Commercial Dry wipe whiteboards | Wedge Whiteboards

A2 Folding Wedge Review by Cath Hubbuck, Registered Health Play Specialist

I had been looking for a substantial and good quality whiteboard for use in my work as a Health Play Specialist and came across the A2 Folding Wedge Landscape.

Within my role I provide play for children in a hospital setting.  I also spend time talking with children about their health, illness, conditions, clinical procedures, the working of their bodies and treatments or procedures they may undergo during their hospital stay.  I use various resources for this, but I had previously been using large sheet of card for creative exploration work which were cumbersome, not ideal for purpose and given that they would just end up in the bin, was starting to feel costly and wasteful.  Finding a resource that was robust, re-usable and portable was very important.

I have found the A2 Folding Wedge to be a brilliant resource – it has already had a good deal of use in the ways I had intended and more.  I have been able to use it to explain physical conditions, injuries and treatments to children of all ages.  The whiteboard allows shared drawing and creativity to happen very naturally – it was recently used to explain to a 6-year-old boy what had happened inside his arm when he suffered a broken bone.   The child was able to draw the outline of an arm and hand using dry wipe pens.   We then used play dough to create the bones of the arm and demonstrate what happened when those bones were injured.  This creative approach to information sharing with children allows then to learn and process complicated information at a much deeper level than a verbal explanation alone.  Being able to take the Folding Wedge Whiteboard to the child’s bed was also enormously helpful since he was restricted in his movement at that time.

Similarly, it was very useful to explore the effects of a perforated appendix with an older child.  The board provided a substantial base upon which a body outline was drawn and again, play dough used to create the internal organs.  The wipeable and sealed nature of the unit then allowed us to quite literally ‘burst’ a pretend infected appendix and talk about what the experience of the illness had been like for her.  Once the session was over, the whole whiteboard could be wiped clean for use with the next patient.

 

I have stared taking the whiteboard to my weekly outpatient clinic.  Here our waiting space is very limited, but the Folding Wedge whiteboard is compact and free-standing.  It has been enjoyed by children of all ages who have used it here to doodle, to play drawing and word games while they wait, and for me to use in a similar way to the example given above – to explain procedures and conditions in creative ways as required.  We have also started to encourage children to draw targets containing words or pictures associated with the things that challenge them most about their health issues.  we can then ‘take aim’ with various objects (anything from a ball to wet tissue paper) and throw these at the target created on the board, this allows for a great release of frustration and can open conversations with children about difficult or complicated feelings.

This is a brilliant resource which is enhancing my practice as a Health Play Specialist and ultimately proving to be very useful in helping children and young people during their hospital journey.  The Folding Wedge Whiteboard has proven to be a very valuable piece of equipment.

7 Tips On How to Build a Collaborative Working Environment

Collaboration in the office is when two or more people (often groups) work together through idea sharing and thinking to achieve a common goal.  Put simply, it is teamwork taken to a higher level. Teamwork is often a physical joining of two people or a group to accomplish a task.

Collaboration is an extremely powerful way of working.  When a team or department is collaborating effortlessly, freely sharing information and able to communicate naturally, they can work at their most effective level.

A collaborative environment doesn’t just happen, you must develop and nurture it.  Here are 10 tips that you can use to build a collaborative working environment.

  1. Create a Clear & Captivating Reason

To create cohesion, team members need a compelling reason to be a part of the company mission. The more persuasive and exciting the mission, the easier it will be to inspire team members to participate in what your company is seeking to accomplish.  By providing a clear and captivating cause to be involved with, team members will naturally become as passionate about the objectives as you are.  For collaboration to work effectively, the vision, goals and purpose needs to be crystal clear.

  1. Publicise Expectations

Collaboration needs to be clearly communicated to team members. To nurture this, team members need to be given well-defined individual and shared tasks and responsibilities that they will undertake within the team.  With this clear understanding, each team member will be able to work more effectively without inadvertently stepping on anyone else’s toes.

  1. Determine Team Goals

To drive success in team members it is imperative that you establish and set measurable goals for each team member on a regular basis.  These goals need to be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timebound.  By writing these goals on a Mobile Dry Wipe Board your team will be able to keep these goals in the forefront of their mind.  It is important to review and refine goals regularly.  The outcomes of goals need to be made available to the entire team as a way of measuring and celebrating progress and ascertaining where improvements can be made.

  1. Leverage Individuals Strengths

To inspire and empower each team member, it is preferable to work and play to their strengths. You may wish to conduct psychometric testing and share the results amongst your team.  This is a fantastic team building exercise as it enables individuals to get to know themselves and their team members in a more meaningful way.  It also provides team members with the information about individual skill sets and who’s good to go to for what.

