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Management Trainings

As a manager, your goal is to achieve results. You do not do this alone, but together with your employees. How do you ensure that your people are motivated and act decisively to achieve organisational goals? Managing is not always easy, but it is certainly trainable. That is why we work on various skills in our management training programmes, so that you are firmly placed in your role as manager.

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Tips for effective time management - working from home

Do you feel that you are increasingly running after yourself and that you often do not get around to all your tasks? Or do you find it difficult to keep your work and private life separate now that we often work at home? Then you are not the only one, because research shows that the workload and performance drive have increased considerably since the outbreak of COVID-19. This is good for productivity, but how do you make sure that you don't forget yourself in this hectic period and that you don't get stressed out all the time? Here are six tips on how to best manage your time while working at home.

Tip 1: Learn how you work now

First of all, look at how you work now. Do this by writing down every 15 minutes during your working day what you have done during that period. This will give you a good overview of the tasks you might get stuck in or go through too quickly. Be honest with yourself, a coffee break, a visit to the toilet or a moment to water the plants is a disaster and does not have to be removed from your routine.

Tip 2: Make it discussable

To avoid drowning in work pressure, which might lead to burn-out, we advise you to keep your work pressure under discussion. After all, you are not a lesser worker if you can't manage it all, in fact, it shows self-knowledge and strength to be able to put the brakes on once in a while. For example, does your manager want you to work through at the weekend or in the evening, but do you also have a child to look after in the meantime? Then dare to say no. After all, it doesn't help anyone if you are overworked.

Tip 3: Use the Eisenhower method

General and later President of the United States Dwight D. Eisenhower was a hard worker who could always manage his time well, so a very famous time management method is named after him. The matrix below shows four categories, these are:

  • Important and urgent: think here of an internal crisis or an important meeting. Matters in this category always take precedence over the rest.
  • Important and not urgent: think about self-development or networking. You know it's important but it's not urgent, so schedule them so you don't forget.
  • Unimportant and urgent: think of e-mails from customers or, for example, the organisation of a work outing. Do this when you have time, or see if a colleague can look at it.
  • Unimportant and non-urgent: these are the tasks you should keep to a minimum. Think about painting the office or changing the mailbox. Perfect for a quiet moment.

Keeping the above matrix in mind removes a major distraction: skip unnecessary tasks and concentrate on the ones that are really important.

Tip 4: Plan, plan, plan

You cannot say this often enough: make sure you have a good month, week and day planning. People often lose track of what needs to be done because they don't have a clear idea of what's coming up, an important deadline is suddenly tomorrow or you're stressed about the unknown. To put an end to this, you can of course use an old-fashioned calendar, but did you know that there are also handy sites like trello.com exist? Here you can put all your tasks in a clear overview, indicating when they have to be done and how urgent they are. Of course, there are many more of these handy tools, one of the best known is probably the SCRUM method. We give training in this, click here for more information.

Webinar on time management

Could you use some tips on how to use your time more effectively and efficiently? Then our webinar This is how successful people manage their time! is just the thing for you! During three interesting (online) hours, our expert trainer Emma will talk to you. Using examples, techniques and exercises, she will show you how to take the next step in effective time management. Click here for more information about the webinar or to register now.

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Conducting bad news interviews online - How do you go about it?

Most managers cannot escape it; holding bad-news interviews is sometimes part of the job. These are often confrontational conversations that can evoke different emotions from both the manager and the employee. Currently, these conversations often take place online. This brings with it an extra challenge; how do you best convey bad news using online communication tools? Read below 5 tips that can help you to conduct an online bad news conversation.

1. Plan the interview in time

There is never a good time to have a bad news conversation, but don't delay. By doing so, you will give the person you are having this conversation with the idea that you are withholding important and crucial information from them. Once the conversation does take place, it can lead to unnecessary anxiety that is often accompanied by negative emotions such as anger and frustration. So you could argue that delaying bad news only leads to a more difficult conversation.

2. Transparent communication

Right at the start of the conversation, state what it is about. In a face-to-face conversation, it's usually best to get right to the point, so the other person knows where they stand. This also applies to an online bad news conversation. So make sure you're transparent: this is often seen as the most sincere way to convey an unpleasant message.

3. Empathetic ability

Online, it may be more difficult to gauge someone else's reaction, but this is an important aspect of a bad-news conversation. Once the message has been conveyed, it is important to wait for the other persons' reactions. Emotions that may surface include resignation, defence, denial, repetition or even aggression. In any case, it is important to give someone time to express themselves. If you can't quite gauge someone's reaction, for example because you are video chatting and can't quite see their face, dare to ask them how they feel about the bad news. In this way, you can still respond to what the person says, by empathising with their situation.

4. Offer aftercare

In order not to end the conversation too abruptly, it is a good idea to think beforehand about how the situation will develop after the conversation has ended. It is important to indicate that you understand that the bad news is unexpected and that you will grant the person time to let the news sink in. In the case of a termination of employment, it is a good idea to schedule a meeting later to wrap things up properly.

