Archive for the ‘Quiz Tips for Corporate Trainers’ category


5 Reasons to Create a Quiz Online

Pencil and paper are a thing of the past.

There are tablets, iphones, smart watches, voice-recognition, etc. These devices have changed the way we communicate. Heck, even some schools are removing cursive from their curriculum. (I secretly still like to write capital G’s in cursive).

Whether you like it or not, tech is here to stay.

And one of the applications that has become significantly better because of technology are online quizzes. Don’t get me wrong, it was cool to fill out the little bubbles on scantrons and the SAT’s when I was in high school.

But computers are way more awesome.

Let’s face it: you’re competing for attention every second of every day in the classroom. With phones vibrating, notes being passed, and even students storming out of class in revolt, it’s tough to get students engaged.

And that’s why online quizzes should be created online — they’re simply more engaging. And here’s five more reasons:

1. They are easy to throw together

With paper quizzes, you have to type up the questions, format the quiz, print it out, copy it, distribute it to your students, give instructions. Oh, and then you have to grade it. That’s a pain, isn’t it?

2. They can be automatically graded

Many online quiz applications have a feature that allows your quizzes to be automatically graded. This saves you a tone of time. No more hand-grading. And your students can know how they did after each question and at the end of the quiz. That’s a lot different than the week they’re used to waiting before you have time to hand them back. Automatic grading is a beautiful thing. You can thank the internet for that. 🙂

3. They can easily incorporate images

Visuals add so much to your quizzes. Whether you’re showing a picture of Rembrandt or adding a graph for your math quiz, it’s easy to add images to your online quiz. And visuals make your quiz more interesting. Plus they open you up to more question types, too.

4. They can be shared with other teachers

When you create a pencil and paper quiz, it’s your quiz. It’s hard to share. Unless, you want to copy your quiz for other teachers in your school. That’s old-school. The beauty of online quizzes is that they can be easily shared – via email, social media, or embedding your quiz in your blog. That way teachers can access your quiz for their own classroom – and you get credit. How cool is that?

5. They can be fun

Wait, what? Quizzes, fun? Yes – it’s true. If done right, online quizzes can be fun to take. Especially when there are animations, bright colors, and you get your score at the end rather than having to wait for you to grade it (yeah, see number 2). Once you’ve blasted through the boredom with fun online quizzes, you’re golden.

Online quizzes are quick, easy, and fun. They’re a heck of a lot more engaging for students and they don’t involve #2 pencils. What about you? Why do you make online quizzes?

Speaking of online quizzes, have you tried QuizBean? It’s freeeee.


5 Reasons Retention is the Most Important Metric for Executive Training

Have you been trying to measure your training effectiveness? Do you want your team to better recall information they just learned a few days ago? Enter retention. It’s the most important metric in executive training.

But there’s one problem: Many corporate trainers come in, do their thing,  pack up and leave. Who wants that? You want to make sure they’ve got measurable results and your team is left remembering what they’ve just been taught.

That’s why you need to make sure your trainers are focusing on retention. Here’s why:

1. Helps build on previous lessons

When you’re in a multiple-day training, concepts learned on the first day often apply to material learned on the third day. To get the most out of training, attendees have to remember previous concepts. That means retention is key and you might need to make quizzes to keep attendees on their toes at the end/beginning of each day.

2. Makes your content credible

If you’re a corporate trainer with your own curriculum (instead of part of a nationally-recognized training group), you’re probably lacking a bit of credibility. That’s where retention comes in. With quizzes and other retention tools, prove that your training has a healthy retention rate, and you’ll have executives and large companies knocking on your door. They realize the importance of retention, too.

3. Allows others to teach your training

I’ve gone through several trainings – both online and in-person. And I’ve learned a ton (and remembered it, too). But one of the biggest benefits of these trainings is being able to teach others what I’ve learned. By explaining what I learned to others it helps me remember it. Think of how this applies to your company. Maybe you’ve got a new employee who needs help getting started. Have another employee teach them from what they’ve learned. That way, they have a friend in the workplace and you don’t have to spend your time on training!

