 3 specific ways customer service training pays for itself:
- Trained Employees Are Able to Solve Problems. No matter how amazing your product or service, at some point you’ll have a customer who is dissatisfied and, in many cases, angry. That’s why customer service training typically includes instruction on customer service recovery. Through this training, customer service representatives learn how to: listen to the customer, gather information, propose solutions (even if they can’t give customers exactly what they’re asking for) and–most importantly– avoid saying things that make matters worse. With the right attitude and ability, a customer service person can turnaround an unhappy customer and make them one of your company’s biggest fans.
- Trained Employees Make Customers Want to Come Back. If you are looking to have the kind of employees who do their best to provide a positive experience for customers day in and day out, teach them about customer value (specifically what the organization spends to attract a new customer and what it costs to lose a good customer). When employees make the connection between customer retention and organizational success (including their own job security) they will replace behaviors that drive customers to the competition (such as rudeness, apathy and inflexibility) with behaviors that say, “thank you for thinking of us! How can I help you?” Even if customers happen to be drawn away by a competitor’s promotion or sale, they’ll quickly realize the difference between your well-trained team and the type of staff who is just there to collect a paycheck. In other words, show customers you truly appreciate their business and they’ll be back.
- Trained Employees Create a Welcoming Environment.Which would you rather patronize: an establishment where the staff seems disengaged or unhappy, or an establishment where the team is enthusiastic, alert, and cooperative? When it comes to customer service, attitude really is everything. Customer service training reminds employees that customers are the purpose of their day…not an interruption in their day. Whether you are interacting with customers face to face, over the phone or online, things like greeting people quickly and politely (even when you’re busy), and showing a willingness to help customers find what they need (even when they’re picky) go a long way toward creating a welcoming environment.
Customer service skills training can greatly enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty;customer service training videos enable you to do this in a cost-effective manner. Through right-way/wrong-way examples and solid teaching, videos model the customer service behaviors and attitudes that will make people want to do business with your organization again and again.
Recommended Training Resource:
The Employee’s Guide to Customer Loyalty is a compilation course that features several of CRM Learning’s most powerful customer satisfaction videos along with accompanying materials that give employees a clear path to creating a satisfied and loyal customer base.
December 16th, 2015
Diversity training is essential when it comes to educating employees on the best ways to build a workplace where everyone feels respected and appreciated for what they have to offer. Creating a positive work environment through diversity training can dramatically improve your organizational results: here’s how.
How Workplace Diversity Training Improves Organizational Results
- Diversity Training Improves Teamwork: The most effective teams include people of varying backgrounds and beliefs; individuals who come together to share ideas and use their collective strengths to make things happen. Differences in who we are, where we’re from, and how we live can keep a team from gelling; or, they can make the team much stronger. Workplace diversity training reminds employees that a variety of experiences and perspectives can lead to breakthroughs in team problem solving and innovation. When diverse people are encouraged and empowered to work together as a team, differences are set aside in pursuit of shared goals.
- Diversity Training Leads to Inclusion: In the workplace, as in life, people often have the tendency to stay within their “comfort zone” (or, to avoid people and ideas that strike them as out of the ordinary). Through diversity training, we are reminded that when we show others the respect and consideration we ourselves expect to be shown, we are able to make connections and build healthy business relationships. By accepting and engaging with people we otherwise might have avoided, we build an inclusive environment where everyone feels they belong and where people are allowed to give their best effort.
- Diversity Training Decreases Negative Interactions: Discrimination, whether intentional or unintentional, is a problem in many workplaces. When it occurs, morale and productivity decrease swiftly. In extreme cases, discriminatory behavior can lead to legal repercussions. Diversity training in the workplace educates employees and managers alike on inappropriate and disrespectful behaviors, stopping unproductive interactions before they begin.
- Diversity Training Increases Productivity: Employees who feel respected and have positive interactions with those around them tend to be happier than those working in a more hostile environment. This increase in morale leads to greater productivity and less turnover. Also, by teaching techniques for handling diversity-related tension, diversity training helps reduce workplace conflict, allowing employees to concentrate on their jobs instead of being distracted by tension with co-workers. Because a happier staff produces better work, making an investment in diversity training is an effective way to help your employees produce the best results possible.
- Diversity Training Ignites Passion: Diversity training encourages authenticity, allowing individuals to be themselves rather than merely “fit in” with the status quo. Employees who feel excited about their job and what they can contribute are more energetic and passionate.
Diversity training in the workplace dramatically changes the way your employees view and interact with each other, which in turn dramatically improves your organizational results.
