There are tons of books written about creating a collaborative environment in the workplace but they all can be summarized with these 5 principles: 

  1. Focus on the situation, issue, or behavior, not the person.
  2. Maintain the self-confidence and self-esteem of others.
  3. Maintain constructive relationships.
  4. Take initiative to make things better.
  5. Lead by example.

Try these principles and see if that makes a difference in your work environment.
Training Day Checklist
Here’s a handy last-minute checklist to make sure everything is ready for your training session:

  • Dress appropriately. Use your audience analysis to figure out what to wear. In general, match your manner of dress to that of your trainees—or go slightly more professional.
  • Arrive early. Give yourself time to check last-minute arrangements and get yourself mentally geared up for the session.
  • Check seating arrangements. Make sure the set-up is ideal for the training style you want to use and have some extra chairs for any last-minute trainees.
  • Check room temperature. Adjust it appropriately for the number of people who will be in the room and the size of the space you will all be occupying.
  • Check audiovisual hardware. Conduct one last run-through to make sure everything is still running smoothly.
  • Check electrical outlets. Make sure all your connections are safe. Don’t trail cords across walkways or overload surge protector strips.
  • Check light switches. Know which switches work which lights so you can achieve the ideal lighting for audiovisual materials and note-taking.
  • Check window-darkening equipment. Make sure blinds or shades are working properly.
  • Check arrangements. Make sure you have everything you need—including the training space for the entire time you need it.
  • Lay out classroom supplies. If you will be demonstrating tools or equipment, make sure you have everything you need.
  • Lay out course materials. Decide whether to put handouts on a table for trainees to pick up on the way in or to lay them at every seat.

These are all effective techniques for running a successful session, but what kind of person does it take to do the training? The best trainers have several qualities that make them good at what they do. Check the list below to see which qualities you already possess—and to determine which areas you could improve.
Here are some softer training methods that are not necessarily essential to conveying information, but that can make receiving data or instructions a much more enjoyable experience, which will keep trainees involved and help them retain more information.

  • Make learning fun. Why? Trainees will not be enthusiastic if training sessions are dry and dull. Few employees respond to or remember complicated concepts or theories; they want to learn practical information about what they can do to get better results today. If they don’t find the message entertaining, they won’t retain it. Since variety is the spice of life, use several different training methods to engage trainees in a variety of ways. Also work to alternate the pace of each session to keep trainees’ interest level high.
  • Use humor. Humor helps keep enthusiasm at peak levels. Trainers can make a point more effectively by using humor than by drowning trainees in statistics or theories. Avoid telling jokes, however, because humor is so subjective that someone in your audience may be offended and lose track of training for the rest of the session. Personal, self-deprecating humor is the safest way to go.
  • Use attractive packaging. Use materials that are well-packaged and that communicate value. Professional packaging is a powerful tool for setting a good first impression.
  • Encourage participation. Make the session lively by engaging participants in the learning process. In fact, try to spend close to 80 percent of training time on group participation. Encourage everyone in the training session to speak freely and candidly, because learning occurs most readily when feelings are involved.
  • Build self-esteem. Employees understandably want to know what’s in it for them. They know that most training programs are designed to make money for the company, but rarely does training lift employees’ spirits or help them to become better in their own lives. Create a win-win environment by using the training program to build the participants’ self-worth and self-esteem.
How to Conduct an Effective Training Session

