Today is a big day as it is our 30-year anniversary! Back in 1987, John Clemons, our Chairman and founder of the company, officially launched LearnKey.
He had no idea the journey the company would take; he was just a young man who figured out there was a need in using video to train people how to use operating systems, software, technology, soft skills, professional development, and other topics that could help people improve their employability skills.
LearnKey would go on to help tens of thousands of people improve their job status or achieve first time IT careers through training. It started with offering courses on VHS, then CD-ROM (thanks to his brother David), then the Internet via OnlineExpert.com. Every step of the way this company figured out how to re-invent itself. At first it was a Business to Consumer (B-C) offering, then Business to Business (B-B), and each and every step of the way LearnKey figured it out.
That is because the most successful piece of the business is the great people along the way who made LearnKey what it is today. There are hundreds of employees to thank for that, starting with some who have been with us for a very long time.
Names like: Wendi Mangum, Scott Walker, Michael Watson, Chad Stocks, Jared Baker, Chip Ehlers, Wyett Ihler and Bart Giddings just to name a few are still with us today and for that we (John, David, Lori and I) are truly grateful. We started the celebration earlier this month by hosting some meals for the team; check out some of the pictures and you will see a few of the team members.
Speaking of employees today, I embark on a trip through Utah to celebrate with those named above, and our other current employees. The trip will start in Salt Lake City visiting with our production team, then to Cedar City for some fun with our post production team, and will finally hit St. George by way of LearnKey’s corporate offices for a final celebration.
Next week I will post pictures of the journey as we are proud to continue to do great work by Improving Employability Every Day.
Congratulations LearnKey and the entire team, for it has been 30 years and I sense we will continue to celebrate in another 30 years!.
In January, Better Learning Systems announced our 2016 4th quarter Key Contributor Award winner, and not only was this person well deserving but she also is about our true “Why,” which is Improving Employability Every Day!
Jessica is a key member of our LearnKey Veteran Services team, making it through some major transitions over the past few years to help streamline and improve the program. She is also celebrating three (3) years with LearnKey this month. She is a true team player who constantly demonstrates our core values: Ease, Value, and Trust every day!
During the 4th Quarter, Jessica was an enormous help with training and mentoring our newest VSR, Nina Sepulveda. With her extensive knowledge of the program and eagerness to help, she made the onboarding of Nina an easy process. We can’t thank her enough for her contribution as a team player. When things didn’t work perfectly or go according to plan, she made it work for her students and for LearnKey. She is extremely detailed and every one of her students has nothing but great things to say about her. When she takes on a task we can trust she will get it done, and with all of the I’s dotted and T’s crossed.
In 2016 our LearnKey Veteran Services Team assisted students in achieving over 285 certifications, with Jessica directly supporting 128 of those certifications! Her dedication to helping our students achieve their goals is a true example of value.
Again, please join me in congratulating Jessica for her spirited team work, “can do attitude,” and overwhelming positive and motivational support she provides our student base. She is a great reflection of what it means to be “Improving Employability Every Day”.
It is all about better communication resulting in a better customer experience.
It’s a no-brainer that bad customer service will cost your company business. But it turns out employees’ behavior toward each other can affect your bottom line, too.
So the question is: are your employees properly job ready trained in the areas of dealing with difficult customers, meeting consumer needs, the art of customer service, listening under pressure, workplace ethics, email etiquette, social media at work, and bullying in the workplace?
A well-known study of retailer Sears revealed that a five-point improvement in employee attitude results in a 1.3% increase in customer satisfaction, which then drives an 0.5% increase in company revenue.
In today’s digital world it’s all about the customer experience:
What is customer experience and why is it important?
Customer experience is your customers’ perceptions of how your company treats them. These perceptions affect their behaviors, build memories and feelings, and may drive their loyalty. In other words, if they like you and continue to like you, they are going to do business with you and recommend you to others. Note: If one of your customers has a bad experience there is less than a 10% chance they will tell you about it, but they will choose not to do business with you in the future.