Recommended Training Resources
Gateways to Inclusion is an engaging explanation of how tense moments can be transformed into productive conversations. By looking at negative interactions as “gateways,” employees can use these situations to nurture better working relationships and increase understanding.
December 2nd, 2015
Could a simple pickle be what sets your business apart from your competitors? According to Bob Farrell, founder of Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlor and Restaurant, the answer is absolutely yes! In the training video ‘Give Them the Pickle,’ he explains how even the smallest things can lead to improved customer loyalty and satisfaction.
The Origin of the Pickle
After reading a letter from an unhappy customer who had been denied an extra pickle at his restaurant, Bob Farrell realized something important: something as small as a pickle could have a huge impact on how customers viewed his business. No matter what business you’re in, if you can find “pickles,” small things that mean a lot to the people you serve, you can make your customers happy.
Customers expect good service, but “good” often isn’t good enough. Because everyone’s striving to provide good service, you need something that really sets you apart. That’s your pickle. Something as small as spending 8 cents on a free pickle can help you keep a customer that will spend hundreds of dollars a year and tell others about how great you are. That’s a big return for a little pickle.
It’s All About Who You Serve
In the “Give ‘Em the Pickle” video, Farrell explains that your business is not what you sell, it’s who you serve. He also explains the four key principles your employees need to know in order to hear those magic words from the customer: “I’ll be back:”
- Service: You’re in the people business, so serving others needs to be your #1 priority. Employees who are proud of what they do and how they do it create customers who want to come back.
- Attitude: The way you think about your customers affects how you treat them. Choose to view customers with an attitude of respect.
- Consistency: Customers come back because they liked the way they were treated during their last visit. Set high standards and train your employees to stick to them every time to make sure every experience is a positive one.
- Teamwork: Working well together makes the whole team look great. Your customers will notice, and they’ll keep coming back.
“Give ’em the Pickle,” is a fun, lighthearted way to train employees on a subject that can dramatically improve how they interact with your customers. Don’t let something small come between you and repeat business – instead, just give ’em the pickle!
Recommended Training Resource: The Give ’em the Pickle package includes everything you need to train your employees in producing unrivaled customer satisfaction. This program includes a DVD, a CD-ROM with Leader’s Guide, PowerPoint Presentation, reproducible Participant Handouts, and more.
November 25th, 2015
Bringing your company’s mission and purpose to fruition requires more than the individual efforts of star employees. Teamwork is absolutely essential to any organization’s long-term success. However, issues with communication and interpersonal dynamics can create obstacles that keep groups from working well together. Teamwork videos help your employees overcome these obstacles and create highly functioning teams.
Using Team Building Videos to Foster Productivity and Improve Results
Through compelling examples and proven instructional models, teamwork videos can help teams overcome obstacles while expanding their capacity for collaboration, innovation and execution. You can use videos to improve team performance in these crucial areas:
- Communication: When team members are unable or unwilling to communicate effectively, it is nearly impossible for the team as a whole to function properly. Barriers to team communication can include personality conflicts, lack of trust, disrespect, and false consensus (where people are reluctant to express an opposing opinion). Many popular team building videos address these issues while providing information on how to keep group communication honest, respectful, positive and productive.
- Achieving Goals: In the workplace, teams are generally created for a specific purpose. Empowering teams to set goals helps individual team members work beyond their own personal agendas while keeping everyone focused on the task at hand. When goals are unclear or group members aren’t sure of how the part they play contributes to the overall team objective, accountability suffers and the team becomes ineffective. Teach your teams how to set realistic goals, gain everyone’s commitment to those goals and track performance with videos that provide team training in these areas.
- Solving Problems: Even the best of teams will occasionally hit an obstacle. How a group overcomes such obstacles can determine the degree to which they will be successful over time. Some of the best teamwork videos available are those that provide inspiration and instruction in this area. Highly recommended are videos that tell true stories of remarkable team accomplishments, such as the team that worked tirelessly to overcome setbacks and save 33 miners trapped underground in Chile…or the team that helped a blind mountain climber reach the summit of Mt. Everest.
- Leadership: Without great leadership, groups may be able to get some things done…but it is unlikely that they will really become a “team” in the truest sense of the word. The right kind of leader helps unify the group and ensures that all voices are heard. He or she keeps the team on course, nips conflict in the bud, and celebrates victories along the way. Using teamwork videos specifically designed for teaching people how to build and lead a high-performing team will set both the designated team leader and the team itself up for success.
Why Use Videos?
Using videos as a medium for teamwork training offers some notable benefits.
- It is important for each member of a team to receive the same training information as every other person in the group. Video training provides this kind of uniform experience.
- Teamwork videos engage employees through both sight and sound, helping them retain more information than through written or audio training alone.
