Using Company “Wellness Checks” to Improve Performance

by Brad - Oct 22, 2014


You’ve probably heard the saying “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” We all know that eating right and exercising regularly are important to our health, but how many of us go to the doctor regularly just to get a checkup? Living a healthy lifestyle doesn’t automatically guarantee you will be healthy, so regular health checks are important.

The same concept applies to your workforce. Many companies assume that their employees are content with their jobs and enjoy their work, but without a regular “checkup” there is no way to know for sure.

A checkup can be something as simple as setting up a regular time to meet one-on-one with each employee. Meetings can include both formal evaluations and unstructured time. These meetings can help supervisors gauge the satisfaction level of their employees and reveal issues that managers were previously unaware of. Some employees are more comfortable sharing ideas in a one-on-one setting than in a group, so these times can also provide valuable employee insight into improving your company.

Sometimes, a company wellness check requires a more in-depth examination than can be done in one-on-one meetings. Programs like those offered by LearnKey’s partner company, Predix, can help you learn about your employees’ strengths and weaknesses. Predix’s Know Your TalentsTM model can help you leverage your employee’s strengths and ensure you have the right people in the right positions. You can learn how to better communicate with each employee and tap into their talents in the workplace. Not only will you increase productivity, you will increase employee satisfaction as well.

Employees are the number one asset to an organization and their professional development is key to growth and success. You may have all of your employees in the right positions, but some of them may still require training to know everything they need for their job. This happens frequently when employees are promoted. An employee may excel at their job in the Human Resources department, but a promotion to Human Resources Manager could find them lacking in essential skills that were unnecessary in their previous position. LearnKey’s wide selection of training courses can provide the proper training which your employees need to succeed.



3 Tips for Surviving Company Rightsizing

by Brad - Oct 09, 2014


Author’s Note: This post is based on an article which appeared in the May/June 2009 edition of the LearnKey newsletter.

In order to survive the always-changing face of business, all companies must go through a series of corporate “rightsizing” at various points in their lifecycle. Often, employees are laid off or transferred to support the new structure and goals of the company.

When a company goes through rightsizing, it’s often difficult to know if your job is safe or if you will get handed the dreaded pink slip. These three tips can help prepare you to survive the changes your company is going through:

  1. Become More Efficient. Companies are always looking for ways to cut costs and one area that often gets cut is employees. This often means more things need to be done in the same amount of time with fewer people than before. Learning to work more efficiently can help to set you apart from your coworkers. When you can do the work of two people in the same amount of time, your value will be much higher than those who can’t.
  2. Knowledge is Power. A key feature of the changing face of business is expecting employees to not only be good at the job they were hired for, but to be flexible enough to take on other responsibilities as needed. In the time I’ve been with LearnKey I have held several different positions, and occasionally been asked to assist others with tasks in which I had little to no previous experience. Gaining more knowledge, whether through books, online learning, or seminars, can help you to adapt to whatever situation you find yourself in.
  3. Continue Your Education. Take it upon yourself to learn the new things you need to learn – even if your company can’t compensate you. Buy products to help get you where you want to be and invest in your future. Set goals and hold yourself accountable for the outcomes.

As a learning company, LearnKey has a wide variety of training courses to help you learn the things you need to know to survive your company’s rightsizing. If you want to communicate your ideas and demonstrate your importance to the company, you will also benefit from our personal productivity courses. See our Course List for details.



LearnKey Veteran Services Blue Ocean Program

by Beau - Oct 06, 2014


Summer 2014 has brought some great changes to our LearnKey Veteran Services team. Our team has been filled with committed and excited members who have a strong desire to provide the best service and learning experience to the Veterans in our program. To assist the team in providing the best service, we created the Student Resource Center. This new page on our website has videos, links, and other information that Veterans can use as a resource as they make their way through the Blue Ocean program. Another big milestone happened this August. We had our first Veteran graduate from the Blue Ocean program. Tristan Roberts was one of the first Veterans to be accepted into the Blue Ocean program and completed with certifications in CompTIA’s A+, Net+, Security+, and in Microsoft Office Specialist’s Word, Excel, and Outlook.

