6 Reasons All Employees Should Understand Social Media

Social media networking can help companies get the word out through their employees.

Join CCSU’s Social Media Boot Camp on Wednesday, September 21!

Social media may be a fun way to connect with friends and post about your life, but it is also a powerful tool for businesses to communicate and conduct marketing efforts. It is important that all employees have an understanding about how social media should and should not be used, for the benefit of the business. Here are some reasons to be sure all of your employees understand social media.

1. To prevent embarrassment (to the business and to employees).

It is a common occurrence to post complaints about your employer on social media. For some reason, employees never think company owners or bosses will see these complaints, but nothing is private on social media, and the employer is often part of the network. When employees understand that they could be sanctioned or fired for spreading bad press about the business on social media, it will prevent these embarrassing situations and spare all sides from backpedaling or apologizing.

2. To boost visibility and reach.

Encouraging employees to share a business’s social media posts can multiply that business’s reach and help make it more visible to the public. If even a few of those friends share with their friends or become customers, the business can grow its bottom line with minimal marketing cost.

3. To encourage positive press.

Employees that post positively about the business or suggest positive post ideas to the social media manager should be rewarded in whatever way the business can afford. Linking to blog posts and sharing positive stories about both the business and the employees can intrigue the public enough to get some to share or investigate further.

Social media can be a powerful tool for businesses.

4. To maintain the privacy of the business.

It’s important that all employees are informed about what information can and can’t be shared on social media. No proprietary, financial, or personal information should ever be shared, as it would be unethical and could be illegal, depending on what is shared.

5. To stop the bleeding.

If negative or private information has already been shared, employees must understand they need to take it down as soon as possible. Of course, a knowledgeable enough person could still get access to the deleted post, but this is less likely if it is quickly removed.

6. To promote the company in a non-invasive way.

Employees may feel like just a mouthpiece when they are asked to “talk up” the company to people they know, but doing the very same thing on social media can feel much more natural because it’s much more what people do there. Organizing a giveaway will encourage even more sharing and may get thousands of people involved in a short period of time.

Educating employees about social media is part of good business management and can have a significant positive impact on your company as well as preventing potential problems. If your HR department doesn’t have a social media policy as well as training so all employees are informed, it might want to seriously consider doing so in the near future.

Are you interested in developing a more social media-savvy team? Join the CCSU mailing list to get updates on digital training and other professional development courses. Sign up for CCSU’s Social Media Boot Camp on September 21 at http://www.ccsu.edu/ConEd.

Expert Interview Series: Paul Ritchie of PM College on The Benefits of Career-Oriented Education

Paul Ritchie, PMP, PMI-ACP, is Practice Director of PM College, the leading provider of strategy execution capability development services.

We recently talked to Paul about the benefits of career-oriented education programs and how to take full advantage of them. Here’s what he had to say:

Tell us about PM College. What educational opportunities do you offer?

PM College creates and delivers learning for strategy execution topics such as strategy, leadership, portfolio and project management.

What sets you apart from other schools or organizations offering career-oriented training programs?

Our programs don’t simply deliver pre-packaged content. We work with clients to tailor learning to their organization’s needs and opportunities. Furthermore, our clients leverage our research to assess their talent’s skills and competencies, which allows us to design targeted development experiences (e.g., training, coaching/mentoring, job rotation).

How important are training/educational programs like yours to the success of an individual or an organization?

Most clients use learning as a platform to support those taking on new roles. Our best clients use training, assessment and mentoring services throughout the talent lifecycle. Individuals should take the same perspective. Look at where you are, where you want to go and what you need to get there. Then be intentional about your next learning, mentoring and job experiences with that end in mind.

What are the biggest benefits to individuals of continuing education programs?

The biggest benefit is the opportunity for self-reflection. If you can look at yourself and realize what you need to do more of, less of and do better, you will evolve and grow. Related to that is the opportunity to try and fail in a safe environment. I’m a big fan of the Samuel Beckett quote: “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.” Continual learning is a way for us to “fail better” without risking our careers.

How important are strong project management skills in today’s business world?

