About Workforce Learning — Workforce Learning LLC is a leadership development company that provides managers and C-level executives with the skills and knowledge they need to build a more productive work environment. Since founding the company in 1997, owner Alice Waagen, PhD, has developed highly effective leadership programs and coaching workshops that teach the people in charge how to motivate and inspire employees. “Research shows that the single reason most organizations fail to thrive is a lack of strong people skills among those at the top,” Alice says. “We work to ensure organizations are healthy from the top down, and ultimately if an organization has happy, energized, effective employees they find it reflected in the bottom line.”
How Inkandescent PR Helped — One of our initial goals was to revamp the dated website that Alice had been using, but first we got to work on a bimonthly newsletter that she had success with. “I loved writing the newsletter, but had trouble getting it out on a regular basis,” says Alice. “I knew that if we could get that out it would help me gain some visibility and from there we’d get moving on the website.”
Success Story — Within a few months, Hope Gibbs and Alice published two e-newsletters, thanks to help from Susan Devereaux, owner of S.E.D. Services and Alice’s virtual assistant who manages her database and newsletter distribution. In September 2008, thanks to the help of web developer Max Kukoy, Alice launched her new website.
E-NEWSLETTER: Workforce Learning October-November 2011 — Alice Waagen teaches us to become better delegators
How can you become a better delegator?
That’s a topic that I have been giving a lot of thought to lately because, increasingly, I am being hired to provide delegation-skills classes for managers in my clients’ organizations.
One of the reasons, as you well know, is that managers are being asked to do more with less—and it doesn’t look like this trend is going to change any time soon.
The good news is that by learning to be a good delegator, you can ease the pressure, and help your employees grow, learn, and be successful in their jobs.
The end of the year always makes me think about goals. Every December, I take stock of the previous year and ask myself: How well did I achieve what I set out to do? What was my biggest success? What would I like to do differently?
I admit it. I am a goal-aholic. And in my 15 years as a business owner, I have come to learn that goals should guide, but never dictate. Click inside to find details about how you might want to go about this process of setting goals, sticking to the good ones, and letting go of the lemons.
By Alice Waagen, PhD
President, Workforce Learning
There’s a lot of excitement these days about the four-day work week. In fact, the trend made headlines in The Washington Post last year when the Virginia legislature allowed state employees to take Fridays off. The leaders of the Commonwealth of Virginia estimated that they’d save millions of dollars on energy by shutting down government buildings across the state one day a week.
“Employees would work 10-hour days four times a week, although some agencies—including those involved in law enforcement, public health, higher education, and departments that generate revenue, such as museums—would be exempt,” wrote reporter Anita Kumar. “The state could save $3.19 million by moving 25 agencies to four-day workweeks and closing hundreds of state-owned buildings, according to a preliminary estimate by the Virginia Department of Planning and Budget. That includes $1.5 million on energy, $880,000 on cleanup, and $810,000 on overtime.”
“When leaders are looking to fill a staff vacancy, I suggest they start by creating an organizational staffing or resource plan,” says Alice Waagen, president and founder of the Washington, D.C.-based management training firm Workforce Learning. Think of it as a shopping list, not a wish list, created to fill specific needs for specific purposes, based on an actual inventory, not an ideal.
Career coaching is a big part of a manager’s job. Yet, many managers avoid it like the plague. As one manager told me, “When one of my employees wants to talk about their next career step, I want to run and hide. I usually put off the meeting as long as I can.”
Why? That’s the topic we tackle in this month’s issue of Workforce Learning. Click inside for that, and to review one of my favorite books on this topic: “Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most,” by Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton, and Sheila Heen. My well-worn copy has helped me through decades of courageous conversations. Following these guidelines will no doubt help you, too.
May 3, 2011, Philadelphia Inquirer — To determine whether management is for you, ask yourself three questions about your current position, says Dr. Alice Waagen: How much do you love what you do? Can you be happy not doing it? Can you stand watching people do it less capably?
This month, I tackle the topic of conflict. I know, I know. Mere mention of the word makes you tense up a bit.
That’s why I tread softly when I teach my management skills workshop. I begin by getting a quick pulse on the health of an organization to determine if there are bad management practices lurking that will diminish the effectiveness of my teaching. I want to know as fast as possible if this organization has a pervasive culture that won’t support a good manager.