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How Companies Can Make Seasonal Onboarding Easier

According to a report by Calculated Risk, the seasonal hiring boom begins in October and is strong through November. As such, now is the time when retail companies strengthen their forces to handle the increase in customer shopping. In fact, retail groups brought on about 600,000 employees collectively in 2013. If this year is anything like holidays past, hiring managers will have a lot of work to tackle as bells begin to jingle. For instance, those 600,000 people all need to be trained.
 
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Though teaching an army to stock shelves, memorize aisles and greet customers with a smile may seem like a daunting task (most managers only have to train a handful of people at a time), it’s certainly doable. Here are some tips companies can use to train effective and efficient employees as the holiday rush kicks in:
 
Streamline Training
 
When a company hires someone permanently, they want that person to gain a deep familiarity with the job. However, a seasonal worker, while important to company success, won’t be around very long. For that reason, companies can scale back their training to include only the essentials. For instance, a person working the register doesn’t need to know the five perfumes the company sells and their variations. Retailers should isolate which items are most crucial to job success and focus on training new hires on that material. This will reduce the time it takes to onboard each person.
 
Cover the Bases
 
While zeroing in on important information can save time, companies should not skimp on the basics. Employees must learn technical skills (information they need for their specific job) and company culture (the values and policies the retailer has). Many companies follow similar cultural guidelines. For instance, employees at every retailer will be trained in ethics. For those topics, employers can look to off-the-shelf video training content. These videos are thorough but quick overviews of policies most companies follow. Showing the footage to employees gives them the concise introduction they need for a low cost. When it comes to practices that are unique to the company, retailers can customize their video content.
 
The season for hiring holiday workers is here, and companies can ready themselves by restructuring their onboarding process. If you’re anticipating taking on a large new staff and need quality, low-cost training assistance, contact our knowledgeable sales department that can teach you all about ej4′s eLearning courseware.

A Decade of Performance Improvement: ej4 Turns 10!

This month, ej4 proudly celebrates 10 years of continued growth and innovation! Ten years providing companies with the best possible eLearning and performance improvement tools. Ten years of leading the industry in content creation while creating a new and exciting learning platform, Thinkzoom.
 
10 years logo
 
Beginning with an idea to help companies replace ineffective and costly leader-led training with short, tactical, video-based learning, we were one of the first companies to stream training courses for businesses. We began the video streaming revolution by building a platform to watch and track eLearning videos at a time before YouTube even existed. The use of streaming video combined with an Instructional Design Methodology that’s still the basis of our course development philosophy today has helped make us a pioneer in the eLearning industry.
 
Our founder, Paul Russell, is extremely proud of how his company has evolved. The company that started in a house basement as a way to help Pepsi Distributor’s train their salespeople is now the premier video-based eLearning provider used by companies all over the world. We have created thousands of custom videos for clients, while also building a vast off-the-shelf library, which includes over 2,000 titles covering topics from Workplace Compliance, Safety, Leadership, Communication and Sales.
 
We continue to grow and remain profitable since our third month in business despite economic downturn. Satisfied customers from the Fortune 500 to small businesses utilize ej4’s off-the-shelf and custom content services. In fact, one sporting goods retailer had its margins increase over $17,000,000 in sock sales by using ej4 to train their retail staff. Companies such as Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Pepsi, Goodwill, TigerDirect, Rio Tinto, Bimbo Bakeries USA, Merck, Pfizer, Syngenta and countless others have, and still rely on ej4’s services to increase performance.
 
And as we grow, we still remain grounded in our communities. We’re a proud member of the Mid-America GLCC, SmartConnectKC, St. Louis Entrepreneurs’ Organization, and continue to work with other local Chambers of Commerce to help local business members grow.
 
Our CEO, Ryan Eudy, on ej4’s 10 years: “I am proud of the company that we’ve become. We wouldn’t have made it this far without the amazing employees and the support of our clients; some of which have been with us from Day 1.”
 
Last year, we introduced our new learning platform, Thinkzoom. A platform upgrade went live last week. With Thinkzoom 2.0, we turned our innovative training platform into an even more accessible and engaging solution for employees to learn and administrators to manage.
 
As a big thank you, and to celebrate our 10-year anniversary, we’re offering 10% off any of their off-the-shelf eLearning content, now until November 30th, 2014. This exclusive promotion is good for any off-the-shelf content bundle. To learn more about this offer, please contact sales@ej4.com.
 
Again, ej4 wants to give a big thank you to all of our customers from Day 1 up till now. Without them, ej4 would not be where we are today without the trust they’ve put into us to deliver impactful performance improvement solutions. We look forward to our continued partnerships as we blow the candles off this important milestone.

Thinkzoom 2.0 is Now Live!

We’re so excited to announce that Thinkzoom 2.0 is now live and ready for you all to explore!
 
To reiterate, Thinkzoom 2.0 is a redesign integrating your feedback with user experience experts to make Thinkzoom the best learning platform.
 
We have a new “Introduction to Thinkzoom” video, a new “Thinkzoom for First-Time Users” video walking new users through the basics, an updated “Thinkzoom, powered by ej4” video and will have many other marketing videos on the way. Be sure to check back to our blog later this week as we’ll have other Thinkzoom 2.0 blog posts, where we’ll share some videos that walk you through how to build custom content, personalize ej4 content, and more!
 
In the meantime, here’s a recap of Thinkzoom 2.0’s highlights.
 
