Utilize 4 Steps to Maximize Training ROI

Don't overlook the benefits of instructor-led training Most companies invest in training and development of staff for improved success, regardless of the industry. However, instructor-led training in the workplace costs both time and money, and managers run the risk of wasting valuable resources if they do not see significant returns on their investments in training.

CSO Insights (Chief Sales Officer Insights), a market research firm, conducted a performance optimization study that sought to measure investments in training, focusing on the pitfalls that can interfere with success. The study concluded that there are processes in place at many organizations that can have a negative impact on training ROI.

Random process. When companies use an unorganized approach to conducting business, it can certainly impact the value of training. Rather than adhering to company standards and processes, individuals often end up following their own protocols for completing assignments or marketing products, instead of what they learned in class.

Informal process. Even in businesses that invest in training programs, actual learning retention can hit significant snags following completion of the courses if there is no formal process for monitoring results. Although the skills taught in these classes can be beneficial, lack of monitoring or measurement by managers leaves them unable to ascertain if the learning has been retained and is being used on the job.

Formal process. Some companies do have their own training protocols to reinforce skills for use in real-life scenarios in the workplace. In these organizations, specific managers perform periodic reviews to determine the efficacy of the information learned and then make changes to training based on their analysis. While an improvement on the previous two processes—Random and Informal—it is not necessarily a systemic or dynamic approach.

Dynamic process. Organizations that reap the most benefit from training provide continuous feedback to employees to ensure that useful skills are being applied. They also keep an eye on changes in the marketplace or business and adapt systems as necessary.

Following the teachings of Donald Kirkpatrick ensures that businesses are more likely to get “bang for the buck” from their training expenditures.

Following the 4 Levels of Evaluation

As the former president of the American Society for Training and Development, Kirkpatrick had extensive experience developing standards that optimized training programs. In 1959, he published his first works on effective professional education in Training and Development Journal, called the “Four-Level Training Evaluation Model.” Since its initial release, Kirkpatrick’s four levels have been updated twice, once in 1975 and once in 1994 when he published one of his most well-regarded pieces, “Evaluating Training Programs.” Since then, his works have guided effective training exercises in the corporate environment. Kirkpatrick’s lessons involve four essential levels of evaluation:

  • Level 1: Reaction Determine participants’ thoughts and feelings about the program to capture overall satisfaction with the experience.
  • Level 2: Learning Gauge the increase of knowledge and skills as a result of the course.
  • Level 3: Behavior Measure the retention of information and its application in the work environment.
  • Level 4: Results Assess changes and how beneficial the improvements have been to the organization.

With today’s fast-paced and changing economy, the old guard methods of learning and development have become obsolete. Level 1 feedback forms are helpful but insufficient to conclude that the training has been effective. The real ROI is what happens when employees are back on the job – three months, six months and a year down the line. Learning, behavior and retention must be evaluated at subsequent post training intervals.

Achieving Multi-million Dollar Success

Several years ago, a world-renowned international technology company hired Merit Career Development to improve the skills of its sales force. Merit’s powerful training techniques and tools enabled the employees to close several deals worth millions of dollars within six months of completing the course. The financial impact was significant as they earned substantial profits for the company. The program is now used around world for hundreds of participants per year.

With its fully customizable courses that can be tailor-made to fit any business, Merit ensures that its clients receive the highest possible ROI on all its professional training programs. To learn more, review Merit’s course list or contact Merit today.

2018 Merit Course Catalog is Here!

After 20 years in the training business, you know you can count on Merit Career Development for fresh and relevant content, engaging program activities, and proven-effective delivery methods that best help training “stick.” We assure you that our programs will have immediate application to your workplace, producing an immediate ROI. It’s a modest investment for a smashing return!

New courses in response to marketplace demand include:
  • Project Leadership
  • Communicating using DISC
  • Project Change Management
  • Negotiating and Influencing
  • Problem Solving with Root Cause Analysis
  • Identifying and Managing Risks
  • Preventing Harassment in the Workplace
  • Agile Project Management


  • New and aspiring leaders will benefit from our Handling Employee Performance Problems and Termination, Business Communications and Team Performance (which is also offered for experienced managers.) Visit a complete list of courses or download the catalog here. Our annual training needs survey (again) demonstrated the highest interest in courses that increase proficiency in leadership, strategy and management – even among Project Managers. We have a robust selection of these courses from Fundamentals of Leadership to advanced topics, such as 360-Degree Leadership.