Nearly everything is a project today. Even my son was doing projects in elementary school. If you don’t grow project management, you come in to the working world at a big disadvantage.

What types of training should project managers be investing their time in today?

Organizational leaders demand more strategy and leadership acumen from their project managers. Our research shows it is the most consistent and persistent skills gap in the profession. In particular, look for learning or experiences that focus project-oriented leadership skills, like stakeholder engagement or influence without authority.

Are all continuing education programs created equal? What should individuals look for when shopping around for educational opportunities?

Look for continuing education that is most relevant for where you want to go next. I really am impressed with strong industry/education partnerships, which, in our experiences, keeps the learning relevant and actionable.

What continuing education programs do you believe are not really worth the investment?

Anything that simply ticks off the “learning” box. Don’t offer – or attend – a learning opportunity just because it is there. It is a waste of your time … and your classmates’ time.

What should individuals do to make sure their making most of their educational opportunities?

Be intentional. Have a plan. Learn with the end in mind. Finally, don’t expect your talent or learning partners in human resources or personnel to figure it out for you. It is your life and your vocation: treat it that way.

Pave the way to achieving your professional goals. View open courses available at Central Connecticut State University.

The Top Reasons to Consider PMP Certification Training

Certified project management practitioners can lead their team confidently and professionally.

The benefits of obtaining a project management practitioner (PMP) certification are many, but the process of getting certified isn’t so simple. Here are some reasons to take a PMP certification training course like the one offered by CCSU’s Office of Continuing Education.

1. PMP certification gives you skills that you can use in your current job, or leverage to move into a more senior position. Employers will know that you have received professional training in project management and achieved standards set by industry professionals.

2. You could receive a salary increase for PMP certification because of your new, valuable skills including management of personnel, tasks, and complex projects that can move your company forward.

3. PMP certification will enable you to take on greater job responsibilities because you have learned and demonstrated project management skills and have been made aware of terminology, processes and developments in the field of project management.

4. With PMP certification, you will be able to evaluate team members and potential team members, pinpoint their strengths and weaknesses, and help them develop their potential. The projects you lead or that you are involved in will run more smoothly due to your newly learned skills in project management.

5. PMP certification will put you in touch with others who have the same credentials, providing networking opportunities and contacts that can lead to future career leads and collaborative development.

You can advance your career with PMP certification training.

6. A PMP certification training course will give you better preparation for the difficult test that you will have to take to become certified. Most test-takers spend upwards of 35 hours preparing for the test after coursework is complete, so a training course will help in that preparation.

7. Training that prepares you for the PMP exam will give you access to study aids like books, sample tests, and study groups made up of fellow test-preparers. Preparing for an exam using physical study aids and study partners has been shown to be more effective than preparing alone.

8. You will have a better chance of passing the exam after taking a training course designed specifically to prepare you for the test and the topics covered.

9. Without adequate preparation, you may have to retake the PMP exam several times, paying a fee each time. A PMP certification training course can end up saving you money by preparing you to pass the exam with fewer attempts.

10. The experience of training, preparing for, and taking the PMP certification exam will add confidence, challenge, and other positive benefits to your life and career. Preparing in a classroom situation with other like-minded individuals provides a higher quality learning experience than learning on your own or online.

CCSU’s Office of Continuing Education also offers the Associate in Project Management Exam Preparation (CAPM) for those not ready or in need of the PMP certification.The CAPM certification course begins in September and the PMP certification course begins in October. To register, visit CCSU’s Office of Continuing Education website. You can also join our mailing list to receive information about future course offerings.

How Human Resources Certification Programs can Enhance Your Career

Human resources certification has many benefits.

Human resources is a field that has experienced great increases in complexity over the last few decades. The regulations have grown exponentially, and the digital world has made choosing a job candidate easier in some ways and harder in others. It’s important for HR professionals to have a thorough education in both methods of hiring and the regulations that now govern the process of hiring and managing employees.

Along with the hiring process, HR professionals must have knowledge about how employees must be treated while they are employed, what benefits the company offers employees and how those benefits are administered, and what steps must be taken before an employee can be fired, should that ever be necessary.

