Top 10 for 2018: The Most Requested Training Topics

2018 image made with sparklers

1. Leadership Development

Since 1995, Zoe has partnered with corporations and government agencies to create and provide successful Leadership Excellence training series, and this offering continues to be our most requested training solution. The importance of strong leadership within an organization becomes evident when you look at the impact it has on employee engagement and improved company culture. With companies facing a looming shortage due to a retirement boom, organizations are tuned into the increasing need for effective leadership development strategies to drive results. Zoe's leadership series provides a wide variety of development opportunities for current and future leaders, such as critical thinking and decision making, emotional intelligence, and presentation skills. Our leadership series is often utilized by Zoe clients on a recurring basis, which helps create a strong "talent pipeline" and enhances the leaders' future success and the organizations they serve.
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2. Harassment Prevention

As you can imagine, over the past couple years the staff at Zoe Training has been fielding an increasing number of inquiries about harassment prevention training. This in itself could be considered either a negative or positive trend – companies are either coincidentally acting proactively or they are facing an increasing number of harassment cases. Considering a timely June 2016 report by the EEOC Select Task Force on the Study of Harassment in the Workplace, however, it may be safe to assume it’s the latter. In today’s global marketplace disrespectful behaviors can have negative effects not only within a team, but within the organization with which they work and with the internal and external customers who are served. Organizations must foster an inclusive, respectful environment to succeed. Finding ways to use our differences as strengths instead of obstacles helps teams deliver better bottom-line results and more innovative solutions.  Training on this critical topic must cover not only key terms, definitions, and legal framework but also contributing factors, prevention strategies, and awareness of policies and procedures. 
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3. DiSC

There are, of course, many different assessment tools that rate behavior, preference, styles, attitudes, etc. and provide a framework for understanding the way in which you see the world and the differing ways in which others may approach the same set of facts or circumstances. Myers-Briggs/MBTI, Emergenetics, Lominger, Insights, StrengthsFinder and many others remain popular, but the most common tool we see clients utilizing is the DiSC.  The DiSC framework is easily learned and flexible enough to apply to a variety of individual and team learning needs – communication, teamwork, conflict resolution, decision making, and others. 
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4. Business Writing/Email Writing

Experts estimate that as much as 90 percent of human communication comes from non-verbal clues such as voice inflection and body language. In business writing, however, you have only the words to get your meaning across, so the way the writer uses those words becomes more important.  On-the-job writing matters – from RFPs to planning documents to client emails, your employees represent your organization every time they craft a document.  Workshops on this topic can cover grammar and punctuation errors along with common writing mistakes and memory tips for avoiding them.  In addition, participants can learn strategies for writing more efficiently and effectively. 
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5. Emotional Intelligence/EQ

All managers can relate horror stories about employees or team members who were intelligent, technically capable, and able to perform the duties their job demanded…and who wreaked havoc on their teams because their social skills or self-management capability was lacking. When it comes to individual and team success, IQ is not enough; in fact, the skill set known as Emotional Intelligence (EQ) has consistently proven to be a better indicator of individual and team workplace success. Cultivating and using the five components of EQ can have a profound positive effect on you individually as well as the people you work with.  
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6. Cultural Competency/Diversity

Celebrating diversity is one thing; cultural competency is something different.  Developing cultural competence includes examining our own worldview and biases and developing the willingness to learn and be educated from a different point of view.  In addition, it involves examining our societal rituals, roles, and values with the acknowledgment that other people have diverse ways of thinking, doing, and believing. In this fun, practical presentation participants cultivate their ability to understand, communicate with, and interact with clients and co-workers across cultures and styles, increasing their ability to be successful in a variety of situations. 
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7. Compassion Fatigue

Individuals working in high-stress, customer-facing positions face demanding interactions as a regular part of their job requirements. Having to work with people in stressful situations, deliver difficult news, and offer appropriate emotional and logistical support to constituents/clients on an ongoing basis can take a very real toll on the providers. When the demands of the job outweigh the emotional reserves we have available to us, we can suffer from “compassion fatigue” and related stress which can lead to negative consequences within both a professional and personal context. 
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8. Customer Service

Poor customer service can hurt a company in many ways, including loss of current and future customers, loss of employees, declining revenue, and ultimately complete business failure. Since improving customer experience is one of the most important objectives a company can work toward to becoming a recognized brand and realizing increased profits and sustainability, customer service management must be implemented by recognizing then addressing the causes of poor customer service before a bad reputation quickly spirals out of control. Customer service excellence training can offer proven ways for employees to manage various types of challenges. Specifically, it can show them how to handle conflict, stay calm and learn to defuse angry customers, improve communication, use emotional intelligence to enhance relationships, and use their natural abilities and talents to serve customers. These skills can help eliminate the biggest customer service complaint, which is rudeness and discourteous behavior (tied with being unable to get a human on the phone).
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9. Employee Engagement

Organizations that demonstrate lower engagement levels say they also experience more absenteeism and turnover. Engagement, according to David Dye of Deloitte Consulting, is optimized by “meaningful work, hands-on management, a positive work environment, growth and development opportunities, and establishing trust in leadership.” With companies continuing to deal with persistently low engagement levels, they recognize the continued need to provide better working conditions that enhance productivity, increase employee satisfaction, and ensure profitability. According to Robert Half, employee engagement and satisfaction levels must be a priority for companies to remain competitive in today's market.
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10. Time Management/Productivity

In today’s busy world it is important for workers to be as effective as they can with the limited hours of time during the day. If the unexpected interruptions and crises are affecting your employees’ productivity, then it is time to take control of the workday! Efficiency training can include topics such as practical and specific time management skills to increase effectiveness and reduce time-wasted activities; effectively managing Outlook and email; managing calendar and to-do list; how to prioritize and plan your day using your natural energy cycle; the basics of important decision-making of action items; and action steps to reduce interruptions and procrastination. 
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Check out the entire list of our consistently most requested training topics. You can also search through our extensive online catalog of training programs.