• 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

    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.

  • Tips for Organizing Your Next Training Session

    Employee Training Session

    Organizing a training session is a big endeavor, but one that pays off in an increase in employee productivity and engagement. For your training session to be a success, you’ll need to have a plan in place, creating a schedule and cohesive focus that holds the interest of your audience while accomplishing the goals of the session. You’ll also need to choose a venue that supports these goals and supplies the tools you need to succeed.

    • Create a loose schedule with a tight focus. Schedule your events in such a way that there’s plenty of time to accommodate delays, breaks, technical difficulties, Q & A sessions, and collaboration. Keep on track by choosing a narrow topic on which to focus, presented in a way that’s easy to comprehend and digest. Make an agenda that you can give to participants so that they know exactly what to expect.
    • Use a variety of mediums to convey information. Plan different activities for your sessions: not just lectures, but segments that deliver information in a way that appeals to many different learning styles. Incorporate hands-on activities, use the technology at your disposal, and create hand-outs that people can reference during the session. Play to your audience, keep things light and engaging and offer audio-visual, tactile, and written resources. You might also consider varying the way participants work, sometimes grouping them to allow for collaboration.
    • Plan for feedback, engagement, and collaboration. Training sessions are about learning new information and honing skills, but they’re also about teamwork. Leave plenty of room in the schedule to get input from your team, and schedule open time-slots specifically for open discussion. Work in time for testing, too, because knowing what they’re retaining is extremely important to the success of your training session.
    • Consider physical needs as well as intellectual. Give participants generous breaks, to keep their energy from flagging, and don’t forget to feed them. Ideally, choose a venue with catering options, so that food doesn’t have to be your responsibility.
    • Choose a venue that gives you the support you need. The right venue will not only have the space you require, but also the technology that will help you to succeed. Choose a place that’s professional but comfortable, and offers services you’ll need, from catering to tech support.

    You spent a great deal of time and energy planning and organizing your training sessions, so why leave the location to chance? At Texas Training and Conference Centers, we’ve served well-known companies for over 18 years, providing comfortable and functional space in which to hold training sessions. Our conference rooms feature upscale décor with attention to detail, up-to-date technology, supplies, equipment and round-the-clock assistance from staff and tech support. We also provide catering services, because it’s important to us that we keep you and your team comfortable and productive. 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.

  • Benefits of Off-Site Computer Labs

    Computer Labs

    When you’re training employees, sometimes you need facilities and technology that simply aren’t available in your office. Maybe you’ve got a number of employees who are new to the company, and you need to train them all at once. It could be that updates in technology necessitate new training for existing employees, and you simply don’t have the resources onsite to train everyone at once. Whatever your needs may be, there are definite advantages to using off-site computer labs.

    • Concentration is enhanced by a change of scenery. Taking employees out of the office and into a new environment heightens their awareness and increases their focus. If you want to make sure you’ve got their attention, take your employees somewhere they won’t be distracted by the mundane.
    • When you only need technology temporarily, it’s cost-effective to use an off-site computer lab. An investment in technology pays off with repeated use, but if you only need a certain program or piece of equipment for training purposes or another temporary use, it doesn’t make sense to purchase it. Using an off-site computer lab is a solution with a much better return on your investment.
    • Working off-site allows you to access technology you’re considering, without having to purchase it first. Choose a facility with the most technology, and you can get a feel for the products you’re considering, without committing to owning them.
    • Choosing a facility with the right support in place benefits your employees. Training is more effective when you’ve got cutting-edge technology in place and support to help your employees succeed.
    • If space is a problem in your office, working off-site may be the solution. You might need to train employees who typically share space across different shifts, and aren’t in the office at the same time. Knocking out all the training at once is the most efficient way to promote cohesive practices, upgrade skills, ensure across-the-board compliance with regulations, and improve overall understanding of new innovations.
    • Companies with multiple branches may find an off-site computer lab the perfect place for all of their employees to meet, creating a more cohesive training session. Bringing everyone together to learn a new skill not only improves company-wide efficacy, it also boosts morale, sparks healthy competition, and promotes team bonding.

    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, work stations, white boards, and computers furnished with the most cutting edge technology, to ensure that your training event is a success. Sound proof 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.

     

     

  • Host Your Next Corporate Event with Us

    Hosting Corporate Events

    Whether it’s a convention or a product launch, team training or team building, an event to boost productivity or a soiree to express appreciation, it’s important that you find the best facility possible for your corporate event. You need a place that’s comfortable yet professional, equipped with technology but not lacking in amenities. In Houston, it makes sense to host your next corporate event with Texas Training and Conference Centers.

    • Customer service driven for over 18 years. In our full-service conference center, equipped with the finest facilities for corporate events, we’ve spent the better part of two decades serving companies and corporations throughout Houston.
    • Trusted by business leaders. Because we created our facility to serve businesses and corporations in our community, and we provide them with the best service in the area, our clientele has included big names like IBM, American Express, BP, ADP, HP, Chevron, and Cisco. We feel honored to have been chosen to serve these companies, and we strive to continue to provide every customer with the level of service that earned us that opportunity.
    • Facilities for private and public events. Our suites are designed to accommodate groups of up to 40 people, and these rooms are soundproofed for privacy, making them the ideal place for private training groups. Beautifully appointed, they not only have all the most up-to-date technology, but also elegant touches like crown molding, making them the nicest in the area. Our conference rooms are fully equipped with all the services and supplies you need to make sure your event goes smoothly. No matter how small or large your gathering, the staff at our Houston conference center will make you feel right at home.
    • Latest technology. We take pride in placing innovative technology into the hands of the businesses we serve. We provide computer labs for training classes, as well as other cutting-edge features like LCD projection systems, professional multimedia sound systems, whiteboards, and more. Our state-of-the-art virtual training rooms give companies flexible, low cost, time-saving training options.
    • Exquisite attention to detail. Our friendly staff is always standing by to assist with anything you might need. From refreshments to tech support, we take care of your group, even providing catering upon request. Our goal is to meet your needs, exceed your expectations, and make sure you’re comfortable.

