Friday, February 19, 2010

Strategic Planning Solutions You’ve Been Looking For…

Are you looking for a skilled facilitator who understands planning processes and business strategy? Someone who can help your team refine your ideas and develop creative solutions to organizational challenges?

For over a decade, The Training Source has been helping businesses and organizations in this vital management practice. We offer a full range of facilitation services to assist you in developing and executing business strategy, plans, and organizational initiatives.
  • Enhancing Team and Organizational Effectiveness (ETOE) – assist teams and organizations in identifying and resolving team and work environment issues
  • Annual business planning
  • Business strategy analysis and development
  • Risk-based business and operational planning
  • Planning for non-profits and associations
  • Human Resources strategy planning
  • Employee-leader forums
  • Post-planning support through implementation
As with all our services, we work with you to customize the facilitation process to achieve your desired result.

To learn more about our facilitation and consulting services or to discuss a specific need, contact us today!

Get Strategic Planning and Facilitation Services information sheet (pdf).

Friday, October 16, 2009

Surefire Ways to Boost Employee Morale and Engagement in Uncertain Times

The recent economic fluctuations have forced organizations to make difficult decisions and manage the challenges that come with leading people through uncertainty. In uncertain times, many leaders turn to us seeking advice to help them navigate their organizations through unsure waters.

To support you through these changing and challenging times, we gathered a group of experts to share how they are helping progressive organizations to shift their strategic focus in a positive direction.

In Survival of the Fittest: Thriving in Changing Times, our team of experts share their best advice and numerous practical tips for getting better results in the areas of employee motivation and engagement, recruitment, compensation and rewards, training, and employment law. My articles, Keeping Morale Up: Five Things Employees Want to Know and Paving the Road for Success: Employee Training and Development, provide you with surefire ways to boost employee morale and engagement in uncertain times.

We invite you to read these insightful articles and forward this publication on to your colleagues and associates.

Download your complimentary issue of Survival of the Fittest: Thriving in Changing Times here.

Enjoy reading this information packed issue and please send us your comments or feedback!

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

The Globe and Mail: Workplace Loyalty a Two-way Street

I was interviewed for an article recently featured in The Globe and Mail's Report on Business section. The article, "Workplace Loyalty a Two-way Street", by Marjo Johne, discusses the decline of employee loyalty in the workplace, what factors have led to this decline, and what employers can do to strengthen employee loyalty through tough times.

What can you do as an employer, especially during uncertain times, to build morale and employee loyalty?

View article

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Onboarding - Strategy Aids Employee Recruitment and Retention

Recently, I was interviewed by The Canada/Manitoba Business Service Centre (C/MBSC) for its Fall 2008 issue of Let's Talk Business. The article outlines some onboarding strategies for small businesses to aid in employee recruitment and retention:

With Manitoba’s unemployment rate sitting at a low 4.1 percent, many employers are aggressively competing for workers. While that may seemingly put smaller businesses at a disadvantage, at least one human resources expert says that’s not necessarily the case.

Wendy Phaneuf, founder and managing director of The Training Source, says while small businesses may not offer pensions and comprehensive benefits, they can find other ways to keep employees happy.

Phaneuf cites numerous studies showing that what employees value most are positive relationships with their immediate supervisors and a sense of feeling appreciated. She says these factors lead to greater employee retention and thus less time and hassle spent on recruitment.

One area where many businesses fall short, she says, is in providing early and on-going support to new employees — what she calls “onboarding.” Phaneuf explains that onboarding is not just orientation. Rather, it lasts much longer (at least three months) and is more comprehensive.

“I repeatedly see that there’s very little energy being put into supporting new employees. Companies tend to overwhelm employees with information the first couple of days, call that ‘orientation,’ and then leave them to figure things out.”

She says a planned onboarding approach, on the other hand, might see a new employee work side by side with another staff member; spend time learning about the company and their role in it; talk with a manager about expectations and where they fit in the organization; take on a gradually increasing workload; and receive appropriate skills training and ongoing feedback.

“If you consider how much effort we put into continually hiring, to sit down and map out an onboarding process makes a lot of sense,” Phaneuf insists. “Keep talking to your employees, build a relationship, and provide ongoing support.”

