• How to Multi-Task: Training an Employee

    As a manager, you’ve got plenty of responsibilities. You’ve got so many, in fact, that when it’s time to train a new employee it may feel like an annoyance, adding one more thing to your plate. However, since the right training can produce a valuable team member, it’s worth taking the time to do it correctly. The good news? You can do that without having to stop doing your job. Here’s how.

    • Take the time ahead of time to make a plan. First, look at your current workload, and determine your priorities at the moment. What are some of the less important things you’re doing, that you can set aside to give yourself time to focus on training the new employee? Next, create a document that details what you expect from the new employee. Make a copy of this document for yourself, and one for your new hire. Think about:
      • Your goals for the new employee’s first 30, 60, and 90 days
      • Which tasks you expect to delegate to this person
      • Meetings the person will be expected to attend in their first few weeks
      • Information the person needs, including links, calendars, logins, and details about team members and colleagues.
      • Necessary details about projects perhaps gathered from other teammates with whom the new employee will be working.
      • Questions and ideas that you have for the new employee
    • Carve out some space in your calendar. Training a new employee is a time-consuming endeavor, so you should be proactive about setting aside time to do it. Schedule a one-on-one meeting every day during the first week, but also set aside time for training sessions in which you’ll need to be involved. Time management is an essential skill when you’re adding a new responsibility like training, and it pays to use your calendar wisely, putting everything down so that nothing slips between the cracks.
    • Connect with your new hire digitally. Send the person a message on LinkedIn, welcoming him or her to the team. This is also a great way to help get your new employee connected to your professional network. Send an email, too, conveying how happy you are to have a new team member. You can use that email to address important details of the first couple of days, request any necessary information, offer to answer questions, and generally help your new hire be more comfortable in the new office on the very first day.
    • Delegate training tasks and assign a mentor. Your team is an invaluable resource when you’re training someone new. Delegate some of the new hire’s training to people who are comfortable in stepping into a leadership role, because this helps each of your employees develop professionally. In particular, it’s good to assign a mentor or buddy to show your new employee the ropes.
    • Don’t hover. It’s important to check in frequently during the first couple of weeks, but after that, your meetings should taper off. Your employees need to know that you trust them to handle things on their own, so emphasize that you are confident in their problem-solving skills. When you give them space to solve their own problems, you’ll be helping them to become confident, independent professionals.
    • Involve the rest of your team. Getting your new hire up to speed on projects so that he or she can hit the ground running is important, but it’s also important for your team to be Schedule in time for your new employee to get to know his or her colleagues, planning an outing or two like lunch, coffee, or drinks together. Put it on everyone’s calendar ahead of time to make sure everyone’s on board. If you’re hiring more than one employee at once, you might plan a larger event, to help your employees bond and learn to function as a team. You can work in some training sessions, but keep team building the focus, making sure to provide plenty of time that’s free from any discussion of work-related topics.

    If you follow these steps, you can help your new employee adjust to his or her new job without taking time away from yours. The goal, of course, is to have an employee who is a valuable and productive member of the team, quickly jumping in and getting up to speed. When you properly train your new employees, it helps your group to become an effective and unified team.

    One way to strengthen the unity of your group is to hold training sessions off-site, where team members, both established and new, can learn together and form bonds. At Texas Training and Conference Centers, we pride ourselves on providing companies with training facilities that feature 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.

  • What You Need to Know About Attending Your First Conference

    You’re about to attend your very first conference? How exciting! You’ll want to make the most of it, learning everything you can, and networking to your best advantage. If the prospect seems overwhelming, don’t worry. We’ve got you covered with these helpful tips on maximizing the benefits of your first conference.

