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Adult Learning: Mental Skills
In the knowledge stage of cognitive domain, the focus is on memory. For students to be successful, they should be able to recall what they have been taught. Knowledge must be mastered before they can move on to comprehension. Specific behavior, actions, and examples that accompany the knowledge stage that demonstrate mastery.
The behavior of the knowledge stage is based on recognizing and recalling data. The students who exhibit knowledge when they recite definitions, know rules, and recognize processes, for example. In the work place, recalling pertinent information, such as prices, is knowledge-based behavior. Knowledge is learned through different actions that accompany behavior.
Certain actions will help indicate students understand and implement the knowledge stage. Students who show the following actions are demonstrating mastery of the knowledge stage.
- Search online
- Take multiple choice test
- Use study aides
The list above is not comprehensive, but it is appropriate for students of all ages, including adult learners. These actions should align with the example words that are used to determine learning outcomes. Familiarity with example words will help expand your understanding of the knowledge stage of the cognitive domain.
Keywords are used to define learning outcomes. These examples words are active verbs that teachers use in their objectives and goals for the class. These example words help educators assess performance and determine what level of mastery students have reached. The different domains work together, so you will see overlap in examples between them.
Commonly used keywords for the knowledge stage of the cognitive domain include:
Outcomes begin with action verbs that help define performance measurements.
When implementing the learning objectives at the knowledge phase of the cognitive domain, the goal is to design activities that help students demonstrate the learning objectives created. In adult learners, this requires providing accurate resources and direction such as books, aides, and lecture. This stage includes facts, concepts, principles, and procedures that are relevant to the subject taught. Be practical in the instruction, and do not overwhelm them with too much information at one time. Pace instruction because overwhelmed students will not be able to retain the knowledge.
For more on our Adult Learning – Mental Skills course, please visit: https://corporatetrainingmaterials.com/course/Adult_Learning_-_Mental_Skills
Contact Center Training
It Starts at the Top
There is a very common saying, ‘Attitude reflects leadership.’ A manager sets the tone for the whole staff. If a manager shows the staff that having the appropriate information is important, it will be more likely to be utilized. You can help your staff be the best contact center possible by creating an open culture, knowing the goals of the company, knowing your employees job duties, and being able to identify additional training opportunities. A manager has to have their eyes peeled at all times for new information needed, and new ways to deliver that information.
Create an Open Culture
When you are a manager, it is important that you create an open culture with your staff. What is an open culture? An open culture means that as a manager, you are creating an environment where employees feel free to share ideas and concerns. This type of environment helps employees feel empowered and important, which helps them want to come to work and do a great job. When an employee starts to feel like they don’t matter to a company, it can bring down not only the whole department but the company itself. Here are some ideas that will help you create an open culture in your company:
- Loose the door – taking out the door or leaving your door open tells your staff that you’re available for them.
- Don’t be secretive – you are not working for the Pentagon, tell the staff what’s up. When you as a manager keep secrets, it has a tendency to make the staff feel paranoid, and/or unimportant.
- Recognize that change is not always black and white – change can be hard on anyone. There will always be the good with the bad. Let your staff tell you their opinions on changes that were made. Be open to their concerns and suggestions
- Have one on one training sessions with your staff members- this helps the staff members get to know management on a more personal level, and makes them more likely to voice concerns or suggestions later on.
The worst thing a manager can do is to not understand the goals of the company. This entails looking at the company as a whole, in a large scope. Try asking yourself, and your supervisor these questions:
- What is the company trying to achieve?
- What are the company’s long-term and short-term goals?
- What does the company need in order to accomplish these goals?
- How can my department help facilitate those goals?
Without knowing where the company itself is wanting to go, you won’t know how to get there. Talk to your own supervisors to understand the goals of the company. Once you understand what the company wants to accomplish, you can set goals for your staff. When setting the goals for your staff, make sure to be very clear about the goal that you want to accomplish, and the steps it will take to accomplish it. Make sure that the goals you set are realistic.
Understand Agents’ Responsibilities
There is nothing worse, from an employee standpoint, than a manager that doesn’t understand the job duties and processes of an employee. If the manager doesn’t understand responsibilities of a contact center employee, how is the employee supposed to understand them? Take the time to talk to your supervisors so that you know what is expected of your employees. If you are a new manager, asked to be trained as if you were one of your employees. This way you can see the processes, and learn how to improve them for your employees and customers. Knowing their processes and what their job responsibilities are also helps you train future employees.
