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The CRM Learning weblog will be regularly updated with helpful training tips, articles, and other news. We encourage you to comment and share ideas. Come IN!
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Mentoring and Change: Creating an Environment for Successful Transitions

June 6th, 2014

Change ManagementChange is the Only Constant

Change is upon us, and we no longer doubt that it has become the way of life in our decade and beyond. In the real world, change occurs only when people embrace it, champion it, and have the courage to move onto uncharted paths. Successful change is about discovery and resistance, and attending to the needs of the people who are an integral element of the process.

Mentoring As Support for Change
Effective mentoring is a powerful way to address people’s needs during change, thus reducing resistance, and opening the path for the new desired future.

Mentoring Competencies That Support Growth
The ability to guide people through successful change is linked to specific mentoring competencies.

Successful mentoring relationships act as vehicles that enable people to develop the new behaviors that are necessary for change. These relationships are based on simple, but powerful principles:
• Mutual trust, developed as a result of mutual respect;
• Commitment to growth and discovery, through support and challenge;
• Openness to give and receive help and feedback;
• Commitment to action and results, the ability to make it happen.

Examples of Mentoring Help during Change

Each phase of transition offers different mentoring challenges. The following examples illustrate how mentoring behaviors can be tailored to meet specific needs.

Phase 1. Optimism
Early in the change process people may have an unrealistic view of what is required. Mentoring can provide a direction that keeps people on an even keel, and helps them understand the full impact of what is needed during change.
The mentor accomplishes this by asking good questions that help people identify their individual reactions to the change. This questioning process looks at both positive and negative aspects of the change, and helps identify future needs. By also sharing his/her own experiences with change, the mentor makes the change experience real and possible. Read the rest of this entry »

Improved Customer Satisfaction Scores are Just a Call Away

June 3rd, 2014

Customer Service TrainingAccording to a recent study conducted by Ovum, customer satisfaction is considered the most important call center metric by more than 60% of customer service managers.

Customer satisfaction scores can reflect many things:

  • The overall attitude and professionalism of the service representatives
  • How customer problems are handled
  • How customers are treated
  • The degree to which representatives can effectively handle irate customers
  • Service representatives’ ability to hit productivity goals without compromising quality
  • The skill level of representatives who are asked to upsell products and services

CRM Learning’s Just a Call Away video training series is a way for organizations to address all of these topics.

Compelling examples and practical tips make the training videos both memorable and effective.

The videos can be purchased separately or together.

Individual video titles include:

Public Speaking: Dispelling the Top Ten Myths

June 1st, 2014

Public SpeakingThere are many misconceptions about how to speak effectively to an audience. People look for formulas and rules to follow with the belief that public speaking is a mechanical process.  It’s not. It’s a human process. Other people think they could never become a public speaker-they just have no talent. While exceptional speakers usually do have a real talent for it, this doesn’t mean that we all can’t give a speech that will engage our audience and be a personally rewarding experience at the same time.

The more you hold onto old-and often misguided-beliefs about public speaking, the less effective you’ll be on the platform. You must go in with an open mind and, in some cases, work to change your thinking about giving presentations.

With that in mind, here are ten of the most common myths about public speaking-along with some food for thought to help you dispel the myths in your own mind.

1. I’m  not a public speaker. Wrong. Everyone is a public speaker. Every time you speak at a staff meeting, you’re speaking in public. Anytime you stand up and introduce yourself at an association meeting, you’re giving a presentation. The waiter who recites the specials of the day is presenting. When you complain to the customer service department or go on a job interview, you’re presenting yourself. Read the rest of this entry »

Stress is A Gift

May 26th, 2014

Stress is a GiftMuch of what we believe about stress may not be true.

In June of last year, Stanford University psychologist Kelly McGonigal spoke at the TED Global conference. Her topic was “How to make stress your friend,” and in it she cited numerous studies showing that how our bodies respond to stress – and quite literally whether stress will kill us or not – has more to do with how we think and act in stressful situations than with the amount of stress we encounter.