    Our AccreditationsOur project management courses have been updated to align with the 6th edition of the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK®) guide. Every course description in the catalog includes a listing of the number of credits by organization. See inset for example of accreditations per course.

    Need help bringing training to your organization?

    Thousands of studies have been conducted that validate the connection between investing in employee training and development and the increase in loyalty, morale, and retention. Lower turnover reduces costs and prevents unanticipated gaps in performance. Most important, high morale and a loyal staff translates into more satisfied customers and a better bottom line. And after all, aren’t satisfied customers what keeps your organization in the black?!

    Our facilitators are expert at tailoring course(s) to the needs and experience levels of your staff. Find out how, by contacting Jim Wynne, for a no obligation discussion at jwynne@meritcd.com or 610-225-0449.

    FREE Tips

    Check out our LinkedIn Friday Facts. These nuggets are excerpts from our courses that people enjoy sharing with their friends and colleagues. It will be worth your time.

    Workplace Conflict: The Good, the Bad & the Useful, Part 2

    Workplace ConflictPreviously, we wrote about how resolving conflict often has the side benefit of building a cooperative bond — even loyalty — between the factions. As each side gains a deeper understanding of the others’ viewpoints, respect builds and morale improves. Cooperative, low stress interactions, create a fertile environment for productive brainstorming, ultimately boosting the health of your organization.

    Being respectful to others, being open to hearing their perspective, and taking the time to understand their objective are very important, but you’ll need more knowledge in your toolkit to dispel conflict when the conflict gets tough. So, let’s dig deeper today.

    How can you demonstrate that you are being respectful and open and trying to understand the other’s perspective?

    Here are the top 5 proven techniques you can add to your toolkit:

    1. Ask questions about the other person’s recommendations or point of view in a sincere, non-judgmental manner. Drill down to make sure you totally understand all of their objectives, concerns, and potential obstacles that you may both face.
    2. Replay or paraphrase their points back to show your understanding, and ask for confirmation that you “got it.”
    3. Make sure your body language is open and consistent with your words. If they’re not, people instinctively believe your non-verbal message over the spoken word.
    4. Even if you don’t agree, be sure to acknowledge that you hear and understand the other person’s points.
    5. It wouldn’t hurt (and yes, it could really help) to verbalize some of your “opponents” points that you think are good, smart and, or useful. A sincere compliment, or statement of approval and recognition will go a long way towards resolving conflict.

    Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode InstrumentIn Part 3 of this series, we’ll examine the five conflict styles that help people understand their own responses as well as diffuse conflict with others. Specifically, we’ll look at the five conflict styles that Kenneth W. Thomas and Ralph H. Kilmann identified and can be assessed in the Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument (TKI), a globally accepted, widely used diagnostic assessment for resolving conflict.

    Understanding the subtleties of conflict and personality styles goes a long way towards elevating an organization’s harmony and effectiveness. At Merit, we frequently facilitate multiple Conflict Management training sessions for our clients where we adjust the level of detail to group (i.e., customer service reps, new managers, and the senior team.) For more information, please contact Jim Wynne at jwynne@meritcd.com or call 610-225-0449.

    Workplace Conflict: the Good, the Bad & the Useful

    For a good portion of my career, I thrived on being a marketer. From my early days as a market researcher, an account manager, and eventually an agency executive, I loved the strategy and process of creating great concepts with compelling messaging that influenced buyers’ behavior. Managing a creative team, a client team, or corporate team, is sometimes burdened with conflict. Handling conflict was not my favorite part of the job, ever!

    Conflict ManagementI aspired to broaden my career and went back to school for a Masters in Leadership Development about 12 years ago. Through a confluence of introductions, opportunities and also being an adjunct instructor at Drexel University, I joined one of my cohort’s businesses, Merit Career Development. Initially, I began helping them with a new branding initiative, but in an “Ah Ha” moment we realized that I’d likely be a strong trainer for Merit, too. We were right. I have been running corporate trainings for Merit now for five years and I love it! But here’s the surprise: one of my favorite courses to facilitate, is Conflict Management (followed closely by Critical Thinking & Decision-Making.)

