Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Hidden Benefits of Training

When you think of training, the obvious reasons for training are very common across almost all industries.  Employees learn the software in order to become more productive, more efficient, and increase profits for the company.  Yes, of course all of this is true, and very important.  But let’s take a look at a few of the hidden benefits of training, both from the employer perspective and through the eyes of the employee.

“When free food is involved, training is tolerated by all.”

Retention (of employees)

            Employee turnover can be very costly, training a new employee on all of the company standards, methodologies, and “ins and outs” of the firm always has an associated cost.  New employees quite often run at a lower level of productivity and efficiency than do personnel that already know what is to be done, and what is expected from them.  This makes employee retention very beneficial.  Let’s examine the role of training with respect to employee retention.

Employees will feel like you are more interested in them and their well-being if you are willing to invest in training.  Employers interested in the well-being of the company, and its employees and wanting to keep the company on the cutting edge will likely find that the employee feels more valued.  

Employees who feel more valued will want to stay with the company if the company is willing to invest in its own future.  "We're going to send you to training"...  "We would like to see you improve and move forward with the company”.  These are statements with a significant amount of clout built into them.  They provide for the psychological boost that every employee needs and wants.  Employees greatly value educational benefits as a way of knowing the company is actually interested in them, not simply the bottom line.

Jay Lehman, the recruiting manager of Toll Brothers, Inc., a luxury homes builder says... "We invest the time and our resources and give our personnel the opportunity to excel pretty quickly."  He goes on to say, "We train them in all facets of the work, and they don't really get that from other companies," says Lehman. "We value them and they see that."

Loyaltyemployees tend to be much more loyal to companies who support their continuing education as cited:  In a study conducted by Spherion Atlantic Enterprises LLC., a staffing and employment-services firm, 61 percent of respondents who received training or mentoring said they were very likely to remain with their current employer for the next five years or more.

Improves morale of employee

Employees may be afraid to tell you they need help leaving them frustrated.  This may leave them feeling inadequate at best and possibly fearful of their job status.  A trained employee has more confidence in their abilities thus improving their morale and reducing stress.

Training helps the employee obtain job security as well as job satisfaction. The more satisfied the employee and the higher his confidence, the more he will contribute to organizational success, in addition employee absenteeism and turnover rates will be significantly reduced.

Less Supervision Required

Along with training comes an increased ability to perform a task with less supervision.  Fewer accidents and mistakes will occur resulting in substantially less time spent correcting the error.  Mistakes of this nature have a significant impact on completion of a project on time and under budget.  The hidden cost of this being the amount of time it may take for the supervisor or manager to assist in the correction process which results in lost time on other projects. 

Chances for Promotion

A well trained employee will be more eligible for advancement, and become a valuable asset for the company.  He will have the ability to move into positions that may become vacant due to attrition.  There is enormous savings potentials here in reducing the cost of training a "new employee" on all the company policies, methods and intricate corporate details.

Less Time lost Searching for Answers

Without training, employees needing assistance may be less likely to ask for help when faced with a challenging situation, they may therefor waste valuable time searching for answers on the Internet.  While the internet is an excellent source of free information, it may be impossible to find an answer to the exact problem at hand.  Every issue and required solution on every project is unique making solutions hard to come by.

"What happens if we train them, and they leave?"....

"What happens if we don't train them, and they stay?"

The benefits of training brought to light in this article are mostly hidden. When training is not administered, debilitating costs can often result in loss of business.  The goal of training is for the attendees to learn, master and eventually coach or train the new hires of the organization (implication here is the importance on retention of these trained employees).
For more information from Larry Young please visit,  or visit his YouTube channel at lyoung1118.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Training? Who Needs Training, Find Anything on the Internet

So what was the world like before formal training?  There was never a time when people didn’t learn, however most of the time it was “the hard way” or out of “pure necessity”. 
Take the cavemen, they had to figure out how to hunt, kill and eventually cook their food… if only they had the internet back then, they could have had these answers in minutes, right?  Well maybe.  But then if they had looked up “how to hunt” they may have gotten millions of hits ranging from how to hunt a Tyrannosaurus Rex to how to hunt for berries.  Quite a difference!