    • Pack light, but remember the essentials. If it’s an established event, you can easily stalk the website to see what people are wearing. If not, bring some professional-looking basics that can be dressed up or down, as the occasion warrants. Don’t bother bringing notebooks and pens, as they’ll be provided for you, but do bring a large collapsible bag, into which you’ll put all the papers, freebies, and general swag you accumulate during the conference. One absolute “must” on your packing list is business cards, and it’s also smart to download the LinkedIn mobile app. If you’re going to pitch your product to anyone while you’re there, bring demo materials to make your presentation more effective. Don’t forget your chargers, and keep your devices charged during the event, so that you don’t have to be tethered to an outlet when you should be interacting.
    • Know before you go. Study the agenda so you’ll be able to set goals for yourself at the conference and devise a plan to meet them. Attend all the conference-wide events, then carefully consider the smaller sessions, determining which ones will be most useful to you. If you can walk around the space ahead of time to get oriented, that can be helpful. If not, make sure to study a map so you’ll know how to get around. Find out who will be attending, perhaps by finding the event’s Facebook page or Twitter hashtag. That way you can make plans to touch base with peers and customers, and maybe even book some time with prospects so that you can have their full attention for a few minutes. Plan to get to the event early, so you maximize your time by registering before it starts.
    • Have a strategy, so you can learn as much as possible. There will be a ton of information, packed into a short amount of time. By staying organized, you can retain most of what you’ve learned and keep yourself on track. Write notes on the back of business cards to remind you of conversations you had with the people whose names are on the cards. For sessions, consider digital note-taking, or at least make sure your notes are organized so that they’ll make sense once you’re home from the conference. Sit as close to the front as you can in the sessions you attend, and attend as many sessions as you can.
    • Plan to interact. Remember, conferences are about more than just presentations. Networking is an important part of the opportunity you’re afforded at a conference. Make sure that you don’t just hang around with people you know; you’ll learn more by interacting with your competition, colleagues, and the thought leaders in your industry. Make sure to briefly meet each speaker you listen to, as well as the conference organizers. Strategize even your meal times: don’t eat lunch with your friends, choosing instead to make new acquaintances at the conference lunches, then choose people you’d like to know better to invite out to dinner. Try to connect with both existing customers and potential prospects, focusing on providing information rather than closing deals. Make sure to take the time to walk the exhibition floor, because you may be able to get free products and services for your business, as well as interesting swag. The after-parties, too, can be a wealth of information, as long as you stay sober, get to know people, and don’t leave the party early. Don’t neglect the social media aspect of conferences, tagging your tweets and Instagram posts to further connect you with the event.
    • Don’t stop thinking about the conference as soon as it ends. Review the information you’ve collected while it’s still fresh in your mind, and share it with colleagues to whom it will be relevant. Immediately after the conference is also the best time to follow up with the people you met at the conference, while you’re all still fresh in each other’s minds.

    If you’re in a position to weigh on the place where your conference will be held, 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.

  • Team Building Activities Your Team Will Actually Enjoy

    What do you think of when you hear the phrase “team building?” Trust falls and sharing? Time with your coworkers that makes you want to run for the hills? As important as team building is for fostering camaraderie between coworkers and reminding them that working together is the key to success, it can be a real drag in practice. Fortunately, team building doesn’t have to be an unpleasant experience. In fact, we’ve got a few suggestions that will make your team want to come back for more team building.

