How to Create a Mission Statement For Your Training Department


Do you have a mission statement for your training department? Well, you should. A mission statement serves the purpose of describing the beliefs and values of an organization and to help employees understand why the organization exists.

Training departments function to support the goals of the organization by enhancing job performance and identifying the required training needs of each employee. So why create a mission statement for your training department? There are many advantages to creating a mission statement including:

  • Improving the strategic alignment between the training department and the organization
  • Helping to prioritize the needs of both the organization and the training department.
  • The ability to quantify and assess the effectiveness of any training developed by the department.

Here’s how to get started:

  • Read your organization’s mission statement. The training department mission statement should align with that of your organization. Your alignment should also include reviewing the beliefs, values and priorities. Further questions should include: How does the training department fit into the big picture?
  • The next step will be working on the mission statement. In order to write an effective mission statement, here are some questions to ask: Why does your department exist? Who are you training?  and how will you evaluate the training?
  • Keep your mission statement short. An effective mission statement is generally 1-2 sentences that should contain action words and is quantifiable. The mission statement should answer the following questions, what do you do, and why do you do it?
  • Obtain input from other people including the stakeholders, other departments including HR and employees.
  • Revise your mission statement when necessary

Once completed, don’t forget to celebrate!

Do you currently have a training department mission statement? I would love to hear from you!


Book Review- Mastering the Instructional Design Process

book review logo

Mastering the Instructional Design Process: A Systematic Approach
William J. Rothwell & H.C. Kazanas
Pfeiffer and Company
Pages: 482
ISBN: 978-0787996468
 2015.janbomMastering the Instructional Design Process
In Mastering the Instructional Design Process, William J. Roth well and H.C. Kazanas, provide a systematic approach for developing instructional design competencies based on the Board of Standards of Performance and Instruction (IBSTBI). Rothwell is currently a professor of workplace learning and performance and Pennsylvania State University, President of Rothwell and Associates and has written over 60 books in the learning and performance field. H.C. Kazanas is currently professor emeritus of education at the University of Illinois and authored or co-authored eleven books relating to technical training in manufacturing and human resource development.
 There have been plenty of articles and blogs written on whether one should pursue a formal education or an informal education in order to become a proficient instructional designer. Well, this book is written for those who chose the latter.
The book begins with a pre-test on the instructional systems design and allows the reader to use it as a diagnostic tool as a self-assessment. The first chapter provides the definition of instructional design and ties in its relationship to human performance problems. This component is vital as the book like most performance books, gives alternatives to instructional solutions. Chapter 2 notes that not all solutions can be solved by instructional design, rather, other types of tools including feedback and job aids. Chapter 3 discusses the various methods that can be used for performance analysis. Chapters 4 through  analyzing the needs, learners, and work setting by explaining the steps in the instructional design process including conducting a needs assessment and developing a profile of the learner.
 Chapters 8 through 10 delve into writing performance objectives including figures, and a breakdown of verbs associated with objectives in the cognitive domain. Chapters 11-13 discusses delivering the instruction effectively including choosing appropriate instructional strategy including tables and worksheets. If you are more interested in learning how to design management systems, chapters 14 through 18 can be used to understand not only how to plan, and monitor an instructional design but also communicating effectively through visualization.
 Finally, chapter 20 discusses ways on being an effective instructional designer through some personal reflection from the authors. The appendix includes resources on online instructional design, learning theories and instructional design and knowledge management. As an extra bonus, there are a number of supplementary materials that are available for download free with the purchase of the book including worksheets, checklist and activities.
Learning Development and Human Resource professionals can benefit from reading this book. It combines both instructional design and performance improvement steps with ease. Anyone seeking to improve their understanding of instructional design will enjoy reading this book.




7 Steps to Organizing Your Training Records

organize trainingDepending on the size of your organization, training records can grow out of control if not managed properly. There are many benefits to developing an effective training management system including, controlling the growth of records, improving efficiency, ensuring regulatory compliance and fostering professionalism. In order to maintain an effective training records system, Here are a few steps to follow:
  1. Develop a plan. When you develop a plan, make sure you are able to answer the following questions.Why were the training records created? who will have access to them? What information will be discarded? Where will training records be kept? Other important questions when developing a plan may include how will records be maintained?  and Where will training records be kept?  Most non-profit organizations are heavily regulated therefore including a retrieval system as part of you plan will be the key to the success of  managing your system.
  2.   Arrangement. The system that you develop should be effective enough so that you are able to retrieve information quickly. Most organizations arrange records using an alphabetic system. Files can also be developed using a number of different systems including chronological, numerical and geographical.
  3. Inventory. This step will help you in weeding out any unnecessary paperwork.  Training departments often keep copies of test scores, attendance sheets, evaluations, need assessments, compliance trainings, and attendance records. Decide which records should be kept with your current files.
  4. Old Records. Now you can begin organizing your training records. This is a great time to also get rid of any extra clutter that you may have accumulated over the years.  Develop a system to retire old records and determine how long you would need to keep your most current records active. Generally 1 year should be enough however if you are heavily audited, compliance records may need go back a little further so you may want to keep more information on-site for additional years.
  5. Retention Plan. Now that you have developed a plan, know the type arrangement that you will be using, and you have created your inventory, The next step will be to develop a retention plan. This step should involve developing a timeline on keeping old records. This may vary according to your State and your organization’s policy. Here in the state of New York, the records are eligible for destruction after 7 years but this may also depend on the type of records that you have. Also, check with your organization on the procedure of discarding information. some organizations may shred documentation either on site or use a shredding company.
  6. Re-organize. Once you have completed developing a retention plan, you can now prepare and organize all documentation.
  7. Maintain. This will become easier once you have put a system into place. make sure that you file all material on a regular basis. find a time of day when you have the least interruptions. This may be the beginning of the day, the end of the day, or right after you have completed a training.
Do you have any additional suggestions on organizing your files?  I love to hear from you.