5. Realise that it is not your fault that the conversation takes place online

Finally, it is important to remember that it is not your fault that the conversation takes place online. In these circumstances, there is nothing else you can do. Having an online bad news conversation has one big advantage: the person you are having the conversation with is (probably) in their own home, and not in the office or another location. This means he or she can retreat to familiar surroundings after the call, without having to speak to other people first. You can probably imagine that if you have just heard you have been fired, for example, you would rather avoid your departmental colleagues after such an interview.

Bad news training

Learnit offers a training 'Bad news conversations', in which you learn how to prepare for such a conversation, how you can best structure a conversation and which pitfalls you must take into account. During this one-day training you will not only learn about theory, but you will also interactively get to work with exercises. This ensures that at the end of the day you will have the skills and confidence to conduct a bad news conversation the next time. Click here to read more about the training or to register directly.

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Internet of Things: Advantages and disadvantages

More and more devices are becoming connected to each other and to the internet. Just think of the 'smart' thermostat in your house, the alarm clock in your bedroom or perhaps your Google Home speaker. Research has shown that by 2020, more than 26 billion devices will be connected to the internet. The connections between all these devices is called the 'Internet of Things'.

What is the Internet of Things?

In short, the Internet of Things consists of all devices connected to the Internet. These devices are able to communicate with the Internet and with each other, and they can send data into the cloud without human intervention. This automation saves costs and reduces the physical effort required of people. This sounds fantastic, of course, but on the other hand, people are also criticising the Internet of Things. Some people are afraid that technology will eventually take over the world, and others point out the possible problems with privacy.

Benefits of the Internet of Things

The Internet of Things has several advantages, here are the three most important ones:

  • Time-saving. First of all, it saves a lot of time that devices can communicate automatically with each other and the internet without human intervention. An example of this is a smart thermostat; it can tell you via an app exactly what your energy consumption is and how you can save on it. When a human being has to give this feedback to you, you can imagine that it takes more time and effort.
  • Cost-saving. Human activity is reduced through the use of devices that are constantly connected to the Internet and to each other. This means that certain jobs will not be needed, or will be needed less, which in turn will save companies and individuals money.
  • Convenience. Many smart devices can be controlled remotely these days. Think of a video doorbell, where you can remotely see who is at your front door. Not only are you able to see immediately who is at your front door using the app, you can also communicate directly with someone at your door. Smart devices therefore increase the ease of use.

Disadvantages of the Internet of Things

Besides the many advantages that the Internet of Things offers, there are also a number of objections:

  • Everything revolves around technology. Technology is indispensable nowadays, the question is when will the world have enough technology? Many people wonder whether it is good that so much of life revolves around technology and whether it would not be wiser to return to more simple times. Aren't we becoming too dependent on technology and therefore less sharp? In addition, this new technology is also causing jobs to disappear, as much of the work can be taken over by technology.
  • Hackers. Smart devices are increasing data traffic, making it more and more interesting for hackers to hack into devices. Especially data sent over free wireless networks (wifi) is easy to intercept.
  • Privacy is at risk. When hackers have intercepted data, it can be at the expense of your privacy. Imagine that you remotely switch on and off the lights of your house during a holiday by means of an app that is connected to lamps in your house. When a hacker realises that you do this by using an app instead of physically turning on the lights, he or she knows exactly when you are or are not at home. As you can imagine, this is valuable information for burglars.

Using the Internet of Things for your own organisation?

The Internet of Things offers many opportunities for organisations, but also a number of challenges. To ensure that your organisation can make a flying start by deploying the Internet of Things, Learnit offers a training 'Internet of Things'. During this 2-day training you learn all about the terminology, application possibilities, but also about the security surrounding the Internet of Things. Click here for more information about the training.

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Leadership by power or by inspiration?

Putin, Kim Jong-un, Lukashenko, Trump. Four names of heads of state who often make the news because of their statements. Typical of many of these world leaders in the 21st century is that they are not afraid to show their power. Perhaps this statement by Trump about immigrants from Mexico is familiar to you: "I'm going to build a great wall, and believe me, nobody builds better walls than me, and I'll do it on the cheap." This is a statement that shows very clearly what kind of leader Trump is: straightforward and power is often central. The problem with these kinds of statements is that it can be difficult to create support among your audience. A solution to this is leading by inspiration. Good examples of this way of thinking are leaders like Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela. Both are loved for their often inspiring speeches and their ability to create connections.

Inspiring leadership in the workplace

Leading from inspiration is increasingly common in the workplace. Nowadays, there is more room to develop and use your own talents and qualities. Not only does it appear to be more effective to lead in an inspiring way, it is also more efficient to let colleagues achieve a good result. But how do you become an inspiring leader? Read 4 tips below that can help you to fully use your (inspirational) leadership qualities:

1. Authenticity

Being an inspiring leader starts with being yourself. In order to inspire others, you must first know what you stand for and what your personal motives are. No two leaders are the same, which is logical; everyone has different qualities and is motivated by different motives. So first check yourself to see who you are and what you stand for, so that you can send a powerful message to others.