    • Give them something to figure out. Present your team with a word problem or a jigsaw puzzle- the task itself is not as important as doing it. Give them a certain amount of time to solve the problem or assemble the puzzle together, making it clear that everyone must participate, and then take some time to talk about strategy, roles played by different team members, and why people made the decisions they did. This kind of exercise can be enlightening, revealing interesting information about how your team members think and how they can work together.
    • Complete an escape room together. These are becoming ever more popular, and it’s no wonder. They’re a fun way to work together as a team and accomplish something. If there are escape rooms in your city, checking one out can be a fun excursion. If not, you can create your own escape room, either on your own or by picking Escape Room in a Box.
    • Brainstorm together. Sometimes, the best team-building exercise involves solving a problem you’re actually facing as a business. Take some time to hash out new ideas together, cluing your team in on the problem ahead of time, and asking everyone to come up with a few suggestions. Throw everyone’s ideas up on a board, and discuss amongst yourselves to come up with some great solutions.
    • Learn about your personalities. Take a personality test together, and discuss the results. This is a fun way to get to know your coworkers, discovering commonalities as well as learning about each other’s strengths and weaknesses. You may also learn something new about yourself in the process.
    • Host an old-fashioned “Show and Tell”. Get together over snacks and talk about what’s going on in your lives, both professionally and personally. Give people the opportunity to brag about accomplishments, talk about hobbies, and discuss projects they’re working on, welcoming feedback.
    • Do something that inspires healthy competition. There are many different ways to have fun competing with your coworkers. Maybe you’ll hold a desk decorating contest on a holiday, a cook-off or bake-off, or some other in-office contest. You might also take your team out for trivia night to let them show off their knowledge and work together. For that matter, you can invite a trivia host to your office and divide into teams to compete against each other. Board games are another way to loosen up and learn to work together as a team.
    • Do something worthwhile. Look for ways that your team can have an impact on the larger community. Hold a can drive, volunteer, participate in a charity walk or fun run, do some community service work, or collect money for a worthy cause. Make participation voluntary, so that your team feels they’re doing something meaningful.
    • Do something outside. Maybe it’s a ropes course, maybe a scavenger hunt, or perhaps participation in an intramural league. There’s something about being together in the fresh air that makes it easy to work as a team. It doesn’t have to be a physical event, either. If your team is more artistic than sporty, consider splitting into teams and making movies on a common theme, to be screened and judged on a particular date.
    • Tell each other some stories. Talk about work experiences, using trigger words to get everyone started. Alternately, you can talk about things that have nothing to do with work, perhaps sharing your bucket lists and explaining why each thing on your list has meaning. The purpose of this kind of exercise is to get people to open up and share stories, in order to better understand each other.

    One way to strengthen the unity of your group is to hold training sessions off-site, where team members can learn together and form bonds. At Texas Training and Conference Centers, we pride ourselves on providing companies with training facilities that feature 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.

  • How to Excel as an Introvert in the Workplace

    Employees in office settings are commonly expected to intermingle with those around them, sharing cubicles and making small talk on their lunch breaks. As an introvert, you might prefer one-on-one communication or, quite frankly, to avoid social interactions altogether sometimes. Unlike your extroverted friends, you need alone time to recharge and help you make it through a busy work week. Here are some techniques you can use to excel as an introvert in the workplace.

    • Flex your creative muscles. Contrary to popular belief, being introverted isn’t a weakness. You simply need to find a job that maximizes your strengths. For instance, fields such as marketing, graphic design, writing, and editing require creativity and attention to detail, skills that introverts often have.
    • Consider freelance work. Many introverts are self-starters who don’t need the external motivation that extroverts require. This means you might excel in a freelance position working as a social media analyst, event coordinator, editorial assistant, graphic designer, copywriter, or proofreader. Freelancers tend to work independently for long periods without a supervisor breathing down their neck. This is just what many introverts need.
    • Look for a technical job. Do you enjoy thinking things over and taking a thorough approach to your work? If you’re this type of introvert, you may excel in engineering or science, fields that require research and problem-solving skills.
    • Find a company that communicates asynchronously. As an introvert, group meetings might turn you off. You may wonder why emails and group chat can’t get the job done. Many companies utilize such asynchronous communication methods to avoid breaking people away from their work while still providing channels for support and feedback. Find a company that uses technology to the fullest so you can benefit in this way.
    • Request a private area to work. If you’re already looking for a job where you can work independently, there should be no reason to share your workspace with someone else. Whether it’s a private cubicle or an entire office to yourself, having a quiet place to work is invaluable as an introvert.
    • Plan your tasks ahead of time. While extroverts tend to fly by the seat of their pants, introverts often prefer a higher level of organization and predictability. If your job allows for it, schedule the tasks you plan to perform at least a few days in advance. This may be critical to remain on schedule if there are multiple tight deadlines you must adhere to.