When we view stress as harmful to our health, it is: over an eight-year period, 43% of people who viewed stress as bad for them and reported having high stress in their lives died. On the other hand, those people who had high stress in their lives but did not view it as harmful had the lowest death rates of any group in the study, including those who had relatively low levels of stress.

It turns out that what’s actually bad for us is how we view stress, not how much stress we have.

Here are three ways to shift your perspective on stress. Read the rest of this entry »

Training Success Story: Leadership at Lunchtime

May 16th, 2014

Leadership Training CoursesThe Problem: A mid-sized community bank with 200 busy employees needed training that would inspire creative thinking about leadership, build strong teams, and be finished in the course of a two-hour lunch workshop.

The Solution: Provide a variety of CRM training videos that motivate and connect by showing real people in everyday work situations, including Teamwork in Crisis, Leaders of Character: Leadership – The West Point Way, and Taking Charge of Change. Customize each course to provide just the right amount of material necessary for a truly meaningful Lunchtime Learning session.

The Success Story: For some employees, combining a hard-earned lunch hour with a leadership lecture wasn’t initially palatable. But once the monthly Lunchtime Learning sessions started rolling, the voluntary classes filled quickly and latecomers were being turned away at the door. These segments are now very much looked forward to, combining reward and recognition with practical, memorable training ideas.

Initially, segments of videos were shown in order to fit the allotted time frame. As the popularity of lunchtime training grew, the bank expanded on some of the themes and took them company wide. For example, Taking Charge of Change was initially formatted for the Lunchtime Learning workshop and became the foundation resource for a longer training session for all bank employees. Using the Leader’s Guide as a backup to the lesson plan, the company was able to custom design programs that engaged employees at many levels.

In addition, training leaders report positive feedback from managers at all levels who have taken bits of the training, including the ice-breaker and skill set activities, to their own staff meetings and inter-departmental planning sessions.

One training leader praised CRM Learning video materials for providing rich content in a concise format, and said “I find these programs give our instructors an array of valuable topics to cover, with a minimal amount of preparation and development time.’’

Workers Satisfied With Company’s Social Responsibility Are More Engaged and Positive

May 12th, 2014

Satisfied to be Part of the Team at WorkEmployees who are satisfied with their company’s commitment to social responsibility have positive views about their employer in several other key areas – including its sense of direction, competitiveness, integrity, interest in their well-being, and employee engagement, according to a survey conducted by Sirota Survey Intelligence, specialists in attitude research.

70 percent of employees are positive about their employer’s commitment to corporate social responsibility (CSR), according to the survey of 1.6 million employees from more than 70 organizations.
Employees who have a favorable view of an organization’s corporate social responsibility commitment in such areas as environmental awareness are also positive about several factors important to its success, including:

– Senior management’s integrity

– Senior management’s inspirational sense of direction

– Organization’s competitiveness in the marketplace

– Company’s interest in employees’ well-being

– Employees’ engagement or pride in their organization

“Businesses that recognize the importance of social responsibility often have employees who tend to be more satisfied with their jobs, adopt similar values, and become more committed to achieving success within the industry,” said Douglas Klein, President of Sirota Survey Intelligence.

Integrity of Senior Management
Among employees with a positive view of their organization’s CSR commitment, 71% also rate senior management as having high integrity. When employees are negative about their employer’s CSR activities, only 21% rate senior management as having high integrity.
“Employee views of CSR are connected with a broader assessment of the character of senior leadership – meaning that management can be relied on to follow through on what they say,” said Klein. “However, leaders who are seen as incapable of following through are unlikely to be regarded as being socially responsible.”

Senior Management’s Inspirational Sense of Direction
67% of employees who are satisfied with their employer’s CSR commitment feel that senior management has a strong sense of direction. When employees are negative about their company’s CSR activities, only 18% feel senior management has a strong sense of direction.
“Effective leaders connect the dots for their employees,” said Klein. “When employees question the time or money spent on certain social initiatives or any other activities, an effective leader will demonstrate the strategic importance these programs play in supporting the interests of the business.”

Employee Engagement
86% of employees who are satisfied with their organization’s CSR commitment have high levels of engagement. When employees are negative about their employer’s CSR activities, only 37% are highly engaged.
“A sense of pride is a major driver of both morale and business results, because people want to be associated with a successful organization that has a positive image,” said Klein. “Insightful leaders recognize that strategic CSR enhances morale, and higher morale contributes to better business results.

