A #SHRM19 Interview with Success Works LLC



This #SHRM19 interview is with SuccessWorks, a company that providers employee engagement and development solutions. Below is a quick Q&A with Beverly and Jackie, the founders of the organization.


Who is Successworks!? Tell us everything, just as you would someone approaching your booth and asking you this question at the 2019 SHRM Annual Conference and Exposition (#SHRM19) in Las Vegas.

Let us in on the magic. How are you and Jackie consistently learning to better the Successworks process?

SuccessWorks® is an employee engagement and development solutions partner providing more than 60 years of expertise in developing employees, leaders, teams, trainers, presenters, and organizations. Our claim to fame is the SpeakersTrainingCamp® program which has helped thousands of people all over the world become more confident, influential, and engaging presenters. We continually update our research and programs to ensure our solutions are the best and deliver the quality and results our clients expect.

What are the biggest challenges companies face when developing their employees’ skills? How do they overcome those challenges?

For organizations, it is a complex balancing act between developing and acquiring talent. Developing employees takes money, but it also takes time and resources. Acquiring talent may be a faster way to get talent, however, the need for development only shifts from skill building to onboarding and creating faster engagement. Also, in today’s labor market with low unemployment, many organizations are seeing higher than normal turnover. Competing for talent in this environment can quickly erode the “people” budget since the market demands paying higher premiums to attract and acquire the right talent.  

In an effort to combat the market pressures, many organizations are placing more emphasis on employee retention and often turn to employee development as a solution. Though the learning and development workload is increasing some of our clients are telling us their budgets are relatively flat and do not allow them to add headcount to the learning and development function.  Others, simply do not have a budget or the expertise for internal solutions for employee development needs. Add to all of these challenges the time required to develop employee training and development solutions and keeping up with the demand is next to impossible for organizations who are trying to catch up with the increasing demands. 

To overcome these challenges, employee development should be considered a business investment in the most important resource a company has – its people.   As with any investment, organizations should see a pay back on their investment and now is the time to streamline and purge any learning initiative that does not demonstrate value to the organization.  Leaders must take care to recognize both the perceived value and the real value. If employees perceive a program as a benefit, removing it altogether may do more harm than good – regardless of the real return on investment.  

Now is also the time to ensure your leaders have a deep toolbox in leading their teams and building skills.   Employee development is not just a Human Resources or Learning function problem or responsibility. In fact, the leader plays the most significant role in developing his or her team.   When you have limited budgets to invest, spend the most on your front-line leaders to help them build the skills necessary to develop their teams. An added benefit to developing your front-line leaders is they also have the greatest impact on turnover and retention. 

When expanding the internal learning and development resources is not possible or when the internal resources cannot keep up with the demands, that’s where SuccessWorks® comes in. We partner with our clients to deliver high quality, sustainable solutions for onboarding, leadership and employee development with a proven track record of delivering results.   Our clients have said we are “the best at matching the needs of the people with the appropriate training to meet the needs of the organization.”

What do you wish more HR professionals and recruiters knew about The Speakers Training Camp?

SpeakersTrainingCamp® is the only evidence-based presentations skills program built on over 30 years of research validating what audiences want.  This 2-day program is the best presentation skills training in the world, providing tons of hands on practice and personalized coaching which has immediate improvement and impact.   Our clients say it best:

“I learned more in the first morning of the SpeakersTrainingCamp® than I did in an entire twelve-week course held by a national franchise company. The SpeakersTrainingCamp® is powerful stuff.”
Attorney, Oregon State Bar training

“The most beneficial training investment I have made. The progress of the entire group over the two-day session was tremendously noticeable.”  Susan Petty, Technology Manager, Procter & Gamble

“Whether you are an experienced presenter or just beginning to develop this critical skill, you will benefit from this training. From the SpeakersTrainingCamp® you can expect an intensive hands-on experience with personalized coaching and feedback that will drive your presentations to a higher level of effectiveness. As a professional trainer of 10 plus  years, I highly recommend this training – I wish I’d taken it sooner.” Paul Fender, Trainer, Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories

How important are good presentation and people skills to organizational success?

Effective communication and leadership skills are vital to an organization’s success.  Effective presentation skills is about providing what the audience wants and needs so their time spent will be valuable.  If you think of presentation skills as more than public speaking and instead think about it as presenting important information others need, then presentation skills are among the most important skills an employee can have in their toolbox.   Yet, these are often one of the most overlooked skill-sets when it comes to employee and leadership development.

One of the biggest drains on a company’s resources is the time spent in meetings.  Too often, the purpose of the meeting or the call to action is unclear and employees see the meeting as a waste of time.  When employees are clear on the message and on the expectations of what to do with the information shared, not only do organizations see more engaged employees but also they see bottom line impact much more rapidly.  Further, when leaders present with confidence and clarity, their credibility factor increases, and their teams perform better. For individuals who are emerging in their career, presentation skills can make or break their career trajectory.   Adding presentation skills training to the toolbox individuals and leaders at any level in the organization increases their capacity to add value.

We’ve already talked about the leader’s impact on retention and turnover and the importance of making an investment in leadership development.  What we have not discussed is the importance of people skills for everyone in the organization. No matter the level of the role, every employee’s interaction impacts business results.  

Many organizations are focused on employee engagement and culture these days and are seeking solutions to retain employees. Employee engagement and culture is about people interactions and how employees feel about those interactions. When everyone is in sync and resources are plenty, having a good culture and building engagement is easier; however, when resources are strained, turnover is high, the labor market is tight, and employees are feeling the pressure of keeping up with higher demands, the need to have excellent people skills is intensified.   

When leaders and employees do not have people skills to handle difficult interactions, crucial time and attention is diverted to managing interactions and behavior issues rather than managing the business results.  Things can spiral out of control quickly and the bottom-line can be impacted in a negative way. Organizations that invest in people skills training and effectively engage, motivate, and manage performance stay focused on solving business problems which leads to stronger business performance. 

For anyone who won’t be able to make it to the Successworks booth in Las Vegas, what do you want them to know?

For those unable to make it to the SuccessWorks® booth at SHRM in Las Vegas, we have two scheduled public offerings of SpeakersTrainingCamp® and instructor certifications coming up in the fall. We will be in Seattle, September 24-26, and Washington, DC, October 15-17.

Connect with us on Facebook and LinkedIn or visit our website for updates on our public offerings and events.  To be the first to know about upcoming events and receive a free copy of our “Top Ten Speaking Tips” sign up at www.successworks.com or email us at hello@successworks.com

Call us at 800-473-1969 or email us to discuss your employee development needs or bringing SpeakersTrainingCamp® to your organization.  


Visit SuccessWorks booth #2705 at SHRM19!


The SHRM Blog does not accept solicitation for guest posts.

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