    If you’re a leader in your company, you can help all members of your team—introverts and extroverts alike—interact and get to know one another at training and team-building events. Texas Training and Conference Centers is the ideal place to hold such events. With our fully equipped, soundproof conference rooms, continental breakfast, and optional catered lunches, you have everything you need to have a successful event. To learn more about our services, or to reserve a training facility in Houston, please contact us at 832.982.1708 today.

  • Inspiring Interns to Become Full-Time Employees

    Rolling the dice on new employees can be a big risk. What if you had the chance to test out workers before hiring them full-time? By leveraging internships, you can! This is the perfect opportunity to find summer workers, see if they’re a smart match for your company, and invite them to stick around.

    Of course, your interns must be equally interested in joining your company as you are to add their enthusiasm and talent to your team. Here’s how to inspire interns to become full-time employees.

    • Bring on a group of interns all at once. This eliminates the feeling of being the “new kid” and helps young, like-minded talent bond with one another. Then, when the time comes to hire, you can turn your interns into a new group of “fresh” employees.
    • Convey your company’s purpose. Your interns may feel uninspired by your business if they’re unsure why you do what you do. Crafting a compelling purpose—and reminding your interns of it often—gives the feeling of being on a mission. This way, your interns feel as though their time and energy are being put to good use.
    • Determine your interns’ specific skills. To help you identify where your interns might fit best within your company, bring them to meetings, cross-train them in different departments, and let them brainstorm on projects.
    • Assign mentors. When each intern works under a different full-time employee, two important things happen. First, your interns become excited about the opportunities that await them if they perform well. Second, it gives them an inside look at the culture of working at this company.
    • Don’t treat your interns like children. If you want your interns to be vested in your company, prove that you take them seriously. Let them work on real projects and contribute their ideas. When you offer worthwhile work experience, your interns are more likely to remain as full-time employees.
    • Provide positive reinforcement. Just like your senior employees, interns want to feel valued for their time and commitment. If they’re doing a good job, let them know. This simple feedback is a highly effective way to mold new company champions.
    • Include interns in company activities. Interns often feel disconnected from the rest of the team. To prevent this, invite them to attend training and team-building events with the rest of your staff. Your interns will feel like part of the group, making them more inclined to stick around when you extend the invitation.

    As a company leader, it’s your job to make your interns feel welcome and valued so they want to join your team full-time. Hosting corporate training seminars for your entire staff, including interns, is one way to do this. Consider holding your event at Texas Training and Conference Centers in Houston. Our facility is fully equipped with the latest technology to make your time with us a success! To learn more about our Houston training and events center, please contact us at 832.982.1708.

  • Mindfulness at Work: Tips and Tricks to Remain Calm

    Do you often feel overwhelmed or stressed? We spend much of our lives at work, and while work can be rewarding and meaningful, it can also be the cause of a great deal of stress. How do you cope? Have you ever considered the concept of mindfulness? It’s an idea that many companies are beginning to embrace.

    Mindfulness, simply put, is being consciously present moment by moment, and having an awareness of yourself and your surroundings in the present, rather than focusing on the past or future. Mindfulness means stepping away from multi-tasking, being calmer and more focused, and striving to be gentler with ourselves and those around us. When mindfulness becomes part of your company’s culture, it increases creativity and productivity by improving focus, attention, and behavior. Even if your company isn’t ready to jump on this trend, though, there are simple ways you can improve your own workplace experience by practicing mindfulness.