    Why do I now enjoy talking about managing conflict? Because it makes sense to me now! And I also realize how much value it provides in driving better ideas and solutions. If we didn’t have conflict, and we all agreed on everything, we would live in a pretty boring, uni-dimensional world. How could we effectively cultivate new ideas or innovation without conflict?! It would be much tougher! The process of resolving conflict is very important, as well. It helps build and strengthen relationships, trust, and influences the development of new solutions to the challenges we face every day.

    How Do We Make Conflict Good and Useful?

    Ultimately, it comes down to three important things:

    1. Being respectful towards the person or people who have a different opinion.
    2. Opening yourself to hearing another perspective (opinion, solution, recommendation, etc.)
    3. Taking the time to truly understand the other opinion

    Learning to listen and take the perspective of the person you are in conflict with, or reframing your perspective, as we discuss in the Critical Thinking course, is extremely helpful. It can be enlightening. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes and give their idea a chance to be a winner to best understand the opportunities that may exist.

    The results of working through conflict can be similar to a great brainstorming session; not all ideas are good or practical, but they often result in a better idea emerging through conversation and compromise. When this happens, the best part is that there is not one winner and one loser; everyone is a winner and feels ownership in the solution.

    Good luck with conflict. Embrace it and become a better person by managing it with respect. You just may like the outcome!

    Look for Part 2 of this series next month where we’ll share proven tips for recognizing different conflict styles and how to most effectively respond to them.

    To learn more about the author, Gail Cooperman, or the workshops she teaches, click here. If you would like to bring any of our trainings to your location, please contact Jim Wynne at jwynne@meritcd.com or call 610-225-0449.

    Why Simulation-Based Instruction is the Best Way to Learn!

    The Benefits of Simulation-Based Instruction
    The Chief Operating Officer (COO) asks the Chief Executive Officer (CEO): “What if we spend time and money training our employees and they leave the company?”

    The CEO responds: “What if we don’t and they stay?”

    Taking time and resources to train your personnel is often looked at as a necessary evil. Training employees takes them away from their day-to-day tasks and the cost will be reflected on the bottom line. Adding to the challenge of supporting training, is the uncertainty of the return-on-investment at both an individual and organizational productivity level.

    As an executive who is considering training your team, the most important question you should ask is not: Should I train my team? but rather: What method of training should I use? Different training methods result in varying levels of content retention. Of course you want to ensure that your organization achieves the greatest value from training, so relevant content as well as deploying the use of experiential learning techniques should both be priorities.

    Learning PyramidAs the image to the left illustrates, participatory learning, especially using simulation for practice, provides the highest level of retention for training, second only to “teaching others.”

    What is simulation-based learning? It is an instructor-guided, interactive learning environment that replicates an actual business, technical, or educational challenge. It permits the learners to practice resolving issues in a relatively worry-free atmosphere. Not only is it authentic and relevant to the learners’ work, but it provides a safe environment to learn; mistakes won’t result in costly repercussions. It’s ideal to spur on innovation, too, because it allows for creative problem solving.

    Simulation-based learning is the most effective technique for developing every professionals’ knowledge, skills, and attitudes, whilst protecting the organization from unnecessary risks. It is useful in resolving practical dilemmas, and provides four real-time benefits.

    1. EXPERIENTIAL & REPETITIVE LEARNING. While in traditional lecture-based training, the desired outcome is merely explained; in simulation learning, individuals achieve an outcome from first-hand experience. Adults, like most people, learn better through experience. In the simulation, individuals have the opportunity for repetitive practice, which helps increases retention.

    2. KNOWLEDGE INTEGRATION. A key facet of any learning is that understanding is increased when it is linked to some already known piece of knowledge. Simulation-based learning, because of its participatory nature, has the added benefit of being able to psychologically link concepts and allow participants to link knowledge areas through their actions.

    3. RISK-FREE LEARNING ENVIRONMENT. Regardless of our attitude, learning research validates that we learn by making mistakes. In fact, they are invaluable to the participant. If executive decision makers can participate in relevant and realistic simulations, they can safely make mistakes, learn from them, and promptly apply their learned knowledge to their real work challenges, avoiding costly mistakes or unintended consequences.

    4. ABILITY TO ADJUST THE LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY. The technology provided in most simulation-based learning tools are designed to allow the difficulty level to increase as the competency of the individuals and teams improve. This provides additional flexibility and continual learning opportunities for a varied level of experienced personnel.