Interest In Employees’ Well-Being
75% of employees who are satisfied with their company’s commitment to CSR feel their employer is interested in their well-being. When employees are negative about their company’s CSR commitment, only 17% say their company is interested in their well-being – the lowest finding in the study.
“Employees do not divide the moral compass of their company into one part for employees and another part for the community,” said Klein. “Their employers’ commitment to corporate social responsibility is critical in conveying that the organization acts in their best interests, and is dedicated to treating them fairly and equitably.”

Marketplace Competitiveness
82% of employees who are satisfied with their employer’s CSR commitment also feel their organization is highly competitive in the marketplace. When employees are negative about their company’s CSR activities, only 41% feel it is competitive in the marketplace.
“To employees, CSR and business success go together. Companies that enhance their reputations through CSR perform better, and generate greater employee loyalty from workers,” said Klein.

The Clarity Imperative

May 9th, 2014

Clarity in Business CommunicationWhat is the one thing that successful groups and teams have in common? Some may think great charismatic leaders, excellent funding, or extra training is the missing key. Although all of those things help, the one thing that makes groups successful is clarity. Having a clear, defined goal as well as a strong culture where everyone is aligned down a common path is the one thing you can have to boost organizational success.

The vital video The Clarity Imperative is key to getting everyone “on the same page.” As host and noted speaker John Jenson points out, it’s not about creating a mission statement or slogan, it’s about getting real with who you are. By identifying the meaning in what you do and ensuring that you can bring your strengths and values to bear in every situation, cohesion forms and that’s where progress occurs.

Jenson uses inspirational stories to illustrate the importance of consistent messaging. Benefits of this program include increased employee engagement and satisfaction, improvement in productivity, strengthening an organization’s brand and reputation, and creating cohesion within the group.

If there was one vital thing you could do to strengthen your organization, wouldn’t you do it? Utilize this engaging program to help find an effective way to align the organization around a clear message.

Ethics 4 Everyone

May 5th, 2014

Ethics and CommunicationEthics are an imperative part of life, especially in the workplace. Ethics are the key to organizational success; a business without strong ethical practices will encounter a multitude of problems. The informative training video Ethics 4 Everyone is a great place to start in ethics training. This versatile program teaches the two most important parts of ethics and execution; it is about knowing what is right and then doing it.

Ethicist and author Eric Harvey hosts this video and illustrates why ethics can make or break any organization. It is full of valuable tools such as an ethical action test that teaches viewers to think critically about situations in order to make the most ethical choice. It also features how to say “no” with grace and tact, managing conflict and ethical dilemmas, and how to walk the talk — acting ethically in every situation.

Viewers will come away from this video with valuable skills such as how to deal with “gray areas,” how to inspire others to act ethically, and how to deal with “conflicting rights”.

Having an ethical organization is not a luxury; it is a necessity. Make sure all employees and managers are on the same page with this effective and compelling video.

Dealing with Stress in the Workplace

May 2nd, 2014

Learning to Work with StressYes, you read that title right (although work deadlines and lack of time don’t seem like much of a gift). When we think of stress, we think of sleepless nights, anxious days, and all-around negativity. The video Stress is a Gift explains that not all stress is harmful, and some can actually be beneficial to our mental and physical health.

Short but highly impactful, Stress is a Gift completely changes the way people think about “stress”. Viewers are taken inside the Biosphere project, a glass-walled dome in the Arizona desert where scientists monitored dozens of varieties of plants and animals. They discovered that without the stress of occasional winds, sturdy Acacia trees failed to develop the specialized bark necessary to grow strong.

From this example, it becomes clear that stress can strengthen our tolerance for potentially negative situations and actually serve to balance us. Viewers are reminded that too much stress over a prolonged period of time can be harmful, but are left with an understanding of how stress can serve a useful purpose in their everyday lives.

This video is an excellent meeting opener and will spark lively discussion. Help your organization feel more balanced in the face of pressure with this thought-provoking training video.


 

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