2. Create a deeper layer in your relationships

As a manager or leader in the workplace, it is important to transmit your own inspiration to your employees. When you speak from your own inspiration and passion, you create a deeper layer in your relationship with others. This often has a connecting effect in the workplace. The result is that you create a safe environment where trust, independence and self-thinking employees are central.

3. Stimulate personal development

Personal development is a key concept when it comes to inspiring leadership. A leader who determines everything for other people does not create support among employees. Employees will not be challenged if you tell them exactly what to do, without giving them a say. Therefore, emphasise how important others are and how important it is that they develop themselves further, so that they dare to speak out.

4. Small gestures

When we think of inspirational leadership, we often think of famous speeches or grand gestures. However, this does not have to be the case on the work floor. It's better to show your appreciation for your colleagues throughout the year by making small, yet personal gestures. For example, ask about someone's son or daughter, or strike up a conversation about someone's favourite sports team.

Webinar and course

Did you know that Learnit offers a free webinar Leading from inspiration instead of power that perfectly matches this theme? This webinar paints a picture of inspirational leadership, teaches you what it can do for you, and gives you a few practical tips. Click here to register for the webinar. We also offer a 3-day training Coaching Leadership in which you learn to develop your own personal coaching style. Here you learn to use skills such as exploring, reflecting, giving feedback but also confronting. Improve your own leadership style and bring out the best in others! Click here for more information.

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Inspiring leadership

Because leadership is about people, it changes with the world around us. around us. A few years ago, when employees became more and more articulate, a new way of a new way of leading: human-centred leadership.

We are now ready for the next step. In these times, employees find it important to work in a way that suits them. They bring their personality to their work. Their values and norms. They no longer want to be convinced to They want to work conscientiously for leaders who, in turn, work conscientiously, with compassion and logic. in turn, conscientiously, with compassion and logic. They want to be be inspired.

We also notice it in training courses. Participants no longer want to play a 'role'; in every training In every training it comes up: 'I don't want to do violence to myself'. Or 'I want to be I want to be authentic and honest as a manager, not play a game'. People want to make a sincere connection with their employees and with the work they do.

They want to be credible and reliable, because they are aware that you are with your team in a long-term relationship. And if you're not credible, you're going to be found out somewhere.

That does not mean that if you lead by inspiration you will never have to do anything you do not like. that you do not like. There will always be activities that you don't like or don't like to do. do. As a manager, but also as an employee. When you lead by inspiration you are very sincere and honest about it, and that's when inspirational leadership works best. best. In those difficult moments.

Inspiring leadership is not easy. It means a complete change in your way of working, because inspiring leadership begins with yourself. You can only inspire inspire others if you are inspired yourself. So you go from the outside to the inside. First inspire yourself and then your environment!

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Situational Leadership: how to provide customised services for all your colleagues

What is the best way to lead? How do you get the best out of your employees? These are questions that many people in leadership roles want answers to. When you search for a book on leadership on the sales website Bol.com, you get 39,336 results. It is not surprising that many people can no longer see the wood for the trees with this abundance of information.

Adapting to the situation

In her webinar on Situational Leadership, Learnit trainer Sandra clarified the different leadership styles and how you can apply them. What exactly is situational leadership? Situational leadership is adapting your leadership style flexibly to the situation and needs of another person", says Sandra.

The four leadership styles

During the webinar, Sandra explained the four leadership styles using Blanchard's model. This model is based on task maturity, which means that employees have a certain degree of independence.

The leadership styles of Blanchard's model are: instruct, guide, support and delegate. In addition, depending on the situation, you can act in a task- or relationship-oriented way. Which leadership style is used, depends on the personality characteristics of the manager, those of the employee and the specific situation'', explains the trainer.

Every human being is unique

Sandra emphasises that each individual deserves his or her own treatment. Every person is unique and by doing the right thing in a specific situation, you bring out the best in your employees and give them confidence that they can do it. Ultimately, you want them to be able to work independently on what they have been hired to do."

Webinar

In her webinar, Sandra explained step by step how to get the best out of your employees through situational leadership. This free interactive session took place on 27 August 2019. Watch it backhere!

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The undercurrent in team coaching: how to get a grip on it?

As a manager, it is important to know what goes on in a team. In this way, it is possible to have a well-functioning team in which all members are fully attuned to each other. However, it is not always easy to find out what really concerns the team members.

This has to do with the fact that not everything is spoken out in the group, in other words: there is an undercurrent and an overcurrent. These two currents largely determine how a team functions.

What are the lower and upper streams?

In every team, there is an undercurrent and an upcurrent. The upper stream is that which is visible to everyone. The things that are said, goals that are set and agreements that are made with each other.

Beneath this lies another invisible stream. These are the things that are not discussed, but that do influence the general atmosphere in a team. That is why it is important to get a grip on this stream.

The Theory

The concept of the lower and upper streams was coined by the American psychologist David McClelland. He presents these two currents as an iceberg. The tip of the iceberg is characterised by what we do: our knowledge and skills. The lower current is characterised by what we think and want: our values and our behavioural patterns. The lower stream is much more abstract, but, according to David McClelland, ultimately forms the basis for the upper stream.