4. Makes your boss happy (obviously)

This goes both ways: If you’re a trainer, the company (and the manager) is happy to have employees remember material, and the trainees immediate manager is happy because they have a well-trained employee on their team. For you, employee retention and satisfied clients are part of your marketing. They help refer you new clients and make for amazing testimonials to boost your credibility.

5. Builds better employees overtime

If you keep sending employees for training, they’ll build their skills – both social and professional. That means a couple years after investing in training, you’ll have a well-rounded employee. Someone who can teach others, make quick decisions, and lead a team to success. Sounds like a great employee to me!

Retention, although dreaded by many employees, is the most important metric for executive training. When employees and team members recall what they’ve learned, they’ll have better employee performance and be able to build upon what they’ve learned.

What about you? Do you agree? Let me know in the comments below!


What are you doing wrong? 4 ways corporations are incorrectly training their employees

Corporations spend a lot of time and money to train their employees. Unfortunately many companies have little to show for this huge expenditure.

Eduardo Salas, a professor in organizational psychology at the University of Central Florida, has completed over two decades of corporate training research. In one of his studies, he concluded employees forget 90% of what they learned in training within the first year of employment.

If no one is remembering what they learned, then why are we wasting time and money on training?

The 4 ways corporations are training their employees wrong:

1. Employees become instant experts.

Many corporations believe if you send someone to a week-long training they become an expert. And they don’t need follow up training or feedback.

Salas states, “That is an erroneous assumption. It is much more complex than that. In this day and age, companies in general still have very simplistic views of training.”

How do you turn your team into experts?

It starts with simple follow up.

Follow up makes sure employees grasp new information. And you’re able to assess where your team’s knowledge falls short.

Create a system with short quizzes focused on product and service training. Send them out monthly to make sure employees have the latest information.

2. Evaluate your employee’s knowledge.

One of the biggest mistakes companies make is to evaluate employees immediately after they’ve been trained. Why’s that?

Success rates are highest when you quiz someone an hour after you taught them something. That’s why it’s better to quiz them a week later –  it might not look so good.

Salas says evaluating employee knowledge after training means you’re measuring reaction – not retention. That’s why companies get positive results.

Monthly assessment helps you identify training gaps and improve retention. Use what you’ve gained to improve your training materials. And don’t forget to measure the impact of your changes.

3. Technology is not the answer.

A lot of trainers are using technology to train their team.  It’s inexpensive and it helps facilitate company-wide training. Those are both bonuses.

But, it’s not working. Technology is hampering your staff.

Your staff can’t possibly learn everything from a computer screen. A computer can’t answer specific questions or explain new information quite like a face-to-face meeting. And it’s definitely not a replacement for on-the-job, get-your-hands-dirty training.

Use technology to support training.

Balance hands-on training with online quizzes, game simulations, and video. Bottom line? Use technology as a resource, not an end-all solution.

4. Not supporting employees after training.

Salas says companies can have the best training in the world, but if they don’t have good supervisory support, the training may not be effective.

Set clear expectations with your management team.

Have management communicate expectations to new hires. Let them know your training curriculum is a process. Plus, there’s always a team member to help out – a mentor of sorts. This makes new team members comfortable from day one. They’ll be more likely to retain more information and become part of the team quicker.

These mistakes are easy to fix. Assessing your team effectively helps your corporation be more productive. Not to mention, the increased return for the money you’ve been pouring into training your team.

Assess your team’s knowledge with QuizPoo – Make your first quiz!
Resources cited
Silverman, Rachel Emma. So Much Training So Little Too Show For It. The Wall Street Journal. 26 October 2012. Web. 16 July 2013  | http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204425904578072950518558328.html

 


5 ways to make a quiz your employees want to take

There are thousands of quizzes on the internet. Some are about Justin Bieber. Some are about what to name your baby. And unfortunately, some are about corporate training.

And those corporate training quizzes are just plain dry. Why?

Because no one looks forward to training.

It’s something everyone needs to go through. For several days, you read lengthy documents, view horribly filmed videos, and take assessments to make sure you’re absorbing as much of the dry material as possible.

