The Neuroscience of Great Learning Content: Attention, Memory, and Exploration [Podcast]

neuroscience learning content

Ask any business leader, and they’ll tell you they invest in the development of their workforce with the goal of improving performance. Yet the training and content delivery methods of the past aren’t keeping pace with the needs of the modern learner. No longer can you throw an hour of eLearning at a problem or slap a speaker in front of an audience and hope that knowledge will transfer and behaviors will change.

What gives? 

In today’s episode of We’re Only Human, I explore three critical components of great learning content based on neuroscience principles. In other words, I look at how people actually learn from experiences, interactions, and content and focus the discussion on those elements. In the discussion of how attention, memory, and self-exploration impact learning, I also provide helpful advice on how to create learning experiences that deliver impact and results.

Additionally, if you want to explore more deeply, you can check out my new eBook, the Neuroscience Principles of Great Learning Content, which can be found here: http://lhra.io/neuroscience

For more episodes of We’re Only Human or to learn more about the show, check out https://upstarthr.com/podcast

Check out the podcast embedded below:

 

 

Compensation Transparency: Advice for Getting the Balance Just Right

When we think about tools like Expedia and Yelp, we realize the value of transparency in the marketplace. The
underlying issue is information asymmetry – when one party has more information than the other, that party
has additional leverage in a discussion or negotiation. Leveling the playing field between two parties in an
exchange helps both to feel like they got a fair deal, which is essential in an employment situation. This
specifically applies to compensation as well. There is value in openness, and companies that find the right
balance can reap the benefits of pay transparency

Research Supports an Open Approach: Research points out that companies where employees understand the pay philosophy are more likely to see engagement from employees. A sense of trust and openness at work can create bottom-line business results. On the other end of the spectrum, pay secrecy has proven to limit business impact. This combination of factors clearly makes the case that businesses need to seek transparency at some level.

Trends in Transparency: A wide variety of trends have contributed to this increased demand for compensation transparency. From the deep insights offered by tools like Charity Navigator (and other online transparency sites) to the media sharing stories of corporate corruption and scandal, many drivers have created an environment that is ripe for additional openness.

Delivering a High-Quality Employee Experience: The good news is that any organization can improve pay transparency. Using tools like transparency audits and frameworks, companies can deliver a culturally-appropriate level of openness that improves the employee experience. These methods help organizations to make decisions (both big and small) in search of the right balance of transparency.

The Business Case for Transparency

Several years ago, Dan Ariely, a behavioral economist and professor at Duke University, performed an analysis of country-specific organ donation rates. His findings showed that countries like Austria and Poland had higher than 99 percent donation rates, but countries like Denmark had dismal rates in the single digits. He wanted to find out what made each group different, because Denmark is very similar to its neighbors in terms of culture, religion, and other socioeconomic factors.

It turned out that the key influencer was not an intrinsic one at all. Each country’s Department of Motor Vehicles actually used a different method for enrolling someone in organ donation. For Austria and Poland, the enrollment form’s default was to participate in the program. For countries like Denmark, the enrollment form required them to opt into the program. That small difference led to significant impacts on organ donation and availability, and it offers a compelling lesson on how our default reactions can shape outcomes.

The lesson here is, given the choice, we should default to transparency. For some business leaders, it is reflexive to protect information, keeping it secret unless they have a good reason to share. While working as an HR leader, I performed plenty of coaching with my executive team focused on the concepts of pay transparency and business transparency in general. I always told them their default should be to share openly unless there are specific reasons not to. The benefits of this approach include greater awareness and engagement in the employee population.

If you’re interested in reading and learning more about compensation transparency, be sure to check out our free eBook on the topic underwritten by the great team at Salary.com, where this content was pulled from. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the topic!

My New Kindle Book is Live!

Running is a passion of mine. So is HR. So why not marry my love for the two in written form?

Well, that problem is solved. :-)

I recently put together this collection of stories about running, business, and life. More than half of the content is brand new and not published anywhere else, and the book runs about 35 pages in length (which means virtually nothing in the world of Kindle/eBooks, as I’ve learned!)

It’s on sale for $3.99 right now. Here’s who should read it:

  • If you work in HR, are looking for some inspiration for running, and you like to run, then this will give you some of my stories (mostly humorous) to help you with that.
  • If you’re in HR and you don’t care about running, you can still get some great lessons here. You don’t have to be a runner to enjoy this. In fact, you might laugh even more at some of the silly things I do to try to compete in this sport…
  • If you’re just getting into HR, you will learn some timeless truths about this profession (many of which I’ve learned the hard way).
  • If you’re an expert HR pro, this will expose you to some of the deep passion in this field, whether in my story or in the profiles of other running/HR pros, and will help you revisit that spark that made you choose HR in the first place.