The importance of the undercurrent

We don't always realise it, but every team has underlying tensions, expectations and frustrations. These are often not shared, but they do influence the way team members deal with each other. Ultimately, this flow therefore determines to a large extent how a team functions. Are collaborations not running smoothly? Is the productivity of a team remarkably low? All these problems can largely be solved by paying attention to the underlying flow.

How can these currents be influenced?

When you are familiar with the lower and upper stream, you have already taken the first step towards a close-knit team. Next, it is especially important to bring the underlying behavioural patterns, norms and values to the surface. Once these issues are actually discussed, the team can take a different approach to each other.

This ultimately creates a pleasant atmosphere in which everyone interacts effortlessly. So, do you want to influence the lower and upper stream? Then it is especially important to talk to your team.

How to streamline your team

As a manager, it may seem impossible to gain insight into both the bottom and top stream. What can help here is a Team coach from Learnit. He or she is specialised in making the undercurrents negotiable.

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Positively influencing group dynamics through coaching leadership

A good leader knows how to motivate employees to achieve organisational goals. Understanding group dynamics is of great importance here. The right dynamics in a group have a motivating effect, while negative group dynamics make the achievement of common goals difficult, if not impossible.

Understanding group dynamics

Every group has its own dynamics: families, school classes, groups of colleagues. Group dynamics means that the individual group members react to each other and the group leader in a certain way. The group members develop interaction patterns that may or may not be productive, and unwritten rules develop to which the group members must conform. A good group dynamic can generally be recognised by an open and friendly atmosphere, good cooperation and efficient execution of tasks. The group members feel safe, so they dare to express their opinions and solve conflicts in a fruitful way. There is something wrong with the group dynamic if the group members have no idea what others are doing, gossip about each other, get into constant conflict with each other or form groups with their own agenda. It is also possible that there are some group members who play an unconstructive role within the group, such as the clown who never takes anything seriously or the critic who scoffs at the ideas of other group members. These group members can undermine the functioning of the group as a whole.

Leadership and group dynamics

It is not always easy to understand the dynamics in a group. Group dynamics depend on many factors, such as the characteristics of the individual group members, external circumstances and changes in the group composition. Leadership is also of influence. In some cases, poor group dynamics can be attributed to poor leadership. For example, if a manager has an authoritarian style of leadership, employees often become frustrated. They feel they only have to follow orders, they are not listened to and they cannot use their talents. Because emotions and behaviour in a group are contagious, the group may turn against the manager or lose the motivation to make an effort. A manager with a laissez-faire mentality, on the other hand, can provide so little guidance that the group members do not know where they stand. This also has a demotivating effect. In such a case, one of the group members will often take the lead, even if he or she does not have the capacity to do so. It is therefore of great importance that a manager has self-knowledge and adapts his or her style of leadership when necessary.

Controlling groups correctly

When a new group is formed, there is a lot of uncertainty among the group members; about each other, about the goals to be achieved and the tasks to be carried out. A manager will then really have to take the lead. When the group members have more clarity about what is expected of them, they will increasingly take the initiative and manage themselves. The manager's role is then one of facilitation: offering support, encouragement and inspiration, providing the right resources and acting as a mediator in conflicts. However, the most important task of a leader is and remains bridging the gap between the goals of the individual employees, the team and the organisation as a whole. One way to achieve the right alignment of different goals is coaching leadership.

Coaching and group dynamics

Group dynamics benefit when individual group members feel that they are making a valuable contribution to the group and that others appreciate their contribution. Managers therefore need to know what the qualities of the various group members are and how they can make the best possible use of them. Employees are also willing to work hard for the organisation's goals if they can develop themselves as a result. That is why every manager would do well to have coaching conversations with employees: What do you want to achieve in your work (and life)? What skills do you want to develop? What are your pitfalls? How can I support you in your personal development? If you know what the individual team members want to achieve, you will also understand their functioning in the group better. Why they have more affinity with one colleague than with another, why they rebel in the face of change or act as peacemakers in conflicts within the group. This makes it easier for you as a manager to influence the group dynamics.

Coaching Leadership Training

By leading by coaching, you can get more out of your employees. Not only by standing above someone else, but also beside them. That is coaching. How exactly you do that in practice you learn in our three-day training, in which you develop your personal coaching style.

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Resistance during a reorganisation: 5 tips for managing change

For many employees, the word 'reorganisation' conjures up negative associations. This is not always entirely unjustified. Reorganisation is often the result of economic shrinkage, a merger or takeover. Dismissals, merging of functions, transfer to another work location and an increase in work pressure can be the result. Sometimes, however, the rapid growth of a company is a reason to reorganise. Employees are often given challenging new tasks and responsibilities, are welcomed by new colleagues in the workplace and are given the opportunity to acquire new knowledge and skills. Employees generally experience this as a positive change.

Most people find change scary. Whether a reorganisation has positive or negative consequences for employees: it will always be accompanied by (some) resistance. Resistance is a normal psychological reaction: you say goodbye to the old situation and this is accompanied by feelings of fear, anger, sadness or uncertainty. Resistance can manifest itself in various ways in employees: inactivity, a lack of initiative, procrastination, an indifferent attitude, emotionality or open hostility. As a manager or supervisor, how do you deal with this? We give you five tips!

