The Tom Hanks Rule

When Hanks got his first taste of success and offers became streaming in, that the actor says he learned an important lesson- one that can benefit entrepreneurs, freelancers, and other small business owners, as their work and reputations start to grow. He was speaking about how he got to a place where he could make the movies he really wanted to make. To do that, says Hanks, he needed to learn to say a very difficult word to people.

That word was “no.”

© Photo: Getty Images Tom Hanks

“The odd lesson for that is I figured out that’s how you end up making the favorable work you do,” said Hanks in an interview. “Saying yes, then you just work. But saying no means you made the choice of the type of story you wanted to tell and the type of character you want to play.”

There’s a lot of wisdom in these words. When it comes to my own work, they’ve helped teach me to set my own priorities and create a business that helps me to achieve my own personal goals.

I like to call this lesson, the “Tom Hanks Rule.”

Getting more out of work and life means learning to say no

The Tom Hanks rule helps you to develop self-management, a key facet of emotional intelligence. It states simply:

Every time you say yes to something you don’t really want, you’re actually saying no to the things you do.

It’s important to remember this, because it’s easy to get caught up in the moment. You might get in the habit of saying yes to everyone’s request for a favor, just because you want to be helpful. Or, you might accept whatever work comes your way-even if it prevents you from reaching your goals.

When you remember the Tom Hanks rule, you remind yourself that every decision has consequences, and that there is only a certain amount of hours in the day, days in the week, and weeks in the year.

This is especially important to remember as your business becomes more successful. As an owner, you might chafe at the idea of turning down sure work. But part of the beauty of running a successful business is that you can get more picky with how you choose to spend your time.

You don’t have to work with every client; you can focus on the clients you enjoy working with.

You don’t have to spend time on tasks you hate; you can hire others to care for these, and focus on aspects of the business that leverage your strengths.

You don’t have to work sixty or seventy hour weeks if you don’t want to; you can build your work schedule around other things that are just as important to you, if not more so.

Of course, you shouldn’t say no to everything. Part of relationship-building, and likely what helped you build a successful business in the first place, was helping when you can.

But every day, you will be faced with tough choices, about how you’re going to spend your time and energy. When you do, remember the Tom Hanks rule: Keep your emotions in check, and just say “no” to the things that aren’t important to you…so you have more time for the things that are.

Written by Justin Bariso for INC.©

Source: How Emotionally Intelligent People Use the “Tom Hanks Rule” to Get More Out of Work and Life (msn.com)

Keeping open body language makes you seem more trustworthy.

Job hunting and interviewing, dating, or just meeting people can leave a wrong impression by doing one thing that implies mistrust or insecurity.

Doing This with Your Hands Makes People Not Trust You, Experts Say

Especially with face masks covering our mouths these days, body language is a huge factor in how we come across. Whether you’re sitting straight up, slouched over, or fidgeting with your pen, people are quick to make judgements based on the little things you do. In fact, experts say that making one common gesture with your hands makes people less likely to trust you. Read on to find out what it is, and for more on why people may be doubting you.

Putting your hands in your pockets makes people not trust you.

If you want to come off as inviting and trustworthy, keep your hands where people can see them, says Susan Trombetti, a relationship expert and CEO of Exclusive Matchmaking. “When people keep their hands in their pockets, it appears they are hiding something. And someone is more likely to be lying because they are hiding their hands,” she explains. Concealing your hands comes across as more controlled, which can be interpreted as “deceitful and untrustworthy,” she notes. “People generally consider individuals with their hands in their pockets to be insecure,” explains Girish Shukla, a mental health and psychology expert.

Keeping open body language makes you seem more trustworthy.

According to Trombetti, someone who is telling the truth—or at least, seems to be—is more likely to keep their hands open and palms up. When your hands are visible, “the physical openness of your body language invites trust,” says Lauren Levy, a sales expert who teaches people in the industry how to appear trustworthy.

“Keeping open hands while talking can give others the idea that you can be trusted and that you know what you are talking about,” Shukla says. “Whenever you expose your palms it means that you are not hiding anything.”

Article and photos provided by Best Life.