March Workplace Learning and Performance Improvement Links


How Bullies and Barbarians Can Ruin Your Workplace Culture- David Lee
How to Create Successful Training- The Rapid E-Learning Blog
Training for the Worst- Training Magazine
Should we Adopt a Training Policy?- Workforce
How Successful People Spend their Weekends- Forbes
Best Practices in Blended Learning- Connie Malamed


Training Quotes and Maxims


Merriam-Webster defines maxims as well-known phrases that express a general truth about life. People often use maxims and quotes as a way to become enlighten, motivated and inspired. Quotes and maxims can be found in almost all aspects of understanding the meaning in life. Here are some quotes that relate to teaching and learning.

  1.  “The art of teaching is the art of assisting discovery.”- Mark Van Doren
  2.  “What I hear, I forget. What I see, I remember. What I do, I understand.”-Confucius
  3.  “You cannot teach a man anything, you can only help him discover it within himself.”- Galileo Galilei
  4.  “The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.”
  5.  “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”- Albert Einstein
  6.  “Those who know, do. Those who understand, teach.”-Aristotle
  7.  “It’s no use talking unless people understand what you say.”- Zora Neale Hurston
  8.  “The five steps in teaching an employee new skills are preparation, explanation, showing, observation and supervision.”-Bruce Barton
  9.  “The teacher is the one who gets the most out of the lessons, and the true teacher is the learner.”- Elbert Hubbard
  10.  “Learning never exhausts the mind.-Leonardo da Vinci
  11.  “I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.”- Pablo Picasso
  12.  “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.”- Bill Gates
  13.  “I never learn anything talking. I only learn things when I ask questions.”-Lou Holtz
  14.  “No one learns as much about a subject as one who is forced to teach it.”-Peter F. Drucker
  15.  “True Leaders bring out your personal best. They ignite your human potential.”- John Paul Warren
  16.  “Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do.”-Goethe
  17.  “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.”-Aristotle
  18.  “I am still learning.”- Michelangelo


Storing Training Supplies


Ice-breakers, games and energizers are a great way to reinforce skills and to also provide immediate feedback. I am a true believer that the learning process should be fun and engaging. Organizing the tools that I use for games and activities on the other hand, has been quite challenging. I have made many attempts to find the best way to organize training supplies in a manner which would be easy to use. In the past, I have tried many different ways of organizing training materials including planning ahead by putting out enough supplies for the number of people expected. However, this did not always work especially when additional people would show up for the training.
basketI decided the best way to solve this problem was to find a storage bin that I would be able to prepare in advance and put away with ease. On a visit to a local teacher supply store, I came across these caddies. Right away I knew they would be perfect. I love that the caddies are available in an assortment of colors including green, orange, purple, blue and black.
Training supplies that I generally use on a regular basins includes pens, pencils and markers which fit nicely into the caddy.




markers1 I also include index cards and post-its as a way for people to write down any questions they may have or a way to engage people during a training activity.

indec cards


 A few examples on  ways of using the caddies:
This caddies includes markers, scissors and post-its for a group depending on the size of the group, I may have baskets that are identical for a general exercise but if the activity is more of a creative exercise, the caddies may differ.
caddiesample This caddie includes pens, markers tape, rubber bands and index cards my goal is always to make the activity as much fun as possible.
I also like that the caddies are stackable which makes it easy to put away. It is also easy to transport if you conduct trainings at multi-sites
Where to Purchase
There are a number of places where these caddies can be found. I mentioned earlier that I was able to locate them at a teacher supply store and most places offer the option of purchasing online or in person.
School Outlet- 4 in a pack for $11.45
Lakeshore Learning- 6 piece for 29.99
Dollar Tree-24 minimum for $24.00 (a case)



Serving Snacks During Training Sessions


serving snacks head

The Staff Trainer’s Blog


Did you know that March is National Nutrition Month?

National Nutrition Month was created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics to focus on the importance of making healthy informed food choices. This is so tough for me especially when I am constantly on the run. Between conducting trainings and attending meetings, every once in a while, I feel the need to grab something quick to snack on and according to my scale the vending machine is not my friend!

Most trainings, seminars and conferences that I have attended seem to have a direct connection to food. Water is typically served at larger venues, while smaller workshops that I have attended tend to include continental breakfast or lunch. I have learned over the years that there is no greater motivator while conducting trainings than food and as a learning and development professional, it is often a balancing act in merging the two together.