1. Understand why employees resist change

Except for a few adventurers, most people value routine, safety and comfort. Reorganisation, on the other hand, brings with it a great deal of uncertainty. Employees are afraid of losing their jobs, of not being able to cope with the change and suffering burn-out, of losing their current position in the organisation or of the relationships with colleagues coming under pressure if people have to leave. Fear of failure is also a cause of resistance. Some employees love to take on a new challenge, but others are afraid of failing.

2. Keep communicating

Being well informed gives people a sense of control. That is why employees facing a reorganisation welcome every piece of information. So provide this information, even if you think it is just an unimportant detail. If you don't, there is a danger that employees will start speculating. Wild stories emerge that cause even more unrest.

3. Offer emotional and practical support

Communicating is not only about making statements, but also about listening to others. During a reorganisation, employees often feel that the management is not interested in their concerns. That is why it is good to talk to every employee about what the organisation means to him or her. In addition to giving employees the opportunity to express their emotions, these discussions also provide useful information to steer the reorganisation in the right direction. Reassure employees when dismissal is imminent and assure them that everything will be taken care of. Help them find a new job. If employees are going to take on a new position in the organisation, prepare them step by step, for example by following a course or coaching.

4. Be open to feedback

It is unfortunate if management dismisses employee resistance as an obstacle to achieving organisational goals. Resistance and criticism can actually lead to new insights and creative solutions. Do not forget that employees are specialists. They can identify bottlenecks and come up with solutions that the management does not think of.

5. Notice willingness to change

Too much focus on resistance can lead to deadlocks. Therefore, focus on the willingness of employees to change. Some employees have no difficulty with change and will actively contribute to the change process. These 'champions of change' fulfil an important role model function. Make an inventory of the talents possessed by employees who show a lot of resistance in order to make a positive contribution to the reorganisation. Show them their potential: that will have a motivating effect!

Resistance training in reorganisation: managing change

In our two-day training Resistance during reorganisation: managing change, you will work with an experienced trainer to deal with resistance during a reorganisation. After following this training you will succeed in keeping your employees motivated. You work together on a new beginning for the company, in which the new plans stand for new successes. Want to know more?

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Benefits of improvement and development plans

Paying attention to the development of employees has dozens of advantages for the employee, the manager and the organisation. A top 3 of these benefits is explained below:

The benefits for the organisation

Reduced absenteeism and turnover

Employees who are supported in their work and receive attention from their manager and from the organisation are more satisfied with their work. This is because they feel that they matter. This is characterised by fewer complaints, less absenteeism and lower staff turnover. Employees who are satisfied with their workplace remain with the organisation and are keen to grow rather than move to another organisation. Growing within the organisation reduces recruitment and selection costs.

Employees are aligned with organisational goals

Being aware of the development level and the development possibilities of your people ensures that you and your team or department can better connect to organisational objectives or at least know what is needed to connect to them. Organisational objectives can be translated into departmental or team objectives; these can then be translated into individual employee objectives. By having these different goals in focus, you can better align them with each other. This ensures that your employees do the right things for the right reasons.

Differentiating as an organisation / Attractive employer / Keeping up to date

Organisations that pay attention to the development of their people are more attractive employers. Employees see these organisations as caring about their people. As mentioned earlier, time and attention are crucial for employees. Attention to employee development ensures that you distinguish yourself as an organisation and that you keep up with the times.

The benefits for the manager

More bonding, fewer surprises

By paying attention to employees as a manager, the bond of trust is increased. Managers who are in good contact with their employees are quicker to recognise when something is wrong or when an employee is underperforming. Continuous dialogue prevents surprises. When they do occur, the manager is on time to make the necessary adjustments. More attention for your employees also ensures higher motivation.

Time saving

Recognising in time when adjustments need to be made is achieved by staying in contact with your employees or by gaining insight from others. When things are not going so well, this can be spotted early on, so that you can draw up an improvement plan in time, instead of running behind the facts. Mapping out what needs to be done or what is going on in good time ensures that action can be taken more quickly. This saves time and effort in the long run.

More employable employees

Developing employees and knowing what they can do provides opportunities for the team or department. The talents and ambitions of your employees are of crucial importance here. After all, then you know who is good at what and where they want to go. By allowing your employees to work together, you ensure that they become more broadly deployable. This in turn reinforces the value of your employees. By being in contact with your employees, you are also more likely to discover untapped talent.

The benefits for the employee

Moment of attention

As the pressure mounts in many companies, attention to personnel often slips by. However, that is exactly what employees need during these times; to be listened to and to feel that they matter. Talking to employees is a form of giving attention. It strengthens the bond between employee, manager and organisation, which in turn can contribute to greater employee satisfaction.

Opportunities for advancement to other positions

By discussing the possibilities that are available within the organisation and matching these with the ambitions or wishes of the employee, opportunities can be created for both parties. By continually discussing this with each other, it is possible to steer well in this direction. An adjustment or increase in workload, or shadowing a colleague, is often the first step needed to progress to a different position. This makes optimal use of the employee's talents and also prevents the employee from becoming bogged down.

