Monthly Archives: June 2013

Cloudy Ethics: Do You Have a Snowden?

Ethics and integrity are constant concerns of our Learning Dynamics clients. We hear about it in consultations, at our preview showcases and during our training sessions. Recent headlines give organizations cause for concern. More and more, employers are choosing to be more purposeful in their ethics and integrity training. Here are three reasons why.

One poor ethical decision can cost much more than money. Edward Snowden made a decision to leak government secrets. Part of his decision was based on an ethical system that was different than that of his employer and, as the government has made clear, the law. The public relations damage to his employer is monumental.

Ethics and integrity cannot be assumed. You can avoid a lot of trouble by taking the proactive step of explaining organizational standards and expectations. Once the damage is done, it is too late. An investment in training that eliminates confusion and answers questions before they are asked can make all the difference.

Keep good people out of trouble. Ethical missteps are often non-negotiable and career-ending issues. You will not have a choice but to end the employment relationship. An otherwise high-quality and high-potential employee could be working for your competitor because of an avoidable poor decision. Training and development in this area are as important as any other.

Most ethical lapses don’t lead the evening news for days at a time, but they can hurt. Take action to keep your company out of the news for the wrong reasons.


Learning Dynamics’s award-winning Integrity at Work ® training program features interactive exercises and instruction to help your employees make the right decisions. Our “Guidelines for Ethical Decision Making” job aid will focus decision-makers on the important considerations to protect themselves and your brand. Visit Learning Dynamics for more information about this and all of our training programs and additional services.

Getting SMART at Work

Is your team using SMART as a basic goal-setting tool? As we deliver training to clients across the country, we find that many first-time supervisors and early-career managers learn a lot from this acronym. Many have not seen it before, but it is a classic tool that doesn’t get old.

In case you haven’t seen it before, or if it’s been a while, here is a simple way to be more effective in your goal setting:

Specific: When setting a goal, be very specific about what you are to achieve. Use a number or some other clear descriptor of what you will achieve.

Measurable: If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.

Aggressive: Stretch yourself. If your goal is to do what you have always done, why bother?

Realistic: Aggressive is great, but if it is too ambitious and you know that you can’t possibly reach it, you will not be committed to achieving it. I might want to lose 20 pounds, but it’s not realistic to think that I can do it by this weekend.

Time-Bound: A goal without a deadline is a wish.

Here is an example of what we are talking about.

SCENARIO: A sales person who normally makes 15 to 20 calls a day without a lot of strain needs to pick up the pace.

BAD GOAL 1: I am going to make some sales calls. (Not specific)

BAD GOAL 2: I will make 50 calls before lunch today. (Too aggressive)

SMART GOAL: I am going to make 25 sales calls before 5 PM today.

The 25-call goal is a stretch that is a little better than current performance, but it is realistic. Everything else works to make it SMART, too.

SMART goals can be used for task and time management, performance coaching, self-assessments and in nearly any other area of professional life where goal-setting comes into play.

The next time you need to set a goal, get SMART.

Learning Dynamics has offered powerful employee training and development programs for over 31 years. Discover how we can help your employees use this and other tools to achieve peak performance at work.

Common Decency: 3 Steps to Higher Profits

Profit ChartWhat are you doing to drive profitability in your organization? Are you out looking for new customers? Are you negotiating with suppliers for better terms to increase margins? Are you cutting expenses like utilities and the company picnic budget?

These are all valid ways to improve company financial results, but there is more to do. One area to look is at the people around you. Have you examined the professional relationships in your workplace? Are your people being treated fairly and consistently? Do managers make the right decisions when dealing with workplace issues?

We recently hosted a Common Decency ® showcase at Learning Dynamics. The room was full of leaders from area employers and many of these executives – regardless of industry – shared similar stories and concerns. Inconsistencies, negative environments and poor leadership (from first-level supervisors and up) at various levels within their organizations left them knowing that they could do better.

In the past 15 years of delivering Common Decency training, we have taught the following three profit-driving points that show the value of the improved team dynamics that come from positive workplace environments.

  1. Fair, professional and ethical workplaces enhance employee satisfaction.
  2. Engaged and satisfied employees are more productive.
  3. Productive employees typically deliver better customer service, creating more loyal customers who give you better sales and profit results.

 A great example of this comes from TELUS, a Canadian telecommunications firm profiled in T+D (Training and Development) magazine in September 2012. Through the company’s deliberate efforts to create an engaging and respectful workplace, it has increased customer loyalty as measured by likelihood of customers to recommend TELUS to a friend. Service scores improved as engagement improved.

If there are people issues in your workplace, it is affecting your results. We have found, as have the leaders at TELUS and many other organizations, that a team that is treated fairly and with respect will produce better work. It’s common sense and Common Decency®.

Common Decency ® is an award-winning employee training program offered by Learning Dynamics.