- Finally, many teamwork videos profile real-world teams comprised of ordinary people who’ve accomplished extraordinary things by working together. This provides a highly effective form of motivation.
Teamwork videos are essential training resources for any employer interested in creating teams that excel in productivity and leadership.
Recommended Training Resources: The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team, based on the best-selling book by Patrick Lencioni, helps teams overcome the most common barriers to peak performance. And, Everest, a documentary account of the amazing team that enabled blind mountain climber Erik Weihenmayer to reach the summit of Mt. Everest.
November 18th, 2015
When you promote an employee to manager or supervisor, you’re providing an opportunity for greater rewards and responsibility. To be successful, your new managers need to refine their leadership skills. CRM Learning offers videos that cover the leadership training topics your management team needs in order to be effective. Here are 5 specific training areas that can provide a positive impact in your workplace.
5 Leadership Training Areas that Help Take Managers From Good to Great
- Communication Skills: The best leaders are first-rate communicators. Through their words, they motivate and inspire others, build accountability, and establish relationships that bring out the best in people. Managers who strive to be great leaders must learn to speak in a clear and effective manner, ask the right questions, and know when and how to listen. Recommended Training Resource: The Respectful Supervisor: Motivating and Retaining Employees
- Influencing & Negotiation Skills: Because managers typically oversee projects as well as people, they will be more successful if they know how to influence and negotiate with the people around them. These skills ensure that the work gets done and goals are met….without compromising relationships. Recommended Training Resource: Leading the Way: Negotiating with Influence
- Leadership Accountability: Managers play a key role in creating and maintaining an accountable workplace. Teach them how to hold themselves and others accountable and you will reduce unproductive behavior while improving employee engagement and results. Recommended Training Resource: Accountability That Works!
- Mentoring & Coaching: Both formal and informal mentoring are essential for knowledge transfer and succession planning. Show your managers that coaching and mentoring are something they should both give and receive; then, be sure to support these efforts at the organizational level. Widespread use of mentoring and coaching ensures that everyone receives ongoing encouragement while benefitting from the practical experience of others.Recommended Training Resource: Insights to Better Mentoring.
- Problem Solving & Decision Making: The ability to solve problems and make decisions is crucial for managers at all levels. Great leaders have the ability to step back and view problems from a broader perspective — often uncovering root causes instead of simply “putting out fires.” Educate your leaders on the things that derail group dynamics and provide them with collaboration tools that help them work with their teams to find effective solutions and make better decisions. Recommended Training Resources: 5 Questions Every Leader Must Ask
Making an investment in leadership training allows you to develop leaders that will set your organization up for long-term success. By covering these five important training areas, you will improve the performance of your managers and the employees who report to them.
November 11th, 2015
The Pike Place Fish Market in Seattle is an unusual place. As you scan the seafood being sold, you might look up to find a fish flying above your head. The people who work in this market are enthusiastic, hamming it up for their customers and creating a great experience (including throwing fish to their colleagues!), all while getting the job done. This unique and effective approach to workplace positivity led to the FISH! Philosophy, a set of ideas that are applicable to nearly every work environment. Bring the enthusiasm and positivity you’ll find at Pike Place Fish Market to your own work environment with the FISH! training video.
What is the FISH! Philosophy?
The FISH! Philosophy centers around four basic tenants that lead to a great experience for both employees and customers:
- Be There: Employees shouldn’t just be at their job physically, they should be present emotionally, as well. They are there to do good work and engage with the people around them. Employees who are “in the moment” have more fun, are more productive, and provide a better customer experience.
- Choose Your Attitude: Employees choose whether to view their job positively or negatively. Choosing a positive attitude notably increases enthusiasm and productivity.
- Play: Work doesn’t have to be a drag. Having fun at work inspires creativity and helps in maintaining a positive attitude. When customers see employees having fun, they’ll feel happier and be more likely to return.
- Make Their Day: The people who work at Pike Place Fish Market go out of their way to brighten their customers’ day. By making a difference in others’ lives, the employees increase their own happiness, creating positivity for everyone involved.
FISH! Training Video
The FISH! Philosophy can lead to a huge change in the way your workplace functions. The FISH! training video is one of the most effective ways to introduce this style of thinking to employees. The FISH! video gives watchers a playful view of what the average customer experiences when visiting the Pike Place Fish Market, flying fish and all. Viewers receive a point-by-point explanation of what makes the FISH! Philosophy unique, and how they can use it to make their work environment more energetic, positive, and fun.
Recommended Training Resources
The FISH! video package has everything you need to inspire positivity and success in your workplace. This 18-minute video lays out the four tenants of this philosophy in an energetic and engaging way.