Why should you focus on improving your customer experience?
According to a recent walker study, by 2020 customer experience will overtake price and product as a key differentiator. By now it should be clear that customer service can no longer be relegated to the basement of your brand’s focus. It must be front and center of your organization, alongside marketing, as a priority focus for customer interaction and retention.
Contact us today for a no-cost proof of concept on how this training can improve your ROI.
Great leaders know the importance of continuous education for their employees: “Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to.” – Richard Branson, Founder Virgin Group.
As retention and staff development continue to challenge service companies specifically in the areas of customer service, IT help desk, and front & back office support, we are actively helping our customers solve that problem, as well as improving retaining employees and enhancing their current skillsets.
A majority, 57%, predict that employers will increase education benefits more than traditional benefits in 2017. Evidence exists that this could be a powerful way to boost retention and keep people from job-hopping as much as they might otherwise in today’s economy.
71% predict that partnering with outside training providers will be the best strategy to get ahead of the widening skills gap.
Additionally, Insiders believe that micro-learning content delivered in small, specific segments – and on-demand learning – content accessible at any time, from any device – will see the most growth among learning technologies in 2017
Closing The Skills Gap
What’s interesting given the projected education-as-a-benefit trend is that many have noted that the skills gap is not entirely caused by educational organizations inadequately preparing students for today’s jobs, but also by employers retreating from investing enough in the training of new employees.
Let us schedule a demo today so you can learn how LearnKey’s experts can customize career pathways for your employees by leveraging our digital and video-based training library that covers topics in the areas of Technology, Customer Service, Professional Development, Microsoft office, and more.
This course will be authored by Wyett Ihler, certified instructor who has produced LearnKey’s IC3 GS5 & Spark courses over the past year. This course will help students/adult learners and teachers prep for the ESB certification exam, which is a 50-minute exam with 45 questions covering the following objectives: The Entrepreneur, Business Management, Starting a Business, Business Operations, Marketing/Sales, and Financial Management. In addition to the course being available on LearnKey’s OnlineExpert Learning Management System, the course will be available through our strategic partner GMetrix‘s skills management system.
We are thrilled to offer such an exciting and in-demand certification training, as the U.S. Department of Labor and the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) both cite statistics that underscore the benefits of entrepreneurship education. These benefits include improved academic performance, school attendance, interest in attending college, an increase in occupational aspirations, as well as leadership behavior.
LearnKey is all about helping learners improve their employability skills and this course covers an important topic that currently has no certification/validation of skills tied to it.
As we start the new year it’s a great time to remind our learners, students, teachers, and career counselors about the two (2) key ingredients that ensure we focus on our “what we do”: Improving Employability Everyday.
At LearnKey we believe that our passion around “what we do” and our “descriptive behaviors” is what drives our culture.
Every team member in our company knows that our “What we do” is aligned to these three words: Improving Employability Everyday. We started redefining our true purpose as an organization through Simon Sinek’s The Golden Circle, over three years ago and truly believe it is the fabric, along with our descriptive behaviors, that drive our culture.
We are so fanatical about this belief that any new employee team members (i.e. welcome most recently: Neil Olsen and Nina Sepulveda) must know that they must possess these key behaviors and understand “The Golden Circle” BEFORE they are even hired. Because the moment they start, that accountability to our customers and team members begin.
My goal is to meet with every team member throughout the year and remind and reinforce my commitment to them and that I will be held most accountable to those behaviors. Therefore, it is good to once again share these with you and the entire world:
Our “Why, How and What”:
“Why”: Dreams fulfilled through better learning.
“How”: Personalized learning solutions that teach job readiness skills, leverage your natural talents, and are aligned to in-demand careers.
“What”: Improving Employability Everyday.
