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Beyond Training: What It Takes to Get Sales Managers to Change

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December 2014

Dear Readers,

In a twist on the traditional post-mortem review concept, one innovative company featured in this issue conducts "pre-mortem" training at the beginning of projects to reduce the odds of things going wrong. The approach is an engaging way of getting workers to recognize and plan for the most likely project risks, then take proactive steps to avoid them.

The exercise asks work teams to imagine that an upcoming project has failed. Not a partial failure but a complete and embarrassing failure; teams are then asked to brainstorm potential causes of the failure. The training approach has been paying clear dividends.
On one project the company, McCarthy Building Companies, reduced its cost and exposure by nearly $250,000 through identifying a high-impact, high-likelihood risk with a masonry-related issue.

On another note, I'd like to thank all WorkforceXpert readers for their loyal support of the newsletter and participation in our webinar series this past year. Your feedback and ideas are important and help raise the quality of both offerings. Happy holidays.

     Dave Zielinski, Editor

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A good eLearning course makes a complex concept easier to understand and to act on. But eLearning courses don’t always turn out that way. Despite good intentions and earnest efforts, sometimes something seems to be missing.
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4 Things Benefits Pros Should Know About Obama's Immigration Plan

By Kelly Butler

Through an executive order announced Nov. 20, President Barack Obama took steps to expand resident and employment eligibility for up to 5 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States. Here are the top four things HR and benefits professionals need to know about the immigration plan.
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'Pre-Mortem' Training Pays Dividends For This Organization

By Lorri Freifeld

By focusing on “exceptional project execution,” McCarthy Building Companies Inc. has become one of the best in its industry at proactively managing risk. The company has many training tools on safety and quality issues, but a non-traditional training tool called the Pre-Mortem has become one of the most effective tactics in its arsenal.
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How to Improve the ROI of Your High-Potential Programs

By Jean Martin and Joe Ungemah

Organizations have long used high potential programs to develop successors. However, recent research shows that these programs haven’t always come with a significant return on investment. According to one prominent 2013 high-potential program study, despite increased investments in HiPo programs most HR professionals lack confidence in them.
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The Danger of Confusing Affirmative Action with Diversity

By Gustavo Gisbertand and Fayruz Kirtzman

There is a common misperception among business leaders that “diversity initiatives” are synonymous with “affirmative action policies.” Some believe that companies looking to diversify their talent should prepare for a potential backlash. The problem is that this viewpoint only looks at one element of the issue: representation of traditionally underrepresented groups.
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