Source: Doing This With Your Hands Makes People Not Trust You, Experts Say (msn.com)

Boomers are ‘unretiring’ in droves. Here are the best jobs to consider

After the pandemic stirred a wave of early retirements, many folks are deciding that maybe retirement isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. The proportion of retirees heading back into the workforce is at a two-year high, according to The Wall Street Journal, after bottoming out in 2020. And whether it’s loneliness, finances, or simply having too much time on your hands, there are plenty of reasons a job, especially part-time, flexible, and remote work, can start to look good to a retiree. Here are some ideal jobs seniors can pursue (with median hourly wages, where applicable, from ZipRecruiter).

©Dragon Images/shutterstock

Accountant

Median Hourly Pay: $26.46
Accounting skills and experience don’t just go away at retirement. Payroll, tax advice, or as-needed consulting can be done part-time. What’s more, it can also be done remotely. Accountemps at Robert Half has guidance for taking on temporary or part-time accounting jobs.

©Prostock-Studio/istockphoto

Administrative Assistant

Median Hourly Pay: $18.20

Retirees can work as administrative assistants or executive secretaries, whose work includes tasks such as organizing, maintaining an appointment schedule, coordinating meetings, filing, document preparation, bookkeeping, and more. While the median pay isn’t very high, experience and being good at the job can translate to a much higher salary in this field. 

©Motortion/istockphoto

Customer Service Rep

Median Hourly Pay: $17.03
Ideally, customer service should be more than just listening to complaints — it can be more like detective work to help resolve issues. Interested? FlexJobs has a list of companies that hire for remote customer service jobs. 

©Dimensions/istockphoto

Delivery Person

Median Hourly Pay: $20.62 
Driving packages and documents around can be less work than driving people around. One interesting option for part-time delivery is with Amazon, which promises flexible hours and pay rates from $18 to $25 an hour. With more people working and shopping from home, the need for delivery people has grown substantially. 

©FG Trade/istockphoto

Public School Teacher

Median Hourly Pay: $20.06

Perhaps you’ve heard — the U.S. is facing an ever-looming teacher shortage. If you’ve always wanted to try your hand at teaching public school, now might be the time to get involved. 

©l i g h t p o e t/shutterstock

Research Assistant

Median Hourly Pay: $20.58
Research assistant is a good job for people who love finding and evaluating information. LinkedIn lists thousands of open research assistant positions in towns and cities nationwide in academic and corporate settings. Pay can depend a great deal on qualifications, experience, and sector.

More Resources …

Whether you found a job on this list you’d like to look into or not, it can help to have more resources to get started. Here are a number of websites that cater to retired job seekers.

Retirees should also consider signing up at FlexJobs, which offers a number of opportunities for those who need more flexibility in their schedule or want to work from home. 

By Geof Wheelwright for Cheapism©

Source: Boomers are ‘unretiring’ in droves. Here are the best jobs to consider (msn.com)

5 States with the Worst Worker Shortages

A help-wanted sign is displayed at a gas station in Mount Prospect, Ill.
© Nam Y. Huh, AP

Businesses are struggling to hire workers across the country as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, constraining an economy that’s still recovering from the health crisis.

But the worst U.S. labor shortage since at least the 1990s is far more dire in some states than others.

Employers in Massachusetts, West Virginia and Maryland are having the toughest time finding workers while those in Nevada, Wyoming and Hawaii are facing the fewest obstacles, according to a Moody’s Analytics study of Labor Department figures released for the first time last month. Friday’s jobs report will showcase the latest employment data nationally.

Here’s a look, in order, at the five states with the most severe worker shortages in September and the five with the least severe deficits, based on their openings-to-hires gaps:

5 states with worst worker shortages

Massachusetts

Job openings rate: 8.1%

Hires rate: 4.1%

Gap: 4 percentage points

The state has recovered substantially from the pandemic and most students have returned to its many colleges. That’s fueling more demand for goods and services and creating more job openings but most of those students aren’t part of the workforce, Kamins notes. That labor pool is still diminished as residents care for kids or stay cautious about going back to work because of COVID-19.

In Auburn, Atlas Distribution, a wholesaler of beer and beverages with 100 to 200 employees, has about a dozen openings – for warehouse workers, merchandising specialists, delivery drivers and helpers, says company Comptroller Jackie Faron. If Atlas schedules five interviews, perhaps half will show up, Faron says.

In Weymouth, George Washington Toma TV and Appliance has a similar number of openings but just 50 employees, so it’s having a harder time keeping pace with demand. The store, in turn, closes earlier during the week and no longer opens at all on Sunday, says CEO George Toma.

“We didn’t really have a slow season,” Toma says, adding that November was off the charts. “It’s not even Black Friday anymore, it’s Black November.”

West Virginia

Job openings rate: 8%

Hires rate: 4.6%

Gap: 3.4 percentage points

West Virginia is graced by a stunning natural landscape and vibrant tourism industry that fuels customer demand and job openings. But it was hit with the nation’s largest population decline from 2010 to 2020, losing 3.2% of its residents amid the coal industry’s decline and opioid overdose epidemic. That means there are fewer potential workers, Kamins says.

Compounding the labor shortage is the state’s status as a retirement haven, with about a fifth of the population over 65, putting more pressure on health and other services. Yet most of those older residents aren’t part of the workforce, Kamins says.

Maryland

Job openings rate: 7.3%

Hires rate: 3.9%

Gap: 3.4 percentage points

Southern Maryland is a bedroom community for Washington, D.C., and northern Virginia, and many of those district and Virginia employees have been working from home in Maryland, Kamins says. That stokes demand for services during the day without supplying a similar boost to a workforce still suffering from COVID-19-related impediments.

Jamison Door Co. in Hagerstown, could use about 15 workers, says company Chairman John Williams. “Our business is really, really good,” he said of the firm, which makes doors for the cold storage industry. Its products are in demand, he says, because the pandemic has changed the way people ship, order, and buy food.

But he adds, “It’s difficult just to attract people to talk.”

The company has raised pay, and the lowest-wage job now earns more than $20 per hour, To help allay fears of the virus, Jamison even has brought in mobile units to provide vaccinations or booster shots to workers who want them.

“We’ve tried every way we know how” to recruit workers, Williams said. “Some people will actually accept a job, work for a week and be gone…The work ethic of old seems to be not as strong.”

Michigan

Job openings rate: 7.6%

Hires rate: 4.3%

Gap: 3.3 percentage points

The state, which lost residents from 2000 to 2010 as the auto industry was pummeled by foreign competition, had among the slowest growing populations over the past 10 years. The industry’s chip shortage also has dampened job openings during the pandemic, but not enough to offset the slow-growing labor force, Kamins says.

Minnesota

Job openings rate: 6.2%

Hires rate: 3.1%

Gap: 3.1 percentage points

Demand has held up better than nearby Chicago while the state has endured among the sharpest slowdowns in population growth last year, Kamins says. 

Article by Paul Davidson, USA TODAY

Source: Massachusetts tops 5 states with the worst worker shortages. See where your state ranks. (msn.com)

A New Wave of Job Burnout

Companies struggling to hire and retain staff are dumping more work on existing employees

OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP/Getty Images
OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP/Getty Image
  • Job openings and employee quits are both at record highs, and it now takes on average of 7 weeks to fill a role.
  • A rising trend of “ghosting” in the hiring process is straining the individuals who remain.
  • Some employers are asking workers to do a job and a half while only paying for one.

Tad Long calls the past three months his “summer from hell:

Long is a district manager and director of operations for a group of Mod Pizza franchises in Ohio and Indiana, a well-salaried career he’s earned through three decades of rising up the ranks in the food-service industry.

Throughout June and July, Long told Insider he was routinely working 90-hour weeks, personally filling in for missing hourly workers and managers, opening at one location and closing at another, all while frantically trying to hire new staff.

“It’s total chaos,” he said. “I’ve had to interview people while I’m working.”

Long said his company’s increased wages and employee bonuses helped calm things down, but the season was so strenuous it caused him to lose 30 pounds. Since reaching a breaking point in August, he has been gradually recovering, but he doesn’t feel he’s fully out of the woods yet.

Both job openings and employee quits have been at record highs, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, and a rising trend of “ghosting” in the hiring process is putting additional strain on the individuals who are left trying to do the job of several people.

A decade ago it took just three weeks to fill a job on average, but that number has shot up to more than 7 weeks. At the same time, it seems that some employers are trying to find new hires who will do a job and a half while only paying for one.

Joel Innes told Insider he was hired for a dishwasher job at a large hotel in New Mexico, where he says he was the lowest-paid employee. In addition to doing dishes for as many as 900 people, he said his responsibilities included cleaning the employee lounge and mopping out three commercial kitchens.

“The first week I was there they didn’t even have a working drain so I had a garbage can that filled up with the dirty dishwater and food that I had to dump in the giant drain in the floor and then clean up all the filth after,” he said.

On top of that, Innes said his managers kept adding new tasks like bussing tables and plating food. Fed up, Innes quit without saying a word.

And it’s not only low-wage jobs where some employers appear to expect a lot more work for the same or less money.

Christinette Dixon told Insider she sees many job listings in hospital administration with descriptions and responsibilities that don’t fit in a normal full-time schedule.

“This job was at least 12 hours a day,” she said about one diversity and inclusion manager role she considered. “They’re going to work the director and the manager to death. Like, the manager just quit because she’s working 12 hours a day making peanuts.”

When Dixon asked why there wasn’t an additional position for a coordinator to help handle the workload, she was told there wasn’t room in the budget.

Christina Garrett, the general manager for the cafe and grille at Gettysburg Battlefield in Pennsylvania, told Insider she has hired 13 different people this year for the same position, eight of whom either never showed up or quit without notice.

In a typical season she would need 40 people to staff the operation, but she currently has just 12 – just enough to cover the 9-to-5 daily hours for the cafe, but not the large dining room.

The lack of staff is taking its toll on Garrett’s team – and her personally. She said she has covered many shifts in the past 18 months entirely on her own, with no line employees at all. Her husband has even pitched in to help cover shifts. Although her company raised wages and increased bonuses, those moves haven’t been enough.

“Seasoned associates in the service industry are drained and quite frankly tired of feeling that way with little to show for it except time missed with their children and family,” Garrett said.

“Even the very best team of five cannot possibly accomplish the same that things the mediocre team of 20 did,” she added.

Article by (Dominick Reuter for Business Insider©

Source: Companies struggling to hire and retain staff are dumping more work on existing employees – and it’s driving a new wave of burnout (msn.com)

Never Put These 7 Things on Your Resume

Are you preparing a resume? It’s natural to want to tell prospective employers all about yourself — but some things are better left unsaid.

Remember, you have only a limited amount of space to convince someone you would be a good hire. So, avoid including anything that might offend, or cause an employer to question your abilities.

Following are some key things to avoid on your resume.

Criticism of past employers

A sure way to put off a potential employer is to waste space on your resume criticizing past employers or supervisors. You may feel perfectly justified in your criticism, but the purpose of a resume is to showcase talents and abilities, not to air grievances.

Don’t give prospective employers the impression that you are disloyal or generally disgruntled. Instead, write about your positive relationships and accomplishments. Tell people about the good things you can bring to their business if they give you the opportunity.

Excuses for past problems

If you have been laid off or dismissed from a job, you may feel the need to explain the situation in your resume. It’s natural to want to tell your side of the story, especially if you feel that you were not at fault.

However, it’s easy to spend too much time discussing disappointments and missed opportunities. You may give the impression you aren’t taking responsibility for your own mistakes.

A better approach is to write about past successes. If you are called upon to explain a layoff or dismissal in an interview, be honest, but brief. Let people know that your focus is on the future.

Irrelevant skills

When a job applicant lists skills unrelated to job performance, it can appear that he or she has no valuable skills to showcase. Instead, describe things that you’ve learned that have improved your performance on the job. For example:

  • Do you have great internet skills?
  • Did you pursue special training to enhance your contribution in past jobs?
  • Are you attending school to earn an advanced degree or certificate?

Old achievements

Focus on recent achievements in your resume. If something happened 10 or 15 years ago, prospective employers may get the impression your successes are behind you.

So, leave out that Cub Scout merit badge.

Poor grammar and spelling

If you submit a resume with misspellings, typos or grammatical errors, you are unlikely to score a job interview. Even if you are in a field where the proper use of language seems unimportant, most employers want to know that their hires have good communication skills.

Grammatical mistakes on your resume can signal you’re careless and possibly unreliable. A resume free of errors lets recruiters know you’re serious about the job.

Too much information

Recruiters have a limited amount of time to sort through applications. So, keep it brief.

When screening applicants, recruiters look for experience, training and past employment. If you write in great detail about every job you’ve ever had, you may overwhelm. Worse, the information that makes you stand out as an applicant might get overlooked.

In most cases, submitting one or two pages worth of information is adequate. You can expand on your qualifications once you get to the interview stage.

Anything that isn’t true

You may be tempted to exaggerate skills, training or accomplishments. However, doing so always is a mistake. Once you put something in writing, you can’t take it back. Even if it helps you land a job, the lie may resurface years later and damage your reputation or career.

So don’t exaggerate qualifications. If you don’t have a college degree, describe the training you’ve received on the job. The best way to get a resume filled with accomplishments is to do work that you’re proud of.

Article written by Emmet Pierce for moneytalksnews©

Photo credit: ©stock-Asso / Shutterstock.com

Source: Never Put These 7 Things on Your Resume (msn.com)

10 Career Habits to Master in Your 20s

Source: @goldalamode

Developing your professional skills is something that never stops, and continues to happen throughout the entirety of your career. There’s always more to learn and skills to start to master, and there’s no better time to get a start on it than in your 20s.

The sooner you start, the sooner you’re great at something. From getting our finances under control to forming foundations for professional success, getting solid career habits under your belt is the key to long-term success. Looking to make strides in your career this year? Getting in these 10 habits early on in your career will set you up for continued growth in your work world.

1. Step out of your comfort zone

Get comfortable now doing the things that make you uncomfortable. While it might seem counterintuitive, the early stages of your career are the best times to take a risk. Everything is about learning, and you have so much space to make mistakes and get right back up and start over.

A comfort zone busting habit can be something small but should be routine. Think about pushing yourself to do one “stretch thing” a week and jot a reminder in your calendar to keep yourself accountable. This can be any number of things whether you ask you the new girl out to lunch or raise your ideas in a meeting you’re normally silent at.

2. Make the most of your Sundays

Mondays get a lot of air time as the day we need to command, but how you habitually tackle your Sunday also sets you up for a week of success. If Sundays have always still felt like 100 percent “weekend” time, start committing to carving out just an hour or two in the late afternoon to do things that tee you up for productive work week. This can be scheduling workouts or meal prepping lunches to help ensure you’ve got your wellness goals mapped out to be your best productive employee.

When you’ve mastered that, tack on another hour to invest in some professional development goals. Read industry journals that you normally haven’t, take an online class to beef up your technical skills or tackle a new podcast series. Getting in the habit of seeing at least a little of Sunday as part of your work week sets you up to ease into a great Monday.

3. Give and take constructive feedback

Taking constructive feedback gracefully demonstrates maturity and the ability to grow professionally. You’ll also be practicing your own leadership skills if you work on how you deliver feedback to colleagues. The best employees are those that make a team’s success their responsibility and take it upon themselves to shape the output of a group with constructive feedback.

Did a colleague knock it out of the park on a presentation? Let her know if you hear the client say something impressive about her. Struggling to get along with a colleague over a deadline? Being able to articulate and resolve challenging relationships in a team environment is one of the best skills you can develop early in your career.

4. Negotiate like a boss

We hear a lot about negotiations attached to our salary, but in reality, it’s a skill that you’ll need to apply throughout myriad work situations. For example, when your team is given a big project, you’ll often be negotiating who is taking what work, or what reasonable timelines are. You can learn how to negotiate, and be sure you’re applying this skill to your entire compensation at a job, not just your salary!

5. Network with an executive mindset

Networking with an executive mindset means that you are connecting with people with the intent of a long-term relationship. Early in our careers, networking is touted as the essential way to learn the ropes and get exposed to great job opportunities. While true, you start developing a whole different level of networking sophistication when you can thoughtfully maintain a network as well as think about how you can pay it forward. Get in the habit of keeping in touch with connections by flagging articles you think they may find interesting or catching up over coffee, especially when you don’t have a particular career need in mind.

6. Manage your social media

There really is no better time to learn that the internet is forever. Whatever your social media footprint, be savvy about your privacy settings and know that even at their best, leaks happen. Think about the professional version of you 10 years from now. Will that girl be proud of what’s going up on Instagram today?

On the plus side, don’t underestimate the power of starting to build your professional brand now. Little bits of content, presence, and social media effort really add up over time. Consider starting a professional site with a landing page that gives prospective employers a look at your accomplishments and background. At the very least, be sure you have a LinkedIn page, as it remains relevant for professional connections in most industries.

7. Update your resume(s)

Especially in the early stages of our career, there are always a number of different paths where our job interests could take us. Consider spending some time creating several different versions of your resume tailored to the major categories of work you might find yourself pursuing. They certainly may overlap a little, but you’ll start to see that it can be extremely valuable to emphasize different skill sets, responsibilities, and talents depending on the next role you’re looking at.

Even if you only have one go-to resume, take the time to make it up to date just in case any opportunities arise.

8. Keep a rolling brag sheet

Brag sheets are a little different than your official performance review or public resume. Think of them as a running list of talking points that have a greater level of detail about all the awesome things you are doing at the office. Did a colleague or mentor give you some great feedback on how your contributions really sealed the deal on a project? Do you have stats about how your content creation pulled in new eyeballs or clients? While some of these are resume relevant, often this granular level of detail is best left for conversations. Keep one going, and look at it before you have an interview or a performance review to gain talking points.

9. Dressing for the next job

This isn’t news, but it is critical to your early career success and it is the cornerstone of beginning to build your executive presence. In your 20s, you’re constantly making career first impressions, meaning you have both prolific opportunities to impress (and to not get it quite right).

One of the best habits you can get into in this category is remembering to always treat work events just like that: as work events. Happy Hour with the crew? Good times! But you’re still a work event, so it means that on the dress code scale you want to land somewhere between what you’d be wearing at the 9-5 and what you’d be wearing in a friends-only crew on Saturday night.

10. Compete against yourself

One of the best habits you can sustain for career development is comparing yourself to your own potential and goals. Especially at the early parts of our career, it can be easy to look sideways at what everyone else is doing, how much money people are making, or even what cool new company they get to work for.

The earlier in our careers that we can reaffirm that we’re only competing against ourselves, the more joy we’ll be able to find along the way. Treating every opportunity as a way to grow from the person you were yesterday ends up making the journey so much more fulfilling.

Article written by ELLE HARIKLEIA 

Source: 10 Professional Skills to Master in Your 20s | The Everygirl

Keeping open body language makes you seem more trustworthy.

Job hunting and interviewing, dating, or just meeting people can leave a wrong impression by doing one thing that implies mistrust or insecurity.

Doing This with Your Hands Makes People Not Trust You, Experts Say

Especially with face masks covering our mouths these days, body language is a huge factor in how we come across. Whether you’re sitting straight up, slouched over, or fidgeting with your pen, people are quick to make judgements based on the little things you do. In fact, experts say that making one common gesture with your hands makes people less likely to trust you. Read on to find out what it is, and for more on why people may be doubting you.

Putting your hands in your pockets makes people not trust you.

If you want to come off as inviting and trustworthy, keep your hands where people can see them, says Susan Trombetti, a relationship expert and CEO of Exclusive Matchmaking. “When people keep their hands in their pockets, it appears they are hiding something. And someone is more likely to be lying because they are hiding their hands,” she explains. Concealing your hands comes across as more controlled, which can be interpreted as “deceitful and untrustworthy,” she notes. “People generally consider individuals with their hands in their pockets to be insecure,” explains Girish Shukla, a mental health and psychology expert.

Keeping open body language makes you seem more trustworthy.

According to Trombetti, someone who is telling the truth—or at least, seems to be—is more likely to keep their hands open and palms up. When your hands are visible, “the physical openness of your body language invites trust,” says Lauren Levy, a sales expert who teaches people in the industry how to appear trustworthy.

“Keeping open hands while talking can give others the idea that you can be trusted and that you know what you are talking about,” Shukla says. “Whenever you expose your palms it means that you are not hiding anything.”

Article and photos provided by Best Life.

Source: Doing This With Your Hands Makes People Not Trust You, Experts Say (msn.com)

You’re Going to Forget 50% of What You Just Learned in an Hour. Here’s the Smart Way to Change That.

Article by Melanie Fellay for Entrepreneur

Over the past year, digital learning evolved from a nice-to-have to a necessity. Without the ability to conduct in-person training sessions, companies flocked to cloud solutions that would enable them to train an increasingly dispersed and remote workforce. a man in a blue shirt talking on a cell phone© PeopleImages | Getty Images

For many, the LMS (Learning Management System) was a safe and obvious solution. Convert the onboarding sessions, tool or process training traditionally shared in a classroom-style format into LMS courses easily consumable from anywhere, at any time. 

Yet, despite the popularity, compelling research suggests there are detriments to relying solely on an LMS for training and onboarding employees. Here are four of the most common pitfalls every entrepreneur should be aware of when evaluating an LMS solution and what you can do about it.

1. LMS course content is quickly forgotten

Studies have shown, (specifically, the Forgetting Curve by Ebbinghaus) employees will forget up to 50% of what they just learned within an hour without revisiting the material. This number jumps up to 70% by the following day. 

What’s happening? Our working memory has a limited capacity, known as cognitive load. It’s estimated that the average adult can store between five to nine pieces of new information at once in their short-term memory. So, if an employee goes through a two-hour course on a new tool, it’s likely they’ll forget most of the training when they go and use the tool the next day. 

2. It’s not easily accessible

A McKinsey report found employees spend, “1.8 hours every day – 9.3 hours per week, on average – searching and gathering information.” 

If that number feels hard to swallow, I bet this scenario isn’t: on day one, an employee takes a course on your company’s competitors where they learn about your unique differentiators. On day 45, they run up against one of those competitors on a prospecting call. To recall that information from their training they need to find the course, the right module and fast-forward to the exact section just to recall the competitive differentiator.  

Compound that by the fact that today, instead of being able to turn to a coworker for a quick answer, employees are waiting for responses on email, Slack, etc. The result is a staggering amount of time and energy wasted.

Retrieving knowledge from an LMS course requires an employee to leave what they’re doing, find the course and identify the exact spot within the course containing the answer they’re looking for. 

Learning teams put so much energy and effort into developing these courses but ultimately if the information isn’t readily accessible, it won’t be used. 

3. It’s not reinforced

This goes back to the original challenge of short-term memory capacity. When information isn’t reinforced and processed into our working memory, it’s discarded to make room for new concepts and ideas. 

For knowledge to be retained, it needs to be reinforced as the employee is going about their day-to-day workflow. Imagine, you’re trying to learn basketball and the coach walks you through a two-hour course and sends you on your way. Do you feel like Steph Curry? Likely not. 

In the same way that the fundamentals of a sport are repeated over and over to make it into long-term memory, employees need repetitive training on processes and tools before they’re proficient. 

4. It doesn’t mirror how employees learn outside of work

Let’s say you’re at home and you want to know how to cook the world’s best scrambled eggs. Odds are, you’re not going to comb through hundreds of cookbooks to find that recipe. A simple Google, YouTube or Facebook search and within seconds, you’re whipping up an Anthony Bourdain caliber feast.

In our personal lives, information is instant. Yet, in our professional lives, we’re forced through lengthy courses that are rarely immediately applicable. 

In essence, we’re accustomed to learning as we’re doing. Rather than treating training as a corporate destination, effective professional learning should align and flow with our working days as simply and friction-free as a YouTube search does in our personal lives. 

5. It’s not designed for training on small changes

Businesses are evolving more rapidly than ever before. A recent study revealed 44 percent of companies change or update tool processes at least every two weeks! Between rapidly changing processes, frequent adoption of new tools and the tools themselves constantly changing – employees struggle to keep up. 

Training on these changes using an LMS would require the creation of a new course for each of these frequent updates. Due to time constraints, businesses typically defer to low-retention, easily ignored methods to communicate small changes like email, Zoom meetings or Slack channels. This results in crucial information and updates getting lost in the day-to-day shuffle. 

Methods for adapting your training to the modern age

Despite all of the shortcomings, there are still benefits to LMS platforms.  Before you toss your LMS out the window, ask yourself, “what type of training is suited to course style learning and what type of training is not?”  

For example, general company policies, security training or department overviews might make sense to deliver in a course-style format. But, training on tools, processes or methodologies could be better served in a different format. 

For the latter, ensure you’re addressing the below key challenges:

  • Reinforcement: How can you reinforce crucial training throughout an employee’s day-to-day workflow? 
  • Accessibility: How can you make training instantly accessible in the moment of need, right where questions arise? 
  • Digestibility: How can your training more closely mirror how employees learn outside of work? 
  • Flexibility: How can you train on those small, frequent changes in a way that solves the above challenges? 

Luckily, there are new Digital Enablement solutions specifically designed for these challenges that pair well with an existing LMS. There are also strategies you can adopt, regardless of what tools you use, to adapt your training. 

Source: You’re Going to Forget 50% of What You Just Learned in an Hour. Here’s the Smart Way to Change That. (msn.com)

8 Easy Ways to Make a Great Impression in Seconds

Connecting with people quickly is essential to landing new opportunities and building relationships. Here is a 1:19 video to explain how.

Source: 8 Easy Ways to Make a Great Impression in Seconds (moneytalksnews.com)