Here are 12 proven techniques to conduct a successful training session:
  1. Tell trainees what you're going to cover. Introduce your session with a brief overview of the training subject’s main points.
  2. Tell them the information. In the main portion of the session, explain key points, go over policies, demonstrate procedures, and relate any other information trainees need to know.
  3. Tell them what you told them. Conclude with a summary of your opening overview. Use repetition to help trainees grasp and retain information.
  4. Always explain what trainees are going to see before you show a multimedia portion. This practice creates a better learning environment by guiding trainees to know what to look for and what to remember. Explaining the purpose of the multimedia ensures an effective reception for its information.
  5. Use as much hands-on training as possible. The most effective training uses all the senses to affect learning. Demonstrate and apply teaching points to create greater understanding and knowledge of the subject.
  6. Test frequently. Tests are most effective when students know they will be quizzed, because they’ll pay close attention to the material. Testing is an objective way to determine whether training achieved its goals.
  7. Involve trainees. For example, ask participants to share their experiences with the training topic. Many trainees are experienced personnel who have valuable information to contribute. All trainees will get more out of sessions by hearing about their co-workers’ experiences with the subject—and not just the trainer’s lecture points. Hearing different voices also keeps sessions varied and interesting. Structure interaction time into all your sessions.
  8. Repeat questions before answering them. This practice ensures that all participants know what the question is so they can make sense of the answer.
  9. Analyze the session as you go. Always be on the lookout for what works best. When you discover a new technique or method that clicks with the group, note it on your training materials so it can be incorporated into the training outline to be used in future sessions.
  10. Keep your session on track. Start on time and finish on time. Don't hold up class waiting for late arrivers. Run the class according to the schedule and don't get too far off course. Opening up discussion among participants may lead to some pertinent tangents, but don’t let side issues take over. Ask if there’s enough interest to pursue a separate session on that topic, but get this class back to the lesson plan.
  11. Put yourself in their shoes—or seats. Give frequent breaks, especially for half-day or all-day sessions.
  12. Solicit feedback on the training session. Critiques work best when they are written and anonymous, unless a trainee volunteers to discuss his or her thoughts in person. Trainee input is vital for making the next session—and the overall training program—more
These 12 steps are the basic foundation for a solid training session that runs efficiently and that conveys the necessary information for meeting the session’s goals. They also incorporate ways to begin improving training on the fly. In other words, you can’t go wrong by following these steps in every training session you run.
The key to creating an effective recruiting and retention strategy is to determine the root causes of why people join a company and stay/leave subsequently. 

When joining a company, a candidate typically considers several factors including: 

• Pay
• Benefits
• Location
• Advancement possibilities
• Job security
• Nature of work
• Personal/family commitments 
• The nature of the working environment

Whether an employee stays or leaves will depend on several factors including: 

• Confidence in leadership
• Whether they feel they are contributing, recognized, appreciated and heard
• Whether they feel management is keeping their promises / commitments

Based on the above, here is a good starting point for creating an effective recruitment and retention strategy:

• Offer fair and competitive salaries
• Offer competitive benefits
• Train front-line managers on good supervisory and people management skills
• Clearly define roles and responsibilities
• Provide adequate advancement opportunities
• Offer retention bonuses instead of sign-on bonuses
• Measure your turnover rate and assign someone responsible/accountable for retention
• Conduct employee satisfaction surveys
• Foster an environment of teamwork
• Make room for fun
• Work with your staff to develop a department mission statement they identify with and own
• Identify employee talents and encourage them to fully utilize it and stretch into new areas
• Communicate oOpenly
• Encourage on-going learning
• Be flexible and accommodating
• Create an employee recognition program

(Note: the above proposed strategies would need to be customized based on the unique needs of any organization).  

Rather than taking your chances in the workplace every day, you can learn all of the important tips necessary for making your office or jobsite a healthier, safer place for yourself and for everyone else who works there!

You, your coworkers and other employees, do not need to waste valuable work time from staying home to recover from on-the-job accidents, or contracting illnesses from other people! While these kinds of problems do occur on occasion, both the risk and the impact can be significantly minimized. All you really need to know is how to reduce your risks!

Fortunately, reducing your risk of on-the-job accidents and illness is not difficult at all! All it takes is learning about some important strategies-- and then begin putting them into practice every day! None of these concepts are difficult to learn! Each one can easily be made a part of your everyday work life! It is also very easy to let others in on these ideas, so everyone in your company can benefit!

Your workplace can quickly go from being filled with stress, anxiety, and risks, to being a great place for you to spend each day! These tips can be learned and put into practice with very little time and effort! When you begin to see how quickly your office or jobsite starts to change for the better, you will wonder why these tips were not available sooner!

Learning all you need to know about health and safety in the workplace has never been easier...
  • Training and other kinds of meetings and conferences are too often organized as stand-alone events, with a life of their own, disconnected from the firm’s progress.

  • Companies train people in new areas but then send them back to their operating groups, subject to the same measures and management approaches as before. People can detect immediately a lack of alignment between what they are being trained in and how they are being managed. When they do detect it, little, if any, of what has been discussed or ‘trained’ ever gets implemented.

  • Companies want a speech that is entertaining, informative, stimulating, or motivating. What they don’t seem to want is anything that specifically addresses the way they run their firms or the real-world changes they are really trying to make.

  • No amount of understanding, knowledge or intelligence will help if you are not able to interact with people and get the response you desire.

