QPS Employment Group
Bachelor of Science, exercise science, Winona State University; Master of Education, adult and continuing education, Carroll University
"Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn." —Ben Franklin
For the past 18 months, Nicholas Nook has worked on the three-person L&D team at QPS Employment Group, a staffing firm comprised of 54 branches across eight states. His primary training focus is new employees and professional sales and recruiting teams, as well as one-off training with field operations. Even before formally working in L&D, Nook was passionate about working with individuals and teams to assist them in achieving their goals. At prior employers, he would offer to train new employees.
What aspect of talent development work do you enjoy most and why?
I enjoy most working one-on-one or in small groups with our teams out in the field. It provides an opportunity to hear about their struggles and successes while designing and training for their specific needs. What I learn from one-on-one and small-group training I can implement with other individuals and groups.
As lead of your team's measurement and evaluation strategy, what do you believe are the essential elements of an M&E strategy?
Goals: Having end goals or performance metrics in place to achieve is an important aspect of measuring and evaluating our department's and organization's success. We track each training event, participant, and time spent in training throughout the year.
Feedback: After training, we send surveys to participants for them to provide feedback. We ask questions about content, format, hits and misses, and future opportunities.
Performance: From a performance standpoint, we use utilization rates as well as Net Promoter Score to know how we are doing. We use that information to help guide what we need to focus more on in the future.
Which L&D project that you have led are you most proud of?
I am most proud of doing recruiter and sales training with our Accelerate team (professional placements). The experience has allowed me to grow my knowledge of the sales side of the business but also dive into the similarities and contrasts between the professional-level business and our branch staffing operation. Our Accelerate team is quickly growing, and having input in their development is valuable.
What career advice do you have for novice professionals in the L&D industry?
Be a learner yourself. I sit in and observe as many sessions that my colleagues lead as I can and see how they facilitate training.