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Advantages of Using Augmented Reality in Business

Technology is changing the world rapidly. Organizations can use these changes to advance their goals more effectively, to promote and grow their business, to educate their employees in a more efficient manner, and to attract more clients. One of the latest technologies P2L has adopted as a new and exciting way of learning is Augmented Reality (AR).

 

What is Augmented Reality?

 

Investopedia defines Augmented reality (AR) as  an enhanced version of the real physical world that is achieved through the use of digital visual elements, sound, or other sensory stimuli and delivered via technology. Unlike virtual reality, which creates its own cyber environment, augmented reality adds to the existing world as it is.

 

If you’re wondering if your business could benefit from Augmented Reality, here are some reasons why most businesses should invest in Augmented Reality.

Advantages of using Augmented Reality

  • It creates a unique experience

Whether you’re using Augmented Reality for the first time or it is your 100th time trying it, it can always create a unique experience for users. It’s so easy to see and experience your surroundings in a new way without actually having to change them. 

 

  • It’s efficient for onboarding new employees

Using Augmented Reality makes it easier and more efficient to train employees. Training modules can be recorded while the employees follow along and practice tasks with minimal risk to workplace operations.

 

  • It saves you money

Companies spend a lot of time and money to see the final product only to end up with something they don’t actually like. With Augmented Reality, companies can create a digital sample to see what features will look like next to objects in the real world.

 

  • It boosts user engagement

Since the beginning of 2020 businesses have shifted to using AR to advertise and attract customers. Scannable product labels, interactive ads, store signage — these are some ways how AR can be used to boost user engagement.

 

  • It’s an effective marketing strategy

Augmented Reality allows customers to try and see how a product works before buying them. Customers will more likely come back and give the product a try because of their experience. This also attracts repetitive engagement since it’s fun and interactive.

 

Augmented Reality will continue to develop and expand in different business industries. It will be interesting to see its growth in the next ten years. Businesses should incorporate Augmented Reality as early as now to stay ahead of the competition. Contact P2L today if you want to learn more about Augmented Reality and how you can use it to grow your business. 

 

Manage Professional Growth

Indeed defines professional growth as gaining new experiences and skills to positively impact your current position and any role you are likely to pursue in your career. By expanding your skills and thinking ahead, you are preparing yourself to handle more responsibilities. Regardless of your position, there is always more to learn.

 

Here are some tips to advance your professional growth

 

  • Master your industry

Some work industries require a more in-depth knowledge and skills than other industries. By mastering those information and skills, you will be able to better communicate the issues your industry is facing.

 

Take time each week to read news and articles written about your field of work to ensure you are continuously growing. You can also join professional groups that target other professionals in your industry and attend lectures or seminars with them. Lastly, look for opportunities to apply the things you learned in your workplace.

 

  • Further your education

Whether your goal is to advance in your career at your current organization, transition to a new role elsewhere, or work in a brand new industry, furthering your education is one strategy that can help you get there. Continuing your education shows employers that you are a lifelong learner who values self-improvement and that you can always keep up with the changing demands in the industry.

 

  • Take performance review seriously

Performance reviews are an excellent way for employers to show employees where they are meeting expectations and where they may be falling short. For employees, they are also an incredibly effective way of making it known that you have goals for professional development. By letting your employer know about your goals you can work together to identify a plan of action that will allow you to get where you want to be.

 

  • Track your progress

Keeping track of your performance will ensure that you remain committed to your plan and allow you to improve your efforts if your progress begins to slow. It is also important to avoid self-doubt and frustration.

 

Doing the same thing day after day will not only stop you from learning and growing, but you might also begin to regress. To reverse this process, you have to challenge yourself and expose yourself to potentially uncomfortable or new situations that allow growth to take place. P2L’s Managing Professional Growth course equips leaders with a proven employee-manager conversation structure focused on increased engagement, development, and mutual success.

Coaching Conversations

Be An Adept Executive With Executive Coaching - A woman with ponytail is shaking hands with a man who is wearing a tie across a desk.

 

Coaching conversations help employees learn to take ownership of their challenges and be responsible for their own actions. Instead of directly answering them, ask them questions and allow them to come to their own conclusion when deciding.

Great Coaching Conversations: The 5 Cs.