One benefit of the Blue Ocean program is that when students successfully complete the program they are guaranteed a job. Tristan was offered a job at LearnKey as the newest member of the Veteran Services team. With Tristan joining the team, I wondered what exactly  the Veteran Services Team did to get Tristan to this point. So I spoke with Brian Tremelling and Seth Boyack, two people who were instrumental to Tristan’s success. See what they had to say below:

Brian Tremelling | Veteran & Vocational Rehabilitation Advisor – Tristan was one of the very first to be accepted into our new Blue Ocean program. The Blue Ocean terminology simply implies big, as in big opportunity for our students. Tristan’s program included IT certifications like CompTIA’s A+, Network+, and Security+. It also included certifications in Microsoft Office, and education modules designed to help with interviews, resumes, and other skills that employers are looking for. Many people would think that having these types of credentials would be enough to launch anyone in their career. Unfortunately, work experience is the missing element whenever a student gets a new credential. The great thing about those who get accepted into our new Blue Ocean program is the fact that those who successfully complete the program have the opportunity to work with LearnKey and gain that work experience that they are lacking. Tristan is the first of many students who will accept full-time work with us as a way to begin their new career.

Seth Boyack | Veteran & Vocational Rehabilitation Advisor – When I originally spoke with Tristan prior to him being accepted into LearnKey’s Blue Ocean program I could tell right away that he was motivated and hungry for such an amazing opportunity. Upon enrolling, Tristan shot out of the gate with the dedication necessary to find success. LearnKey teaches students with various learning styles; some students require more direction and others are able to move through our program without a lot of management. Tristan was the latter. Tristan and I would communicate on a monthly basis mainly for check-ins and progress reports. One of the major reasons Tristan saw so much success was directly correlated with the open line of communication we had together. Tristan’s program wasn’t perfectly smooth; there were times when he’d have to travel a couple hours to a testing center in order to sit for his certification and another time where he failed one of his exams on the first attempt. These bumps in the road proved to be pivotal. Not only did they continue to reconfirm Tristan’s drive to successfully complete the program, but it also gave Tristan and me an opportunity to work as a team and come up with the best solution possible. Tristan knew that he could trust what I said I was going to do and I knew that I could trust Tristan to deliver on his end as well; this mutual trust and the ability to have open communication is the crux of the Veteran Service Advisor and their student. No matter how you slice it or what educational path you go down, school is challenging. What LearnKey aims to do is provide students with a detailed career track, the education necessary to successfully complete the training, and a team whose sole responsibility is to make sure our students are successful. Attention to detail is what students need whether you’re learning on a campus or doing so in the comfort of your home.



Newest Employee of the Month all about the team!

by Jeff - Oct 01, 2014


Kelly Woods

Like any other company we continue to try and get better at what we do. That could not be more evident than what has transpired over the past ninety (90) days on our LearnKey Veteran Services Team (LKVS). During this period we required everyone to “be all in” on what was good for our students. It required several team members to stop what they were doing and do what is good for the team, even if it required their other priorities to be put on the back burner.

Kelly Woods, an Adviser on the LKVS team and this month’s BLS/LearnKey employee of the month demonstrated our core values by not only jumping in to help fix the problem, but took on a leadership role working with other team members on building a better process, assisted with finding good team members, and recommended a “team approach” for handling students with “a can do attitude” the entire time.

He demonstrated the value of his team members by trusting them and working on solutions vs. pointing fingers.  At a time when frustrations were high he made it very easy for team members to work with him on finding the best solutions that were the best for the team.

Kelly has a way about him that makes it easy for people to feel comfortable with him and he relates to people – a true gift, not only in friendship, but leadership and business as well.  A perfect example is what one of his peers, Kim Johnson, had to say when she nominated him. “At a time when I needed leadership support while making drastic changes to teams and processes Kelly supported me the entire way and I am so appreciative of that”.

