• Top 5 Ways to Boost Employee Engagement

    We often think of it as an HR issue, but if you’re in a leadership position, employee engagement is something you need to be taking seriously. Why? Because employees who aren’t engaged are employees who aren’t likely to stick around. If you want to avoid replacing your workforce, instead creating a team that’s so inspired its members want to bring others on board, it’s smart to look at the top five ways to boost employee engagement.

    1. Purposefully craft your corporate culture. Cultivate a culture with a clear purpose and identity, in which employees can feel that their work has meaning and they’re contributing to something that matters. Offer opportunities for feedback and the presentation of new ideas, and show employees that you value what they have to offer.
    2. Connect from the top down. If you want a workforce that shows up for more than just a paycheck, it’s up to those in leadership to model the kind of connection that makes work meaningful. Establish a rapport, getting to know your employees, and consider crafting an employee engagement program with one-on-one mentoring and active communication. Encourage employee interaction, too, using social events and social media to help your team members connect with one another.
    3. Play to your employee’s strengths. One of the simplest ways to engage employees is to give them the freedom and opportunity to show off the strengths they feel are being underutilized. Talk to them about their goals and skills in a meaningful way, and celebrate their successes. When you capitalize on your employees’ natural abilities, you make engagement an organic process, and the work environment becomes more conducive to creativity and innovation.
    4. Learn what makes your team tick. Design listening strategies that help you get to know your employees, whether that means focus groups, one-on-one meetings, or group brainstorming sessions. Be transparent, and let employees know that you really want to know their interests, passions, and goals, both personal and professional.
    5. Provide opportunities for growth and development. Once you know your team’s driving motivations, you can help them pursue their goals and hone their skills. Find ways to develop not just business skills, but also soft skills like emotional intelligence, and use every resource at your disposal, from coaching and mentoring to corporate training sessions, to help your employees learn and grow.

    One way to help employees learn, grow, and connect is with off-site team training exercises and a big part of making that a success is finding the right site. At Texas Training and Conference Centers, we pride ourselves on offering training facilities that feature the technology and tools to facilitate learning, with high-quality equipment and exceptional service. Our computer labs and other spaces come equipped with internet accessibility, printers and fax machines, Wi-Fi setup, on-site tech support, full projection systems, workstations, whiteboards, and computers furnished with the most cutting edge technology, to ensure that your training event is a success. Soundproof rooms, continental breakfast, and optional catered lunches are just a few of the other ways we provide the little niceties that make a big difference for your event. For the past 18 years, we’ve provided exceptional service to businesses throughout Houston, and we have the expertise to help you make your event a success. To learn more about Texas Training and Conference Centers, call us at 832.982.1708 or contact us through our website.

  • Easy Ways to Become a Better Leader

    It seems there’s always a new book, a new theory, or a new method out there to help people become better leaders. When it comes down to it, though, the things that make a good leader have been consistent throughout the ages. Do you know how to effectively lead your team? Put some of these time-honored tips to work for you.

    • Be positive. Smile! If you want to inspire those you lead, having an attitude of upbeat optimism will go a long way. When the members of your team see that you’re passionate about the work you’re doing, they’ll be more likely to care about helping you reach your goals. Show people you care about the work they’re doing and let them know you appreciate their contribution.
    • Communicate effectively. One-on-one communication with members of your group lets your people know you care about what they have to say. When people feel they’re being heard, and that their input is valued, they’re more likely to want to follow your lead.
    • Alleviate workplace stress. People often switch jobs because of work-related frustrations and stressors. Some of these issues can be easily solved by a leader who is paying attention and working to make the office a pleasant place to work. When you relieve your team members of stress, you’ll find you have less stress as well.
    • Reward achievement. Encourage your team members to contribute to the group by welcoming their ideas, letting them take part in decision making, and rewarding their problem-solving efforts. Help them to feel included, and provide recognition and rewards for achievements.
    • Encourage engagement. Work with your team to set goals, and foster creativity by encouraging them to express themselves and stretch their limits. Promote a sense of teamwork, and create a culture of connection, in which teammates are invested in each other’s success.
    • Promote growth and development. Give your people the opportunity to learn, grow, and develop their skills. Encourage cross-training, and give them the opportunity to learn new skills. Give them opportunities to challenge themselves and put their talents to use in a productive way. Take the time to provide training, taking them out of the office environment periodically and dedicating time to learning and development.