    • Start your morning with mindfulness. Prepare for your morning the night before, and wake up early enough to be able to start the day slowly. Create a morning routine that engages your mind and makes you feel calm. Rather than engaging with technology immediately, spend time in the morning being in the moment, and thinking about your day.
    • Make a conscious decision to be present in the moment. More than anything else, mindfulness is about being aware and awake, rather than running on auto-pilot. At the beginning of your day, make a decision to be present in what you’re doing, whether it’s working on a task, eating your lunch, or talking to a coworker. When you find your mind drifting, acknowledge the thoughts you’re having, and refocus your attention on what you’re doing.
    • Stop all the multi-tasking. In today’s high-paced world, many of us pride ourselves on being able to effectively multi-task. The truth, though, is that focusing on one thing at a time increases your efficiency and productivity.
    • Just breathe. Simply focusing on inhaling and exhaling can relax you and can be done anywhere. Breathe in through your nose to the count of three and then release the breath through your mouth to the count of three. Slowing down and taking a minute to just breathe can help put you into a calmer emotional state. Try spending one minute of each hour simply focusing on your breathing and nothing else, and you may be surprised at how much better you feel.
    • Take breaks when you need them. It may seem counterintuitive to take a break in the middle of a busy workday, but detaching from work for a few minutes can improve your concentration. Sometimes, it just takes a moment of tuning into your body, thinking about how you’re feeling, to help you re-center. Don’t hesitate to take a lunch break, though, or go outside for a 15-minute refresher.
    • Cultivate a healthy mindset. Practice gratitude and positivity, while acknowledging that there will always be things you cannot change. Look for ways to turn frustration into an opportunity to reflect and regroup and stress into an exciting challenge. Sometimes, just being mindful of how you think can make a huge difference in your overall well-being. Here’s an easy exercise to help you: at the end of each day, wrote down one positive thing that happened that day and why it made you happy. By doing this, you’ll be training your brain to focus on the positive.

    If you’re a leader in your company, you might consider hosting a mindfulness seminar to acquaint your team with the practices that can help them thrive moment by moment. When it’s time to start planning, consider Texas Training and Conference Center for your next group event. 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. Soundproof rooms, state of the art electronics, continental breakfast, and optional catered lunches are just a few of the ways we create an environment that makes 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.

  • Success Secrets for Small Talk at Work

    How good are you at chit-chat? With all the skills you need to be successful in business, this is one that often gets overlooked. Being a good conversationalist, however, is vital if you want to get ahead. Fortunately, small talk is a skill that can be learned; with a little bit of practice, you can become proficient at making conversation.

    • Be mindful of the moment. Often, we’re so involved in our own thoughts or focused on our devices that we miss the opportunity to connect with those around us. Put away your phone when you’re around other people, and make a point to interact.
    • Know before you go. If there’s a company event, find out what you can about people who will be in attendance. Think about the people you’d really like to meet, and what questions you might ask to engage them in conversation.
    • Be prepared. Make a plan before you enter a social situation, thinking of questions you can ask to start conversations, current events that are interesting without being controversial, and interesting personal facts that you can share without oversharing. It’s also smart to plan for the close of a conversation, making sure you know how to gracefully exit when it’s reached its logical conclusion.
    • Make the first move. Don’t wait for people to initiate conversations with you. Instead, take the initiative and branch out from people you already know. Be inclusive, introducing people to each other, and be friendly, conveying warmth and sincerity.
    • Listen more than you talk. A big part of conversation has nothing to do with coming up with things to say. Focus on the person with whom you’re conversing, asking questions and paying attention to the answers. It’s likely that the answers will act as springboards for further conversation, so look for opportunities to ask follow-up questions.
    • Be sure to share. If you only ask questions without volunteering information about yourself, the person with whom you’re talking may feel like you’re conducting an interrogation. Share details about your life, taking care to keep the conversation light and upbeat.
    • Be mindful of your purpose. Small talk is more than mindless chatter. Rather, it’s a way to get to know people, forming connections in order to build more substantial relationships with colleagues and associates.