Here’s a way for you to get to know Kelly a bit  on the personal side through a fun Q&A:

How many siblings do you have? 4 sisters and 3 brothers, I am 7th out of the 8
What is your favorite movie? The Ultimate Gift
What is your favorite band? Alabama
What is your favorite vacation spot? Kolob Mountain
What was your high school’s mascot? Ram
What is the weirdest combination of foods you have eaten? I don’t eat weird combinations
What is/was the name of your favorite pet? Buddy
What was your first car? 1976 Toyota Corolla
If you could go anywhere in the world where would it be? Jerusalem
Would you rather sky dive, bungee jump, zip line, or parasail? Zip line
What is the funniest saying you have heard working here? There is a cat on the heater vent
If you could eat dinner with anyone from the past, present, or future, who would it be and why? My little sister Tiffany who passed away suddenly last year. I would like to make sure that she really knew I loved her.

Please join me in congratulating Kelly on this achievement and his contributions to our company!

 

 



New Course Release – Computer Foundations 2014

by Beau - Sep 29, 2014


What’s my favorite part about our Computer Foundations 2014 course? It’s stunning. I have to give credit, applause, high-five, two thumbs up to our design team. I know that I speak for everyone in the company when I say that this course looks fantastic. This course has more than its looks going for it. This course is perfect for anyone who is wanting to learn the basics and is full of helpful facts and tips about computing.

Computer Foundations 2014

This course covers the basic foundations of using a computer, while ensuring that the content is easy to understand and follow. Students will learn how to choose the appropriate programs to complete important and useful tasks. By the end of this course students will feel comfortable using the technology presented and be confident in their skills and knowledge.

Our hope is that through our courseware we may continually provide learners with the guidance, preparation, and skills they need to succeed. For more information and additional LearnKey products visit our website.



Updated LearnKey Veteran Services Website

by Brad - Sep 17, 2014


If you’ve been paying attention, you may have noticed that our LearnKey Veteran Services website (www.veterans.learnkey.com) has been updated since yesterday. This is more than a mere update; it is a redesign of the existing website. The goal of this new design was two-fold:

  1. Adjust the colors of the LKVS website to be more universal to all branches of the military
  2. Bring the design of the LKVS website into harmony with the recently updated LearnKey.com design

I believe we have accomplished our goal. We used the stylesheet from the new LearnKey website design, but changed the colors so as to set the LKVS site apart from the regular LearnKey website. We also moved away from the camouflage design we were using in the old design, deciding instead on a red, white, and blue color scheme to suggest the American flag.

Two new features of the redesigned LearnKey Veteran Services site are the new Student Resource Center page and the Live Chat option. The live chat option allows students the option of chatting with a VR&E counselor to get answers to time-sensitive questions, while the Student Resource Center provides information on resources available to LKVS students and advisors. This page will be updated from time to time as more resources become available.

LearnKey Veteran Services design



Remembering September 11th

by Brad - Sep 11, 2014


For many people, the mere mention of a specific date can often bring a tide of memories and emotions rising to the surface. For those living in the United States of America, September 11th is one of those dates. Today marks the thirteenth year since all America watched in horror as the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center collapsed, killing nearly 3000 people and plunging the world into the “War on Terror.”

Though I was nowhere near ground zero, I have written several times over the years about my experiences in the aftermath of the attacks. I was living in California at the time, 2500 miles away from New York City, but the aftershocks of the attacks could be felt in the local community for months afterwards. For those Americans of Middle Eastern descent the fallout lasted much longer, and many American troops continue to suffer the effects of the attacks.

United States President George W. Bush proclaimed September 11, 2002, as Patriot Day. Each year since 2009, President Barack Obama has proclaimed the day Patriot Day and National Day of Service and Remembrance. In honor of all those killed in the attacks, and in the many battles which have been fought since, we fly our flags at half-mast. Take a moment out of your busy day today to remember those killed on September 11th or visit with a Veteran and thank them for their service.

Two beams of light represent the former Twin Towers of the World Trade Center during the 2004 memorial of the September 11, 2001 attacks.

Two beams of light represent the former Twin Towers of the World Trade Center during the 2004 memorial of the September 11, 2001 attacks.



Newest EOM problem solver, master of Rubik’s cube and trivia!

by Jeff - Sep 02, 2014


Bill Wilhelm

It’s safe to say our Better Learning Systems & LearnKey employees of the month are great at doing more than just one thing and this month’s recipient is no different. We are congratulating Bill Wilhelm from our Cedar City office. Bill has been with LearnKey Cedar City for over a year and a half and in that time he has become one of our most valued employees and built a reputation for being a master of  everything he touches.