    If you’re looking for a place to hold training sessions that encourage employee growth, it’s important to find a location that’s equipped with the right technology and tools to facilitate learning. At Texas Training and Conference Centers, we pride ourselves on the high-quality equipment and exceptional service you’ll find at our training facilities. Our computer labs and other spaces come equipped with internet accessibility, printers and fax machines, Wi-Fi setup, on-site tech support, full projection systems, workstations, whiteboards, and computers furnished with the most cutting edge technology, to ensure that your training event is a success. Soundproof rooms, continental breakfast, and optional catered lunches are just a few of the other ways we provide the little niceties that make a big difference for your event. For the past 18 years, we’ve provided exceptional service to businesses throughout Houston, and we have the expertise to help you make your event a success. To learn more about Texas Training and Conference Centers, call us at 832.982.1708 or contact us through our website.

  • Why Employee Motivation Matters & How to Motivate Yours

    Whether you’re trying to recruit new talent, retain employees, or simply boost team morale, it all comes down to one thing: employee motivation. Motivated employees are engaged and engaging, productive and inspired. When people are happy in their work, it creates a ripple effect that’s felt throughout the company. The question is, how can you keep your team happy and motivated?

    • Create a culture of trust. Shifting into a leadership culture that’s more collaborative, trusting in the competence of your workforce, and viewing the workplace from a “we” perspective rather than “I” creates an environment that fosters high levels of performance. You can build trust by being honest with employees during difficult times, recognizing them for jobs well done, giving them the autonomy to structure their own work patterns and habits, and giving them a voice in their own job design. With a work environment in which they feel connected and trusted, where personal work relationships between colleagues are facilitated and team chemistry is valued, employees will enjoy their jobs more, have more empathy for their workmates, and experience less burnout.
    • Communicate Effectively. It’s human nature to want to be “in the know” and employees need complete information to help them make good decisions about their work. With that in mind, make sure to keep team members up to date not just with staff meetings, but with daily communication one-on-one. Encourage employees to come to you with questions, requests for support, ideas about their work, or information about progress on their projects. Encouraging communication between employees and company executives is also a good way to support motivation in the workplace. Talk to employees about work, but talk to them about important events in their personal lives as well, making it clear that you value them as people.
    • Prioritize People. Good leaders know how to balance employee engagement with company success, making it clear that people are more important than profits. This means that in times where cutbacks are necessary, you look for ways to cut areas that won’t directly impact your people. This gives employees a feeling of security, and when people feel supported by their company, they’re more likely to be motivated and engaged.
    • Offer employees the chance to self-manage. Employees who feel they have autonomy and independence are more likely to be engaged in and satisfied with their work. Create opportunities for employees to stretch and grow, taking on higher level responsibilities, heading up projects and committees. Provide the right framework for employees to excel, and they’ll rise to the challenge.
    • Provide opportunities for growth. When you create opportunities to develop their skills and abilities, it boosts morale and helps them to find meaning in their work. Help employees set goals for personal development and help them find opportunities to cross-train with other responsibilities. Invite staff members to important meetings, and take them to interesting and unusual events. Plan workshops and other educational opportunities outside of the office, in order to promote continuing education.