    Simulation-based learning is the most effective learning technique for both your employees and your organization. Your training dollars are better invested with simulation training because of higher learning retention. Further, because your team will practice with relevant and practical scenarios, the potential for catastrophic mistakes is mitigated.

    If you’re looking for a relevant, engaging interactive learning environment with simulation, call Merit and ask about our SimulTrain® project management training experience. Contact Jim Wynne at jwynne@meritcd.com or call him at 610-225-0449.

    Why Success is More Likely with Active Listening

    Listening includes a lot more than just hearing words. Frequently, we need to interpret or infer a deeper or underlying message beyond the spoken word. We deploy many of our senses to detect non-verbal cues and assimilate our life experiences with the verbal message when we actively listen.

    Usually, the objective of a conversation is to expand the listener’s knowledge, perspective or sensitivity to a topic that impacts behavior or beliefs. In the workplace, managing projects can implode due to poor communications. These can result in missing a critical deadline, budget overages, decreased sales, and in some cases, costly lawsuits.

    The most effective communication takes place when both parties are actively listening. So what is “active listening” and how do we do this?

    Your active listening is apparent to the other party through your audible or visible signals. This can include something as subtle as raising our eyebrows, leaning towards the speaker, or using certain gestures (like a thumbs up, high five, etc.) Tilting our heads when we listen, on the same angle as the speaker, generally reflects a subconscious agreement Uttering sounds like “uh huh” or “hmm” also tell the speaker that you’re paying attention. In America, making eye contact is considered a must in showing that you are listening, although this does vary in some cultures.

    Of course asking good questions is one of the best ways to demonstrate that you are listening.
    If you don’t have any questions (perhaps, because the message is crystal clear to you) then paraphrase the speaker’s message. You can preface your restated summary by saying something like: “Ok, now, if I understand what you’re telling me, you’d like to … (paraphrased summary of speaker’s objective).”

    It is important to be authentic, too! In your effort to make it evident that you genuinely hear the speaker’s message, do not diminish your own persona or credibility. Be sure to phrase your introduction to your rephrased statement in a style that is consistent with the way you speak.

    Why not find out if you’re as good a listener as you think you are? If you haven’t taken this insightful (and free) listening assessment yet, you can right now – or later when you have about 45 minutes and no distractions. When you’re ready, take the Active Listening Assessment here. Upon completion, you will receive an explanatory report along with tips and techniques that you can use to become a better active listener and communicator.

    If you or your staff would benefit from mastering effective communications, improving active listening and learning “meaning-centered communication”, we can help. Please contact Jim Wynne at jwynne@meritcd.com or call him at 610-225-0449.


    NOTE: PMPs®: This assessment qualifies for one PDU® and you will receive a certificate.



    PMP and PDU are registered trademarks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.

    Understanding How Risk Management Can Improve Organizational Performance

    One of the biggest challenges in risk management is risk identification. Humans are naturally optimistic; therefore, we do not like to recognize or discuss risks. We need to incorporate processes such as scenario planning and the pre-mortem technique into our forecasting practices. These techniques help us overcome our aversion to recognizing and discussing risks. Only after we have identified risks can we implement tactics to reduce their probability.

    Merit is frequently asked to help businesses, federal agencies and membership organizations reduce or mitigate risk – regardless of their size and business type. Often their project teams collaborate and discuss methods for improving their risk status but have proven to be flawed. The most common flaw that sets them back is their goal to have all risk plans drive their risk probability and impact to zero, in which case it would not be a risk.

    Risk RegisterStandard risk responses include Avoidance, Mitigation, Transference, and Acceptance (passive/active). At Merit, we developed a reporting process that would show that the risk factors were decreasing as the project progressed. Supplemented with suitable risk responses, the true reduction of risk probability occurs over time.

    The added value that we incorporated into the risk management process was two-fold. First, because of the desire to drive the risk to as low as possible, the use of multiple risk responses could be utilized. The second process improvement would be not only to subsequently reassess the risk, but also to re-evaluate the risk probability and impact matrix after the implementation of the risk response over time.

    Probability Impact MatrixThe Probability and Impact Matrix is one of the tools that we recommend in a risk management strategy. It is superimposed with risks that are labeled or numbered as in the above example. “Red” area risks were uniquely documented on a trending month-to-month basis such that it could be seen “driving” toward zero.