Identify Education Opportunities
There is never a point when an employee has learned too much. Employees who learn are more engaged in their jobs. As a manager it’s your job to make sure that your employees remain engaged, and are effective in their positions. You can see what training or education would be beneficial to the company and employee. Having educational opportunities helps maintain employee engagement, thus retaining more employees. Engaging employees helps them feel important and part of the company, instead of just another lackey. Education opportunities can come in many shapes and sizes.
Here are just a few different educational opportunities your company could provide for your employees:
- College tuition reimbursement
- Cross Training
- One-on-one training
- Seminars & workshops
Having these education opportunities helps the employees feel like the company cares about their personal growth. Happy employees create happy customers.
For more on our Contact Center Training workshop, please visit our website at: https://corporatetrainingmaterials.com/course/Contact_Center_Training
Archiving and Records Management
Records are in every organization. From purchasing reciepts to tax documents to communications, they need to be identitied and managed properly. The method of records management that a company uses should be tailored to fit the needs of the organization. There are, however, some basic concepts in most records management systems.
Records management systems will create uniformity and understanding. Regardless of how the records management system is organized, the management will affect the way that data is collected, stored and accessed.
Aspects of Records Management
- Establish a company filing system that is uniform
- Determine the storage of physical, confidential records
- Develop programs for consistent management of records
- Create archives and resource libraries
Over the course of this instruction, you will develop a better understanding of these aspects and how they connect in records management.
All records are documents, but not all documents are records. A document can be a contract, email, business negotiation, etc. If it relates to the legal obligations, evidence, or business transactions, the document becomes part of the legal record. When identifying a record, it is necessary to consider the purpose of the document.
- Is it personal, or business?
- Does it relate to a transaction?
- Does it reflect any company action or activity?
- Does it have legal implications?
Once a document has been identified as a record, it must be carefully maintained for future use.
Records can become part of archives. Archives are records that are no longer current but are preserved past average records. Records are kept for varying lengths of time, depending on what they are. Once documents pass the necessary time for storage, they are disposed, or they are placed in archives. Archives typically have a historical, political, or legal reasons. They have value for the long-term. For example, documents that provide legal protections might be archived along with the founding documents of an organization. When choosing to dispose of documents in records or keeping them, remember that only a few of the documents will be archived. Archives may be stored on site, although some institutions will keep them offsite. Larger organizations with multiple locations are more likely to use offsite archives.
There are differing definitions for document life cycles, which have become even more complicated with the introduction of electronic records. In this text, there is a blend of the classic cycle and the life history.
The Life of Records:
- Documents are created or received. Records are identified.
- Identified documents are captured for record-keeping. The captured files follow the necessary business practices and are current.
- Record management occurs. The records are stored, used, or maintained. The records may be current or not current. Records that are no longer considered current may become current again in events such as audits.
- Records are assessed and action taken. The records are identified as in use, necessary to maintain, necessary to dispose of, or necessary to archive.
For more on our Archiving and Records Management course, please visit our website: https://corporatetrainingmaterials.com/course/Archiving_and_Records_Management
Before developing and implementing security measures to prevent cyberattacks, you must understand basic concepts associated with cybersecurity and what cyberattacks are. The method(s) of cybersecurity that a company uses should be tailored to fit the needs of the organization.
Cyberspace is the environment where computer transactions take place. This specifically refers to computer-to-computer activity. Although there is no “physical” space that makes up cyberspace, with the stroke of a few keys on a keyboard, one can connect with others around the world.
Examples of items included in cyberspace are:
- Information storage
As previously mentioned, cybersecurity is the implementation of methods to prevent attacks on a company’s information systems. This is done to avoid disruption of the company’s productivity. Not only does cybersecurity include controlling physical access to the system’s hardware, it protects from danger that may come via network access or the injection of code.
Why is Cybersecurity Important?
Cybersecurity is crucial to a business for a myriad of reasons. The two this section will focus on are data security breaches and sabotage. Both can have dire effects on a company and/or its clients.
