Showing posts from October, 2007

What We're Doing About Training Needs

In our two job satisfaction surveys over the past three years the number one need identified by our workforce was training. A few weeks ago the HR department conducted a survey of exactly what training needs our people felt were most urgent. Here were the responses, in order, and what we're doing about it. 1. Excel 2. Power Point 3. IRMA (our home-grown ERP ) 4. Red Prairie (our WMS ) 5. Great Plains (our accounting system) 6. Management techniques (most mentioned by people who said their supervisor needed it) 7. Leadership Skills (basically a restatement of 6 above) 8. Word 9. Outlook 10. Hyperion 11. Team Building 12. Presentations (another way to state 9 above) 13. (tied) Conflict resolution, time management/personal organization, communication, cross-department training, and email etiquette. These responses really break down easily in four broad categories: systems training, leadership training, workplace communications, and fundamental work skills (email, time management, e

Lessons from a Phenomenal Turnaround

You may not know it, but one of the great turnarounds in American academic history is going on right up the road in Bowling Green, KY at Western Kentucky University . About seven years ago Dr. Gary Ransdell, a WKU alum and academic administrator extraordinaire took over the reigns at a campus whose facilities and maintenance had sunk to a level only surpassed in depth by its staff and faculty morale. This Fall Semester, WKU surpassed the University of Kentucky in undergraduate enrollment and launched a new multi-year plan to become "A Great American University with International Reach". Don't bet against this guy and his team. (By the way, Business and Culture SPU, we've published worse business and leadership books than this guy could write for us!) How did he do it, and what can we in leadership positions learn from it? 1. Come to stay, and commit . Ransdell stated from his first day on the job that he intended to retire as President of WKU. Others bef

Why Public Transportation Matters

We've done a lot of work these past two weeks culminating in the press release yesterday of a new shuttle service serving the Thomas Nelson campus in Nashville. The Donelson Shuttle is a free service provided under a six month grant from the Rail Transportation Authority ( RTA ) in Nashville and has been in discussions between Nelson HR and the RTA for about three years. The service will connect the fledgling Music City Star rail service and two Metro Transit Authority ( MTA ) bus lines to the front doors of our three Nashville buildings. So why does an HR department care about such things? How is this related to our departmental mission? Don't we have better things to do? All good questions, and deserving of an answer. The HR department's interest in public transportation is a strategic move in enhancing employee satisfaction, improving diversity, being a good corporate citizen, and positioning the company in alignment with the values of those young professionals who sh