So, how do you make it so your team looks forward to learning new skills?

With quizzes!

Quizzes are one of the best ways to test your team. They’re quick and easy. They don’t take a lot of time to put together. And you get an idea of where your training needs to be improved.

But, quizzes don’t solve everything. They can be dry and boring, too.

Seeing as we make a quiz application for fun, we thought letting you know about several ways to make your quiz more fun would be appropriate.

Read on corporate trainer, read on:

1. Use different question types

There’s a reason “variety is the spice of life” is such a popular saying. As humans, we crave variety. Doing the same repetitive task over and over again drives people nuts. And that’s why you should have different question types in your quiz. If every question is true/false, going through the quiz becomes pretty boring. But if you throw in multiple choice and fill-in-the-blank quizzes, you keep your team guessing. And in a good way.

2. Use questions that make them think

A lot of training quizzes have simple questions. Questions employees might call “easy” or “stupid”. The problem is, quizzes are meant to educate and assess – not get shoved aside. Make sure you have questions that make your team think. This means your employees will put time into studying (see strategy #3). Plus, it makes it harder to guess.

3. Allow study time

Being thrown right into a quiz is a tough situation – especially just after learning the materials. It’s hard to remember what you just learned. And if it requires a lot of reading, give your team member time to digest the information, process it, and push it to short-term (maybe even long-term) memory. The more times they read over the data, the more they’ll remember it. And that’s good for any employee – even if they don’t do well on the quiz.

4. Make it a team quiz

Not many employees work solo  on projects these days. Often times, they’re working with a team to accomplish a goal. To empower your employees to work together, let them take your quiz together. They’ll learn from each other and hopefully get into some critical thinking to arrive at the best answer.

5. Time Your Quiz

It’s no secret many people like to perform under pressure. And more work gets completed when the clock is ticking. Plus, it’s just another reason to time your quiz. Not only does it keep your team on their toes, but it makes for healthy competition. Who can finish the quiz faster? (Makes us think you need a leaderboard!)

Making your own quiz is one thing. Getting your team to take you seriously and take the quiz is another.

Quizzes are meant to be a quick and easy assessment of your team’s knowledge. And at QuizPoo, we try and make it fun and engaging (bright colors make you happier).

Give it a shot – Make your own quiz right now.


7 ways to screen employees before the first interview

Have you been struggling to fill open positions at your company? Want to find a better way to get the A-talent joining your team?

Building a talented workforce is top of many recruiter’s to-do lists. A solid team gets work done, strengthens company culture, and improves their skill set.

But finding these individuals is tough.

You have to wade through an endless amount of resumes, field calls from interested candidates, and find time to make offers and negotiate salaries.

How do you make that process more efficient?

By pre-screening candidates. Instead of interviewing everyone who applies, why not do some pre-screening and only bring in the best candidates for the job.

Here’s 7 ways to pre-screen employees:

1. Call them up

The phone is a lot less intimidating than an in-person interview. A quick 2 or 3 minute interview to get an idea of how they answer basic questions and communicate tells you a lot about a potential hire. Here are a couple questions to ask:

These are are all soft-balls. Avoid asking challenging questions. Often, candidates take these calls while they’re running out of the office or driving. Keep it quick and easy. After all, it’s just a screening phone call.

2. Check LinkedIn

Almost every college grad or mid-career worker has a LinkedIn profile (and if they don’t, I wouldn’t invite them in for an interview). A strong online presence is necessary for today’s unemployed because practically everything happens online these day. What should you look for on their LinkedIn profiles? Here’s a couple tips:

LinkedIn provides a wealth of information for recruiting teams. Use it as a reference, but not an all-knowing source of information.

3. Call references

Some HR professionals discount a reference’s opinion (because 99% of the time they’re stellar). I take a different stance. References offer an objective view of the benefit and value they received from their former employee or coworker. It’s likely they’ll be able to provide the same value for your company. Here are a couple questions to get the most out of references:

And no, there’s nothing wrong with calling references prior to the interview. It just means you could hire the candidate on the spot if you wanted to.