Data security breaches can compromise secure information such as:
- Names and social security numbers
- Credit card and bank details
- Trade secrets
- Intellectual property
Computer sabotage serves to disable a company’s computers or network to impede the company’s ability to conduct business.
In simple terms, a hacker is an individual or group of individuals who use their knowledge of technology to break into computer systems and networks, using a variety of tools to gain access to and utilize other people’s data for devious reasons.
There are 3 main types of hackers. They are:
Grey hats: These hackers do so “for the fun of it”.
Black hats: These hackers have malevolent reasons for doing so, such as stealing and/or selling data for monetary gain.
White hats: These hackers are employed by companies to hack into systems to find where the company is vulnerable, with the intention of ensuring the safety of the data from hackers with ill intentions.
For more on our Cyber Security course, please visit: https://corporatetrainingmaterials.com/course/Cyber_Security
Managing Personal Finances
The Benefits of Budgeting
When going on a road trip, most people have a map which tells them how to get from point A to point B. The map is important, because it tells you how to get to your desired destination. A well developed budget is just like a map to help you reach your financial goals. You start at point A, and the budget helps you go the distance get to point B.
Having a budget can be very beneficial to get the hardship of debt off of your plate. Debt is money that is owed by one person to another person, or company. Many people these days struggle with the burden of debt. The Pew Charitable Trusts reported in 2015 that 80% of Americans were in debt. The median is almost $68,000 for Americans, talk about stressful! Debt can take many different forms, here are just a few:
- Credit Card
- Medical Bills
- Personal Loans
- Car Loan
- Bank Overdraft Charges
- Student Loan
A well-crafted budget could help you create a savings. In this context savings means money that a person has saved, usually through a financial institution, but not always. Having a savings is critical, and often overlooked. You never know when lightning is going to strike, the car is going to break down, or you suddenly need to have an emergency appendectomy. The boy scouts have a motto, always be prepared. We don’t always know what is coming our way in life, but a little foresight and preparedness can help. Saving a small emergency fund could mean the difference between saving the day, or total disaster. Here are a few different types of events you could save for:
- Car Repairs
- Housing Repairs
- Medical Costs
- Unexpected Unemployment
When a person is weighed down by their financial situation, it can cause a lot of stress and anxiety. Stress and anxiety can make it hard to function in life. Feeling the overwhelming pressure can be debilitating for some people. Stress and anxiety can also manifest in the following ways:
- Heart attack
- High Blood pressure
- Gastric Conditions, such as stomach ulcers
- Substance abuse
- Eating disorders, weight loss/ or weight gain
Financial stress and anxiety can be curbed by having a properly developed budget in place. A budget can help you manage your monthly spending. Your budget can even help you get out of debt, if that is one of your goals.
Financial strain can affect more than just your physical health; it can affect your relationships also. When you’re stressed out, that always has a way of leaking into your relationships with your spouse, family, and friends. A major cause of divorce in America is related to financial issues. When financial stress is at the forefront of your mind, it can cause you to be distant, and irritable towards your loved ones. Sometimes we have to borrow money from a loved one, which can add even more tension to an already strained relationship. Not only are you trying to get yourself back to level, financially, but having to figure out how to pay your loved one back.
For more on our Managing Personal Finances Course, please visit: https://corporatetrainingmaterials.com/course/Managing_Personal_Finances
What is Servant Leadership?
Servant leadership is a business philosophy that emphasizes the act of the leader, such as a manager or supervisor, focusing on the growth and development of their employees and ensuring their success. In doing so, the leader succeeds when their employees do. In a business team, servant leadership cannot only help employees achieve and grow, but it can also benefit their leaders and the company as a whole.
It is a leader’s responsibility to guide their followers on the right path. But to become a better leader, it’s not enough just to take the wheel and steer – you must also be willing to serve your followers and assist them in their own journey. A servant leader should have a desire to serve their employees, which includes taking the time to identify your employees and how they perform or being beside them as they face challenges. Take the time to assist in their growth and help them work toward achieving their goals. Don’t be afraid to give yourself into their processes and become part of their evolvement.
As a leader, it is a common feeling to absorb the ‘power’ of the position and a have a sense of superiority. A servant leader does not save this power only for themselves because they learn to share it with their team of employees. Employees under a servant leader should feel some of the servant leader’s power and pull, which can make them feel more empowered in their place on the team and in their own abilities. Sharing the power allows employees to feel like their contributions matter and that their input is valued.