According to Transformational Leadership, these 5 Cs sum up a great coaching conversation:

  • Clarity: Be clear in what needs to be communicated. Think of the specific changes that your employee will benefit from in the future?
  • Compassion:  Instill the mindset that feedback is a gift. Let them know that you’re on their team and working toward the goal of helping them reach their potential. Then, ask the employee what support they need to follow through on the coaching given.
  • Curiosity: Approach from a place of curiosity rather than judgment. Ask what could they have done better.
  • Confirmation: Acknowledge the emotion. Restate your understanding of what the employee said.
  • Commitment: Ask them the most important takeaways for them from this conversation, the new behaviors that they will practice, and determine follow-up actions

 

Here are the things you’ll learn after taking this course :

 

As a result of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Prioritize coaching as part of a leadership strategy
  • Identify and leverage the elements of the EC2 prompt: Explore, Collaborate, Commit
  • Explore the levels of listening and utilize mind-opening questions
  • Practice applying EC2 techniques through a coaching conversation

Coaching conversation is not about teaching, but learning and making your employees aware of their potential. Sincerely allotting time to coach can encourage employees, thus leading to new ways of thinking, innovative solutions, and valuable learning.

 

For more information about this course, please check this page from P2L.

 

Career Conversations

Climb Up The Ladder By Acing Career Conversations

 

Career conversations are exactly what they sound like—a conversation with someone about their career and their future. It is common for businesses and organizations to avoid or ignore career conversations due to a number of reasons. But career conversations are important to have with your employees since they’ll feel more secure with their job and they’ll have more certainty about their future goals.

 

How to prepare for a career conversation 

Here are some tips from SHRM on how leaders can prepare for a career conversation :

 

Prepare and anticipate the tough questions. There will always be some tough questions employees throw out. If managers don’t have immediate answers, postpone answering and suggest revisiting those issues later or try brainstorming answers with the employee. Commonly asked questions are :

  • Will my job be here tomorrow or in six months?”
  • What options do I have to be secure at work?”
  • How can I possibly achieve my career goals in this economy?”
  • What can I do to recover from mistakes I’ve made and repair my reputation?”
  • How can I talk about my accomplishments without sounding arrogant?”
  • How do I learn about other options in the organization without turning off my manager?”
  • How do I stay current with all the changes in this business? Who do I need to know? What do I need to do?”

Managers should place themselves in the shoes of their employees and anticipate their concerns. It’s more important to anticipate the questions than have all the answers. 

Follow a process to determine objectives. Here are five critical keys to opening an effective career conversation with an employee: Appreciate, Assess, Anticipate, Align and Accelerate.

 

  • Appreciate Uniqueness. Help employees recognize their unique talents, skills, abilities, personality traits, passion and accomplishments to make career choices that fit.
  • Assess Capabilities. Help employees discover their capabilities, build reputation and assess individual and team performance in order to build strong networks in their industry, organization, profession, job and personal life.
  • Anticipate. Help employees consider and anticipate trends in their industry, organization and profession, and how the trends will affect choices.
  • Align Aspirations. Help ensure that individuals see how their aspirations, talent, goals and passion are in “sync” with the mission, goals and strategies of the organization.
  • Accelerate Learning. Connect individuals to mentors, projects, and learning opportunities to help achieve their goals and support long-term organization strategies.

 

Ask Questions—Get Personal and Real. The best way to get to know an employee (and to help one understand himself or herself better) is to ask powerful questions.

Appropriate questions will prompt thinking and self-reflection. When a manager asks the right questions, employees realize that their manager is prepared. They know that their manager cares, which establishes confidence and trust.

Managers can’t give advice to employees on options if they don’t know the individual’s interests, skills, passion and aspirations. Together, they should thoroughly explore the questions “How am I unique?” and “How is the world of work changing?” Employees’ career choices must be related to the changes that can be predicted in their industry, profession and organization.

 

Plan How to Start a Conversation. If a conversation is started thoughtfully and with an objective in mind, managers will be amazed at the conversational journey they’ll have. Examples of starting questions:

  • What are my capabilities? What are the critical skills in the employees’ job, and how would they rate themselves? Choose three people who can rate their work; what feedback would they expect from them? What are some ways to get feedback about their reputation at work?
  • How can I accelerate my learning? How do they learn the best? What would they like to do to increase their skills? What is the perfect learning job? What training or learning program interests them? Who would they like as a mentor, and how can you, as their manager, help them get that support?

 

Tell the Truth—Engage Employees as Partners. If you don’t know the answer to a question, tell the employee the truth. Don’t pretend to know. Don’t make up stuff. Don’t make promises that can’t be kept. Turn a lack of knowledge into a joint exploration and shared experience. Talk about working together to get an answer. Have a discussion in which the two of you can figure out how best to answer difficult questions. Use these discussions to appreciate and honor your career.