    The implementation of a risk response would then “reclassify” the risk event for the next reporting period. However, the biggest impact on reducing risk is time. Time because we are progressively refining our process as our project develops, and because the physical window (amount of time available) for a risk event is reduced.

    We invite you to learn about our modified process template so you too can incorporate it into your project plans. For more information, to learn other advanced risk monitoring, reporting, and controlling techniques or to schedule a risk management training customized for your team, contact Jim Wynne at jwynne@meritcd.com or by calling (610) 225-0449.

    The Pre-Mortem Technique

    During my research on how to make better decisions I came across the pre-mortem in the writings of Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman. He notes in his book, Thinking, Fast and Slow (2011), that the pre-mortem technique is valuable in the decision-making process because it has two main advantages.
    Pre-Mortem Technique
    First, it overcomes “groupthink” that affects many teams once a decision appears to be made. When groupthink is in effect, the wisdom of a plan or decision is gradually suppressed and eventually come to be treated as evidence of disloyalty. The collective suppression of doubt contributes to the group’s overconfidence, which is often a tragic flaw.

    Second, it unleashes the imagination of knowledgeable individuals in a much needed direction—the opposite direction of the decision. The principal advantage of the pre-mortem technique is that it legitimizes doubts and encourages everyone, even supporters of the decision, to search for possible threats not considered in the decision-making process. I immediately recognized it as an excellent technique for decision-making, risk management and general leadership.

    Because this has proven to be of great value, I would like to share this excellent technique with you. The pre-mortem is easy to implement once the team reaches a decision or finalizes a course of action. Here’s what you need to do:

    Step back and state the following: “Imagine that we are one year into the future. We implemented (the decision and plan) exactly as decided here today. The outcome was a total complete disaster. Take 5 to 10 minutes to write a brief history of that disaster.” If someone asks: “What do you mean by a total disaster?” Reply: “In any and every way imaginable it was a total failure.”

    Then, explore all the possible reasons that the decision or plan failed. By taking this opposite approach to brainstorming the ideas, your team will likely realize that there are more points that need to be thought through before the plan is implemented.

    Merit Career Development incorporates this technique into our leadership, strategic decision-making, risk management and project management classes and it is very well received. In one recent class the participants clutched the flip charts from the group discussion. I saw this and asked what were they going to do with them? I was told that they were going to present the findings to upper management; they had never participated in such a rewarding experience.

    Merit can help guide your team through various tools and techniques to optimize your team’s knowledge, skills and ability with techniques and tools such as pre-mortem and many others. Please contact Jim Wynne at jwynne@meritcd.com or call him at 610-225-0449 to schedule training to learn this and other valuable decision-making techniques.

    Emotional Intelligence (EQ): The Essential Secret to Great Performance

    The concept of emotional intelligence, EQ, has been studied for over 30 years. Research shows that high EQ predicts success beyond an individual’s knowledge, skills and abilities. Emotionally intelligent leaders have significantly greater annual profit growth, increased customer satisfaction, and higher personnel retention. In management, the more senior the leader, the more the EQ matters. In sales and customer service capacities, the higher EQs correlate directly to success.

    Red-headed WomanStudies show that lack of EQ may limit a person’s ability to achieve results. Lower EQ scores correlate with lower merit pay increases, lower job satisfaction and more burnout. Managers’ and supervisors’ EQ scores correlate with their performance ratings.

    The definition of emotional intelligence has been the subject of ongoing debates; however, researchers all agree that it consists of two principal components. The first component; intrapersonal skills or self-awareness, is the ability to recognize one’s emotions as they occur, helping one gain self-control in potentially emotionally charged situations.

    The second component, interpersonal skills or social awareness, is the ability to recognize others’ emotions. The ability to express empathy enables one to have more positive relationships and minimize unproductive conflict. EQ helps put people at ease, build and mend relationships, confront problem employees, and manage change.

    It is important to note that emotional intelligence can be learned. Understanding and incorporating specific EQ skills, techniques, and behaviors can help improve both the intrapersonal and interpersonal skill sets. An intra-personal skill, self-monitoring, can help one can limit or minimize emotional hijacking. Let‘s look at this closer…

    Emotional IntelligenceWe all have specific words or phrases that are steeped in emotion. During the 1960s and 70s, the term “nuclear power” raised a great deal of emotion—both positive and negative. Similarly today we have emotionally charged words or phrases such as “gun control”, terrorism, and consumer privacy. It is important to recognize one’s own emotionally charged phrases and stop the emotional hijacking that is about to take place.