  1. Nurture Cohesion Between Team Members

Cohesive teams are undoubtedly more successful because each team member is included in most major decisions.  When team members feel empowered and included like this, they feel the significance of their role, which in turn causes them to perform their role better.  To maximise effectiveness, teams should arrange short daily meetings whereby each member discusses their objectives for that day.  This will prevent duplication of effort and eradicate competition between individuals.

  1. Encourage Creativity

For teams to flourish they must be inspired and encouraged to brainstorm and question in an open forum.  Individuals need to be taught to believe that any difficulties and complications that they face can and will be overcome.  When a can-do attitude is encouraged it motivates people to live up to those can-do expectations.  Always remember to ask individuals their thoughts and their reasoning behind their ideas on a regular basis.  The more united and understood employees feel by their manager, the more inspired they will be to perform, be creative and exceed expectations.

  1. Acknowledge, Reward & Commend Collaborative Behaviour

Whether shared through video, newsletter, annual report or at your company conference, stories of collaboration break down the walls of independence and recognise collective achievement.  By assigning performance rewards and bonuses to collaborative efforts, you will send the right messages to team members about the values that are driving the business.

 

For collaboration to work effectively it must be focused and consistent, with resources and remuneration dedicated to its success.  You may have a handful of successful individuals in your organisation already, however you can enhance and increase your productivity by getting these individuals to work as a collaborative team.  When team associates feel they are a part of something exceptional they are more enthusiastic and willing to work together to achieve desired goals.

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5 Effective Employee Training Techniques

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To ensure optimum productivity within your organisation, it is essential to ensure that all employees are equipped with the necessary knowledge and skill set required to perform their roles.  Your employees are one of your most important and valuable assets, hence training your people is a good way to achieve business growth.

In this blog article I am going to share five effective training techniques that you could potentially use to develop your employees.  Prior to choosing a specific method you may wish to consider the following:

  • What are the training goals and objectives?
  • Who is being trained?
  • How much time has been allocated for the training?
  • Do you have a training budget available? If so, how much?
  • What training resources do you already have available?

 

1. Classroom or Instructor-Led Training

Some may call this ‘old school’ but I prefer to call it traditional.  This conventional way of training remains one of the most popular methods because not only is it fun and interactive, it is highly effective.

There are different forms of this type of training, the use of a blackboard or a Mobile Dry Wipe Board is one of the most established techniques whereby you write something on the board and request feedback from the trainees.  Due to its efficacy many large organisations will often use this technique.

This training technique is very personal and ideal for presenting a large amount of information to large or small groups.  This method also ensures that everyone gets the same information at the same time making it truly cost effective.

 

2.Interactive Training

Interactive training methods are a fantastic way of breaking up a training session to keep attendees engaged, making them more receptive to new information.  Interactive training activities include group discussions, demonstrations, Q&A sessions and role play to name but a few.  These types of activities can make training more fun as trainees can interact freely whilst still learning essential knowledge and skills that will lead to improved job performance.

Interactive training is a fantastic channel for long standing employees to pass on their knowledge and experience.  It also provides instant feedback to trainers on how trainees are progressing and how quickly they are learning.

 

3.Hands-on Training

Also recognised as experiential training, this method includes apprenticeships, coaching, drills and cross training.

Apprenticeships allow employers to mould and shape new inexperienced employees so that they are a good fit for current and future jobs.  These courses tend to combine supervised on the job training with classroom instruction, within an educational setting.  Providing young workers with the opportunity to learn a trade and earn a moderate income at the same time.

The objective of coaching is to improve an employee’s performance, so this technique very much focuses on the needs of the individual employee and is more informal than other training methods.  A superior will usually serve as the coach, as and when appropriate to correct errors, answer questions, provide support and help direct towards goals.

Cross training provides employees with the opportunity to learn other jobs, which not only enhances their skill set, it is also beneficial to the organisation.

Hands-on training is ideal for training employees on new machines or procedures and enable trainers to immediately establish whether a trainee has grasped a new skill or procedure.

 

4.Computer–Based Training

Computer-based training is becoming increasingly widespread as technology becomes easier to use.  Despite advances in technology human interaction will always remain a fundamental part of organisational training.

Computer-based training formats include text-only, CD-ROMs, multimedia and virtual reality.  These types of programs are easy to use; however, they usually cannot be customised.  They are ideal for helping employees foster new skills or for refresher training.  This type of training is relatively cost effective as the same equipment can be used by large numbers of trainees and can be very flexible because employees can learn in their own time and at their own pace.  This type of training is also measurable.

 

5. E-Learning or Online-based Training

Companies with employees in various locations across the country are having to rely on other technologies to provide training such as e-learning.  Web based training, tele or video conferencing online colleges, email and webinars all fall into this category.  Many organisations use online resources to deliver their training requirements because they are useful for training across multiple locations and they save money on travel expenses.  These methods of training are ideal for self-directed learning and refresher training.