Our seven (7) fundamentals that describe our employee culture:
Be a fanatic about response time. People expect us to respond to their questions and concerns quickly, and rapid response is one of the easiest and best ways to stand out.
Set clear expectations. So there are no misunderstandings, and remember to clarify all the time. This avoids any miscommunications.
Welcome innovation. Creativity in our products and offerings can be produced and packaged differently to meet customers’ needs.
Be a great listener. Understanding expectations and customer needs is the way we want to do business. The best talker is a good listener.
Do your homework. Be prepared for customers, product ideas, referrals, team member support, and the best way to show you’re serious.
Be a problem solver. Solve a problem, fill a need, is how we should do business with customers and in assisting other team members.
Leverage team members. To get things done, meet deadlines, and fulfill customers’ needs. Two heads are better than one.
Welcoming in the new year is a good time for me to give thanks to our team who, day in and day out, commit to themselves, as well as the learners, counselors, and teachers we support that “what we do” is focused on Improving Employability Everyday.
Also, a special thanks to Simon Sinek and the CEO’s of Vistage Group 508 who remind me all the time how important it is to have our message clear and concise.
Our Key Contributor Award is a true reflection of our culture. Recognizing employees who go about their work with pride of ownership and demonstrating our core values along the way. It gives me great pleasure to announce the recipients of our 3rd Quarter Key contributor award LearnKey employee’s Ben Lee, Tristan Roberts and Jacob Gardner who make up our “Lights Out Technical Support Team”
During July, August and September these guys released a major software update to our Learning Management Platform OnlineExpert.com and one of our client dedicated servers. It was the largest software upgrade performed in well over 10 years. Additionally, they supported the GMetrix Project which required allot of testing and implementation support.
They also re-negotiated one of our most costly contracts successfully reducing it by over 70%. To top it off they did that with a 40% reduction in staff. These initiatives we all deadline drive and they worked together, as a team to meet every critical deadline.
Every step of the way they demonstrated our core values (Ease, Value & Trust) by being Easy it is to work, showing real Trust something we know is earned whether its meeting deadlines, ensuring our networks are operational, or testing that needed to be completed they always delivered on time each and every time. Value– is something they bring to work every day. We could not be more proud of their work and how they go about it.
Just like our previous winners, please join me in congratulating them for a job well done as I could not be more proud of this team!
Last week Better Learning Systems announced the recipients of our 2016 2nd quarter Key Contributor Awards. One of the key benefits of this announcement is I use it as an opportunity to remind our team members of how important a role our core values, Ease, Value, & Trust, have in this accomplishment.
You see this award truly rolls up to making sure those individuals exemplify our core values, and the one thing that stays constant is they can’t do it alone; it takes a team. Our past recipients, Kim Johnson, Wyett Ihler, and Jason Manibog are big team players and truly support any team member they can.
Speaking of support we also had a theme this past year and it has been SUPPORT. There is a ton of that going on within our companies – it truly is part of our culture. Our production teams, mobile workforce, sales/client services, Veteran Services team, technical support teams, and administrative support working together is what is helping drive our success.
One team that really jumped out year-to-date was our Know Your Talents team. The behavioral consulting arm of the company is not only living our core values and supporting one another, they have also increased revenues 200% vs. same period last year.
That is why it gives me great pleasure to announce the Better Learning Systems Key Contributor Award winners for the 2nd quarter are Melanie Benitez and Sarah Blik!
Sarah has had such a great year with her new sales and growth of existing customers. The largest to date for Sarah has been the Sundt/DPR joint ventures that she has sold. AND she continues to gain referrals across the country due to her success and relationships built with all the Executive Directors of the projects. Sarah has also launched us into the Title and Escrow industry, setting up a paid speaking engagement as general speaker to 200 plus executives. This is now an industry that we are beginning to circulate in which there are not many competitors. Customers always have and do love Sarah. For fun, if you know her ask her why people call her ‘Gnat’!
