HR "hot topic" Blog


Online vs. Face to Face Training

In today’s digital driven economy, everything can be made virtual or wireless. More individuals work from home offices, telecommute, and communicate instantly over the internet. At times it can even be debilitating when our electronic communication systems aren't working perfectly. There is no denying that advancement in telecommunications has greatly expanded our capacity to do business, but has it affected our abilities to provide training and development opportunities in the same positive way? Check out some of the cold hard Pros and Cons for online training vs. face to face training below.

Online Training:

Pros – Online training can allow trainers and trainees to be more flexible, can reduce costs associated with training, increase accessibility for more individuals to complete training, and provide learners with more resources instantly.

Cons - Online training is less directed, requires a level of computer literacy on the participant’s part, offers less hands-on experience and direction, and also makes it more difficult for participants to ask questions and clarify issues.


Face to Face Training:

Pros – Face to face or in classroom training often provides participants with knowledgeable instructors, a chance for real time questions and answers, and opportunities to connect with other trainees and discuss the training material.

Cons – Unfortunately the costs associated with face to face training can be more than their online counterparts. In class training can also be difficult to organize.


The bottom line is that not all training is created equal. There are some very well put together training programs that employers can sign up for and administer electronically. This training can be done relatively quickly and easily. On the other hand, a thorough face to face training session may be the only option when participants need to be in the know – imagine Health &Safety training without the practical instruction; would you trust your life to someone who may or may have not just watched a safety video? It is important to really consider training options and pick the best ones for you and your employees.

A Healthy Start to the New Year

In theory, New Year's resolutions are a fabulous idea.

After all, what better way to start the New Year than with a fresh outlook on life? In practice,however, this annual ritual has become a bit of a joke, to the point that people make bets about how long their friends' and loved ones' resolutions are going to last. For some, it's gotten so futile that they've stopped making resolutions altogether.

Every year after the holiday season comes to a close, millions of people hit the gym and start counting calories. Then motivation starts to lag because people don’t feel that they are accomplishing anything. The reality is that changing behaviors is difficult, and without a plan or support system, it is nearly impossible.

There are many ways that employers can help encourage staff to keep their healthy lifestyle resolutions and promote overall good health in the workplace:

Offer off site services – When there isn’t any room for an onsite health center, many employers opt to provide off site health service benefits for employees such as fitness classes, gym memberships, or massage therapy.

Change vending machines – little changes can go a long way.Choosing to replace some of the chocolate bars and sodas in vending machines with healthy options can remove some of the temptation for those employees trying to snack & stay fit.

Keep them hydrated – Getting enough drinking water throughout the day is a crucial part to good overall health. Does your workspace have an easily accessible water cooler?

Let employees walk around – Positions that are largely sedentary pose a real problem for individuals who are trying to be more health conscious and active. Try encouraging employees to get up and walk around for a few minutes every hours or so.

Remember that the new year is a perfect opportunity for afresh start, a new routine, and a chance for all of us to get up and find the motivation we need to make our workplace that much better!

Tell us what you think and share your own new year’s resolution swith us on FaceBook, LinkedIn, and twitter @HRPAR!

Staying Productive this Holiday Season

The holidays can be a busy time at work; what with schedules tightening and holiday stress creating tension. With all the concerns that come with the holiday season, one of the biggest challenges companies face is how to keep employees happy, motivated, and productive during this time. Here are just a few examples of how employers can keep employees content and working their hardest.

Be Flexible

Depending on the company, one of the easiest ways to keep employees happy is to become more flexible with work hours. Flexibility can give employees the time they need to find an effective work – life balance during this time or the year.

Acknowledge Good Work

There is a lot to be said about how a far a simple thank you can go. Acknowledging success and even effort when ideas don’t pan out, is an easy, cheap, and effective way of keeping ideas and effort flowing. There are many ways to acknowledge good work,but it all depends on the company culture and the individuals you are recognizing.It’s important to know where a pat on the back and a cash incentive  are equally effective. 

Communicate More Effectively

Good communication is always a key component of well functioning teams. The trick to effective communication during the holidays is to manage when and what kind of communication works best. Maybe you team will work best with quick emails instead of long team meetings. Encouraging employees to communicate and socialize with each other more often is also a way to keep spirits and creativity high.

Invest in Training

Offering employees training and continued learning opportunities equally benefits the individuals as much as it does the company. Workshops, seminars and even online courses can be a way of showing employees that the company cares about them and is willing to invest in a future together. Mentor programs and cross training are easy and relatively inexpensive way for companies to develop their workforce and keep employees engaged.

Don’t Forget to Make Things Fun!

The idea is simple: if employees enjoy where they work and what they do, they will be more upbeat and productive. There are simple things employers can do to make the workplace more inviting and engaging. Open up the blinds and let some natural sunlight in. Organize an engagement committee to really listen to employees needs and find ways to giveback. Put up some festive decorations to liven up the office. Even something like surprising the team with coffee and donuts can go a long way.

It’s important to remember that a company’s greatest asset is its employees. The collective effort, enthusiasm and power of the workforce are what drive good business to success. So this holiday season, when things seem sluggish or just plain sad, just remember you have options.


Staying Positive During the Holiday Season

As much as the holidays are a time for celebration, cheer, and good will toward all mankind, they can also bring a lot of stress and hardship for some people. For some individuals, the holidays can be the worst time of the year. Deadlines, crowds, budgets, and busy schedules can weigh heavily on a person and directly affect all aspects of their life; especial their work life. This is why it is important as an employer to keep employees positive and as stress free as possible during the upcoming season.

When employees are unhappy and morale is low it can be destructive for a business. Poor attitudes and work ethic can lead to job dissatisfaction, absenteeism and even turnover. It is essential that employers understand how to deal with positivity and productivity during this time.

One of the first steps is understanding where the stress is coming from. Do your employees feel pressured at work? Or are there larger issues in their personal life that they are dealing with? It can mean a lot to an employee if they feel they have support from their job and managers to deal with their personal life issues.

Some Holiday stress is unavoidable in the workplace. End of year deadlines, heavy workloads and hectic schedules come with the territory. The trick is to learn how to manage the stress that is there and limit any new sources. There are plenty of opportunities for employers to alleviate stress on employees over the holidays:

The classic office party - a good way to get employees together and blow off some steam.  However, there are some more strategic ways companies can reduce employee’s stress while investing in them long term. 

Employee assistance programs - can help take some of the pressures off employees year round. 

Training programs -  time management, stress reduction techniques or organizational skills can be helpful in teaching employees to stay relaxed while adding value to the company’s day to day.

Keep your managers and supervisors stress free - if employees see management having a hard time keeping things together, that can have a domino effect throughout the company.

Focus on keeping expectations rational, managing time effectively and keeping a good work – life balance.


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