A special thanks goes out to those that responded to my recent survey and allowed me to highlight them in the book. They all share their own inspirational stories about how running makes them better at this human resources thing.

Thanks again for your support and I look forward to checking out the reviews. You can get a copy of What Running Taught Me about HR: Essays about running, work and life right here.

Do you work in HR and run? I need your help.

running tiring

Credit: melinthemilkyway.com

I had a fun idea while running the other day to put together some thoughts about running and HR. I have posted here several times in the past about how it has helped me to draw parallels between training for a race and practicing HR on a daily basis, and I’d like to put something together that would be of interest to the HR crowd in general and the running/HR crowd in particular.

So, that being said, would you be interested in helping? If you work in HR/recruiting and you run, you are exactly the person I’m looking for (click here for more info). If you’re not, but you would be interested in reading, click here for more info.

For those of you that look at us runners with a mixture of pity and disdain, no worries. We won’t make you run if you won’t make us stop. :-)

Have a great week, everyone!

Employee Development Ideas: A Free eBook

Recently I had the opportunity to participate in a project to collect some employee development ideas for a free eBook. It launched recently, and I’m excited to share it with you today. Click the link below to download this guide full of actionable tips and strategies relating to employee development ideas. I have published a piece of my contributed article below for you to see the kinds of topics the free guide includes.

The Development Scale – Leading the Right Shift to Self and Organizational Development

Employee Development Ideas: Encouraging Development

employee development ideasCongratulations! You’ve picked a development goal for yourself. It’s big, but that’s okay, because the important thing is that you’re focusing on your development and setting goals for yourself. Now let’s sit back, relax, and enjoy the happy feelings associated with setting a personal goal.

Or not.

See, the problem that I consistently see with employees making development goals is that they don’t give enough thought to the actual completion of the goal. It feels good to set a goal and declare our intentions, but when you’re mired in the “everyday” tasks, the goal is the furthest thing from your mind.

The important thing here is that we all need some encouragement to pursue those stretch developmental goals — they don’t just happen accidentally.

And research shows that employee development may have a larger impact on their overall work and results than previously believed…

Click here to check out the guide and read the rest of my piece, along with content from some of the other highly intelligent development ninjas in the space! A big thanks to my pal Chris Ponder for putting this guide of employee development ideas together!

Building Your HR Department (Free Guide)

Nearly a year ago I put together a post about starting or working in a new and/or small HR department. It’s a different world, and I quickly learned that this community works to share resources, pool knowledge, and generally help each other with facing the daily HR challenges.

building hr departmentThat post was very helpful to the HR community, and I wanted to give it a little more staying power, so I formatted it into an eBook in order to help share it with others more easily. Without further ado, click the link below to download the guide.

Building Your HR Department: Establishing a foundation for success

This short guide includes:

  • tips on what to focus on for long-term success
  • how I got started as a solo practitioner
  • advice from others in the trenches
  • additional resources to consider

If you find the guide helpful, please share it with other professionals in the space. That’s all I ask. My goal is to help as many of us as possible, and with your help, that range will be extended greatly. Thanks, and enjoy!

Employee Performance Management (Free eBook)

Get the Free Employee Performance Management Guide!

So you’ve been thinking about your staff lately. Namely, employee performance management. When you work with people, there is never an easy answer for handling performance issues, negative feedback, etc. It’s just one of the more difficult parts of being a leader.

employee performance management coverBut you aren’t in this alone.

I work with managers every day who are dealing with employee issues surrounding talent. Some are looking for ways to get their staff to improve or leave. Others are working to align their top performers more closely with organizational goals. It’s a complex topic.

So I reached out to a few contributors to help me develop the guide: Employee Performance Management-How to align goals, leverage talent, and avoid an organizational train wreck. 

In this guide you’ll find great conversations on employee performance management, and you’ll learn a thing or two as well. If you’ve been searching for fresh ideas on the topic, you’ve come to the right place. A few concepts covered inside:

  • Do A players really exist? Is it worth our time to segment our employees that way?
  • Can music impact employee performance? How?
  • The one word you must avoid in performance discussions
  • Can you “hire” performance as a shortcut?
  • And more!

Click here to download the free guide

I want to thank the contributors for offering up some great, useful content: Jennifer V. Miller, Robin Schooling, Trish McFarlane, Steve Boese, Sean Conrad, Tim Gardner, Tim Sackett, and Michael Haberman. You can find links to each of their websites within the guide. Whenever I create one of these tools I reach out to the best and brightest in the industry, and these great folks all answered the call. They want to share their own expertise and insight to make your job easier, but just like me, they are continuously learning as well.

Check it out and let me know what you think!