Training managers to be mentors can improve workplace culture

Training programs can empower managers to be great mentors.

Improve workplace culture by encouraging senior employees to mentor younger ones.

If you want to dramatically improve your workplace culture, encourage your managers to actively mentor less experienced workers. Mentorship encourages a sense of camaraderie, improves productivity and increases on-the-job satisfaction for both parties. Managers who are in touch with their team members’ aspirations and ambitions are better able to inspire them and help them meet their goals. This, in turn, leads to a more positive, engaged work environment with less burnout and apathy.

Many people mistakenly believe that any successful, mature employee will make an effective role model. However, management and mentorship, like anything else, are learned skills. Management training courses, like those offered at Mastery Technologies, can help shape effective leaders who bring out the best in their teams. It’s crucial supervisors understand how to facilitate mentoring relationships that encourage professional growth and career development.

Here are some tips to consider when acting as a mentor:

  • Communicate: In the most successful mentoring situations, both mentor and mentee are on the same page when it comes to expectations. For example, if you expect to meet about once a month, but your less experienced counterpart anticipates talking at least a couple of times per week, the latter may feel neglected.
  • Don’t be controlling: As a mentor, you naturally want to see your mentee succeed. However, it’s important to strike the right balance of being supportive without being controlling.
  • Think long-term: Remember to keep an eye on the future as your mentoring relationship develops. While you will likely serve as a valuable resource and sounding board in the short-term, you should also help your counterpart stay focused on reaching long-term goals.

Training your management to serve as effective mentors is a key step in improving workplace culture and increasing employee retention rates. Make an investment in your company’s future today.

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Continuing education key in company success, employee satisfaction

Make use of online employee training courses to promote continuing education in the workplace.

Using online training resources, your team can learn new skills without leaving the office.

One of the top five predictors of a workplace’s psychological health is the degree to which it offers workers opportunities for growth and development, according to The American Psychological Association.

“In this day and age, constant education is a necessity,” Peter Devries, a chief operating officer,writes in Entrepreneur Magazine. “Employees need to develop their skills or risk falling behind the level of their peers, both inside and outside their current workplace.”

Continuing education benefits both employers and employees. When workers are learning and honing their skills, abilities and knowledge base, they are less likely to feel frustrated, bored or trapped. Workplace morale, productivity and employee retention rates typically improve.

Of course, this is one area in which walking the walk is far more important than talking the talk. Here are some tips if you would like to introduce continuing education into your workplace:

Offer encouragement:

As a manager, it’s important to encourage your employees to engage in learning programs and praise them when they do. Don’t underestimate the value of simply acknowledging their efforts and saying “good job.”

Set goals: 

Set specific goals for individuals and teams to work toward, and then find concrete ways to track and reward progress over time. Establish a reward — such as a catered lunch — when the group has completed an employee development course or met a certain benchmark of improvement.

Use online resources:

Sending employees elsewhere to learn can be incredibly expensive and often disappointingly ineffective. Instead, invest in user-friendly, cost-efficient training courses from Mastery Technologies. Whether your team is interested in learning about conflict management, team work or occupational skills, you’ll find resources available to meet their needs.

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Workplace Time Management

According to statistics, American’s spend an average of 7.6 hours per day working and 2.5 hours per day doing household activities. Statistics also state on average, we commit over 12 hours of our day working, caring for others or our household. We do not have to wonder why we find ourselves stating the old cliché, “There aren’t enough hours in the day!”Clock

Mastery believes in providing organizations with the necessary tools in order to encourage employees to become more effective. When building your team, every employer desires to get the best out of their employees. This includes time management. Mastery’s training course, Getting The Most Out of Your Team, assists leaders with doing just that; equipping their employees with setting effective goals, understanding their role within the company, and making the best of meetings with a collaborative environment. The training displays the importance of structure and following guidelines within the workplace in order to stay on task.

Here are 5 tips for conquering time management. With these tips your employees will be on their way to being successful within the workplace in no time.