    By recognizing our emotional responses when we hear a cue by self-monitoring, we can prevent emotional hijacking before it takes place. Stopping to recognize the emotional trigger is an important first step. Taking a deep breath, and/or silently counting to 10 can help us regain composure and react in a rational manner.

    As for interpersonal skills, empathy helps us develop more positive relationships with others at work. Increasing our display of empathy enables us to connect with another person on an emotional level, thus allowing us to develop a meaningful, trusting relationship.

    The question remains, however, how much emotional intelligence do you have—what is your baseline? Do you have an EQ deficiency, or are you well above average? There is only one way to know your EQ baseline and that is to take an assessment. Many exist on the Internet, some free others fee-based, however they may not stand up to statistical reliability and validity standards.

    Would you like some guidance to improve your staff’s EQ? Merit offers half-day and full day workshops that help participants understand, identify their baseline, and strengthen their emotional intelligence. With exercises and interactive assessment tools, this workshop is engaging and life changing. For more information, please contact Jim Wynne at jwynne@meritcd.com or call him at 610-225-0449.

    Serve Up the Training Your Staff Needs - and Wants

    Group of Business People in a Modern OfficeAre you giving your staff the training they need to best serve your clients? Sure, you’ll pay for the tax courses, but are you giving them the people skills—like problem solving, customer service and supervisory skills—that they need to make your firm the best it can be?

    You may be surprised to learn that your accounting staff hungers for more training. Consider some findings from a recent CPA Trendlines Career Outlook survey:

    • Less than a quarter of respondents agree that their firm always pays for the courses they want, not just what they need.
    • Fewer than 20 percent of respondents say their firms pay for soft skills learning. Offering your staff an expanded menu of training that includes soft skills and other education can improve client relationships and staff retention, as well as develop future leaders.

    “Solid communication and interpersonal abilities are becoming just as important to accounting professionals in addressing client needs” as traditional training, writes Paul McDonald, senior executive director with Robert Half in a recent CPA Practice Advisor article. “Your team members also need business acumen that extends beyond accounting to understanding clients’ bigger-picture business goals and concerns.” McDonald identifies desirable soft skills: diplomacy, customer service, problem solving, adaptability, and communication.

    These important skills are also the ones that staff wants to learn. For instance, problem solving gives accounting and finance professionals the most career satisfaction, according to recent a Robert Half survey. In fact, problem solving outranked number crunching in the results, which is pretty amazing given the importance of numbers for accountants!

    Soft skills learning can help accountants at any stage of their careers, says Kathy Ryan, CEO, CFO and co-founder of RoseRyan, a CPA firm serving the San Francisco Bay area, in an Accounting Today article. “I challenge anyone who feels they are being held back in their career but is not sure why, to get a reality check on their soft-skill set and do some fine tuning. I also encourage those in leadership positions to consider ways they can cultivate the ‘softer’ side of their teams’ abilities (and their own).” It isn’t a surprise to learn that Ryan’s firm regularly teaches soft skills.

    Asking staff about the courses they would like is now a trend at accounting firms, the AICPA says in its white paper, The Evolution of CPA Firm Learning:

    • Staff can learn better when they have a say in their learning plans. - The white paper cites an American Society for Training & Development article, “The Amazing Era of Self-Service Learning,” that suggests your firm may see as much as a 500 percent increase in learning benefits when staff manage their own training.
    • Real knowledge rather than “getting training hours in” is becoming the focus. - More experience-related, simulation, and “mock” programs build real-life skills.
    • Succession needs require staff to learn more than technical topics. - Firms are including more leadership, management and other personal development courses, and they’re introducing them earlier in their staff members’ careers.

    Staff who are hungry to learn about running the firm, interacting more efficiently with clients, managing support staff, and the other ingredients of a successful CPA firm should be consuming the appropriate soft-skills training. Serve staff what they want, and your firm will have a banquet of talented professionals to build your firm.

    Soft skills training is critical for both your staff accountants and your firm. Merit Career Development offers leadership and communication courses specifically designed for accountants plus the opportunity to earn CPEs. For more information, please contact Jim Wynne at jwynne@meritcd.com.