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July 2010

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Welcome to this edition of our informative monthly newsletter. This month we bring you the latest trends in learning and development and the results of a comprehensive survey asking employees how much they trust their managers. The results may cause you to rethink your employee engagement strategy. In our Q & A section, we help a manager deal with dysfunctional team behaviors. Be sure to continue the discussions on our Business Performance blog. Enjoy!

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Latest Study: Learning and Development Practices

Last year proved to be a tough year for training professionals and businesses alike when it came to developing their people. Bersin & Associates latest studies reveal where companies spent their learning and development resources in 2009 in both the US and UK markets. For the US market in particular, some of the report highlights were:

  • learning and development spending dropped by 11%
  • average employee hours spent in formal training was 12 hours
  • average spend per employee was $714
  • percentage spend on leadership development rose to 24%
  • instructor-led training (ILT) dropped to 60% of all training hours
  • percentage of organizations using blogs and wikis for learning was 14%
Organizations experienced major changes in the way they delivered their learning and development programs. These included the rationalizing of training functions across the organization, more frequent use of online platforms and a greater focus on programs with higher strategic importance. Although companies tightened their belts, in all they are perhaps now better prepared to meet the challenges ahead.

Source: The Corporate Learning Factbook 2010, Bersin & Associates

To read our full report and a comparison with the UK market, visit our blog entry Learning and Development Practices in USA and UK

From Training to Enhanced Workplace PerformanceYou want to get more out of your learning and development programs? Check out our comprehensive "how to" guide and toolkit, From Training to Enhanced Workplace Performance  Learn proven strategies and techniques for finding performance roadblocks, aligning training to real needs, developing training partnerships, engaging learners and demonstrating bottom-line impact. Only US $80 per user. Download today!

Survey Result: Managers Fail to Gain Employee Trust

On the issue of trust, Right Management undertook a survey of over 4,000 employees in May this year. The results indicate a clear gap in employee trust that needs attention if organizations are to remain competitive in the longer term.

Employees were asked how often they trusted their managers to make the best decisions. This is how they responded:

  • 20% always trusted their managers
  • 57% occasionally trusted their managers
  • 19% rarely trusted their managers
With three quarters of all employees expressing low levels of trust in their managers, managers clearly have a long way to go in forming a collaborative partnership with their workers. If employees do not trust their managers, they are unlikely to give of their best in advancing the interests of the company.

The survey also pointed to where attention may need to be focused in improving trust levels. It revealed trust levels decrease significantly as you move closer to the front-line, as organizations increase in size and as employees mature in age. What lessons can be learned from this? Read the full report and get practical tips on improving trust levels in your organization at our blog entry on Employee-Manager Trust: How Do Employers Rate?

2 Way Feedback Looking to enhance the competency levels and credibility of your supervisors and managers? Make the most of our practical guide to building trust and creating a high performance culture in your workplace. Our two way communication e-book is packed with strategies you and your managers can start applying straight away. Download 2 Way Feedback today!

Q & A: Why are some of my team members behaving so poorly?


I have one team member that refuses to participate in a group activity and another that deceived others in the group. What is causing these team members to behave so badly?


The causes of disruptive and uncooperative behavior within teams can be many and varied. Reasons for the behavior you describe could include:

  • belief that the group activity will not benefit the organization/workgroup
  • belief that the group activity is a temporary fad
  • belief that fellow employees or managers are incompetent
  • lack of clarity over roles and responsibilities
  • loss of authority or control
  • loss of status or social standing
  • loss of specialized knowledge or respect
  • lack of faith in their ability to learn new skills
  • feeling of overload (too much too soon)
  • lack of trust in or dislike of managers
  • group activity inconsistent with religious or cultural values/beliefs
  • loss of employment benefits
  • loss of opportunities for advancement within the organization
  • loss of job security
  • loss of income
  • loss of family or personal time
  • feeling that the organization is not entitled to the extra effort
  • lack of support from managers
Look at how the team was formed. Did people join the team voluntarily? Using Dr Bruce Tuckman's four phases of team development model (Forming, Norming, Storming, Performing), decide where your team is at. How you approach the problem will depend partly on what stage your team is in. For example, if it is in the Storming stage, actions you could consider include:
  • conducting meetings to discuss, agree and document ground rules and decision-making processes
  • displaying ground rules and team goals on a poster visible to all
  • rewarding constructive behavior and drawing attention to inappropriate behavior
  • rotating team roles to encourage appreciation of other member's contributions.
Your own role as team leader is paramount. Are you modeling the appropriate behaviors? Do your team members feel that you are modeling the right behaviors? You may need to engage in some self-analysis to examine how you may be contributing to the bad behaviors.

In addition to the strategies already mentioned, sit down face-to-face with each of the team members and explore in an open dialogue how you see them behave and how you expect them to behave moving forward. Listen genuinely and openly to what they have to say. Otherwise, you will not uncover what is driving their poor behavior. Do not be afraid to engage the skills of professional facilitator if you need to.

Managing Change in the Workplace guide and workbookTo find out more about dealing with resistance and diagnosing teamwork issues, get our practical guide and workbook, Managing Change in the Workplace  The Guide is used by anyone expected to lead, manage and implement change in today's organizations.

Visit our web site at www.businessperform.com for lots of expert guidance and practical tools designed to help you get ahead of your competition. Also, be sure to pass this newsletter on to friends and colleagues who want to stay up with what's on. From all of us here on the Business Performance team, we wish you a productive month and look forward to communicating with you again soon.


In This Issue
Latest Study: Learning and Development Practices

Survey Result: Managers Fail to Gain Employee Trust

Q & A: Why are some of my team members behaving so poorly?
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