More varied work or more specialised work

Developing skills to a greater or lesser extent depends on the possibilities and needs of the organisation, employee and manager. Development is not just about promotion, training or salary increases; it is about developing talents. In this way, employees get the chance to develop their talents and become better at their job.

Learnit Training offers training for organisations, managers and employees in the field of professional conversation, management and personal development. Please contact one of our training consultants for advice or a quotation without obligations.

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The improvement and development plan

Employees often feel most appreciated when the manager listens to them. Paying attention to (your) employees is therefore of great importance. The Performance Management Cycle offers tools to develop and supervise staff throughout the year. An improvement plan is drawn up when there is reason to make improvements in the work. A development plan is about growth and development, even when there is no immediate reason to improve. Both plans can result from the same conversation. Depending on the content and purpose of the conversation, it will be either a development or an improvement conversation.

The aim of a development interview is to enable employees to grow and develop, with the starting point being that they work with pleasure and enthusiasm to achieve the organisation's objectives. A development interview forms the basis for an open working climate between employee and manager.

In a development interview, the focus is on:

  • the improvement, deepening or broadening of the exercise of the present function;
  • The ambitions and talents of the employee: what are the ambitions and talents and how does the employee put them to optimal use?

A development interview takes place at the beginning of the year. Together with the employee, the ambitions - and related goals - of the employee are determined, as well as what needs to be done to achieve these goals. These can be short or long term goals. During the performance review halfway through the year, the extent to which the employee is on the right track can be examined and what further steps can be taken to stimulate development. It also looks at how someone is functioning in their current job. Characteristic of this conversation is that it is a two-way street. The manager has less say than the employee.

At the end of the year, there will be an evaluation of the functioning and the goals already achieved. If someone is stagnating or has achieved insufficient results, an improvement plan can be drawn up. In an improvement plan, goals are set and made concrete for the employee to work on in order to get a positive assessment again. Achievement of these goals is closely monitored by meeting at least once every fortnight to discuss progress. The employee is expected to take the initiative and show that he is working on his development and thus on improvements. The aim of an improvement interview is that the employee will once again function well during his next performance review and that his development will progress.

What should an improvement or development interview consist of?

There are various forms that can be used for both development and improvement interviews. In our training we go deeper into this and look at which questions are most appropriate for your organisation. It is important that the employee himself is activated to think about his own development and improvement. You can stimulate this as a manager by asking open questions, allowing silences and encouraging input through active listening.

Questioning techniques

To give you an idea, here are some interesting questions that you can use in a development dialogue:

Current situation

  • Is the employee currently satisfied with his current position?
  • Does the job match his knowledge, experience, talents and ambitions?
  • Does the employee currently wish to change tasks within his/her current job (e.g. broadening of tasks, deepening of tasks (specialisation), a coordinating role, no longer performing certain tasks, etc.)?
  • What improvements do the employee and the manager see in the current work? (For example, new tasks, working more efficiently, gaining new knowledge and putting it into practice, sharing knowledge with colleagues, etc.)
  • What is needed to realise the above points and what do the employee and manager agree on?

Ambitions

  • Does the employee want to change jobs within two years (e.g. promotion, horizontal advancement or a job with fewer responsibilities, etc.)?
  • What are the employee's long-term ambitions?
  • What is needed to achieve the stated ambitions of the employee within the two-year period and what can be agreed between employee and manager?
  • Is it clear to the employee and manager what career opportunities are available within the company?

Talents

  • What talents does the employee have, what makes him stand out and what he does well?
  • Are there talents that the employee has that are not (yet) or insufficiently used in the job?

Are you a manager and would you like to be supported in conducting the various interviews from the interview cycle? Or are you an employee and would you like to work on your development points? Contact one of our training advisors for advice or a quotation without obligation.

Learnit Training offers training for organisations, managers and employees in the field of communication, management and personal development. Contact one of our training consultants for advice or a quotation without any obligations. link]

5 tips for managing development

Do you want to tackle performance appraisals in an inspiring and result-oriented way? We have listed 5 tips for you:

1. Use a 360-degree feedback tool

The 360 degree feedback tool is an instrument to analyse the functioning of an employee on an individual level, using multiple assessors. By combining various observations, a complete picture is created of the assessed employee and competences can be measured. In many cases, colleagues of the same level are asked, but also (other) managers and even customers can be asked for their opinion. The purpose of the 360 degree feedback tool is to paint as broad a picture as possible of current behaviour in a work situation. In this way, both the employee and the manager gain more insight into the situation and can act accordingly. Read more about 360 degree feedback here.