So imagine now you search the internet for “how to create a grading object”… you’re likely to get the same results.  The search will result in hundreds of different features, documents, and videos on everything from creating a retaining wall, to a parking lot, to creating dozens of lot pads using a corridor model.  The fact is you may not find what it is you’re looking for, you may get close, or you may get really lucky and find exactly what it is you’re trying to accomplish.  Unfortunately the latter option is not very likely.

The reason it’s not very likely is that every project is different, every set of data is different, and every set of requirements and expected outcome is different.  The bottom line here is that correct answers are rarely a “one size fits all” solution.  You quite likely need a specialist that can assess your data, requirements, and limitations in order to teach you exactly how to accomplish the task at hand.

Next time you’re “stuck” and cannot figure out the solution, by all means search the internet for answers, but don’t spend too much time searching for the proverbial needle in a haystack.  Instead, try finding a horse (an expert) that can eat all the hay from around the needle, and get you right to the “point” (pun intended) quickly.

            Whether it's us at Youngs VOS or some other expert, I'm convinced that the experts, whoever they are, will be able to help you quickly, and save you money in the long run.

Stay tuned (in fact sign up by email to recieve all the blogs) upcoming... "The Hidden Benefits of Training" up next on LarryYoungLive blog.


Monday, September 10, 2012

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Displaying Points Using Point Groups

"How to display points, turn them all off, or all back on again"

(without using layers)
Laugh do you?  I cannot tell you how many times i see people trying to manipulate points and point labels by using layers.
This should be one of those "WNTDNC3D"  (what NOT to do in Civil 3D) items... do NOT use layers.  In fact, there are very very few times i even use or even need to use layers any more in Civil 3D.
So here we go... typical drawing with points brought in through a CSV file (comma seperated value), this particular point list was brought in using description keys.  That is why you see some trees showing immediatly upon import, but thats a different subject for a different blog.
We also have several point groups as shown below...
The "Invisible" point group contains all the points in the project, just as the "All Points" group does.
Below you will see that the Invisible point group has no point style, and no point label style.  This is what makes it invisible.
Turning all the points "off" or making them invisible is simply a matter of moving the invisible point group "above" all the other point groups in the list.  (as shown here)  You get to this particular window by right clicking on the words "Point Groups" in the prospector and choosing properties.
Original point group list.
Select the "invisible" group, and click on the top right "up arrow" to move this group to the top of the list as shown.
Modified point group list.
This is similar to the "bring to front" options for objects in AutoCAD or Civil 3D... point groups are displayed in the order they appear in the list.   Because "invisible" is first, that is the style used for all the points in that group.  All other groups will now be displayed below invisible, and therefor not show up on the screen.  (Except for the "Gotcha" i mentioned earlier) Notice the problem below.  All points are invisible except a few...

Here is the problem, and the solution   If you select any one of the points still on the screen, and look at properties, you will notice (red arrows below) that the style and point label style are set.  This means that the individual point properties are overriding the point group properties.
Ok, so how to fix this...  Right click on the "Invisible" point group and select Properties.  Now navigate to the "Overrides" tab as shown, and place a check mark in the "Style" and "Point Label Style" override boxes.  (see below).

This will make the point group "Override" the individual point styles and point label styles we saw in the properties box.
Click on the OK button and you should see the points dissappear.
To display one point group simply "move" that point group above the "Invisible" point group and you will see the results.  In the example below, Topo points are now shown above Invisible points, therefor the Topo points will display, and all others below invisible will not.  Simple enough?
Point Group Order is Key here.
As you can see below, the Topo points are displayed, while Aerial points are not.

Hope this helps, if not you can always visit for further information.

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