Checklist can tell if employee training really works

Source: Amy McCaig- Rice University, Futurity, November 21, 2018

Businesses, nonprofits, and other organizations spend big money on employee training each year, but how can they tell the preparation is actually working? The checklist, which researchers describe in a paper in the International Journal of Training and Development, provides practical guidance for all stages of implementing training programs.

The authors developed the checklist by surveying scientific research on learning and organizational training, then figuring out the best ways to achieve “training transfer”—the translation of knowledge to skills for better performance…..

Related:
A checklist for facilitating training transfer in organizations
Source: Ashley M Hughes, Stephanie Zajac, Jacqueline M Spencer, Eduardo Salas, International Journal of Training and Development, Early View, First published: 12 November 2018
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From the abstract:
Organizations leverage training as a means of improving the knowledge, skills, and attitudes of trainees; but, effective training requires that this learning is transferred from the training environment to the actual performance of the work (that is, training transfer). Unfortunately, despite billions of dollars invested in learning each year, the ‘transfer problem’ represents a persistent challenge for organizations who wish to reap the benefits of training in that trained skills are often not used on‐the‐job post‐training. In order to address this issue, we have surveyed the existing research, identified practical considerations for maximizing training transfer, and organized them in the form of a checklist for those who design and deliver training. The checklist provides evidence‐based, actionable guidance for practitioners before, during, and after training program implementation to increase utilization of trained knowledge and skills on the job.

Why the Midterm Results Should Concern You Regardless of Which Party You Support – The House of Representatives is not representative

Source: Michael Li, Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, blog, November 16, 2018

As the partisans clear the rubble, the results of the 2018 midterm elections should deeply disturb all Americans who care about representative democracy no matter their politics.

That’s because despite the Democrats’ approximately seven-point win of the percentage of votes cast, Democrats look likely to win only 37 seats. This is a mockery of the notion held by John Adams and the founding fathers that Congress should be an “exact portrait, a miniature” of the people as a whole.

Contrast that to the Tea Party wave of 2010, when a seven-point win by Republicans gave them 63 seats. Democrats may have the satisfaction of a majority, but it is by modern standards a razor-thin one. It’s also a majority that may be hard to hold in 2020 if the highly unusual wave dynamics of 2018 don’t repeat themselves.

This unrepresentative outcome has to do in large part with aggressive gerrymandering in a handful of key states like North Carolina, Ohio and Michigan. In North Carolina, Democrats won half the congressional vote but less than a quarter of seats. In fact, not a single congressional seat in North Carolina changed parties in 2016 and 2018. The results are equally stark for Ohio, where the two major parties regularly split the vote nearly 50-50, but Republicans have maintained a lopsided 12 to 4 advantage in the Ohio congressional delegation since 2012.

Never have maps been more gerrymandered. But also never have there been so many massive wave elections to test the strength of gerrymanders. So far in the four elections of the decade, gerrymanders are undefeated, producing with rare exception, exactly the results they were designed to do…..

Welcome to the App-Based Resistance … Used by Both Sides

Source: Molly Fosco, Ozy, November 20, 2018

….Hustle is just one of a number of startups — on both sides of the aisle — that have emerged in recent years and are leveraging technology beyond traditional social media platforms in grassroots and political organizing. As national political debate gets increasingly heated, they’re witnessing growing traction, with unprecedented usage in the just-concluded midterms. For liberals, they’re tools to resist the Trump presidency. For conservatives, they’re weapons to fight back against those progressive efforts.

Ragtag, founded in 2016, connects people who have technical skills to left-of-center campaigns and organizations that need them. The Action Network, started in 2012, is using an advanced digital toolkit to mobilize more volunteers in the progressive movement than ever before. OpnSesame and RumbleUp, both founded last year, are texting platforms similar to Hustle but are focused exclusively on conservative campaigns and causes. And i360, which started in 2009, is a Koch brothers–backed technology used by several conservative organizers that connects voter information with data from credit bureaus and previous voting records…..

Stability in Overall Pension Plan Funding Masks a Growing Divide

Source: Jean-Pierre Aubry, Caroline V. Crawford and Kevin Wandrei, Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, SLP#62, October 2018

The brief’s key findings are:
– Under traditional accounting rules, the aggregate funded ratio for state and local pension plans in 2017 was 72 percent, largely unchanged from recent years.
– This overall stability, however, masks a growing gap among plans: the average funded ratio was 90 percent for the top third but just 55 percent for the bottom third.
– The plans in the bottom third are in worse shape because, on average, they receive lower long-term investment returns and pay less of their required contributions.
– In addition, all plans face the possibility of a market downturn, which could set back funding for several years.

How Much Income Do Retirees Actually Have?

Source: Anqi Chen, Alicia H. Munnell and Geoffrey T. Sanzenbacher, Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, IB#18-20, November 2018

The brief’s key findings are:
– Recent research has re-documented that the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey (CPS) understates retirement income.
– Some have wondered if this problem also applies to other surveys and calls into question decades of research that suggest many are ill-prepared for retirement.
– To answer this question, the analysis compared estimates from five commonly used national surveys to administrative data from the IRS and Social Security.
– This comparison shows that:
– the CPS continues to substantially understate retirement income, but
– the other four surveys – the SCF, HRS, SIPP, and PSID – track closely with administrative data, and
– estimates of retirement preparedness using a reliable survey find that roughly half of older households may fall short in retirement.

Related:
Working Paper

Why the 2018 Midterms Matter for the U.S. Economy

Source: Bernard Yaros, Regional Financial Review, Vol. 29 no. 2, October 2018
(subscription required)

Though midterms do not have much of an economic impact via policy uncertainty, they can still affect the economy by altering the course of federal fiscal policy. This is exactly what we expect to happen after the 2018 midterms. This article discusses how tax legislation, annual appropriations, and other areas of fiscal policy could change depending on the composition of the next Congress.

Why Are Unemployment Insurance Claims So Low?

Source: Dante DeAntonio, Regional Financial Review, Vol. 29 no. 2, October 2018
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Initial claims for unemployment insurance continue to fall at an impressive rate, and the level of claims is low by any historical comparison. While the timeliness and frequency of UI data make it useful as an early labor market signal, it is important to understand the factors that impact the data. In this paper we show that recent changes in state UI laws have worked to depress new UI filings during the current expansion by as many as 100,000 claims per month.

The Economics of Puerto Rico’s Post-Maria Recovery

Source: Bernard Yaros, Regional Financial Review, Vol. 29 no. 1, September 2018
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A year has passed since Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico. In many respects, the economy is still reeling in its wake. This article looks back at the economic loss during and after the storm and also considers the road ahead for the island’s economic recovery under different policy scenarios.

U.S. Metro Area Cost of Living Index: Update Through 2016

Source: Suzanne Schatz, Regional Financial Review, Vol. 29 no. 1, September 2018
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Living costs give insight into the quality of life, potential migration patterns, and the economic potential of metro areas. This article examines the most recent annual update of the Cost of Living Index to better contextualize recent cost of living trends and their implications for the outlook for U.S. metro areas.