    If you’re a leader in your company, you can help foster relationships by providing opportunities for team members to interact and get to know each other. At Texas Training and Conference Centers, we pride ourselves on offering training facilities that facilitate team-building, with high-quality equipment and exceptional service. Soundproof rooms, state of the art technology, continental breakfast, and optional catered lunches are just a few of the ways we create an environment that makes 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.

  • Top Five Traits That Make A Great Leader

    Are you a good leader? What would it take for you to define yourself as a great leader? Is there a certain personality trait or character aspect that makes someone a great leader, or can outstanding leadership be taught and learned? What would you say are the top five traits that make a great leader?

    • A great leader has integrity. A leader who is honest and has a clear vision is capable of building a team from the ground up. People are inspired by leaders who believe in what they’re doing and are honest in their interactions. In fact, a recent survey indicated that over 80 percent of workers surveyed rank honesty as the most important personality trait for a leader.
    • Great leaders are decisive. Making decisions is central to leadership, and to be an effective leader, you have to be confident that the choices you are making are in the best interest of your organization. To do this, you must have a vision and know how to weigh all your options and move forward in pursuit of that vision.
    • In order to lead well, you must be open. Openness is an important trait of leaders, and that means being imaginative, open to new experiences, and open to the ideas of others. A leader who has this kind of openness can create a culture of effective communication, where team members feel that their ideas are heard and valued.
    • Attention to detail is imperative in leadership. Conscientious leaders are organized, thoughtful, and forward thinking. They are strategic planners who empower their teams by creating both long and short term goals to propel the organization forward. They can see the big picture as well as the little details, and they notice how their employees contribute to the success of their company.
    • To be a great leader, you must be a team builder. In addition to listening to the ideas of their team members, great leaders recognize achievement in their team, acknowledging each member’s contributions. By supporting employees this way, leaders create a culture that promotes confidence and positive energy rather than stress. In such an environment, expectations are communicated clearly, but there’s also room for fun and camaraderie. What’s more, good leaders provide learning opportunities and chances to grow and advance.

    Good leaders know that sometimes, team building requires time and space for training outside of the office. At Texas Training and Conference Centers, we pride ourselves on offering facilities perfect for team building, featuring 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.

  • Top Five Stress-Free Tips for Corporate Travel

    Do you travel for business? It can be exciting in the beginning, but after a little while, corporate travel can feel like a hassle. How can you avoid becoming stressed? Try these five stress-free tips for corporate travel.

    • Compare fares. Sometimes, it pays to stick with one airline and build up points. On the other hand, it’s not worth missing out on cheaper flights, just for the sake of points. Take some time to shop around, looking for non-stop flights, to save time as well as money. Don’t overlook one-way fares, because sometimes combining two one way fares can be a better deal than booking a round-trip ticket. Don’t limit yourself to coach, either: during times of year in which there aren’t as many business travelers, the cost of seats in business and economy class may drop.
    • Invest in good travel gear. What this means it up to you. You certainly need luggage that’s easy to maneuver and made to stand up to the rigors of travel, and it’s not a bad idea to pick up a power bank or two, for those delays that drain your devices’ batteries. Shore up your wardrobe, so that you’ll look pulled together even on travel days, and you’ll know exactly what to pack each time you leave. Think about the things that will make your travel comfortable and efficient, and purchase what you need: some people might find it worthwhile to invest in a good travel pillow, while others may find it just as comfortable to roll up a scarf or jacket to use instead. What makes a trip easy is subjective, so consider your own needs when you’re deciding what to purchase and pack.
    • Travel light. Bearing in mind the above suggestion about providing for your own comfort, it’s still smart to confine your things to a carry-on bag. This will enable you to get to the gate more quickly, and if you use compression bags you can still fit everything you need into a carry-on and your laptop bag. Pack with security checkpoints in mind, making sure to abide by protocols regarding liquids and electronics.
    • Make friends. If you’re going to travel the same route on a regular basis, you’ll undoubtedly run across the same people, whether in the airport, on the flight crew, at the hotel, or at the car rental counter. Being friendly to these people can help facilitate more comfortable travel, and make your trips smoother. One frequent traveler brings a bag of candy on each flight, to share with the flight attendants. This kind of nice gesture puts everyone in a good mood and makes them more favorably disposed towards you, which can make your travel more enjoyable.
    • Use programs that make travel easier. Join rewards programs that provide points or miles for air travel, hotel stays, car rental, and credit card usage. Check into your flight online ahead of time, and consider applying for TSA Pre-Check and Global Entry to help you move through security and customs more easily. An airport lounge membership is also a good idea because it gives you access to a pleasant place to wait for your flight.