Groups
 
Groups are front and center on the main dashboard to allow quicker access. You’ll also notice each Learning Group has a green ‘Progress’ bar to help you see where you stand with the completion of a learning group. You’ll also see the due date, including notifications of an assignment that is past due, so you can catch up.
 
TZ 2.0 groups
 
Course Tiles
 
Like groups each course is now contained in its own tile. Each tile has an image of the course, brief description, and displays the length of the course.
 
course catalog
 
Left Navigation
 
We have changed the location of commonly used features to be on the left side of the page. Here you’ll have access to adding content, the course catalog, messaging, and the administrative functions, if applicable.
 
left navigation
 
Right Navigation
 
On the right we have added the Latest Activity (for administrators), Favorites, Recommendations, and Featured Topics (formerly tags), and Topic Search.
 
Right navigation
 
Managing Curriculum
 
Making changes to your curriculum is even easier. When you’re on a Group page, just click the orange ‘Add Courses’ icon below…
 
Groups Page
 
…and this pop up window appears.
 
Managing Curriculum icon
 
To remove a course, you just click the blue ‘X’. To add a course, just type it in the Search field at the very top, directly under the “Add courses to group” title. And there’s no need to worry about forgetting to save or update changes… all edits now save in real time.
 
Universal Search
 
Our brand new search bar quickly loads keywords based off of your search, and puts the results into three distinct categories: Groups, Courses, and Topics. This way you’ll be able to easily decipher the content and start training quickly.
 
universal search
 
Reporting
 
The Reports page will give you a campus snapshot on one screen with Campus Views, Top Courses, Topics, and Users. If you need to go even further we’ll walk you through a custom report.
 
reports with search pic
 
Support Tab is now ‘Help’
 
The Support tab has been removed from the side navigation and has been replaced with a ‘Help’ button in the header of your dashboard. Check out our new help videos by clicking on the icon.
 
Help button
 
Updated Social Tools
 
We’ve put all three of our sharing options into one button, a blue ‘Share’ button just below the video. Also, if you want to ‘Favorite’ a course, just push the yellow star icon next to the ‘Share’ button.
 
Course page
 
We can’t thank our customers and prospects enough for the feedback! We’re so proud of the results of Thinkzoom 2.0 and know you’ll love what you see. If you have any questions about the new features don’t hesitate to reach out to us.
 
Now enough from us, get started training with the new Thinkzoom now with a free 15-day trial!
 
Happy viewing!

Sign Up for Our Thinkzoom 2.0 Demo This Week!

Want to get a better view of Thinkzoom 2.0 before it launches this Sunday, October 19th at 9PM CDT? You’re in luck because we’re hosting two quick demo sessions of Thinkzoom 2.0 this week!
 
Choose from one of the two sessions below to reserve your seat.
 
Wednesday October 15th, 2014 @ 11:00AM CDT
 
https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/7597035271860511746
 
or
 
Thursday, October 16th, 2014 @ 2:00PM CDT
 
https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/256049131990815490
 
We can’t wait to show off Thinkzoom 2.0 and would love for you to be there! And if you haven’t seen the video preview from yesterday, check it out below.
 

Coming Soon: Thinkzoom 2.0!

Thank you to all of our customers and prospects who gave feedback as we launched our new platform, Thinkzoom, last year. Now get ready because we’ve incorporated your feedback into Thinkzoom 2.0, launching later this month!
 
First and foremost: Nothing major was removed. This is a redesign integrating your feedback with user experience experts to make Thinkzoom the best learning platform.
 
We are busy creating new How-to videos to help, but in the meantime, watch this video to see the highlights, or read about each one below:
 
Groups
 
Groups are front and center on the main dashboard to allow quicker access. You’ll also notice each Learning Group has a green ‘Progress’ bar to help you see where you stand with the completion of a learning group. You’ll also see the due date, including notifications of an assignment that is past due, so you can catch up.
 
Groups Dashboard
 
Course Tiles
 
Like Groups, each course is now contained in its own tile. Each tile has an image of the course, a brief description, and displays the length of the course.
 
course catalog
 
Left Navigation
 
We have changed the location of commonly used features to be on the left side of the page. Here you’ll have access to adding content, the course catalog, messaging, and the administrative functions, if applicable.
 
left navigation
 
Right Navigation
 
On the right we have added the Latest Activity (for administrators), Favorites, Recommendations, and Featured Topics (formerly Tags), and Topic Search.
 
Right navigation
 
Managing Curriculum
 
Making changes to your curriculum is even easier. When you’re on a Group page, just click the orange ‘Add Courses’ icon below…
 
Groups Page
 
…and this pop-up window appears.
 
Managing Curriculum icon
 
To remove a course, you just click the blue ‘X.’ To add a course, just type it in the Search field at the very top, directly under the ‘Add courses to group’ title.  And there’s no need to worry about forgetting to save or update changes… all edits now save in real time.
 
Reporting
 
The Reports page will now show everything on one screen: Campus Views, Top Courses, Top Topics, Top Users, Raw Data, My Reports.
 
reports with search pic
 
Support Tab is now ‘Help’
 
The Support tab has been removed from the side navigation and has been replaced with a ‘Help’ button in the header of your dashboard. Check out our new help videos by clicking on the icon.
 
Help button
 
Updated Social Tools
 
We’ve put all three of our sharing options into one button, a blue ‘Share’ button just below the video. Also, if you want to ‘Favorite’ a course, just push the yellow star icon next to the ‘Share’ button.
 
Course page
 
Final Thoughts
 
We’ll have plenty more to share as we draw closer to the release date! In the meantime, if you have questions about these updates please feel free to reach out to us.