    If you’re looking for a place to hold training sessions that encourage employee growth, it’s important to find a location that’s equipped with the right technology and tools to facilitate learning. At Texas Training and Conference Centers, we pride ourselves on the high-quality equipment and exceptional service you’ll find at our training facilities. Our computer labs and other spaces come equipped with internet accessibility, printers and fax machines, Wi-Fi setup, on-site tech support, full projection systems, workstations, whiteboards, and computers furnished with the most cutting edge technology, to ensure that your training event is a success. Soundproof rooms, continental breakfast, and optional catered lunches are just a few of the other ways we provide the little niceties that make a big difference for your event. For the past 18 years, we’ve provided exceptional service to businesses throughout Houston, and we have the expertise to help you make your event a success. To learn more about Texas Training and Conference Centers, call us at 832.982.1708 or contact us through our website.

  • Planning the Perfect Corporate Event

    Do you have what it takes to keep up in the competitive world of corporate events? With the number of conferences and corporate events rising, you’ve got to be at the top of your game to hold your attendees’ attention. Whether it’s a product launch, training conference, team-building event, celebration of a milestone, or some other type of occasion, you need a solid plan to make sure your corporate event goes off without a hitch.

    • Establish your objectives well in advance of the event. Laying the foundation for a successful event involves determining the purpose of the event at least eight to twelve months in advance. Determine how many people will attend, if you’ll have a larger audience through live streaming, where it will take place, and the scope of your budget.
    • Brainstorm the format that will best fit your goals. Will your objectives be better served by a tradeshow, a conference, a seminar, or a dinner? Who is your target audience? Once you know who will attend and what you want to convey, you’ll be able to choose a theme that will hold the attention of the participants.
    • Find the right venue. Look for a venue that’s conveniently located, with the infrastructure in place to make your event a success, and an aesthetic appeal that will elevate the excitement level of the attendees. Ideally, choose a location with experience accommodating the kind of event you’re hosting, and technology that will facilitate an effective experience for all involved. As the event draws near, and you’ve got to arrange things like catering, security, event signage, and permits, it will prove invaluable to be partnered with a venue that can provide support and high-level service.
    • Do your homework when choosing event participants. Speakers, presenters, sponsors, staff, and partner organizations can all make or break your event, so do some research before you choose the people who will be involved. Make sure everyone understands the goals of your event, and have your plans in place before you reach out: aspects like sponsorship packages compensation for speakers and staff should be well defined ahead of time.
    • Create a balanced agenda, to keep participants engaged. Develop your schedule at least three or four months in advance, balancing speakers and workshops with interactive activities to hold the interest of your audience. Reach out for input ahead of time, and find ways to incorporate innovative technology into your event.
    • As the event approaches, work to build excitement. Create a branded website specific to your event, using images and copy that indicate your goals and give attendees a glimpse of what they can expect. Make sure the website is optimized for use on mobile devices and has the infrastructure necessary to handle increased traffic as the excitement builds. Use every tool at your disposal to promote your event, from social media and blog posts to paid advertisements and ticket distribution. Use email and social media not only to create a buzz but also to engage attendees and start a conversation.

    If you’re ready to host the perfect corporate event in a location that’s well equipped to meet your company’s needs, we’ve got the perfect location for you. At Texas Training and Conference Centers, we pride ourselves on the high-quality equipment and exceptional service you’ll find at our facilities. We’ve created a full-service conference center equipped with cutting edge technology, in a setting that’s beautifully designed and appointed, with niceties like soundproof rooms and suites that accommodate up to 40 people. For the past 18 years, we’ve provided exceptional service to businesses throughout Houston, and we have the expertise to help you make your event a success. To learn more about Texas Training and Conference Centers, call us at 832.982.1708 or contact us through our website.

     

  • Top 5 Trends in Ongoing Employee Training

    It’s a new year- how are you training your team to remain competitive? Any company’s most valuable asset is its human capital, so investing in your people is a smart way to start the year. Making sure you’re investing effectively, though, is a matter of paying attention to the trends in learning and development that are being successfully utilized by efficacious corporations in 2019.