4. View their personal blog

Oh, they don’t have a blog? I can understand if you’re trying to hire a material scientist or custodial engineer, but if your job is full of work on the web, I would expect an established web presence. Here’s a couple things a personal blog tells you about the candidate:

Blogs are one of my favorite ways to see what makes candidates tick. They may be applying for a job in product management, but write a blog about their travel adventures. You learn a lot about people by looking at their writing.

5. Read their cover letter (hopefully there is one!)

I can’t believe the number of people who skip over the cover letter. The candidate wrote it for a reason. It explains why you should hire them. A resume doesn’t do that. Take time to read the cover letter. Here’s what it tells you:

6. Compare them to your job listing

There had to be an obvious one in this list, right? Do side-by-side comparison of your job candidates and the listing. Do they match up. While it may not be perfect, here’s a three things to keep in mind when you’re comparing:

Whatever you end up doing, decided on your hiring strategy for this position early. Is an 80% going to cut it for an interview or are you looking for the candidate to meet all of your requirements. This makes a difference on who you’re going to bring in.

7. Give them a test or project

Back in college, I applied for an art internship with a popular brewery. I was a marketing major with zero art experience. But I understood the importance of a consistent brand. While I did have some self-taught Photoshop skills, the Art Director wanted to see how I put those skills to work. She sent me a test to turn an ugly beer distributor poster into a poster that better represented the brewery. And I passed with flying colors.

Finding a test to send to potential hires is a fantastic way to separate the experienced candidates from the rest of the pack. Stuck with what to do? Here are a couple of ideas:

The hunt for the best employee takes time. That’s why pre-screening is so important. Rather than waste your hiring team’s time on unfit candidates, do work beforehand to bring in the A-players.


How To Succeed Without Ever Trying

Bob Slydell: You see, what we’re actually trying to do here is, we’re trying to get a feel for how people spend their day at work… so, if you would, would you walk us through a typical day, for you?

Peter Gibbons: Yeah.

Bob Slydell: Great.

Peter Gibbons: well, I generally come in at least fifteen minutes late, ah, I use the side door – that way Lumbergh can’t see me, heh heh – and, uh, after that I just sorta space out for about an hour.

Bob Porter: Da-uh? Space out?

Peter Gibbons: Yeah, I just stare at my desk; but it looks like I’m working. I do that for probably another hour after lunch, too. I’d say in a given week I probably only do about fifteen minutes of real, actual, work.

Does this iconic exchange from the movie Office Space sound familiar? Are you thinking, “this sounds like me,” or even worse, “this sounds like my staff!”

Many employers are disappointed with their employee’s lack of knowledge – regardless of experience.

The reason lies in corporate training.

Employers pile on large amounts of information for each employee. And then they don’t follow up with their staff about the new content. This may be a consequence of employers not spending enough money to effectively train their staff. And it’s hurting their bottom lines.

4 Reasons Corporate Training is Failing

1.Employers aren’t following up

Many new employees go through an introductory training course when they’re hired. This usually involves a 1 to 7 day downpour of information. Employees are then expected to remember everything – with no refresher.

Why this isn’t working:

Managers are not following up.

After a week long training, employees are confident they know company policies. But, a year later? They’re lucky if they recall half of the information.

The solution is to consistently check in with employees. Follow up with them during training as well as throughout their time with the company to ensure that they are trained to their fullest potential.

2. Every college graduate knows business etiquette

One of the biggest mistakes employers make is hiring college graduates and expecting them to have business knowledge. They may be educated, but real-world experience is near zero.

Why this isn’t working:

Employers believe colleges train students to work in the real world. In reality, they only further their education.

Because of this mindset, employers hire college graduates expecting them to succeed with no training. But, employers get confused when new hires don’t meet expectations. Employers need to realize college educates, they train.

3. Relying on technology

To save money and “better train” their employees, a lot of companies have turned to apps and game simulations to engage their teams.

Why this isn’t working:

While playing games has proven to be more affective in memory retention, companies are not following up. Great ways to follow up are periodic quizzes and simulations throughout the training session and beyond.

4. Fear of loyalty

Companies don’t want to waste money on corporate training because they don’t want other firms stealing their top talent.