2. Use core quadrants

A Core Quadrant is based on positive characteristics which the employee has had since childhood and which are so individual that they form the "core" of the employee. Too much of such a quality is too much of a good thing and forms a pitfall: the employee may overshoot the mark and others may become annoyed with the employee. Because the employee is so familiar with the quality, the pitfall is often a blind spot. The employee can work on his or her pitfalls by looking for something positive to do with them: a quality that can compensate for the pitfall, in other words: a challenge. Too much of a challenge (too much of a good thing) is negative: an allergy. Read more about core quadrants and how to use them here. The purpose of using the core quadrant is to create insight into one's own effective and ineffective behaviour, whether or not in cooperation with others. Let the employee think about his or her core quadrants, using the model below as a starting point (source: Daniel Ofman):

3. Create conditions that motivate the employee

When employees do a good job, managers usually conclude that motivation is fine. Usually, however, motivation patterns relate to things that go beyond the job or certain tasks. People are motivated by things such as the value of the work, expertise, creativity, connection with the group, autonomy, security, status, personal development and material rewards. Getting satisfaction from work is very important: as a manager, you cannot motivate the employee; only the employee can indicate what motivates him or her. However, you can create the conditions that will motivate them. Asking the employee questions is crucial here. Together with the employee, you can look for a new balance between the expectations of the employee and what your organisation can offer. This can be discussed during a performance review, after which new agreements are made.

4. Involve the employee actively in the process

During the performance review, it is important that the employee is central: for example, let the employee prepare for the review himself, with the manager providing support by suggesting a list of topics. The manager can make some topics compulsory and let the employee choose some topics himself. The employee sends the preparation to the manager prior to the interview so that the manager can also prepare for the interview. Let the employee write a report after the interview. By setting up the performance appraisal in this way, the responsibility and ownership of the employee is increased. The employee is also responsible for his or her own development process, which in turn can increase motivation (see tip 3).

5. Don't let the conversation report disappear into the drawer: "BE SMART".

A performance review is only meaningful if it leads to concrete actions and measurable results. Well-formulated intentions are easier to realise. By making goals and the results to be achieved concrete in this way, there is more clarity. The "BE SMART" method can help with this:

  • B = Inspired "Believe in what you do, and do what you believe in
  • E = Energy Put energy on it. It does not happen by itself
  • S = Specific Make the intentions specific. What, where, when, how much, with whom? In which situations can you do this, and in which not?
  • M = Measurable Describe intentions in such a way that progress and the final result can be measured
  • A = Acceptable to the employee and others Take into account what is possible for the employee and others
  • R = Realistic and relevant Know the possibilities and limitations of the employee and make a good assessment of reality. Know what is important for the employee (and his or her environment) if this intention is realised
  • T = Traceable Is it traceable in time? Is it clear when it is "finished"?

Training in personnel and organisation

Learnit Training offers training for organisations, managers and employees in the field of personnel and organisation. link]

Cyclical leadership: directing behaviour to achieve results

The new way of working means that a new way of dealing with tasks and responsibilities must be found. Employees are given more and more freedom to organise their work in their own way, but also more responsibility for their own results and development. Managing for results is therefore becoming increasingly important. The Performance Management Cycle (PMC) is a cycle that helps with this and gives direction to the behaviour needed to achieve those results.

Cyclical management is characterised by three interviews during the year. It focuses on working with objectives and results to be achieved. The three discussions in question are the planning discussion, the progress discussion (also called the performance discussion) and the assessment discussion:

  • Planning interview: In the planning interview, agreements are made between the employee and manager about results and development. This interview is about the coming period.
  • Progress discussion: The progress interview looks at the results achieved so far, in line with the agreements made. It also focuses on the further development of the employee in the future.
  • Assessment interview: In the assessment interview, it is ultimately assessed whether the agreements made have been achieved in terms of results and development. Based on this, a reward may or may not follow.

The three interviews in the interview cycle fit together. By evaluating the good and points for improvement of the past period in an objective, respectful manner, the course of these interviews is optimised. In addition to these interviews, feedback interviews are also held in between. During the progress or assessment interview, no new facts should be brought up. These facts have been noticed before and are discussed in a feedback interview. The aim is to keep a finger on the pulse and make adjustments where necessary.

Focusing on employee development throughout the year brings benefits and results for the organisation, the team and the employees themselves.

Management Trainings

As a manager, your goal is to achieve results. You do not do this alone, but together with your employees. How do you ensure that your people are motivated and act decisively to achieve organisational goals? Managing is not always easy, but it is certainly trainable. That is why we work on various skills in our management training programmes, so that you are firmly placed in your role as manager.

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Leadership trajectory for organisation in the shipping industry

An organisation from the shipping industry is in the process of professionalising. The starting point is the initiation of a more relationship-oriented organisational culture, in which results and task content are the primary focus.

Situation description

The organisation is in motion with the aim of shifting from a closed organisation to a more open communicative organisational culture. A characteristic of an open culture is, among other things, coaching leadership and the provision of clear feedback. In order for such a change to permeate all layers of the organisation, it is important that the executive team and the management team set the right example. This also requires a major change from them.

It goes without saying that change does not come naturally to employees who have been with the organisation for years. Clear communication about this and acknowledgement of resistance to change are important if this change of course is to be successful. Because there may also be old sores among these employees, it is important that the directors pay careful attention to the relational side of leadership.