    Another way to make corporate travel less taxing is to host your corporate event at the right location. 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. Soundproof rooms, state of the art electronics, continental breakfast, and optional catered lunches are just a few of the ways we create an environment that makes 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.

     

  • How to Create an Inclusive Workplace Environment

    There’s plenty of buzz these days about creating an inclusive workplace environment, but what does it mean? If you think about the word inclusion, considering what it means, you’ll probably think about belonging, connecting with others, and being part of a community. At work, inclusion means all the ways, great and small, that employers can help people feel comfortable and connected, a part of a well-functioning whole. Why is inclusion important, and what are the steps you need to take to create an inclusive workplace environment?

    First, let’s address the importance of this issue. According to recent research, workplaces with an inclusive culture are twice as likely to meet their financial goals or even surpass them, and six times more likely to be innovative. They’re 42 percent less likely to lose employees because when employees feel that they can bring their whole selves to work, they’re unlikely to look for a new position. Engaging your employees and helping them feel connected and included is good for your people, and good for your business.

    To create an inclusive workplace, strive to make develop a corporate culture that’s cooperative, collaborative, fair, open, curious, and accountable, by incorporating seven components of inclusion.

    • The right resources give employees they support they need to be inclusive. Give your employees access to appropriate technology, help them support each other through employee resource groups, and encourage them to make meetings more inclusive by sending agendas and other materials in advance. When everyone at the meeting is prepared, and technology is set up properly, it becomes easier for all the members of the group to be actively involved.
    • One of the most important ways to include someone is to allow them to have a voice. When employees have a say about decisions with an impact on their work, they take more ownership in that work and tend to work harder. They gain a higher level of job satisfaction, which in turn improves their performance. When employees are allowed to talk openly, it helps them trust their leaders, and an environment of trust inspires creativity and productivity. What’s more, companies that listen to their people gain useful knowledge that improves their business.
    • When employees feel that their company values them for who they are, they feel connected to that company. It’s important for individuals to be recognized for their uniqueness and to feel that their leadership values their skills and unique perspectives. To give employees this sense of belonging, speak to your employees with intention. Acknowledge their efforts, and highlight their specific achievements so that they know you value them and take pride in their successes.
    • Encouraging collaboration helps teams feel connected to each other. This sense of connection gives them the ability to work together using the strengths and skills of each individual. In meetings, take the time to ask for feedback and acknowledge the source of good ideas, even if that person is not in the room.
    • Inclusivity relies on intentionality. Look for ways to weave inclusive practices into the culture, values, and mission of your company. Make it clear that you value diverse ideas and perspectives, and show this through inclusive practices.
    • Find exciting ways to make people feel like they belong. Create social events and utilize social media to engage employees and help them to connect.
    • Employees who have the opportunity to learn and grow will be more likely to want to advance their careers within their organization. Look for ways to empower your employees with learning and development opportunities that help them expand both their personal and professional goals. Find out what interests them and encourage them to pursue their passions and hobbies, learn new skills, and further their education.

    One way to strengthen the unity of your group is to hold training sessions off-site, where team members can learn together and form bonds. At Texas Training and Conference Centers, we pride ourselves on providing companies with training facilities that feature 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.