    When you need an outsourced meeting facility, Texas Training, and Conference Centers has everything you need to conduct effective training sessions and conferences, in an environment that’s comfortable and effectual. To learn more about Texas Training and Conference Centers, call us at 832.982.1708 or contact us through our website.

     

  • Meeting Agenda 101: How to Lead a Successful Business Training Session

    Business Training Sessions

    Leading a successful business training session is largely a matter of having the right plan. When you create and stick to the right agenda, you can effectively impact your employees, honing their skills and imparting the knowledge they need to succeed. To come up with your agenda, you need to ask yourself a few key questions.

    • What are the goals of this session? Think about what your business needs, and what problems you’re trying to solve. Make these goals clear before the meeting, providing participants with “pre-work” that invites them to provide solutions, suggestions, and examples ahead of time so that they can be incorporated into the agenda. Send the agenda out to the participants ahead of time so that everyone can be on the same page before you get started.
    • Which topics need to be on the agenda, in order to promote these goals? Creating the agenda, of course, requires careful thought. Be specific about what you’re trying to determine or achieve, for purposes of clarity in the interest of successful collaboration. What are you trying to teach, and what skills are you attempting to enhance. Make sure your objectives are clearly stated, and that the purpose of each item on the agenda is well-explained. Take into account how long you will need to spend on each topic.
    • How can learning be best facilitated for those in the session? Different people on your team will have different strengths, different skills, and different learning styles. Taking these factors into consideration can help you strengthen your training session in many ways. Create a presentation that incorporates opportunities for people to not only listen, but also watch, interact, and contribute. Some of the most valuable learning opportunities come from the interaction between employees, who can use their different strengths and talents to help each other improve.
    • What’s the best way to keep this session on track? Make sure you begin and end on time, because sticking to your schedule is important when you’re trying to promote cooperation within your team. Respect the time of others, and they’ll be more receptive to what you’re trying to communicate. Have a plan to deal with delays caused by other people: build extra time into your Q&A sessions, and create a “parking lot” of issues to be discussed at a later date. If someone has questions or issues that can’t be resolved in a timely manner, make an appointment for a one on one meeting later.
    • How can the success of this session be quantified? Be clear at the beginning of the session about the expected outcome and your expectations of those in training. Follow up with self-assessment questionnaires, skill assessments, post-training quizzes, informal feedback from supervisors, and on the job observation. Some benefits of training, like a boost in job satisfaction and morale, can’t be measured. However, if you can pinpoint the skills you are trying to improve, you should be able to evaluate whether your training was successful in order to decide whether you need to find a different approach.

    Once you’ve developed an agenda and planned a successful business training session, you’ll have to find the right place to hold your meetings. At Texas Training and Conference Centers, we provide spacious, comfortable rooms, cutting-edge technology, and exceptional support to help ensure the efficacy of your corporate meeting. 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.

     

  • Preparation Checklist for Your Next Team Training

    Team Training Checklist

    Team training is an important asset of corporate culture that, by some accounts, can increase productivity by as much as 20 percent. That’s significant, and it makes it all the more vital for management to be prepared when it’s time for training. Before you head off to lead another team training session, it’s wise to make a plan, being mindful of this checklist.

    • Set measurable goals. Think about the needs of your company, and the problems you’re trying to solve. Think about how you’ll determine whether you’ve reached your goals, and make sure that your objectives are quantifiable.
    • Determine which skills you intend to improve. Team training isn’t an opportunity to impart knowledge so much as to hone skills. Think about the skills most necessary to your business, and find ways to help your employees refine the skills they already have.
    • Create an agenda. Design for yourself an outline of your main talking points, any visual aids you plan to use, and when you may need technical support. For attendees of your team training event, create a detailed agenda, explaining your objectives, clarifying your vision, and specifying events, discussions, and activities, being clear about how much time is allotted for each.
    • Pick the right location. The location you choose for your event is crucial. You want a space that will accommodate the right number of people, but beyond that, you want your team to be able to focus, as well as having access to necessary technology.
    • Secure expert assistance. Subject matter experts are at the heart of every successful training event, and once you identify those people, you can share that information with your team. You’ll also need to ensure that tech support is readily available, in case you need that kind of assistance.
    • Organize necessary materials. People learn differently, so keep that in mind as you choose your aspects of your presentations. Think of ways to provide people with the tools they need to succeed, whether they learn from watching, listening, writing things down, or interacting.
    • Utilize efficient technology. Keep your presentations engaging by using up-to-date technology to share information. It doesn’t have to be elaborate, but finding interactive ways to use technology is a good way to promote successful learning.
    • Plan for collaboration. Input from your team is vital, because taking everyone’s opinions into account is what makes teamwork effective. What’s more, statistics show that twice as much workplace learning comes from employee interaction as opposed to formal training. Allow plenty of time to collect feedback and input, for a successful event.
    • Develop a follow-up plan. In addition to offering opportunities for feedback during the event, have a plan in place to gather information after the training session concludes. A questionnaire can be a useful way for each employee to feel included in the process.

    Having the right plan for your team training is important, and so is choosing the right place. At Texas Training and Conference Centers, we’ve turned employee training into an art, offering our clients in Houston facilities suitable for both public and private gatherings, with the most sophisticated technology to make it easy to conduct highly successful team training. 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.