The route

This leadership programme focuses on the "soft side" of change, such as motivation, competencies, culture and skills. This choice was made because human behaviour is ultimately the core of a change process. After all, results are achieved by people, and human behaviour consists of knowledge, skills, behaviour and attitude. And so the circle is round. Learnit Training has shaped this multi-year process in close consultation with the board and management team through support in the areas of training, coaching, advice and in the role of facilitator. The result is that employees now take more ownership for their own actions, there is less of a gossip culture and employees address each other more directly and provide positive and constructive feedback.

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Managing change after a reorganisation at a printing company

Due to a reorganisation at a printing company, many managers of this company are facing resistance among the staff. This is because the range of duties of many employees has changed significantly, causing friction within the teams. In order to reduce the resistance Learnit Training trained 21 managers of the company in leading change. During this three-day training the focus was mainly on motivating and enthusing the teams, in order to create more group cohesion. The most important goal: motivated employees and a good working atmosphere.

Practice

During the training, there was a lot of practice. Video recordings were made of the role plays, so that what was learned during the role play could be viewed immediately. In the beginning, some employees were reluctant to do this, but after a while everyone discovered that this way of reflecting is very useful and valuable. This way of training has borne fruit. The employees have gained new ideas to motivate and enthuse their colleagues.

Staff experience

"Very spontaneous and clear."

"Good organisation, will definitely come back for other trainings."

"I found the training very informative and clear".

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Coaching for managers

During the recruitment and selection training for the management team of a steamship company, a deeper problem was identified: the organisation wanted to move from a relatively closed organisation to a more open communicative organisational culture. To achieve this, more attention could be paid to employees who were not performing well and to making conflicts on the shop floor open for discussion. This means asking managers to give more direct feedback, to conduct performance interviews in a constructive manner and to motivate and enthuse their staff by rewarding them more openly.

Training course

To achieve this, Learnit Training developed a special training programme, adapted to the organisation and the prevailing culture. Five board members and ten middle managers followed the course Coaching leadership for managers during one year, followed by an individual coaching course of five sessions. The following year, the middle managers followed the same programme. In addition, each year return days were organised for both groups and there were joint meetings. The Learnit trainer worked in close consultation with the management and created the awareness among employees that good performance of employees is not self-evident, but largely depends on effective leadership.

Open working atmosphere

To create a more open working atmosphere, attention was paid to coaching leadership and motivating employees by actively listening and asking open questions. Dealing effectively with tension between employees and with emotions in the workplace were also given an important place in the training. Years after the training, Learnit Training is still closely involved with the organisation and supports the employees in various areas with training and coaching.

Staff experience

"As usual, we are extremely satisfied with the content of the training and the professional way in which it was delivered by the trainer."

"The trainer knows our company and our people and uses this in an excellent way to maximise the return on training."

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Who stole my cheese?

Stephen Covey

Every organisation is subject to change; how does one deal with this? In this book, four characters are confronted with drastic changes; each one reacts differently when his Cheese suddenly runs out. Johnson and Blanchard, with a popular and appealing parable, show what fears change brings, how you can successfully overcome those fears, and how you can create new opportunities out of change, both at home and at work.

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Break the circle

Arend Ardon How managers unconsciously block change

Most managers today have a great deal of knowledge about change management. Yet, in practice, it often goes wrong. This is because our knowledge only guides our actions to a very limited extent. Without knowing it, we have assumptions about our employees that actually get us into trouble. And unconsciously we display gradients that undermine our employees' initiative and sense of responsibility. To break through the tough situations that arise from this, you need to understand how you, as a manager, perpetuate them. Arend Ardon makes it crystal clear how they arise and offers do-it-yourself interventions to get the change going again.

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Managing for results and development

Truidy Bröcker & Loek van den Broek For executives who work (or will work) with the Performance Management Cycle

How can we work in a result-oriented way? And what tools are needed to effectively deploy the different generations (baby boomers, generations X and Y). This book provides a framework for managers who work (or will work) with the PMC. For each discussion, it explains how to formulate result and competency development agreements in such a way that they are measurable, how to monitor progress and how to assess results. The manager also receives a manual for the introduction in his department. Finally, it discusses how organisations can link assessment results to remuneration.

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The big improvement book

Neil Webers, Lucas van Engelen & Thom Luijben More than 120 tools and concepts for process improvers and change managers

This book provides an overview and ranking of the most frequently used tools for the purpose of continuous improvement. No less than 121 tools and concepts that contribute to the improvement of processes within organisations are reviewed. These range from well-known tools such as the five times why and the cause-and-effect matrix to lesser known tools such as the retrospective tool and the CTQ flowdown. Whereas many books on these tools mainly tell you what you can do to improve business processes, this book also explains how you should do it.

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Systematic transition management

Maaike Thiecke and Bianca van der Zeeuw Take the easy way out for a change

A new structure, a different process or a modified IT system is not enough for a significant change. Employees and teams must undergo a psychological transition to actually start behaving differently. In this way, change is not just a matter of reallocating chairs. Change becomes easier if you manage this psychological transition. This book provides simple, pragmatic tools with which you can understand and influence persistent behaviour in teams and organisations undergoing change.

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The seven characteristics of effective leadership

Stephen Covey

A true classic, if you haven't read it yet it is highly recommended.