 

 

Genuine and meaningful career development is made possible through effective, ongoing career conversations. When designed correctly, career conversations should promote insight and awareness into oneself and allow the exploration of future possibilities and opportunities. 

 

P2L’s Career Conversations course can help guide you in having a conversation with your employees. Contact P2L today.

 

Employee Survey

 

Employee Surveys are one of the most valuable yet underutilized market research methodologies available. They provide you with quantitative information and actionable clarity about how your organization is performing at every position.

Types of Employee Surveys:

 

  • Employee Engagement Survey: this measures how valued employees feel by your company and leadership. This is important if you want to reduce employee turnover.
  • Organizational Effectiveness Survey : this helps organizations improve their long-term effectiveness by gathering feedback from employees. 
  • 360 and Leadership Identification and Development : this survey provides extensive data on how well an employee is performing. 360 surveys can also help assess professionals in leadership roles. The goal of 360 leadership assessment is to provide leaders with insights into their performance, potential, and areas of improvement.
  • Onboarding Survey : this survey is given to newly hired employees. The employee evaluates their overall experience with the recruiting and onboarding process
  • Exit Interview Survey : this survey is used when an employee leaves your company. The results can be used to improve your company and the specific job responsibilities for the role that is being vacated.

Why conduct an Employee Survey?

  • Gives employees a voice. It is an opportunity to establish two-way communication and involve employees in the development process. Being actively involved and included in the planning process makes employees feel that their opinions are valued.
  • Measures employee engagement and satisfaction. Measuring employee engagement is important to understand whether your team is happy and satisfied with areas such as company culture, benefits, morale, and so on.
  • Understand which areas need improvement. After gathering data about employees’ satisfaction, you can now identify which areas need more improvement in your organization. 
  • Driver for change. With any market research project, it is important to use the results to establish some changes in the organization. Because the surveys are anonymous, employees can freely share their thoughts. Employee surveys are an excellent first step to change the culture in an organization.
  • Results can be used for marketing and recruitment. You can use the positive feedback to promote your business especially when hiring new employees. Job seekers will be more encouraged and motivated to apply when they know what they can expect from your business.

 

Continually surveying employees can give you a clear picture of where your company is and where you want to be. Leaders can create a plan of action to resolve any issues, as well as continue implementing whatever strategies are working well. 

Contact P2L today and we will help you conduct an employee survey for your company.

Why is Performance Management Important?

Why is Performance Management Important

 

What is Performance Management?

According to Spice Works, Performance Management is the process of continuous feedback and communication between managers and their employees to ensure the achievement of the strategic objectives of the organization. 

 

The definition of performance management has evolved since it first appeared as a concept. What was once an annual process is now transitioning to continuous performance management. The goal is to ensure that employees are performing efficiently throughout the year, and in the process, address any issues that may arise along the way that affect employee performance. 

 

Performance management helps managers and employees see eye-to-eye about expectations, goals, and career progress. It can also help managers to adjust the workflow and recommend actions that will help employees achieve their objectives.

 

Why is Performance Management important?

 

  • It creates measurable performance-based expectations
  • It develops specific job performance outcomes
  • It aligns employee’s goals with the company’s missions and goals
  • It facilitates constant communication between managers and employees
  • It helps employees feel valued at their job

 

Partnering for Performance Course

 

Managers often view performance management as being primarily the end-of-year performance review. In truth, performance management is an ongoing, year-round function. The annual review is merely the culmination of the performance conversations that have taken place throughout the year. In this course, managers learn how to:

 

  • Collaboratively develop performance goals
  • Provide feedback and coaching toward those goals
  • Review performance results

 

What will you learn :

 

  • Use a three-phase process to effectively manage performance
  • Assess employee strengths and development opportunities
  • Apply the SMART goal-setting formula
  • Help employees prepare for the goal-setting discussions
  • Apply follow-up techniques to ensure commitments, goals, and standards are being met
  • Apply a structured approach to conducting the performance review
  • Use language that focuses on development vs. criticism
  • Establish a safe climate for collaborative performance discussions
  • Apply collaborative techniques to create a two-way dialogue
  • Handle difficult performance discussions

 

Because performance management establishes concrete rules, everyone has a clearer understanding of the expectations. When expectations are clear, the workplace is less stressful and employees are more productive.

 

Contact P2L today!