  • To help people develop as managers doesn’t mean discussing management (or, even worse, leadership) but rather requires putting people through a set of processes where they have to experience it, try it out, and develop their emotional self-control and interactive styles.

  • There is no point putting on skills training if there is no incentive for the behavior; the people don’t believe in it and they don’t yet know exactly what it is they are supposed to be good at!
Harvard psychologists Litwin and Stringer have identified six managerial styles.

These do not describe personality, but are rather hats that a manager can don in a given situation. However, most managers tend to use a particular style in every situation. Being aware of which style you use most helps you to adopt a more nuanced management approach.

Choose your most likely reaction to each of the following scenarios, and check your answers at the end to find out your management style.

Question One
A flood has made the ground floor of your office block unusable. You have deadlines to meet and meetings to attend. You assemble all of your staff on the first floor and:

a) Tell them that a cramped desk is better than no desk at all.
b) Tell a subordinate to organise a desk-sharing system and concentrate on getting the ground floor back in use.
c) Pass around the biscuits and organise team-building activities.
d) Outline the available options, ask your staff for suggestions, and then hold a vote.
e) Find a patch of desk-space and crack on with your work. The most important thing is to set a good example.
f) Organise an impromptu training and development day.

Question Two
You have been alerted to a staff member who spends office hours trawling the internet for rare books to feed his bibliophilic addiction. You call him into your office for a private chat, and he tells you that he finishes his work early and gets bored. You:

a) Force him to apologise to his colleagues and to work in your office, so that you can keep an eye on him.
b) Inform him of company policy and tell him that if he doesn’t change his behaviour he will face disciplinary action.
c) Tell him it is best if he keeps his reading habit for outside office hours. Suggest he starts a book club.
d) Ask him for suggestions as to how he might improve his behaviour.
e) Get him to shadow you for a day so that he can see how much you work.
f) Explain that his behaviour is demoralising other staff. Offer him a secondment to a more challenging department.

Question Three
A staff member consistently finishes her work early, and to a higher standard than her colleagues. You ask her to help you prepare a report, but it arrives on your desk late and full of careless mistakes. You:

a) Tear up the report in front of her and tell her to do it again.
b) Tell her that if she wants to be considered for promotion then she needs to maintain her high standards. Offer her the chance to rewrite the report.
c) Say nothing about the mistakes, but ask her if she feels too pressured by the extra workload.
d) Go through the report together with her, asking her to point out any possible improvements.
e) Send her a copy of the corrected report.
f) Go through your suggested corrections with her, and offer to send her on a short business-writing course.

Question Four
It’s 8pm and you have been in the office since six in the morning, trying to tie up the loose ends of project due the following day. It is your wife’s birthday, and you haven’t bought her a card yet. One of the three colleagues who have worked late with you gets up to leave. You:

a) Demand that he stays until the work is finished.
b) Demand that the work be finished by the deadline on the following day.
c) Offer him a lift home.
d) Ask all three if they think it is time to stop for the night.
e) Tell him to run to the shops and get a card for your wife while you finish off his work.
f) Go home. Book everyone on a time-management course.

Question Five
You discover that frequency with which kettles are boiled and re-boiled in the office contributes more to electricty costs than heating and lighting put together. You:

a) Throw away the kettles.
b) Organise a rota for making drinks, so that kettles are used with less frequency and more efficiency.
c) Hold tea breaks so that staff are less inclined to boil the kettles at other times.
d) Ask the staff to keep records of when they boil kettles, so that they can become aware of whether their behaviour is inefficient.
e) Display a bottle of cold water on your desk.
f) Spend a morning explaining the financial and environmental benefits of saving electricity.

Question Six
A member of staff starts coming to work in jeans and trainers. This does not affect her work, as she does not meet members of the public or clients, but other staff members have begun to complain. You:

a) Order her to dress more smartly or resign.
b) Put up posters indicating the correct dress code.
c) Organise a casual-wear day, so that she will realise jeans are for special occasions.
d) Send around a dress code survey, asking staff to suggest improvements.
e) Pay more attention to your own smartness.
f) Explain the impact that a smart appearance has on colleagues, clients and employers.

If what you get are:

Mostly a
You go for the coercive style: you work well in crisis situations, and prefer to use the stick than the carrot. You demand immediate obedience, and do not tolerate hangers-on.