    1. Use training as an incentive. When your company offers up-to-date training, using new tools and mediums and utilizing current technology, it can put you ahead in the competition for new talent. What’s more, learning and development can be leveraged as an employee benefit, helping you engage and retain your current employees as well as attracting future employees. Positing training as part of your benefits package, right alongside your retirement and health plans, makes good use of your resources.
    2. Focus on soft skills development. Technical knowledge and business sense are important, but without the development of soft skills like emotional intelligence, negotiation, collaboration, and communication, employees are not going to reach their full potential. Companies looking to broaden their reach, increase their diversity, and build a meaningful corporate culture that fosters employee retention and improves leadership skills would do well to incorporate soft skills into their training programs.
    3. Embrace gamification. Gamification is useful not only because it acts as a built-in reward system for employees, but also because it can be used to enhance digital skills. Digital skills should be a major focus of any training program because the speed at which technology moves necessitates the continual development of this kind of knowledge.
    4. Collaborate with executives. One important trend on the rise is the participation of the C-suite in planning the company’s training program. When HR and the top executives work together to build a culture of learning, it makes it easier to promote the exact goals the leaders are looking to achieve.
    5. Personalize learning. One size fits all is a dated concept that doesn’t work in today’s corporate climate. In order to provide effective training, it’s important to target the particular needs of the employee, focusing on the necessary areas of improvement while also engaging and offering personalized feedback.

    When you’re planning an employee training event, look to a location that understands how to facilitate learning. At Texas Training and Conference Centers, we pride ourselves on the high-quality equipment and exceptional service you’ll find at our training facilities. Our computer labs and other spaces come equipped with internet accessibility, printers and fax machines, Wi-Fi setup, on-site tech support, full projection systems, workstations, whiteboards, and computers furnished with the most cutting edge technology, to ensure that your training event is a success. Soundproof rooms, continental breakfast, and optional catered lunches are just a few of the other ways we provide the little niceties that make a big difference for your event. To learn more about the computer specifications and other information about Texas Training and Conference Centers, call us at 832.982.1708 or contact us through our website.

  • How Does Offsite Training Save Your Company Money?

    For your company’s training program, you may be wondering how you can afford to hold training offsite. The real question is, can you afford not to? Offsite training room facilities in Houston can represent savings for your company over your company over your current, on-location training procedures. Here is a closer look at how offsite training can help your business reduce your training budget and use your resources more efficiently.

    Take Advantage of Virtual Training How Does Offsite Training Save Your Company Money?

    Offsite training facilities often have the technology necessary to host virtual training sessions. This kind of training allows you to simultaneously train remote and local employees, without the need for your remote staff to travel to your offices. Your business won’t have to invest in travel and accommodation for remote employees, which represents significant savings, and the ability to hold a single training session, regardless of employees’ locations will also cut costs for your business and let you use everyone’s time more efficiently.

    Give Employees Hands-On Experience

    Offsite training facilities are equipped with more workstations than your office can dedicate to training, and they offer access to more of the technology you need to allow employees to participate actively in their training. The ability let all employees who are being trained to get hands-on experience with the tools they will be using makes training more effective. When employees actually have to work with the tools they will be using in the workplace, then they are more likely to retain the information than they are when they just listen to instructions. This will reduce the need for additional training and allow employees to adapt to their tasks faster.

    Reduce Distractions for New and Existing Employees

    When you host training at your office, the bustle of the workplace can be distracting to the team being trained, and your existing employees can be distracted and disrupted by the training exercise. Using an offsite training facility isolates the activity so that everyone involved can concentrate fully on the training activities.

  • The Importance of Proper Employee Training

    Importance of Proper Employee Training

    Even if you have the best people working for you, you can’t underestimate the importance of proper employee training. Training helps prepare your employees to perform their exact duties and to learn about the company as a whole. Whether you are training new hires or the whole company, making sure everyone on the same page is key to a successful business.

    New Hire Orientations

    Training new hires is especially important because it sets the tone for their tenure with the company and makes sure they have a firm grasp on their responsibilities. It also teaches your employees how to perform their jobs efficiently and safely. It’s a time to introduce new hires to the company, the products or services it offers, its policies and culture, and more.