5 Reasons to Play Elite Commander.

P2l’s brand new game elite commander is a soft skills workshop aimed at building practical real-life skillsets. This article will delve into 5 reasons YOU should play elite commander.

 

Don’t worry; we’ve got plenty of reasons. 

  1. Value.

While the gaming world offers inherent value in streaming, e-sports, and VR therapy, Elite Commander offers that same value in translatable skills. 

 

This game will teach leadership, conflict management, and problem-solving skills. All developed by the trusted course leaders P2L is known for. 

 

  1. Immersive Landscape.

Elite Commander takes place on a raging battlefield. You’ll be assigned the duty of protecting and leading your team to victory through your choices. 

 

Like the most popular games of the modern age, Elite Commander allows you to submerge yourself in its atmosphere. Therefore creating a unique, valuable experience.

 

  1. Unlockables.

Just like all popular games of the modern era: Elite Commander has a rewards system.

 

These rewards range from stylish cosmetics for your characters to checkered medallions as bragging rights. (Pre-Orders get a unique medal.)

 

Whether you’re playing Elite Commander in the classroom, workplace, or with your friends: these collectables will keep incentive fresh among your crowd.

 

  1. High-End Gameplay.

Developed on Unity by P2L’s experienced programming team, Elite Commander runs like butter. Before release, every frame, bug, and exploit has been carefully smoothed over. They are leaving no room for error or wrongful usage of the product. 

 

As far as 3D game engines go, Unity is among the best. 

 

  1. It’s Enjoyable.

So often will you find games with so much promise and sloppy execution. Elite Commander breaks that trend with a unique and enjoyable experience. 

 

We learn best when having fun, and take it from us; this game is FUN. You’ll be surrounded by three quirky characters, each with distinct personalities and learning styles. Learning to adjust your leadership style to match each member is rewarding enough, and that’s when we leave out the action-packed gameplay. 

Overall, Elite Commander is a fruitful experience for the classroom, workplace, and just casual learning.

 

(If you’d like to pre-book a free copy or arrange a custom version of the game for your school board or business. Contact us here.)

Stress Management

Boost Your Mental Health With Stress Management - a lady is covering her face with her hands while in front of her laptop

 

Stress is something we’ve all experienced. Believe it or not, some stress can be good for you. Good stress or eustress motivates you and it helps you grow outside your comfort zone. An example of good stress is when you get promoted at work. It can be overwhelming and daunting at first, but you will learn a lot with your new role and develop new skills. Another example of good stress is when you’re moving to a new house. All the packing, moving, and decorating can be quite stressful, but in the end, all your hard work will be worth it. 

 

The other kind of stress, distress, makes you unproductive and lose motivation to do anything. If you let this kind of stress consume you, it will not only affect you mentally, but also physically and emotionally.

 

Here are some ways on how to better manage stress :

 

  • Identify what’s causing your stress

Start by observing and writing down for a week the sources of your stress. Include a short detailed description of each situation. List down where you were when it happened, how it made you feel, and how you reacted to the situation. Some causes of stress can be obvious, such as uncertainty about the future or the threat of losing a job. In some cases, stress can be subtle but recurring. For people working at home, trying to find that balance to separate work from life or even a slow internet connection can cause stress. 

  • Apply the 4 A’s of stress management

Avoid

Avoid unnecessary stress. Learn how to say “no.” Know your limits and set firm boundaries.. Whether in your personal or professional life, taking on more than you can handle will definitely cause you stress.

 

Alter

Alter the situation. Communicate clearly and let people know your expectations. Express your feelings instead of keeping quiet just to keep the peace. Remember to use “I” statements when addressing someone about how you feel. 

State your limitations in advance. For example, you can say, “I only have ten minutes to talk.”

 

Adapt

Changing your standards and expectations of stressful situations can help you cope with stress. Adjust your standards. Perfectionism is a major source of avoidable stress. Stop setting yourself up for failure by demanding perfection. Set reasonable standards for yourself and others. 

Look at the big picture. Ask yourself how important it will be in the long run. Will it matter in a month? A year? Is it really worth getting upset over? If the answer is no, focus your energy elsewhere.

 

Accept

Accept the things you can change.

Many things in life are beyond our control, particularly the behavior of other people. Instead of stressing out over them, focus on the things you can control such as the way you choose to react to problems.

Forgive yourself or others. Let go of anger and resentments. Free yourself from negative energy by forgiving and moving on.

Connect with people. Talk to a trusted friend or make an appointment with a therapist.