Mostly b
The authoritative manager demands results with the same force as does the coercive, but instead of requiring that specific tasks be completed now, states the deadline and goal, and leaves the staff to decide their own route there.

You are an asset in times of change, and have strong long-term vision.

Mostly c
In contrast to the coercive and authoritative managerial types, you prefer to think more about the well-being of your people. You are an affiliative manager. You are concerned to create harmony in the workplace, and hold the principle that “people come first”.

Mostly d
The democratic manager is also staff-aware, but instead of focusing on building social relationships, you involve your staff in the management of the organisation. The words most commonly on your lips are: “What do you think?”

Mostly e
You are a pace-setter. A high-achiever and a conscientious worker you demand the same from your staff. You are not afraid to work at the same level as your staff in order to demonstrate what needs to be done and how they should do it.

Mostly f
You are a coaching manager. You consider it important to develop the long-term potential of each employee, rather than focusing on short-term results. You organise development plans, training days and coaching sessions.
"Learning from Experience"

Have participants introduce themselves and explain one thing they have learned the hard way about the topic you are covering. Post their “lessons learned” on a flip chart. Refer to them throughout the class.

"Challenges and Objectives"

Divide the class into small teams. Instruct teams to identify their challenges in the topic and their objectives for the training. Post work on flip charts. Have them introduce their team and share their work with the rest of the class.


Have each person write a question they want answered in the training on a Post-it(sticky) note or piece of paper. Have them introduce themselves and their question. Then post all questions on a wall chart. During or at the end of training, ask the group to answer the questions.

"Role Models"

Have each person identify someone who is a role model for the topic being discussed. Have them share the person’s name and the qualities or characteristics that make them a good role model. Post characteristics on a flip chart.

"Dos and Don’ts"

Have participants introduce themselves, sharing their name, hospital or clinic, and either a "Do" or a "Don’t" tip that they have learned related to HIV and AIDS Management. Post tips on a flip chart.

"Collective Knowledge"

Have participants work in teams to identify five rules for dealing with challenging patients.  Write the rules on flip chart paper.

"A Helpful Colleague?"

Have participants identify someone who has contributed to their professional development and who they admire. As they introduce themselves have them explain their relationship to the person that contributed to their development.

"Developing Yourself"

Have each person introduce himself or herself and share one action they have recently taken to improve or further educate themselves related to patient care and treatment. This can be done as a group or in small teams.

"Acceptance Speech"

Have participants introduce themselves and thank someone who has contributed to their professional development. They should thank the person as if they are receiving an Academy Award. You may need to limit speeches to 30 seconds.

"First Job"

Have participants introduce themselves, sharing their name and something they learned on their first paying job.

"Brain Teaser"

Use a quiz as an ice breaker. Ask questions of common knowledge about any topic, or a number of topics. There should be both easy and difficult questions.  Ask members to answer individually, and then give them a few minutes to work in small groups to finish answering the questions. The groups should be able to answer more questions than any one individual. This is a good demonstration of synergy and can lead into a discussion of the importance of teamwork in healthcare. Sample questions:
  • What are the names of the planets, starting from the one closest to the sun?
  • What are the five most populous countries in the world?
  • What are the five least populated countries in Africa?
  • What are the five most commonly spoken languages in the world? 
"Dinner Plans"

Have each person complete the following sentence:

"If I could have dinner with any person, living or dead, it would be

______________________ because _______________________."

"Experience Tally"

Ask each participant how long he or she has been with their clinic or hospital, or had their current job. Total the number of years. Point out that the class will have X number of years of experience on which to draw.

"Good or New"

Ask each person to share something good or new they have experienced in the last 24 hours.

"I Noticed"

As an ice breaker for the second or third day of a training, have each individual share one thing he or she has learned since the last session that they know they will use in their clinical practice.

"I’m Unique"

Ask each person to share one thing that makes him or her unique.

"My Slogan"

Explain that many organizations have slogans or sayings that reflect their values and are easy for customers to remember. For example, the Coca-Cola Company uses the slogan, “Have a Coke and a Smile.” Ask each person to write (or borrow) a slogan to describe him or herself and share it with the class.  A variation could be to develop a slogan for their hospital or clinic.

"The Worst Team"

Have each person share a description of the worst team they have ever been on and why. Post characteristics on a flip chart. Debrief this exercise by having the team identify ways to avoid the "worst team" characteristics.