As for Melanie, she has almost 5 times the amount of workshops on her plate, which includes coordinating, printing, and follow up exercises after each and every workshop. She creates a ‘turn-key’ box of all ProScans, workbooks, badges, handouts, and framed certificates for each workshop and her contributions make everyone’s (all facilitators) jobs so much easier. Melanie has developed such tremendous relationships with all clients from a customer service standpoint. As we have had two large national accounts launch this year with ‘unlimited platinums,’ (Creative Testing Solutions, in all Blood Systems facilities, and HealthPlanOne) it requires a ton of coordination from the beginning of implementation and integration throughout the entire company, and Melanie has been in the forefront making this happen. Her Tutor Tuesdays now compete with Tristan’s at LearnKey in that she is gaining more and more attendance each week.
Both Sarah & Melanie make it Easy for our customers to work with them, as well as always bring Value to the equation, and we know there is no better way to build relationships unless there is a lot of Trust. That’s our core values at work.
Please join me in congratulating both of them for their great accomplishments this past year.
This past week, June 28th – June 30th, I had the great opportunity to attend the Certiport CERTIFIED conference in Orlando, Florida. It gave me the opportunity to learn more about how we can help Career Technology Education (CTE) Teachers teaching Microsoft MOS, Adobe, IC3, MTA, Autodesk and many more in-demand courses that map to Certiport’s industry certifications.
They had excellent breakout sessions where teachers shared best practice sessions on topics that included: Creating new certification opportunities in college and communities; Product deep dives for: Adobe, IC3, and Autodesk; Celebrating student success in the classroom; Preparing to implement MOS 2016 certification in the classroom; and, one of my favorites, Integrating Certification Learning Materials and Practice tests into your lesson plans.
The keynote speakers were also amazing. Rich Lehrer’s story about being a full time 8th grade science teacher and becoming the Coordinator of the Enable Educators Exchange through guiding a project that built a 3D printed prosthetic hand for a recipient, in this case his son, through a project one of his 8th grade classes accomplished was wonderful. Manual Scott, an original freedom writer, whose story is told in the Hollywood movie Freedom Writers, had an incredible and unique message, one that has inspired, educated and empowered almost a million people, helping them make the most of their lives.
The message is clear: teachers really have a profound effect on students, and when these students achieve industry certifications it builds tremendous confidence along with great skills that they can take forward in their college and career readiness efforts. We are so proud of our new partnership with GMetrix and Certiport, as it gives us the opportunity to better serve both teachers and students through learning, practice testing, and certifying resources.
It was also great to see our good friends and partners Thor Christianson & Quaid Atkinson from GMetrix along with Denise Spence (LearnKey’s Power Point 2013 Author). A teacher conference in Florida could not be complete without a picture of LearnKey’s Representative Scott Walker sharing our courseware that is now on the GMetrix Learning Platform and distributed through Certiport.
Who says you can’t have fun producing certification courses! At LearnKey we take great pride ensuring our courses map to objectives, cover what is in the certification exam, and that our students gain the knowledge they need to succeed. Producing and publishing content is taken very seriously as our goal is to provide our students with the ultimate learning experience.
That said, our learning and development team was thrilled to start producing this week (June 13th 2016) the IC3 Spark training for middle school age children, which maps to the Certiport Exam. This course will provide them with a solid foundation in digital concepts that covers objectives spanning basic computing skills, key applications, and the use of the Internet. Our partner Certiport announced the release of this exam last year and we are excited to be producing this in video, along with workbooks, projects, and assessments so teachers have all the resources they need.
Best of all our production team can really leverage their creative skills so this younger student demographic finds the course easy to understand, engaging, and helps them improve their computer skills! This program will be offered exclusively through our Certiport & GMetrix partnership making it the best of the best when it comes to training, access to GMetrix practice tests, and certification. Be on the lookout for this program to be released in late July, just in time for the 2016 fall school year!