 

  • Distraction

You may be thinking “why would I want to distract myself instead of solving my problems?” It’s actually not healthy to focus on your problems all the time. Give yourself a time during the day where you’ll think about solving your problems. Beyond that, allow your mind to rest and do things you love. Exercise, go for a walk, cook, bake, paint, read a book, play with your pet, or meet with your friends.

 

Stress is a normal reaction the body has when changes occur, resulting in physical, emotional and intellectual responses. Learn more on what you can do to manage your stress levels with our stress management course. Contact P2L today!

 

Google Cloud Big Data

architecting with google cloud

Big data is the massive amount of data available to organizations. Because of its volume and complexity it is not easily managed or analyzed by many business intelligence tools. Tools for big data can help with the volume of the data collected, the speed at which that data becomes available to an organization for analysis, and the complexity or varieties of that data.

Google Cloud Big Data and Machine Learning Fundamentals introduce participants to the capabilities of the Google Cloud Platform. Through a combination of presentations, demos, and hands-on labs, participants get an overview of the Google Cloud and a detailed view of the data processing and machine learning capabilities.

Target audience

  • Data analysts, Data scientists, Business analysts getting started with Google Cloud
  • Individuals responsible for designing pipelines and architectures for data processing, creating and maintaining machine learning and statistical models, querying datasets, visualizing query results and creating reports
  • Executives and IT decision makers evaluating Google Cloud for use by data scientists

 

Course Objectives

  • Identify the purpose and value of the key Big Data and Machine Learning products on Google Cloud
  • Use Cloud SQL and Cloud Dataproc to migrate existing MySQL and Hadoop/Pig/Spark/Hive workloads to Google Cloud
  • Employ BigQuery and Cloud Datalab to carry out interactive data analysis

 

Here are some Google Cloud Big Data Services :

 

Google Cloud BigQuery

 

BigQuery lets you store and query datasets holding massive amounts of data. The service uses a table structure, supports SQL, and integrates seamlessly with all GCP services. You can use BigQuery for both batch processing and streaming.

 

Google Cloud Dataflow

 

Dataflow offers serverless batch and stream processing. You can create your own management and analysis pipelines, and Dataflow will automatically manage your resources. The service can integrate with GCP services like BigQuery and third-party solutions like Apache Spark.

 

Google Cloud BigTable

 

Bigtable is a fully-managed NoSQL database service built to provide high performance for big data workloads. Bigtable runs on a low-latency storage stack, supports the open-source HBase API, and is available globally.

 

 

 

P2L offers a course on Google Cloud Big Data and Machine Learning Fundamentals. If you are interested in taking this course, please contact us here.

 

The Rise of Mobile Games

Over the past 20 years, the popularity of console games has skyrocketed. E-sports tournaments, streaming, and celebrity sponsored events have dominated the market; and created new lane ways for this profession to thrive. As we go into the 2020’s, a new branch of gaming is finally receiving its flowers, we present to you:

 

The Rise of Mobile Games. 

 

Early Days.

Who here remembers brickbreaker? This relaxing, arcade style game was surprisingly a big selling point for the blackberry. The allure of picking up your device, an already constant source of stimulation, and playing something mindless is undeniable. 

 

If this concept was walking alongside the blackberry, then it would be running with the release of the Iphone. Apples touch screen smartphone boasted an accessible layout, exclusive features, and best of all; an expansive library of mobile games. Soon games like Subway Surfers, Temple Run, and Angry Birds became household names.

 

These games would form a foundation that has now sprouted in directions no one saw coming. Cell phones were developed as the ultimate communication tool – mobile games as the ultimate time killer. 

 

Modern Mobile Games.

The rise of mobile games wasn’t done here though. As people fought hand and neck for leaderboard spots in single player games; multiplayer games would be rounding the corner. The first hyper-popular multiplayer game was undoubtedly Clash of Clans. This competitive tower defense game had players build and defend a base from other players. It was a simple concept, yet one that was both free and accessible to the general public. To this day, Clash of Clans still has 37 million active players–a testament to mobile games and their pull. 

Clash Royale – Apps on Google Play

Soon, games like Pokemon GO would take the world by storm; utilizing phone features like the camera and GPS to create an immersive experience. Games like Clash Royale now sponsor paid professional leagues and tournaments. Upcoming games like Elite Commander provide the same value a Linkedin Course would on a resume, and mobile games continually evolve past this.

 

In conclusion, the accessibility of mobile games creates a promising horizon for the industry, and a world of opportunity for anyone interested enough in developing them.