  1. Question Yourself – It’s easy to get caught up in being busy and allowing that to be distracting. Take a minute to ask yourself “how can I allocate my time accordingly?” Don’t be afraid to stop what you are doing to focus on another activity that could be completed in a shorter amount of time.
  2. Tame Your Technology – As much as we may utilize technology within the workplace, having our cell phone or tablets readily accessible can distract us from our goals. Don’t allow technology take up too much of your time.
  3. Clear the Clutter – Sometimes having a clutter filled desk or workplace can create distraction. Take a few minutes to de-clutter! You will be surprised what a clutter-free environment will do—it produces creativity and productivity. timemanagement1
  4. Schedule It – Feel like you have a million and one things to do? Schedule it! Schedule projects throughout the day in order to allocate your time properly. This will help create a productive work environment for you.
  5. Seek Accountability – Workplace accountability can help you become more productive. Find a co-worker who will help keep you accountable with staying on task and meeting your deadlines. Remember, there is strength in numbers!

Get your employees on the success train with one of the following Mastery’s courses:

Orientation: Successful Workplace Behaviors

To Lead or Not to Lead: A Manager’s Guide to Communication and Leadership Skills

The Cycle of Accountability: Owning Your Results

For a complete listing of Mastery courses, visit mastery.com.

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Poll: Bad management is top reason for employee turnover

Does your company struggle with high employee turnover? Poor management could be to blame. The top reason people give for leaving a position is having a bad supervisor, according to a recent Gallup poll. On the other hand, a study from the O.C. Tanner Institute found that 94.4 percent of people with high morale at work say that their managers are good at recognizing their efforts. The takeaway: Management can really make or break an organization.

So how can you be a better boss? Here are several tips based on Gallup findings and advice from top managers:

  • Want to learn how to be a better manager? Take an online management training course.

    Being a good manager is a learned skill, best acquired through management training courses.

    Be assertive as you work to achieve big picture objectives.

  • Encourage dialogue, actively soliciting new ideas from others.
  • Give positive feedback, making sure to recognize achievements.
  • Keep out of personal politics, making fair decisions based on objective criteria.
  • Maintain accountability for yourself and others.
  • Set clear expectations and goals.

While it’s important for you to be an effective supervisor, it’s equally important that all of the managers in your company supervise their teams efficiently and effectively. One common misconception is that all good employees will naturally be good bosses.

“Many people are first promoted into management for their strong ‘technical skills’ – solid knowledge of their own business,” writes Forbes magazine contributor Victor Lipman. “But that’s only part of the managerial equation; all managers wear many hats.”

Ultimately, if you expect your new supervisors to learn on-the-job, you can expect many of them to fail. Management is a learned skill that is best acquired through concrete opportunities for ongoing, continuing education.

Mastery Technologies offers a wide selection of easy-to-use, inexpensive online management training courses that can help you bring out the best in your team. You’ll be amazed at how some simple changes in management style can transform a work environment, resulting in increased productivity and decreased employee turnover.

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One in five on-the-job fatalities in 2013 were driving-related

If your employees get behind the wheel at any point during the work week, invest in a defensive driving course from Mastery Technologies.

Investing in a defensive driving course will make your employees safer on the road.

More than one in five workers killed on-the-job in the United States last year died in a driving-related accident, according to newly released data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Such incidents claimed the lives of 991 Americans in 2013. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says that about three employees die on the road every day, illustrating the need for an increased focus on defensive driving safety training in the workplace.

“Risk of work-related motor vehicle crashes cuts across all industries and occupations,” says the CDC. “Workers who drive on the job may be ‘professional’ drivers whose primary job is to transport freight or passengers. Many other workers spend a substantial part of the work day driving a vehicle owned or leased by their employer, or a personal vehicle.”

Such employees who don’t identify as “professional” drivers but do spend at least some part of their work day behind-the-wheel may be at particular risk of injury or death, according to the CDC. Businesses that run big buses or trucks must comply with stringent federal regulations. However, companies whose employees use smaller vehicles are not subject to compliance checks at the federal level. Therefore, they must be extra-vigilant in setting and meeting their own safety standards.

If you are a manager whose employees get behind-the-wheel at any point while on-the-clock, the CDC recommends purchasing a defensive driving course, such as the variety of options offered by Mastery Technologies. Such online courses are inexpensive and easy-to-use, allowing supervisors and workers to access materials at their convenience.

The Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS) reports that a traffic crash victim dies every 12 minutes. An employee training course is a worthwhile investment that can help prevent your workers from becoming part of that statistic.

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Hydrogen sulfide training could have prevented Arizona sewer workers’ deaths

Two Scottsdale, Arizona, workers are dead after apparently succumbing to hydrogen sulfide fumes while working in an underground sewer. The men were 41 and 36 years old. A third victim, 18 years old, was able to climb out of the 15-foot deep vault, disoriented and dazed but alive.

