As we kick off the new year at LearnKey there is alot of excitement. We recently had everyone in the company write up their 2018 goals (i.e. courses released, students gaining certification/graduation/employment,etc.) and by the looks of it, we are going to be a big year. We plan on adding new offerings (i.e. language localization) and will be enhancing some of our courses with other learning facilitators.
Each month I will share a status on one of our goals. This month it is industry certification. Last year, we exceeded our goal, having our military veteran students achieve over 658 globally recognized industry IT & Career Ready Certifications in CompTIA, Microsoft, Cisco, Adobe, Windows, IC3, and more! That was a great accomplishment, as it aligns with our true “Why,” which is Improving Employability Every Day. This is a big one for us because it is a team effort to make sure our students succeed. Next year’s goal is to exceed over 800 certifications. Additionally, we expanded our offering of courses available through Certiport and on the GMetrix Platform, enabling thousands of other students in college and K-12 to have access to our certification courses.
We continue to see increased demand for soft/employability skills training with some of our most popular titles on Job Hunting in a Digital World, Know Your Talents, Making a Good Impression, Resume Skills, Business Ethics on the Job, and Be Careful Before You Click!
Speaking of soft/employability skills, be sure to read the article on “The surprising thing Google learned about its employees and what it means to today’s students”. Very interesting in 2013, Google decided to test its hiring hypothesis by crunching every bit and byte of hiring, firing, and promotion data accumulated since the company’s incorporation in 1998. Project Oxygen shocked everyone by concluding that, among the eight most important qualities of Google’s top employees, STEM expertise comes in dead last. The seven top characteristics of success at Google are all soft skills: being a good coach, communicating and listening well, possessing insights into others (including others different values and points of view), having empathy toward and being supportive of one’s colleagues, being a good critical thinker and problem solver, and being able to make connections across complex ideas.
These skills are in demand at every level of an organization, which is why we are dedicated to making sure our Video-Based Digital Media Library of courses has over 225 titles on those important skills.
Our next big course release is CompTIA’s Security+, coming at the end of this month. We are really excited to make that available as this is one of our signature courses. You can find more info on our 2018 course release schedule here!
Here’s to a great start in 2018 and check back next month for another update.
Today I am pleased to announce the newest recipient of our Key Contributor Award, Chip Ehlers. This award is really about who in our companies embraces our core values, Ease, Value and Trust, and make key contributions so we can fulfill our “Why,” which is improving employability every day.
Chip, a 16-year LearnKey team member never shies away from any task that he is asked to do. From order entry and fulfillment to printing and shipping catalogs, Chip never says ‘it can’t be done.’ Of course he is most famous in the St. George office for serenading his coworkers when a catchy song comes on the radio. Here are some things that his nominating coworkers said about Chip:
Jared: Chip is the ultimate team player and does whatever is needed to help the team win. He isn’t above anything that he is asked. He rolls up his sleeves and figures out a way to get the job done. You can ALWAYS count on Chip.
Kim: When I think of Chip- he is always cool, calm, and collected. If deadlines change and he has to adjust his schedule – it’s always “no problem.”
Chad: Chip goes above and beyond in everything that he’s asked to do.
One of our programs has had strong growth over 30% the last two years. That means Chip’s workload has grown by that and never once has he asked for relief or additional help. His ability to handle multiple projects and tasks with critical deadlines is second to none. Most recently while in St. George I mentioned that we should probably look to clean up some of our storage areas by the end of the year, but when I came back two weeks ago Chip had it done. Did not have to ask twice, he took care of it. Again, way to go Chip!
Please join me in congratulating Chip on receiving this award and for sticking to our core values: Ease, Value, and Trust, but most importantly, he truly helps LearnKey Improve Employability Every Day!
At LeanKey if you need help with a marketing piece, ask Beau. If you need help creating a newsletter, ask Beau. If you need to learn how we process student reports, ask Beau. If you need help creating a CTE/K-12 online marketing campaign, ask Beau. Website redesign ideas, ask Beau. So what has become perfectly clear? “Beau knows”!
Which is why it was exciting to announce earlier this week that Beau Shakespear was named Better Learning Systems/LearnKey’s 2017 Q1 Key Contributor Award winner. He is someone that truly demonstrates our core values: Ease, Value and Trust. He is by far one of the easiest team members to work with, and always displays a “can do” attitude. As noted above by the many “hats” he wears he has significant value, but it truly is the trust and respect he has from his peers that sets him apart. It is really hard to find anyone who is more of a team player than Beau, and when it comes to our “Why” he truly is all about “improving employability every day.”
Here are some of his key accomplishments over this past quarter:
- Played a key role in the new design of our LearnKey.com website
- Facilitated the new design of our tradeshow banners
- Revised VA Catalogs – Worked patiently as they were re-worked close to four times over the past year (DI, VA, & Voc Rehab) and accomplished it down to one catalog now.
- Created a tracking method and follow-up process for all new BO Students
- Reviewed 50+ resumes and LinkedIn profiles
He accomplished the above in addition to managing a busy VA student workload and always coordinating the monthly LKVS newsletters. When members of the leadership team nominated Beau they used words like: rock star, dedication, focus, accuracy, respect, ultimate team player, even keel, nice, never a bad attitude, helpful, and “can do attitude” to describe him. Beau is no stranger to awards; three years ago he was recognized as LearnKey’s employee of the month.
Again, please join me in congratulating Beau for receiving this award. We are fortunate to have great employees, who are great team members and share our passion around “Improving Employability Every Day”!
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!
It gives me great pleasure to announce Ms. Jessica Staples as our most recent Key Contributor award winner, someone who is quite familiar with being awesome! She is in good company as previous winners include: Jason Manibog, Kim Johnson & Wyett Ihler, Sarah Blik & Melanie Benitez and of course the rockstar LearnKey Technical Support team!
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.
Which is why LearnKey’s 2017 video-based training series on customer service is the perfect solution for your organization. It’s relevant for today’s workforce, high quality, available anytime/anywhere, and can help you deliver a solid ROI for both your business customers and, most importantly, your employees.
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.
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.
“Improving Employability Everyday”
CEO- LearnKey, INC.
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.
Leadership sometimes requires people to get out of their comfort zones and when you ask them to do that, it’s really sometimes asking them to take a leap of faith. They have to trust you, they have to take on additional responsibilities, they have to look past the short-term benefits and make sacrifices for the good of the company and believe in the long-term value. Just over a year ago, I asked two people in our Better Learning Systems/LearnKey organization to take that leap of faith with me to believe in something that had never been done and to trust the people and process we were about to embrace, and I can honestly say that the successful partnership LearnKey has recently solidified with GMetrix and Certiport it has allot to do with key contributions from Kim Johnson and Wyett Ihler.
So it gives me great pleasure to announce that both Kim and Wyett are the recipients of our 2016 Key Contributor award voted by their peers! They have truly displayed our core values Ease, Value and Trust throughout this entire project that has required 100% of their efforts for the past twelve (12) months.
In addition to their day-to-day responsibilities, both of them have worked together in tandem to not only successfully roll out our new product, but do it in a way that is good for the company. The work required migrating our certification courseware through an entire reformatting process, quality control testing, sales re-training, and learning a new delivery system. They did it with passion and a “can-do attitude.” They had a lot of help from other LearnKey team members and that required getting those team members to buy into the same leap of faith, that this partnership is going to benefit students, teachers, and learners through providing the ultimate learning experience.
Congratulations to both of them for their commitment to our core values!