Benefits of Human Resources Certification Programs

Although informal and company-specific training will probably be needed by most HR professionals, human resources certification programs standardize the training needed to work in the HR field and quantify it with an exam that shows concrete skills.

Many employers now require certification as a qualification for their open HR positions, knowing that anyone with certification has learned and demonstrated required skills. For senior positions especially, certification is required for most HR positions.

According to the Society for Human Resource Management, organizations benefit from SHRM–CP certification by having the most updated information and skills about HR best practices. Being certified will make you a recognized expert and leader in your field, which will benefit your HR career.

SHRM certified HR professionals also earn significantly more than their counterparts who aren’t certified, according to a study by Payscale.com. Certified HR professionals studied earned a whopping $20,000 more than those not certified. HR assistants who were certified were also promoted nearly twice as often as those not certified. 63% of HR assistants with certification were promoted within 5 years, while only 34% of those without certification were promoted.

Certified human resources personnel are more likely to be promoted with certification.

Help With Certification Exam Preparation

The process of certification includes a comprehensive exam which students must pass that details knowledge of HR principles, skills and competencies. Taking preparation courses can improve your performance on the exam by detailing which information you need to know and helping material come alive with effective teaching methods.

Central Connecticut State University has partnered with the Society for Human Resource Management to offer 35 course-hours of preparation and training to prepare students to receive certification. Four different but related subject areas will be covered in the coursework: people, organization, workplace and strategy, and behavior competencies.

A professional certificate program is offered at CCSU, consisting of six 18-hour courses in leading edge HR training and best practices. Courses can be taken individually or together. These courses are helpful for those who want to further their education or brush up on their HR skills.

Are you interested in furthering your education to get ahead in your career? Join our mailing list for more information about these and other continuing education courses offered by CCSU.

The Value of Lifelong Learning

Albert Einstein once said, “Intellectual growth should commence at birth and cease only at death”, but it doesn’t take a genius to understand that lifelong learning is one of the most enriching gifts you can give to yourself. Adult education classes provide the opportunity for you to create success for yourself both professionally and personally.

Have you been considering going back to school to enhance your job performance? Or have you been thinking about trying out that class that you always told yourself you couldn’t do? Take a moment and learn more about all of the rewards from adult education classes and continuing on a path of lifelong learning.

Even the best and brightest know the importance of lifelong learning.

Lifelong Learning = Substantial Success

There are countless benefits from lifelong learning through adult education classes. Research has shown that people who participate in lifelong learning are more productive, more open-minded, healthier, happier and more well-off and successful.

This is due to the connection between knowledge and success. The knowledge you gain transcends academics. You are gaining skills and information to improve upon your entire life, both professionally and personally. Lifelong education can genuinely be considered a gift that keeps on giving.

Professional Importance: Extremely Educated Employee

In this modern world that seemingly moves at a million miles per hour, it is imperative to constantly be evolving and growing your knowledge base. When it comes to your career, there is only so much of this to be gained from on-the-job training and experience. Seeking out adult education classes to boost knowledge relating to your career field is an invaluable tool for investing in your intellectual value as an employee.

A healthy hunger for knowledge is contagious. Who knows, your success with lifelong learning could inspire a coworker to pursue adult education classes as well!

Personal Importance: Evolving Through Education

Sometimes thinking about lifelong learning takes our mind down the path of education and career rather than the personal realm. Although not as obvious a connection, there is immense personal importance from adult education classes — perhaps even more than the professional aspects.

There is no limit to what you can learn and further your knowledge about. Pursuing adult education classes for personal benefit allow you to learn more about that subject you either told yourself you couldn’t learn or you never had time to pursue. You gain the personal growth from the accomplishment of completing the adult education class, plus the knowledge presented to you from the class.

Always wanted to try an art course? Go for it!

Lifelong learning allows you to open your mind and keep challenging yourself. The world is not a boring place and there is always more for us to learn and improve upon. Adult education classes even allow us to build on natural abilities that we already possess.

There truly is no limit to what one can get from lifelong learning. Start planning your next steps and view open courses today!