Scottsdale Fire Division Chief Jay Ducote told the media that a passerby heard cries coming from the sewer and called emergency responders. Firefighters responded, wearing full HAZMAT suits.

“The hazmat materials team had high readings of hydrogen cyanide and hydrogen sulfide,” Ducote said. “Hydrogen sulfide is a really bad chemical that is lethal at 250 parts per million, and it was about 200 parts per million with the hazmat teams got out here.”

According to firefighters, the men, who worked for a private sewage company, were not wearing protective suits. They are trying to determine why the hydrogen sulfide levels were so high in that area of the sewer.

This story is a tragic reminder of the importance of aggressive, comprehensive and ongoing safety training, especially if you and/or your employees may be exposed to dangerous compounds like hydrogen sulfide. Many of those working in the oil and gas, sewer, food manufacturing, agriculture, textile or mining industries are at risk of poisoning.

Hydrogen sulfide is a colorless gas that is impossible to see. Its smell varies depending on its concentration. Because you can’t count on detecting its presence with your physical senses, you must turn to regular safety training and on-the-job vigilance to keep you and your team safe in the field. Mastery Technologies offers a variety of inexpensive, user-friendly online courses in both English and Spanish to help your team achieve compliance.

Workers in the sewer and waste water treatment workers should participate in ongoing hydrogen sulfide safety training.

Sewer and waste water treatment workers need to be fully trained in hydrogen sulfide safety.

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Office culture: 4 signs of employee burnout

How do you identify burnout among members of your team?

Employees who are burned out often seem more irritable than normal.

How can you tell if one of your employees is suffering from burn out?

We recently discussed on this blog how to prevent employee burnout by encouraging delegation, leading with enthusiasm and increasing employee participation in decision-making. While these are all excellent ways to proactively stop burnout before it occurs, managers may need to take further steps to help workers that are already feeling exhausted and disillusioned. So how do you identify burnout among members of your team? Look for these warning signs:

  • Attitude shifts: If a worker suddenly seems to experience a personality change or is subject to extreme variations in mood, they may be coping with burnout. While some people become quiet and withdrawn, others will become unexpectedly talkative and distractible. Look for a shift in behavior that doesn’t fit with their normal attitude.
  • Changes in break schedule: Is a team member taking unusually long or frequent breaks? Or are they suddenly failing to take any at all? Either way, feelings of overwhelm and stress could be prompting the changes.
  • Cynicism: This is a very common symptom of work fatigue, and unfortunately, it can take a serious toll on your entire company. One disillusioned employee can quickly plant the seeds of discontent in their coworkers’ minds, causing everyone to feel prematurely burned out.
  • Irritability: Feelings of powerlessness, disengagement and exhaustion can all lead to irritability among workers.

If you notice an employee displaying these or other symptoms of burnout, don’t despair! The good news is there are steps you can take to get them back on the right track, both for their own good and for the good of the company. Mastery Technologies offers a variety of inexpensive and easy-to-use online employee development training courses to help supervisors improve office culture and get the best out of their team.

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Continuing education opportunities can dramatically improve employee retention

Companies that offer their employees continuing education opportunities often have lower turnover rates.

Empower your employees to improve their professional skills through inexpensive, online training courses.

If you would like to improve your employee retention rates, consider offering your team more opportunities for continuing education. According to the New England College of Business, when employees participate in workplace learning programs, turnover rates typically fall by 50 percent or more.

The good news: You don’t have to spend a fortune sending your employees to off-site classes. Instead, take advantage of inexpensive, user-friendly online employee development courses like those offered by Mastery Technologies. In many ways, these online options are actually more conducive to efficient learning than their classroom counterparts.

“Online training allows the ability for learners to access the coursework at their own convenience and their own pace, allowing for 24/7 access and a higher level of accountability” continuing education expert Jefferson Flanders tells Inc. Magazine. “Because unlike face-to-face training where a learner can be present physically but perhaps not mentally, most effective online training or education will have built-in assessments to challenge the learner to demonstrate understanding of the content as they progress.”

Mastery Technologies provides a variety of continuing education training courses to help workers advance in their careers. Users have the opportunity to develop diverse and advanced skill sets as they learn to handle conflict, manage a team and work together to achieve goals. When employees improve in these and other areas, they feel more professionally fulfilled in addition to helping your company become more efficient and productive.