After all, employers don’t want to spend money on training, only to lose employees to another company. That means having to reinvest in a new hire.

Why this isn’t working:

Because companies are cheap. They’re not investing in training. This ultimately hurts the company – and the employees. Why? Because poor training leads to poor performance.

How to fix corporate training

Make it useful. Making it something employees refer to throughout their tenure. And follow up with your team to make sure they’ve still got the knowledge to succeed.

See if your employees know company policies. Test their knowledge by creating a free quiz at quizpoo.com.


The only way to find the perfect employee

Finding the Perfect Employee

Have you decided to bring on a new team member recently? Maybe you need marketing help or a bookkeeping assistant. You set out write the job requirements down.

Let’s take the bookkeeper for example. Your requirements may be:

Of course, there’s more. But, let’s press on. When you’ve got your requirements list, you post the opening on Craigslist, let your followers on twitter know, and start talking to colleagues in the area.

You get a phenomenal batch of candidates.

Three to five are given two rounds of interviews. And you end up hiring Jessica, a bookkeeper with several years of experience and a bubbly attitude. She’ll talk to anyone.

But is she perfect?

Probably not. Can you remember a time when you hired the perfect employee? They probably met 85-90% of your expectations. But, she gets the job done.

The problem is that a lot of companies stop at the 90% mark. They accept 10% imperfections. But, don’t you want your team firing on all cylinders?

Of course you do!

A team made up of 50-60 percent team members and a couple of star players simply isn’t going to propel your company forward. So how do you make your team the best they can be?

By training them in the skills they’re lacking.

Surprisingly, employees want to learn. It keeps them motivated and sharpens their skill set. They want to spend a day learning about better accounting principles. They want to research better ways to get more customers into their software. Or, maybe the want to experience a different department.

Giving them the opportunity. The benefits far outweigh the costs. Let’s explore how training development helps your team.

How does training and development help your team?

1. Cross-training

What if the employee who runs the cash register in your retail store calls out sick? Someone has to run the register! That’s why you train Cindy in receiving how to run the register. That way, she can jump in to run the register to help out when your employees call out or need back up.

2. Opportunity for advancement

To make it to the next level, employees often need to acquire new skills. When you train them to advance – whether to another department or management position – they’ll not only be motivated to learn, they’ll appreciate you chose them to move to a position with more responsibility.

3. More productivity

One of the main reasons behind hiring a new employee is so you can grow your business and get more work done. By acquiring new skills, team members may be able to simply get more work done. And what’s wrong with that?

4. Motivation

Learning new skills is a natural source of motivation for almost any employee. They’re not only developing their own skillset, but they’re able to add a new piece of software to their resume or build up a list of certifications. Now, that’s pretty motivating!

This whole training thing sounds pretty awesome, doesn’t it?  The only downside is, although you may want to, the transition to a training-first company can be challenging.

Embarking on a huge training blitz will overwhelm your team. Some team members may not want to learn new skills and others might not think they have the time.

How to work with one person to turn them into the perfect employee (and get the rest to follow suit):

1. Identify a team member who wants to improve

It often just starts with one employee who wants to learn. An employee who wants to improve their skill set. Find them in your team – or another manager’s and proceed to step two.

2. Find out what they want to improve on

The best way to get a team member interested in learning more is to see what they want to learn. Maybe they want to spend the day in another department or maybe they want to get Google AdWords certified. Write a couple learning goals down together and move on to step three.

3. Discover tools and resources to help them get there.

You can learn practically anything online. There are millions of blogs, videos, online tutorials, classes, and conferences to attend. Get a learning plan together and pay for the resources if you need to. Your beta employee shouldn’t have to pay out-of-pocket to learn new skills.

4. Follow up

Once your employee has gone through the training, ask them how it went. What did they learn? Is it something they think other team members would benefit from? Gathering this feedback is useful when you roll out a company-wide training program.

One team member is a great start. Use his or her experience as a launching board to a larger team initiative. With several team members on board learning new skills, you’ll be well on your way to eventually working with the “perfect employee”.

How have you used training to help your team get to the next level?