Take for example needing help with the right combinations of a code fix for a demo file? Or how about fixing OnlineExpert.com to pause correctly? Better yet, what about secrets of a Rubik’s cube? Bill to the rescue, says his leadership team. Probably one of the greatest qualities of Bill’s contributions is he does his job with a very easy-going attitude which makes him a great team player.

Get to know Bill a bit more through some fun Q&A:

1. How many siblings do you have?

One sister, younger

2. What is your favorite movie?

Bandits. It features a Suburban like mine as the bank robbers’ getaway car (see question 8).

3. What is your favorite band?

Bloc Party

4. What is your favorite vacation spot?

I absolutely love being on the water at Lake Powell.

5. What was your high school’s mascot?

Falcons. Beware our astounding ability to plummet toward the earth really, really fast combined with incredible visual acuity! *

* (The FDA has not verified the falcon-like capabilities of all high school students. Your specific animal-based traits may vary.)

6. What is the weirdest combination of foods you have eaten?

Once, on a whim, I requested a deep fried peanut butter and jelly sandwich with onion gravy on top. My co-worker actually made the thing, and I did try a bite. It was every bit as nasty as your imagination can make it.

7. What is/was the name of your favorite pet?

Dewey, he was a miniature dachshund with a great temperament.

8. What was is your first car?

1970 Chevrolet Suburban. I still have it and drive it regularly.

9. If you could go anywhere in the world where would it be?

My wife and I would like to go on vacation to Thailand together some day.

10. Would you rather sky dive, bungee jump, zip line, or parasail?

Why not all four? I’d be up for any/all of them.

11. What is the funniest saying you have heard while working here?

There are too many Chris-ims to pick from, but a good recent one was “Sincerity is so hard when you don’t mean it!”

12. If you could eat dinner with anyone from the past, present, or future, who would it be and why?

I could over analyze the hypothetical ramifications of this question for weeks. Instead I’ll say Nikola Tesla. We’d have ever so much fun pontificating on his plans and apparatuses which are now lost to history while enjoying a specially prepared entrée of legume and fruit paste, surrounded by baked dough slices and briefly submerged in hot fat!

 

We are very fortunate to have Bill as part of the BLS/LearnKey family and value his contributions. He exemplifies our core values through making it easy for team members to work with him, providing problem solving skills that are of great value, and building trust with his leadership team.

Thank you Bill and congratulations!



New Course Release – InDesign CC

by Beau - Aug 27, 2014


Another great course released. All summer we have been releasing our new Adobe CC courses. I am excited to add InDesign CC to our list of Adobe CC courses: Illustrator CC, Dreamweaver CC, Photoshop CC, and Premiere Pro CC.

InDesign CC

If you want to become a publishing professional in today’s  workforce, it is important to have a working knowledge of Adobe InDesign. Our new InDesign CC course is taught  by LearnKey expert Linda Dickeson, and will provide you with the skills you need to create layouts for both screen and print. This new course will teach you how to use some of the newest features of InDesign CC such as: Simplified Hyperlinks, Sync Settings, EPUB enhancements, and so much more!

Our hope is that through our courseware we may continually provide learners with the guidance, preparation, and skills they need to succeed. For more information and additional LearnKey products visit our website.



New Course Release – Illustrator CC

by Beau - Aug 19, 2014


I am excited to announce the release of LearnKey’s news Adobe CC course. Illustrator CC joins Dreamweaver CC, Photoshop CC, and Premiere Pro CC as our newest course.  This course is perfect for students who are interested in a career as a web or graphic design professional.

Illustrator CC

LearnKey’s new Illustrator CC course provides a visual and intuitive interface for users to learn about the graphic editing capabilities of Illustrator CC. Join LearnKey expert Lee Wiley as he teaches you to effectively use the new Illustrator CC software. Learn about the new features in Illustrator CC such as: Live Shapes, Windows GPU acceleration, Typekit missing fonts workflow, and much more!

Our hope is that through our courseware we may continually provide learners with the guidance, preparation, and skills they need to succeed.



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