Workers who are learning to contribute in new and exciting ways tend to feel more motivated and invested in their workplace, which makes them less likely to look for job opportunities elsewhere. Make a small investment in continuing education now, and you could ultimately save your company thousands of dollars in recruitment, hiring and training costs.

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New Titles This September!

This month we released some new Video On Demand courses and several new Partner titles.

We also have begun to update our Video On Demand courses with a few changes to the platform, including bookmarking! For more information on the new VOD platform, check out our press release here.

This month’s new titles include:

Slips, Trips and Falls: Step Back for Safety
Maritime: MRSA/Staph & Infection Prevention for Oil Industry
Maritime: MRSA & Staph Prevention for Maritime Industry
Maritime: Man Overboard Prevention for the Inland Waterways
Driver’s Daily Log
Safe Forklift Operations and Practices for the Oilfield Industry
Backs: Back and Neck Injury Prevention
Wellness: Heart Disease and Cancer
Benzene Awareness
Maritime: Marine Fire Prevention, Training, and Response
Stress: Managing Stress on the Job
Ergonomics: Working Smart: Reducing Risks of Sprains & Strains
MRSA & Staph Infection: Prevention for Business and Industry
Don’t Panic! A Recipe For Success in Times of Stress
The 5 Values of GREAT Customer Service
PATTERNS: Preventing Sexual Harassment, Program 1
PATTERNS: Responding to Sexual Harassment, Program 2
PATTERNS: Rights & Responsibilities, Program 3
Succeeding at Work: The Adventure Begins
You Can STOP Harassment: Taking Responsibility, Program 1
The New Workplace: Making the Change
The New Workplace: Leading the Change
The Respectful Workplace: Redefining Workplace Violence, Opening the Right Doors
The Respectful Workplace: Redefining Workplace Violence, Diffusing Hostility through Customer Service
The Respectful Workplace: Redefining Workplace Violence, Managing Harmony
Maritime: Intro to Vessel and Barge Equipment and Terminology
Workplace Nutrition: A Recipe for Optimum Health
Preventing The Spread Of Contagious Illness

Maritime: Security: The Declaration of Security DOS
Maritime: Security: Search, Screening & Sweeping: Facilities
Oilfield: Hand Safety & Injury Prevention for the Oilfield
Security Search, Screening & Sweeping: Vessels

To see a full course listing browse through our catalog at mastery.com!

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Employee Picks: Rachel’s Top 5

Productivity is key to being successful within the workplace. Mastery’s Communication Coordinator, Rachel Custer shares with us her favorite Mastery courses that have helped her remain productive on the job:

  1. Microsoft Word 2010: Automating the Mail Merge

Rachel says that she, “Used this course to learn how to set up Mail Merge in a work document. I was able to have the course open and follow along with the video to get my document ready for mail merge. The steps were easy to follow and I could pause, rewind, and fast-forward to get through the details I needed help on.”

Mastery offers various selections relate to managing Microsoft Word with your workplace.

2.  Hang Up and Drive: The Jacy Good Story

Rachel states, “This course sends a powerful reminder of how becoming distracted while driving can cause a horrific, life-changing accident. I think it is something all drivers need to be reminded of every now and then.”

Driving safety is important within the workplace, as well as outside of the workplace. Mastery trains you to be safer on the roads with our large library of driving safety courses, such as Driving Distractions of the Everyday Driver.

3. Customer Service Gone Viral

Rachel shares, “As a Public Relations professional, I keep a constant watch on social media, and love the way this course presents the significance of its impact on a company’s reputation. Customer service reps and those in charge of a brand’s online presence should watch this course to learn about how our interactions with customers can go viral.

Mastery offers a sizable library of customer service courses; learn more about these courses here.

4. Virtual Meetings: The Invisible Meeting

Rachel felt, “This course covers a topic becoming increasingly more popular, virtual meetings. We regularly have meetings via video conference and phone conference, and I thought they provided some useful tips to improve the effectiveness of these meetings.”

This course, as well as Mastery’s “How to have an effective meeting,” will help you increase your productivity during meetings.

5. Customer Service: Avoid Costly Mistakes

Rachel believes that, “After watching this course, the customer service message of “Why are you making it so hard for me to spend my money?” really stuck with me. I’ve found myself gauging personal experiences with poor customer service against the points they make in this video. I’d recommend anyone who works in a customer-facing position watch this course – it demonstrates how thoughtless behaviors can cost you loyal customers.”

With the help of Mastery, your employees will be well equipped within the workplace. Visit mastery.com for a complete listing of our training courses.

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