    Management Training

    While new hires and entry-level employees certainly need a good amount of training, managers also need special training so they are well equipped to manage other people. Managers should be effective communicators and help to motivate and recognize employees. Manager training can be tough because they are busy so it’s often hard to carve time out of their schedule.

    Ongoing Employee Training

    Learning on the job can be important, but in every industry, there are plenty of things employees may need to be trained for on an ongoing basis. Trained employees project an air of professionalism which reflects well on your company. Training can also help prevent costly mistakes and boost productivity by making sure employees are proficient in their job functions.

    Texas Training & Conference Centers has provided training facilities for hundreds of companies and is equipped with the latest technology including LCD projectors and high-speed broadband with all our rooms being fully networked. We also guarantee that our facilities are 100% private. For more information, give us a call today at 832-982-1708.

  • Tips to Help Break the Ice as a New Employee

    Ice breaker tips for New Employee

    Starting a new job is exciting but scary. You’re thrilled that you got the job, but you’re nervous about making a change. What will the office environment be like? Will you get along with your coworkers? Like being the new kid at school, you’ll probably have to contend with cliques and wanting to “fit in.” To help you break the ice as a new employee, follow these tips beginning the moment you walk in the door on your first day.

    Introduce Yourself

    Even if you’re shy, don’t wait for your manager to introduce you to the rest of the team. Show that you’re a go-getter, and introduce yourself. Pay attention to your coworkers’ names as they shake your hand. It helps to repeat their name during the conversation. This initial greeting makes it easy to say hello later in the day instead of awkwardly walking past each other in the hall.

    Show Genuine Interest in Your Coworkers

    Instead of talking about yourself over the coming days, turn the conversation over to your new coworkers. Ask about their interests, especially if they align with your own, so you have something to talk about. “Did you see the Cowboys game last night?” Pay them a compliment about their outfit or work performance to start a conversation. “You did great leading that meeting yesterday. I’d love to hear more about your ideas.”

    Mingle with Your Colleagues at Work

    Don’t hunker down in your cubicle and eat lunch alone. Take breaks where your coworkers mingle, whether that’s in the break room, an outdoor area or next to the water cooler. Even if you only drop by for five minutes to stretch your legs, it’s important to join in on workplace conversations. Your efforts will go a long way toward feeling like a part of the team.

    Bring Snacks to Share

    It may seem cliché, but it’s worthwhile to bring muffins, donuts, cookies or cupcakes to the break room on your first Friday. Leave a note or personally invite people to dig in as a thank you for making your first week go smoothly.

    Socialize Outside of Work

    Invite your department or team to get coffee, lunch or an after-work drink in your first few weeks on the job. The goal is to start cultivating relationships outside the office. This helps you get to know your coworkers personally and break the ice in a big way. The outing doesn’t need to be your treat, but it could be a nice gesture if you can afford it.

    Texas Training and Conference Centers in Houston is the ideal place for employers to train new hires, boost productivity among existing employees and hold team-building events. Our training and presentation rooms are comfortable, fully equipped and suitable for a variety of business needs. For more information about renting a training facility, please contact us at 832.982.1708 today.

  • Easy Tips to Resolve Workplace Conflict

    Resolve Workplace Conflict

    As the leader of a startup company, you should learn right away that conflict in the workplace is unavoidable. Unresolved conflict impairs productivity, stifles creativity and creates barriers between employees. It may even cause your top workers to seek employment elsewhere, costing you a substantial amount to recruit and re-train new hires.

    Sitting back and hoping conflict will pass you by is not the proper response. With a few useful tips, you can learn to recognize, understand and resolve workplace conflict proactively and appropriately.

    Face Conflict Head-On

    Conflict can result from opposing opinions, miscommunication, competitive behavior, pride, jealousy, ego, compensation discrepancies, performance issues or even someone simply having a bad day. No matter the source, unresolved disagreements result in tension, which can embed hard feelings in everyday work.