Most States offer standards in providing healthful choices when serving food at meetings or events. Here in the State of New York, guidelines allow for serving snacks including mixed nuts, air-popped popcorn with light seasoning, water and an assortment of fresh fruits such as apples and pears.

So if you are on a budget like me, what are the best snacks to offer that are both filling and nutritious?

Trailmix- Most Trailmix snacks tend to offer a combination of dried fruits, nuts and chocolate. Trailmix is a snack that can be bought in bulk and is easy to store. It also provides a quick energy boost and is great to serve during the midday and late afternoon when most participants start to get tired.

trail mix

trailmix chips

Almonds-Almonds can also be purchased in bulk and there are many health benefits of eating almonds including relief from constipation, respiratory disorders, anemia and protects the artery walls from damage.


Pretzels- This is a snack that comes with iron, zinc and folate and is low in fat. The downside is that the sodium is high, so it should only be offered in moderation


Water- saving the best for last, water has so many great benefits including controlling count calories, helps in digestion and constipation, flushes out toxins and relieves fatigue. If possible, water should be offered throughout the day.

Do you offer any snacks that are not on the list? Would love to hear from you.



February Workplace Learning and Improvement Links

Invisibilizing  Workplace Learning- Allison Rossett
70:20:10 and the Learning Curve- Clark Quinn
What is the difference between HPE, HPT and HPI and does it matter?- Human Performance Tools for Practitioners
6 Ways to Add Sizzle to Your Classroom- Learning Rebel
BYOD: What Training Professionals Need to Know-eLearning Industry



January Workplace Learning and Performance Improvement Links

5 Toxic Workplace Practices That Kill Employment Engagement- TLNT
Free E Learning Template- The Rapid E-Learning Blog
Why E Learning Should be like Farmville- Learn Dash
20 Mantras Great Leaders Live By Every Day- Hubspot Blog
Trending in Workplace Learning 2015- Allison Rossett

Recommended LinkedIn Groups for Trainer’s in the Helping Profession to Join




LinkedIn, “The world’s largest professional network, is more than just a site to post your resume and add people to your network. One of the most effective ways to connect with other professionals is by joining one or more of the LinkedIn Groups. Describes by the site as, “a place for professionals in the same industry or similar interest to share content, articles, post , view jobs and make business contacts,” This feature allows you to accomplish big goals by building on your professional success. Through LinkedIn Groups, I have been able to reconnect with previous supervisors and co-workers, learn different ways to approach a training activity, share articles and mentor up and coming younger trainers in my industry.

The key to success is finding the right LinkedIn Groups to join. Although LinkedIn allows you to join up to 50 groups, it is more practical to start small. There is no obligation to stay with any particular group. You always have the option to leave a group and join others. When you do join groups, be clear on your goals. Are you looking to share interesting articles with others in your group? Are you job hunting and looking for leads? You will find that some groups are more interactive than others are. There have been a few groups that I joined and quickly realized that most of the content was self-marketing and self-promotion.

From a learning and development perspective, I found that most groups that I have joined are highly interactive. Below, I gathered a list of groups that include training and development groups as well as groups in the helping industry.

Do you have any groups not listed you would like to suggest? I would love to hear from you.


Association for Talent Development. The Association for Talent Development (ATD).  86,951 members. Formally ASTD, is the largest association dedicated to those who develop talent in organizations.

Chief Learning Officer. 27,845 members. resource for the workplace learning and development industry, provides a network for global enterprise learning environment.

Effective & Fun Training Techniques. 50,036. Sponsored by Trainers warehouse. A great resource for training, ice-breakers and other ideas.

Human Performance Improvement Professionals. 2,252 members. Comprised of Individuals who work in the fields of human performance improvement including trainers, teachers, speakers and authors.

Instructional Design & E-Learning Professional’s Group. 76,334 members. A collection of eLearning articles, concepts, software and e-learning resources.

Learning, Education and Training Professional Group. 172,044 members. A group for training professionals including project managers, instructional designers, developers, learning officers and classroom trainers.

Professional Presenters, Speakers & Trainers. 9,171 members. Provides individuals and businesses the resources to connect with others.

Trainer’s Network. 47,003 members. Designed to develop networking among freelance trainers, corporate trainers and training professionals willing to share their experience.

Non-Profit Groups

Non-Profit Connections. 13,023 members. This group is designed to benefit professionals involved with non-profit organizations to benefit, learn, grow, network and share ideas and help each other.

Non-Profit Management. 20,001 members. A professional and network group for non-profit executives, founders, fundraisers and managers.

Non-Profit Network. 151,833. A non profit network including 8 subgroups.

VMG- For Non-Profit Professionals. 5,804 members. This is a group of non-profit professionals currently employed in the field of non-profit management, program management, volunteer management and fundraising.

Health and Human Services 

Health and Human Services. 5,416 members. A global networking group to facilitate the sharing information, strategy and ideas on how we can improve health and human service outcomes for citizens.

Network of Professional Social Workers. 50,530 members. An international association of professional social workers.