State of Learning at PLCMC

The following is an email I sent out to PLCMC employees at the beginning of January. I thought it might be of interest to other trainers who are interested in metrics and benchmarking.

We at PLCMC have been very busy learning in 2008

In 2008, PLCMC employees attended a total of nearly 13,000 hours of training–and that’s only the hours we track through myHR. This figure does not count on-the-job-training, public computer classes that staff attend, or training outside the library or Mecklenburg County that our staff attend (such as conferences).

This averages out to approximately 26 hours of training per year per employee. This figure is well above the 17 hour average per employee of most organizations, as reported in the American Society of Training and Development’s 2008 State of the Industry Report.

As you can see, PLCMC is devoted to providing learning and development opportunities to all of our employees.

We provide opportunities such as:

  • Professional membership reimbursement
  • Tuition reimbursement
  • Scholarships such as Carla Dupuy Scholarship and Friends of the Library David Howe Scholarship
  • Job related and personal development through sessions listed on myHR
  • Staff exchange program (In 2008 we sent two employees to Australia to live and work for a month)
  • Opportunities to attend conferences, training, e-learning, and webinars provided by other libraries and organizations

We will continue to be busy learning in 2009

We are in the planning stages of creating a Learning Advisory Council in 2009 with staff representatives from each of the C.O.R.E. areas. The Council will recommend and help develop training and learning solutions. There will be more opportunities for staff to help train other staff.

In 2009 there will be onsite training at every location to prepare staff for Unified Services.

As you can see PLCMC is dedicated to developing staff including our front line staff who assist our customers each and every day and those who work behind-the-scenes as well. In the coming year, look for more opportunities to learn and develop. If you have a suggestion for training or a specific need please contact me by phone or by email.

Have a safe and happy holiday and make a resolution to learn something new in the new year!

Wrapping up Employee Learning Week(s)

For the past few weeks I’ve disappeared from my virtual worlds–blogs, RSS, Facebook, twitter, FriendFeed–as I’ve been immersed in Employee Learning Week–which turned into weeks.

This year I had an ambitious goal at PLCMC. To celebrate Employee Learning Week I wanted to start with the basics of learning…learning styles. In my email to staff announcing ELW I included a link to a survey I created which would administer Kolb’s Learning Styles Inventory.

Over 200 staff completed the survey–about a third of our employees, and even though I had macros and mail merges set up to make tabulating the results easy it still took a while to create individual reports for each of the 211 employees who completed the survey.

Here is a copy of the email I sent out wrapping up the survey.

Curious how PLCMC employees learn?

As part of Employee Learning Week, over 200 PLCMC staff completed a Learning Styles Inventory.

The results are in!

When you look at the dominant learning style for those who took the survey:

35% have a dominant learning style of Applier (Finding the practical application of ideas.)

29% have a dominant learning style of Actor (Action and getting things done.

27% have a dominant learning style of Thinker (Creating concepts and models.)

9% have a dominant learning style of Innovator (Offering ideas, alternatives and examples.)

This breakdown is illustrated in the following pie chart:

The bigger picture – we’re fairly balanced at PLCMC.

Although our indivudual learning styles vary, when you look at PLCMC as a whole, our preferences for learning are very balanced. Many staff were dominant in several areas and one person was completely balanced with 25% in each quadrant. If you total all of the submissions and plot the results as one unit, our overall learning style looks like this:

What can I do with this information?

As individuals, we each have our own unique learning styles and preferences. Each of the people you work with has a unique learning style as well. When we combine that diversity among our employees great things can happen. The key is to remember that not everyone learns the same way. Simply by being aware of our similarities and differences, we can make an effort to reach out to those who are different from ourselves.

Free Teleseminar: Thriving as a Professional Trainer in these Turbulent Times

At ASTD’s ALC Bob Pike CSP, CPAE-Speakers Hall of Fame promised ASTD President’s to help professional trainers. “Where there is fear, their is opportunity.” he said. “And I’m hearing way to much fear as I visit chapters.” The free teleseminar is called, “Thriving, not surviving, as a Professional Trainer in these Turbulent Times.” Based on his 40 years experience in the field Bob will share the strategies that will help turn the present environment from a negative to a positive — for full details and free registration follow this link: .

The webinar will be December 5 with free replay available for those who register in advance.

Free Webinar: Learning for Learning Professionals

Learning for Learning Professionals: Competencies, Strategies and Resources

Event Type: Webinar
Date: 12/11/2008
Start Time: 1pm Central/2pm Eastern
Duration: 1 hour

Description: As trainers, continuing education coordinators and staff development managers, we believe in lifelong learning. We are committed to helping library employees improve their skills and build successful careers. As cheerleaders for organizational and individual learning, do we sometimes lose sight of our own learning? What are we doing to invest in ourselves? What are the competencies that we will need as we lead our libraries in future skill development and employee learning?

To celebrate Employee Learning Week, join us for an exploration of current and future competencies for learning professionals working in libraries. We will look at strategies for our own development and the resources available to help us pursue them.

This hour-long webinar is co-sponsored by WebJunction and ALA’s Continuing Library Education Network and Round Table (CLENERT).

Mary Ross, CLENERT Board member and former manager of staff development at the Seattle Public Library, will lead the discussion. She will be joined by Betha Gutsche curriculum designer for e-learning initiatives at WebJunction, and Jennifer Homer, vice president of external relations for the American Society of Training and Development.

Register here.

ASTD Leadership Conference

October 31 – November 1 I attended the ASTD Leadership Conference (ALC) in Arlington, VA. Much smaller than the ALA annual conference, the ALC had a few hundred participants from ASTD chapters from across the country. Anytime you get this many trainers together in a room you are sure to have a lively group with a lot of energy!

ASTD Maryland Costume for Halloween

The big ah-ha I got at the conference was focusing on what’s in it for THEM. From training 101 we know that our learners are always tuned to radio WII-FM (what’s in it for me). This applies to so many other areas of our lives. ASTD members want to know what they will get out of their membership. Library customers want to know how they will benefit from using your services. We need to market ourselves better so that our worth is clear to people. We’re facing a tough economy in the coming months and maybe years. We need to stand out from the crowd and from our competition. Do you know who your competition is? If not, find out and do a comparison.

It was great too to see a variety of professional speakers with different styles. I had a chance to say a quick hello to Bob Pike after hearing him speak about how attitude is everything. I never get tired of that message!