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Bring Inspiration to your Boardroom

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Boardrooms are not the ideal location for inspiring and enhancing creativity.  Most boardrooms are highly functional, boasting long tables, uncomfortable seats and a projector screen.  Is it any wonder that attendees find themselves unproductive during meetings and struggle to concentrate?

If you are looking for ideas on how you can rejuvenate your boardroom, inspire attendees and encourage collaboration, then please read on.

 

Comfortable Seating

Meetings can be lengthy events that often go on for hours.  If your boardroom chairs are uncomfortable, then the people sat in them will not be attentive or interested in what’s being discussed, they will just want to get out of them as soon as possible.  By providing proper lumber support, your team will stay comfortable, attentive and productive.

 

Refreshments & Energising Snacks

Many people lose focus, not because they are bored but because they are hungry.  By providing refreshments and offering energising snacks, attendees hunger can be kept at bay during extensive presentations and lengthy discussions.  A large jar of sweets on the side can also go a long way in keeping attendees cheerful and upbeat.

 

Visuals

Too many visuals can be overstimulating and distracting, that said there is nothing worse than starring at a boardrooms bare walls.  Add a splash of colour to your boardroom by adding a visual or two, this can help with employee engagement, but remember, less can very often be more.

 

Brainstorming Games

Make your meetings fun and informative.  Encourage creativity and engagement from attendees by setting up brainstorming games around the table, a Mobile Dry Wipe Board is the perfect tool for these types of games.  Whiteboards are a great creative tool for brainstorming and networking, the white space enables attendees to explain and express themselves however they like, such as with pictures or diagrams as oppose to words.  Whiteboards are also the perfect tool for keeping everyone in tune with the agenda and next steps.

 

Plant Décor

Even with all the above ideas in place, the meeting boardroom can still feel a little bit lifeless and a tad sterile.  A fantastic way to overcome this is by adding some live plants and some fresh flowers.

Introducing plants to an office environment provides many scientifically proven physical and psychological benefits such as reduction in stress, increase in productivity, cleaner air to breathe and increased creativity.  Examples of plants that will thrive in the office setting include Aloe, Spider plants, Cactus, Rubber Plant and Peace Lilly.

What would you like to see in your boardroom that would inspire your creativity?  Please feel free to leave us a comment.

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5 Ways to Deliver a Quality Presentation

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Public speaking and the ability to deliver a quality presentation can feel like an overwhelming task, however for many of us professionals it can often be a fundamental part of our role.  Whether you are presenting at a staff meeting or to external customers, your key goal is to ensure that you deliver your message in a clear, concise and interesting way.   If your audience do not understand what you are saying and are not fully engaged, then the chances of them remembering the information is minimal.

So, whether you are pitching a product or presenting your business plans, here are five ways to deliver an unforgettable presentation.

 

Show Passion & Connect with your Audience

First and foremost, breath in, breath out and relax.

One of the most important things to do when you deliver your presentation, is to connect with your audience.  The best way to do this is to smile and make good eye contact, be animated, be authentic and let them see how passionate you are.  Be truthful with your audience about your message and why it matters, by exemplifying your passion, your audience will inevitably respond.

When you smile and make eye contact, you automatically build rapport which in turn helps your audience to connect with your topic.

 

Keep it Simple

Focus on your key message(s) and keep it simple, simple.

When you are preparing your presentation, it is imperative that you build it on your core message or 3 key points for your audience to take away.

Your core message needs to be succinct and everything you say needs to contribute to it.  If it’s not relevant, do not say it.  Do not waffle and do not go down tangent boulevard.  Extravagant talks crammed with tons of facts and figures or long words that you cannot pronounce, will inevitably overwhelm you and your audience.

By keeping it simple, your audience will easily grasp the messages that you are conveying.

 

Focus on Audience Needs  

Put your audience needs at the heart of your presentation.

When you are creating your presentation, you need to really focus on what your audience needs and wants to know.  Do your research thoroughly beforehand to ascertain what your audience is looking for and expecting from your presentation.

Whilst you are delivering your presentation, it is important to be mindful of your audience’s reaction and respond to them accordingly.

 

Tell Stories

Everyone loves a good story.

Stories captivate us, they help us to pay attention and remember things.

Constructing your presentation like you telling a story, enables you to take your audience on a journey which will in turn increase their engagement.

If you use stories within your presentation your audience is likely to remember the points that you made.

To bring your stories to life, you might want to use a mobile dry wipe board to explain and or illustrate your key points.

 

Encourage Audience Participation

Involve your audience, ask them questions and ask them to write the answer on a dry wipe mobile board.  Evoke their point of view or ask them to help with a demonstration.  Most people have very short attention spans, so try to do something interactive every ten minutes if your presentation is over twenty minutes long.

 

Most importantly of all, if you can relax, you will present better and you may even enjoy yourself.  When this happens, your audience will react favorably, and their engagement levels will increase.  With these top 5 tips in mind together with a bit of practice, your presenting will improve, as will your confidence.

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