Experiential learning: training staff in a different way

When it comes to maintaining the efficiency and success of a business, staff training is one of the most important investments to be made. Training is essential to any organisation, and when it’s done correctly it can have a hugely positive effect on the entire management and operation of a business.

According to the Bureau of Labour Statistics, the companies that spend less time and money on training tend to have a much higher labour turnover rate than those who truly invest in their employees.

Despite all the obvious benefits of company training, it can sometimes be met by resistance from employees and employers alike, as they often think that their time could be better spent working. Perhaps the thing that springs to mind when we use the term ‘training’ is that of the classic ‘health and safety briefing videos’, which are of course vital, but, for the most part, largely unexciting. The key to making training enjoyable and useful for everyone is to make the sessions engaging, relevant and creative.

To get staff to respond in a different way to training, it needs to be delivered differently too. One of the more interesting ways to deliver information and educate a workforce has come in the form of drama-based learning. Working with experienced actors to create an open dialogue with staff can completely change workplace coaching by allowing the staff to do something fun, pertinent and worthwhile. Experiential learning can help train your staff in a different way by allowing them to take an active and expressive role in their own training.

Drama-based learning, with careful coaching and facilitation, gives employees a platform to discuss workplace behaviors, functional relationships, workplace issues and anything else from an individual/team development perspective. The training is catered precisely to the needs and wants of each business, making it more adaptable to your workplace culture. No two programs are the same, as no two businesses are identical.

Through a variety of mediums, such as role play, live workshops and scalable new media, staff can become engaged, excited and willing to co-operate and learn. Learning methods like these are designed to create an open and expressive working environment, which is found to boost morale and instil a sense of greater satisfaction amongst employees.

Which year abroad program should I choose?

No one should have to choose between seeing the world and getting an education and with the advent of distance learning, no one has to. Many universities now offer such a huge range of year abroad programmes for their students it can be difficult to know which one is best. Here, we look at the benefits of spending a year working, studying or volunteering abroad as part of your degree.

Why take a year abroad?

There are many personal and professional reasons to spend a year abroad including everything from building up professional experience for your CV, to learning about new cultures, to making new friends. Whatever your motivation, one of the best aspects of distance learning is its flexibility. If you want to strike healthy balance between travel experiences and education, you have the freedom to do so, opting only to study for a semester at a time.

What sort of programmes are on offer?

Generally speaking, students are widely encouraged to study at partner universities abroad but always speak directly to your department about other opportunities available. If you want to study in Europe try the Erasmus scheme; for work experience in countries as far as China try Generation UK; you can always contact the European Voluntary Service for opportunities to travel whilst doing something meaningful.

Tell me about the technology behind distance learning

If you don't want to visit a university every day to continue your studies, long distance learning is a great alternative. Once you have made the arrangements with your university you will be able to follow the syllabus at a pace that makes room for all your adventures abroad. Distance learning involves logging in and visiting the latest technology virtual classrooms where you will be able to access high quality academic content whenever it best suits you.

You will log in to a centralised virtual classroom where you can collect your assignments, interact with tutors and peers and so much more. Although these classrooms are carefully designed to ensure that support is available to help you complete coursework and assignments, if you need more practical assistance, companies like Ivory Research can also be very useful.

Strike a good balance

Remember, whichever programme you choose, travelling and studying requires a lot of commitment and there is no shame in getting some help along the way. Take a look at these Dissertation examples by Ivory Research and consider whether writing resources might be useful for you whilst you're on the road.

What resources I need when look for job?

There are various resources used to find a suitable job. These resources can be grouped in various categories. They can be online as well as online. With Internet becoming the most trusted medium for job search, the focus has shifted from offline job search to online.

As offline resource you can talk to your friends, family, colleagues and partners for jobs. However, online offers a lot more opportunities to find out a suitable job matching your education, experience and skill set. The online resources include:

• Job portals or job sites are by far the best resources to land up an appropriate job. There are several of them where both job seekers and employers post job requirements on a daily basis. They also offer region specific services. You have to upload your resume and provide them with other important information to gain more visibility which will eventually fetch you an interview.

• The job search engines like SimplyHired have revolutionized the way people are looking for jobs currently. Use location and keywords to find a job on associations, company sites, major and minor job sites. This process is faster than any other.

• Networking sites may not be directly linked with your job search, but having your resumes posted on them increases your chance of landing a job. LinkedIn for instance is one of the largest professional network building platforms in the world. Having your professional summary in the site helps in reaching potential employers.

• Work at home is fast becoming a trend especially for women. Look through various websites offering work at home job listings and choose the best among them which suits your time.

• Job search and career books are extremely helpful and handy resources. There are several of them helping you to know the way to find jobs and also telling you about the job most suited for you.

• There are specific job sites offering opportunities to teens. Browsing through them will definitely help students to accumulate their pocket money by working. These websites also provide tips on how to search jobs.

Will the jobs market improve in 2014?

It is being forecasted by experts that the jobs market will improve in 2014 across the world. All the major countries are experiencing record highs in stock market which is a good sign indicating that the economy is becoming stable and that there will be rise in the vacancies. In 2013 recruitment was slow and senior and mid level recruitment froze. New recruits were being taken unless that was for filling key gaps in organizations. 2014 will witness a flurry of new jobs and new recruits across industries along 20% hike in salaries.

The chief economist and MD of Deutsche Bank Securities is the opinion that if they could maintain a steady rise of 3% from 2013 through 2014 then the jobs prospect will improve in the US. This should be good news for millions of people who are completely out of job and also for part-timers possessing the quality for full time jobs with better salaries. Many economists believe that 2014 will not only witness a rise in job opportunities but also a rise in better quality jobs which will pay high and utilize the skills of employees properly.

Ben Bernanke, the Chairman of Federal Reserve stated that there has been a decrease in the unemployment rate by 7% in the year end of 2013 which is a positive sign. Nonfarm jobs have increased by 203,000 jobs which indicate a rise in vacancies. One thing which worries the economists is the inequality in cash distribution. While the underemployed labor is working at a low wage rate, the companies are stocking up on cash because they are also following the trend of lower payment to employees. The organizations have a staggering $6.8 trillion of cash only in US according to Thomson Reuters.

When this money will be paid, invested the companies will expand increasing the job market and opportunities for people. Economists are optimistic that the job market will improve in 2014 and the education, IT, agri-business, infrastructure sectors are going to witness robust hiring. Hence, right from economists to the corporate MDs everybody is hopeful that the job market will open up in 2014.