"Three Truths and a Lie"

Give each individual a 3x5 card and instruct them to write four statements about themselves: one of the statements should be false while three should be true. Explain that the goal is to fool people about which one is the lie. Allow five minutes to write statements; then have each person read the four statements and have the group guess the lie. Award a prize to the individual who makes the most correct guesses.

"I’m like a…?"

Have each person develop a simile—something you compare with something else because they share similar characteristics—for themselves when they are in a particular mood or experiencing difficulty. For example: "When I get busy and have too much to do, I’m like a car with a little bit of gas—I usually have just enough energy for one more task, but eventually I run out and just completely stop." Emphasize that people have different ways of dealing with stress and challenges because people experience them differently.


Ask each person to share his or her greatest concern or reservation about participating in the training (e.g., everyone else will know more than me). Post participants’ concerns on a flip chart. At the end of the session, revisit the list and ask the group to share whether their concerns were realized.

"What Do You Know?"

Divide the class into teams of three-four people. Assign each team a different flip chart or piece of flip chart paper. Explain that each team will be asked to record information they know about the members of another team. For example:

Team A: Mary, Chris, Pat, and Terry

Team B: Jane, Frank, Phil, and Sharon

Team C: John, Mike, Andrea, and Larry

Team A is assigned Team B; Team B is assigned Team C; and

Team C is assigned Team A.

Have the team divide their flip charts into sections, one for each person in their assigned team. Allow them five minutes to record what they know about the people on their flip chart (both work and non-work related) without violating any confidences. After five minutes, have teams rotate flip charts and add information on their new flip chart. Continue rotating until they come to the flip chart with their own names on it. Have each person comment on what was written about him/herself.

"Guess Who"

Prior to the session, have each participant complete and return to you a survey with answers to five-to-seven questions about him or herself. For example:

o    Favorite type of food

o    Last movie you saw

o    Last book you read

o    Where you would love to visit

o    Favorite activity

During the session, read the clues and have the rest of the class guess which person is being described.

"Something New"

On the second day of training, ask each person to share one thing they learned about another participant on the previous day. Have the rest of the group try to guess who is being described.

“You did what!?”

Give each person a 3 x 5 card and ask the group to write down something true that nobody else in the room knows about them, e.g., “I once wrestled a bear in Yellowstone National Forest.” Mix up the cards and put them in a box or hat. Have each person pick a card and read it out loud. Ask the group to try and guess who wrote the card.
Training is a medium which ensures continuous self development and enhancement of one’s knowledge. Visual training forms a part of training and it ensures that training does not get a boring job. Watching visual ads is always more insightful and helps you to remember what was being communicated. Similarly, watching a video on training is an enjoyable pastime for the trainees and learners. 

The management has been using numerous corporate videos in order to communicate their corporate vision and mission to the employees on a large scale. These videos are also being used for other purposes. 

Employee development has now become a function of use of these video based training programs. 

Organizations have devoted resources for building such employee-friendly videos and motivate and train employees by then using these videos.  

Videos can be made about the origin of the company, the vision mission, the business areas, the moves that the company is planning to take, the career development path for the employees, the organizational hierarchy, the staffing plans, other seminars and colloquiums. 

Many companies also outsource making of such corporate videos. Corporate videos are also based upon the day to day problems faced in the office. These videos help in problem solving and help employees develop team spirit and work motto. Training videos are also made upon the advertising and marketing strategies used in the organization.  

Many corporate allow the employees to design the videos for the company as a whole. This helps the employee in better understanding the corporate culture and the objectives for which the company is running. 

Employee spirit also gets boosted and he is motivated to perform better and align his personal goals with that of the company. 

Generally these videos are aimed at improving the employee skill set and their understanding of a particular task. They form a part of the extensive 2-3 days training that employees go during joining the organization and on a regular basis.  

Watching a video is more effective and leaves a greater impact upon the individual. It helps him remember the purpose for training and the objective with which he should look at his work. Such videos motivate, inspire and direct the employee towards becoming an asset for the organization. They help them become a star performer.  

Different websites and training organizations offer different motivational videos to motivate the employee. 

They help the employee highlight their achievements by showing the achievements made by the organization. 

They tell the employees that nothing is impossible and with a little extra effort they can dot everything. They demonstrate the qualities of work that should be delivered to the customers. Videos stress on the message and ensure that it is sent across to the entire group of people coming form diverse backgrounds.

All Rights Reserved. Ravinder Tulsiani. 2011