Share the power by:
- Asking employee opinions
- Working together on challenges or projects
- Taking a census, when possible
One of the main principles of servant leadership is the act of putting other’s needs ahead of your own. As a leader, we can sometimes think in the ‘ME’ mentality and want to focus on our own agenda and needs. But in servant leadership, the leader must focus on his team of employees first before focusing on themselves. The leader should focus on what the employee needs or wants, how they can achieve this and how it will make them successful in the long run. A leader should strive to develop relationships and even friendships with their employees and deliver feedback when possible. They must be able to set their own ego aside and realize that without their team of employees, no one can be successful.
Once again, as a leader, we can focus on our own goals, responsibilities and even our own challenges. But as a servant leader, the needs of the employee should come first and the main goal should be to help them succeed and grow in the company. A good leader knows that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link, so everyone benefits when every employee is encouraged, mentored and motivated. Sometimes this may mean you’ll have to share in successes as well as failures, but every goal set and worked together is another stepping stone for the employee and helps them work toward their ultimate target.
Help employees grow by:
- Encourage goals
- Give feedback when possible
- Listen to their questions and requests
- Offer help but don’t complete things for them
For more on our Servant Leadership course, please visit:
Tackling Tough Topics
Some elements of training are difficult, but you’ll get through them because you are a professional. You may be asked to facilitate a subject that is very sensitive, or could find yourself part way through a presentation and learn that you have struck a nerve and will need to adjust your material.
Tough Stuff to Watch Out For
Imagine that you have just been asked to provide health and safety training for your organization. You have never given this kind of training before, and in reality know little about it. However, there was a serious injury at the workplace two weeks ago that left one worker dead and another seriously injured. The difficulty is not just that someone died on the worksite, but also that you, as the in-house trainer, know all of these people very well.
What can you do to identify these difficult situations before training and be prepared for them?
Adjusting Your Material for a Sensitive Issue
Sometimes the unexpected can arise in an otherwise harmless training sessions. People can often be pre-occupied with unfinished tasks at work, family pressures, and many other things. If you are treading close to emotional issues, it is possible that you will strike a nerve with someone. In addition, sometimes we are addressing sensitive issues in training that people may react emotionally to.
The greatest tools for you in adjusting your materials come to light before your actual training takes place. If you have been able to do some pre-training survey work, or even just interviewed a supervisor, then you will uncover the issues before entering the training room, and be able to prepare yourself for what will follow.
If you do not have the luxury of pre-training interviews, then your flexibility at managing a classroom, dealing with change, offering support, and creating a safe learning environment will all contribute to the success of this training endeavor.
Dealing With Sensitive Issues in the Workshop
One way to deal with sensitive issues is to provide an attitude survey before a tough topic is discussed. This allows participants to put their thoughts and reactions on paper, and provides them with some thinking and adjusting time before the topic is discussed aloud among the group, or before other activities get underway.
Here are some tips for using an attitude survey in your training:
- It does not have to be called an attitude survey. Title it as something that makes sense and fits with your training plan. The term “attitude survey” is here for you to see, but might seem intimidating for participants depending on the subject.
- Participants may not want to reveal their answers to one another. Watch closely to ensure that people are not intruding on one another by forcing someone to reveal their thoughts.
- The attitude survey can be a good pre- and post-training activity. Participants can use the tool to monitor their own thinking or shift in perception throughout the training process.
It may seem straightforward to offer an attitude survey, but you need to watch your language. Make sure that statements are not open to interpretation or bias, by using clear and simple language. It also helps in our program design stage to have a colleague review the questions or statements with you so that you can prepare an effective survey.
Using Proper Phone Language
Every environment we enter requires a different form of ‘language’. For instance, we wouldn’t enter a team meeting with the same type of language we use in the break room. The same is true for the telephone. Telephone language is different than our everyday language and can take some time to get used to its flow. But with the right tools, it can be easy to adapt in no time.
Please and Thank You
Using good etiquette is a way to show respect and consideration to those we interact with. Some of the basic essentials of proper etiquette are phrases such as “Please” and “Thank you”. When asking the caller for something, such as their name or account number, always follow with “please”. After the customer has given something to you or says something polite, follow with “thank you” to show your appreciation for their help. Using “Please” and “Thank you” when speaking with a customer allows the operator to remain professional while still showing courtesy and respect.