    Lack of information or misinformation is a common cause of conflict between departments. If you notice two teams butting heads, strive to improve interdepartmental communication.

    If two employees are battling it out, set up a time to meet together. Listen to both parties say what they feel the other person needs to hear. Don’t let the meeting become a time to point fingers. Focus on the problem, and let the facts, not personal feelings or agendas, help you arrive at a resolution.

    If one employee is creating conflict, pull that person aside and address the issue privately. Listen and learn about the person’s motivations to create conflict and make corrections as needed to improve behavior.

    See Conflict as an Opportunity

    When disagreements occur, this is your chance as a company leader to leverage the conflict for team building and leadership development purposes. Addressing conflict properly stimulates learning and innovation in ways that parties in agreement can’t even imagine. That’s how conflict can become an opportunity for positive change, growth and improvement. Everyone should emerge from the experience with some positive points of agreement and ideas for progressing from here on out.

    Proactively Prevent Conflict

    While you shouldn’t avoid conflict when it arises, there are plenty of things you can do to seek out areas of potential conflict and prevent them. Some ideas include:

    • Establish company values to help encourage positive behavior, ground decision-making and recruit like-minded individuals.
    • Create detailed job descriptions so employees understand their responsibilities.
    • Articulate a chain of command to improve communication.
    • Make it known publicly what types of behavior will and won’t be tolerated.
    • Treat all staff respectfully and fairly via a transparent management system.
    • Promote cooperation, not competition, between employees with group activities and training.

    Texas Training and Conference Centers offers beautiful, professional training facilities in Houston. Take advantage of our offerings to train new hires, boost productivity among existing employees and resolve conflict that’s putting a damper on your business. For information about our private, fully equipped training rooms, please contact us at 832.982.1708 today.

  • Tips for Keeping Your Audience Engaged in a Virtual Training Room

    Virtual Trainings

    We live in a high-tech, fast-paced world, and businesses that want to stay competitive must embrace cutting-edge technology. This means keeping your team up to date on the latest technology and business practices, using every training method at your disposal to ensure that they stay at the head of the pack. A virtual training room is an excellent tool, accommodating onsite and remote learners, all of whom can access and utilize technology that allows them to pick up new skills and receive real-time instruction and hands-on experience.

    How can you make the most of a virtual training room?

    • Prepare for success. Test your equipment prior to the event, so that technical issues don’t derail you before you even get started. Assign prework, so that everyone comes to the session with an understanding of the objective, and ready to work. Create an agenda that everyone present can consult at their leisure, and put important items at the top of the agenda when energy is high and people are alert.
    • Encourage engagement, even from remote attendees. In a virtual training session, you’re likely to have people in the room and also in other locations. Encourage people not to mute the session, and consider using webcams, so that everyone can see the other participant’s faces.
    • Keep your presentation interesting, and text succinct. Vary your delivery, using a variety of methods to help promote the training. Remember, though, that lots of wordy text can cause people to glaze over. Stick to bullet points, especially in a situation where someone is in a different location and could easily zone out. Encourage participation, but consider the use of chat windows, which can be used without interrupting what’s being said.
    • Take full advantage of virtual tools. Interactive features like polls, pop quizzes, breakout rooms, and whiteboarding helps keep your audience engaged while demonstrating how much they understand. Gauging their understanding should be an important focus of your session.
    • Choose a facility that supports your goals. The location you choose should have the technology you need, in spacious, comfortable surroundings, with support on hand if you need it. Choose a place that offers rooms quiet enough for people to concentrate, and choose a facility that offers catering, so participants don’t have to leave the premises for a lunch break.

    When you rent a virtual training room, you gain access to all the high-tech tools you need, without having to worry about renting equipment or setting up a network. When that training room is at Texas Training and Conference Centers, you’ll enjoy not only a state-of-the art training facility, but also the support to help you succeed, even if you need tech support during your session. To learn more about the Houston training center at Texas Training and Conference Centers, call us at 832.982.1708 or contact us through our website.