Most small businesses do not have formal HR departments, yet they may deal with similar HR issues as large corporations: finding qualified people; providing job orientation; making sure employees understand what is expected of them; monitoring job performance; providing training and performance reviews, etc.

Phaneuf says that, ideally, business owners should develop some expertise in HR basics but if that’s not possible, they should at least commit to hiring someone on a contract basis who can provide HR help.

The Canada/Manitoba Business Service Centre's goal is to provide fast, easy access to comprehensive business and trade information for new and existing entrepreneurs.

For more information on C/MBSC, visit

Read more from the Fall 2008 issue of Let's Talk Business.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Being an Optimist

I had the great fortune last week to present to a meeting of an Optimist International Club in St. Boniface (Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada). I was familiar with the organization’s commitment to civic responsibility and supporting our youth, but had never been to a meeting. This club was doing some great work in planning events and activities to raise money in support of worthy community causes.

At the end of the meeting, I was invited to stand with the group and recite the Optimist Creed. I found it inspiring and wanted to share it with all of you.

The Optimist Creed

Promise Yourself –

To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.

To talk health, happiness and prosperity to every person you meet.

To make all your friends feel that there is something in them.

To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.

To think only of the best, to work only for the best, and to expect only the best.

To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.

To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.

To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile.

To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others.

To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.

Copyright, Optimist International

Optimist International is an excellent organization. To learn more about its work, visit its website.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Message from a Successful Entrepreneur

My colleague and friend Lori Mitchell is the President of a unique and innovative company - Tomboy Tools Canada. Last week I received Tomboy Tools’ newsletter and her message was I thought I would share it.

“I often get asked about what it takes to be successful. Now, there are many things that go into being a success, but I think the one factor that seems to have a real effect is wisdom...that is taking the lessons learned and applying them in the next situation. To me, the wisdom of success is recognizing your weakness and focusing on improvements.

Most people let negative forces pull them down. Or, they have traits and habits that hold them back. Indecision, procrastination, indifference, over-causation (being overly cautious) are all things that can stop a great idea in its tracks. Having the fortitude to overcome these, and simply taking small action steps each and every day will bring you the success you are looking for.

I also believe that you have to believe! I never let the negative voices overtake my head. Stay the course and be grateful for the opportunities we have all around us!

Have a great summer!”

To learn more about Lori or her company visit the Tomboy Tools website.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Seven Questions to Plan an Ideal Day

People have been asking me about the seven question strategy that was mentioned in my recent interview article in Homemakers Magazine. This powerful technique was taught to me by my business coach, Eric Lofholm and makes a major difference when I practice it consistently. Essentially, it focuses me each day on what is important in my work and my life, and it helps me to create the business and the life that I want. Here’s the technique:

Seven Questions Strategy

When we ask ourselves a question, our subconscious mind will always attempt to answer it. A simple but effective strategy for planning your day involves asking and answering yourself some questions related to your work and life priorities.

There are 1440 minutes in each day. The seven question strategy allots two minutes to ask yourself and answer each of the seven questions in writing each day. This means you will spend 14 minutes (or 1% of your day) in planning. You might wish to purchase a journal or notebook to record your answers.

You can do this first thing in the morning or the night before. It is also a good idea to occasionally review your day to determine the effectiveness of the planning process and whether you need to modify or change your questions. Here are some sample questions:

  • What tasks must I complete today?

  • What decisions need to be made today?

  • Who must I speak to or meet with today?

  • What will I do today to make progress on _____________?

  • What must I follow up on today?

  • What are my highest priority tasks for today?

  • What are the two most valuable outcomes on my list today?

  • How will I make my work environment better today?

  • Today, what will I do for fun?

  • What will I do today to maintain my health and energy?

  • What foods will I eat today to become healthier?

  • What activities will I do to create more energy?

  • How can I be creative today?

  • How will I feed my spirit today?

  • Today, who might I encourage or support?

  • What will I do to nurture my relationships today?

  • What can I do today to be a better parent/spouse/friend?

  • What can I learn today?

  • What will I no longer settle for?

  • Today, what positive habits can I practice or develop?