3 typical team development ‘Yeah, but’ challenges and how to respond to them

3 typical team development ‘Yeah, but’ challenges and how to respond to them

During a recent delivery of one of my popular client workshops, Team Power, about how to develop high performing teams, we discussed seven common team development stages (I am partial to using the Drexler/Sibbert model). We also identified structural supports that help teams function optimally, reviewed the importance of trust in teams and ways to build it, discussed important team communication dynamics, and practiced applying this team development knowledge in a simulated team work situation, culminating with each learner creating an action plan for applying team dynamic best practices within their own team.

As usual, the learners were highly engaged and interested.

Also as usual, they still had some challenges they were grappling with, which came out in the form of what I call “’Yeah, but’s”.

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YES! We should ditch performance appraisals!

YES! We should ditch performance appraisals!

There’s a tide of supporting evidence rising for why we should really ditch performance appraisals as we know them. Over the past year, I’ve been lucky to work with two different large clients to help them do just that. Here’s what I’ve learned so far from the research, preparation, and roll-outs of these huge cultural changes:

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Employee Development Done Right: ASTD Interviews Halelly Azulay

Employee Development Done Right: ASTD Interviews Halelly Azulay
Listen to a short and upbeat interview by ASTD's Ann Parker in which Halelly Azulay discusses why employee development is as important as ever even in the current workplace climate, how to ensure employee development strategies are beneficial to both the employee and the organization, and how to implement good employee development strategies in your organization.
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Volunteering as Employee Development: A PwC Case Study

I've written another guest post for the official ASTD blog, this time describing a specific example of how volunteering can be a great way to develop employees outside the classroom. I excerpted one of the several case studies featured in my book, Employee Development on a Shoestring, which was just launched by ASTD Press!

This case features the personal volunteer experience stories of two of the three PricewaterhouseCoopers employees I interviewed and wrote about in my book - it describes the ways in which they developed multiple competencies by volunteering to teach and build playgrounds in poor schools in Belize.

I've written about the value of volunteering as an employee development approach previously here, here, and here.

What has been your experience with learning by volunteering? I would love to hear your thoughts!


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5 Ways to Develop Employees without Spending a Dime

dime piggy bank by Alan Cleaver via Flickr Creative Commons.jpg

Get 5 ideas to develop employees that won't cost you lots of money, and that are pretty easy to implement! Check out my new blog post on the official ATD blog.

Photo by Alan Cleaver via Flickr Creative Commons


Sign up to my free weekly newsletter and get more actionable tips and ideas for making yourself a better leader and a more effective communicator! It’s very short and relevant with quick tips, links, and news about leadership, communication, and self-development. Sign up now

Also, subscribe to my podcast, The TalentGrow Show, on iTunes to always be the first in the know about new episodes of The TalentGrow Show! http://apple.co/1NiWyZo 

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Social Learning as an Employee Development Solution

[Cross-posted from the C7 Group Blog]

What is Social Learning?

Gadgets on commute by arvindgrover via Flickr Creative Commons.jpg

Social learning, or Learning 2.0, is a general name given to multiple collaborative online tools for sharing knowledge, building relationships, and interacting with content and with other members of the online community. These tools allow learners to learn independently, more quickly, and more efficiently, and to be more productive and effective as a result. Most of the content in these systems is user generated and user rated for interest, relevance, and helpfulness. The tools most commonly used by organizations for social learning purposes are wikis and social networking tools such as discussion boards, blogs, video uploading platforms, and podcasting.

I hope you read more about how social learning works, the benefits it offers to both learners and their organization, and 8 implementation tips by reading my post on the C7 Group blog.  

Make sure to join me and share your thoughts, experiences, and questions on Tuesday, March 6th at 9 a.m. PST/12 p.m. EST for a webcast that delves into the realities of employee development and how leveraging social networking and media can create learner-driven, learner-generated employee education opportunities.

Source: Employee Development on a Shoestringby Halelly Azulay, ASTD Press, 2012

Photo credit: arvindgrover via Flickr Creative Commons

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Sign up to my free weekly newsletter and get more actionable tips and ideas for making yourself a better leader and a more effective communicator! It’s very short and relevant with quick tips, links, and news about leadership, communication, and self-development. Sign up now

Also, subscribe to my podcast, The TalentGrow Show, on iTunes to always be the first in the know about new episodes of The TalentGrow Show! http://apple.co/1NiWyZo 

Social Learning and Employee Development: Webcast Recording

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Training is Dead; Long Live Employee Development

headphones coffee cereal book by Kevin_Morris via Flickr Creative Commons.jpg

When I first told my husband about the idea for writing a book about employee development OUTSIDE the classroom and outside 'the box', he responded, “You mean, you’re going to write yourself out of a job?” Why would someone who makes her living through facilitating learning (aka 'Training'), often within a classroom or a formal learning program, try to help supervisors, HR and training professionals, and employees find ways to develop skills outside the classroom and without her help?

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Well, I don’t think Employee Development on a Shoestring will put the training industry out of business. Far from it. I wrote this book because I am passionate about learning and development. I wrote this book because I am passionate about supporting leaders in their efforts to become more effective. And I wrote this book because often, training is simply not the answer.

It is estimated that 70 percent of all leadership development takes place via on-the-job experiences rather than formal learning events. The “70-20-10 rule,” as this idea has become known, says that development happens in three ways: 70 percent on-the-job experience, 20 percent through relationships and feedback, and 10 percent from formal training opportunities.

All over the world, supervisors and professionals like you are faced with a challenging task of helping their staff members grow and develop within limited budgets and timelines and ever-increasing pressures to perform more with less. Supervisors and employees desperately need alternatives and complements to the usual approach, because it is not enough. And so many of you are so overwhelmed with a growing workload that you simply don’t have the time or the requisite knowledge to come up with creative ideas for developing skills within the parameters that are presented to you.

Well, this book is here to help.

You don’t have to spend any time searching for ideas, because they’re right here in this book. You don’t have to spend time thinking up possible obstacles to each method—I’ve done that for you. And you don’t have to spend lots of time designing implementation plans because I’ve created the tools and supports that can help you quickly ensure that your employee development methods are successful and sustainable.

Who Can Benefit From Reading This Book?

Employee Development on a Shoestring is written primarily to address the needs of those in a position to help employees develop in their current jobs. Whether you are a supervisor, a manager, a director, or an executive, a key part of your role (“Job 1” as Elaine Biech puts it in her foreword to the book) is to ensure that employees are growing and learning. If you are a talent management, human resource, personnel, talent development, training, organization development, or workplace learning professional, your job is to ensure that supervisors throughout your organization are tending to this “Job 1.” Perhaps you are a mentor or career counselor or coach, and you are using this book to help your protégé or client make career development plans. And if you are a self-motivated, self-starting employee, you may enjoy reading this book to get ideas about how to take your development into your own hands rather than waiting for others to suggest strategies to you. Anyone who wants to ensure that employees are developing new skills and knowledge and who realizes that sending them to a training class cannot be, and should not be, the only path to achieve that outcome, should read and benefit from the ideas presented in this book.

Modified excerpt from the Introduction to Employee Development on a Shoestring by Halelly Azulay (ASTD Press, 2012)

Headphones image by Kevin_Morris via Flickr Creative Commons


Sign up to my free weekly newsletter and get more actionable tips and ideas for making yourself a better leader and a more effective communicator! It’s very short and relevant with quick tips, links, and news about leadership, communication, and self-development. Sign up now

Also, subscribe to my podcast, The TalentGrow Show, on iTunes to always be the first in the know about new episodes of The TalentGrow Show! http://apple.co/1NiWyZo 

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