- “May I have your name, please?”
- “Please hold for one moment, Mr. Smith.”
- “Thank you for your time today.”
Do Not Use Slang
Slang is typically defined as a type of language that consists of words and phrases that are regarded as very informal and are used in everyday speech. Common examples include “Yeah”, “Y’all”, “I guess so”, and “ain’t”. Slang is not appropriate to use on the telephone and should not be used, even if we know the caller. Slang language implies inconsideration and disrespect to the caller and can make them feel as though you do not want take your time to help them. It is important to always use professional and courteous language in order to convey to the caller that you are there to help and can get the job done.
Avoid Using the Term “You”
When speaking with someone on the telephone, it can be easy to get lost in speaking with the caller and letting them know what they may need to do on their end. However, it is important for the operator to avoid using the term “you” excessively. When we continuously use the term ‘you’, in reference to the caller, it sends the message that everything is their responsibility and that the person on the other end of the line is not there to help them. If we continuously tell them they have to complete a task before we can help them, the company not only looks unprofessional, but unwilling to do business with them.
Avoid phrases such as:
- “You will need to call back tomorrow.”
- “You have to take your bill to the other office.”
- “I need you to come into the office for that.”
Emphasize What You Can Do, Not What You Can’t
When we are speaking with someone on the phone, for any reason, it can be hard to communicate what the caller wants or needs from the operator. Sometimes the operator is quick to tell the caller that they cannot complete a certain task or that they cannot help them at all – but this type of attitude does not build relationships. Flatly telling someone you cannot do anything for them shuts the door on negotiations and portrays a negative light on the company. Instead, emphasize what you can do for the caller. Offer ‘favors’ or alternate tasks you can do for them to help them get what they need. If you’re genuinely not able to answer their questions or do something for them, it’s alright to let them know that, but offer an alternative action for them, such as finding someone who can help.
- “I can help you with that.”
- “I’ll be happy to transfer you to the department.”
- “I can take a message if you’d like.”
- “I don’t know the answer, but let me find someone that does.”
For more on our Telephone Etiquette course, please visit: https://corporatetrainingmaterials.com/course/Telephone_Etiquette
Establishing Performance Goals
Performance goals require strategic action. To be effective, these goals should not be handed down to employees. It is important to include employees in the goal setting process and encourage them to meet their individual performance goals. This will improve individual and company performance.
A strategic plan determines where employees are, where they want to be, and how they will get there. It should embrace the values of the organization and align with the following company information. The organization must create a strategic plan before creating performance goals.
Company Strategic Plan:
Employee performance goals need to consider the company’s strategic plan. Individual performance goals must be SMART goals that include strategies and actions for employees to take.
Example Goal: Stay informed about innovations in the industry, it can help improve productivity by 10 percent this year.
Examples of Actions:
- Attend training classes
- Meet with a mentor
- Communicate consistently
A job analysis determines what is required to do a specific job. It will help determine which skills and attributes an employee needs to complete a job successfully. A job analysis will help determine who to hire, how to train, and what compensation a job should receive. Job analyses are instrumental in determining performance. Research a position to determine the following information:
- Tools or systems used
- Reporting requirements
- Necessary certification
Performance goals need to be SMART goals. They need to address behavior, competency, and results. Remember to involve employees in their performance goals.
Examples of Goals:
- Behavior: Employees have complained about distance. Communicate with employees in person every week, rather than just sending emails.
- Competency: New equipment is being installed. Perform all the training within three weeks.
- Results: Sales are down. Increase sales by 5 percent this quarter.
Performance is related to motivation. Motivation is the job of every leader. There is not a single method for motivating employees. People have different personal motives, and leaders must meet the needs of individuals.
- Lead by example: Motivate yourself before you can motivate others.
- Meet with individuals: Communicate with employees directly to find out what motivates them.
- Reward employees: Find motivating rewards for individuals.
- Delegate: Do not micromanage employees.
- Inform: Inform people about how they are making a difference in the organization.
- Celebrate: Pay attention to achievements and celebrate with employees.
For more on our Performance Management course, please visit: