Posts Tagged ‘WOW! transformations’

Winter Weather and WOW! Update

Friday, February 20th, 2015

Outside the headquarters of WOW! it looks like ‘snowmaggedeon’.




We are under more than 90” of snow and shoveling has become a nearly endless task.  The white stuff is no longer pretty and traveling by foot in South Boston is as dangerous as driving: the two-way streets that are so narrow that only one car can pass at a time.  Huge icicles hang from the roofs, ice dams are taking over the gutters, and mountains of snow are obstructing views for walkers and drivers on every corner.  Take a glimpse at what I am talking about…


However, there is also some good that comes from this as well… spending time with family and friends (that live near by), catching up on old and new TV shows, and shoveling is great exercise.  It is also a wonderful way to meet the neighbors, make new friends, and connect with folks in the neighborhood!  Yes, there are some pluses from all of the white stuff!

WOW! loves to connect and engage! Over the past few months, Nettie has been connecting and engaging great women in Boston through an informal networking group that meets about every 6-8 weeks.  It is so informal there is no standard agenda except to bring a smile, your business cards and your cup of coffee. (When we meet in the evening, everyone buys their own cocktails).  The purpose of the event is to mingle and meet women of all ages, backgrounds, locales and industries, while making new friends in an informal environment. The event is fun and some great personal, professional and work connections are happening!

Growing our relationships!  We also are very excited that through Nettie’s work as a mentor/coach for Babson College’s Center for Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership (CWEL) and the WINLAB program, we are partnering with WINLAB for our next event on March 12th at Babson’s Boston Campus.  This is super exciting and offers the WINLAB coaches a great opportunity to join in the fun and connect with each other and meet more great women.  If you live in the Boston area feel free to contact Nettie to get on the mailing list, and grow your connections {women only}.

Stay tuned…

for more WOW! updates in the weeks to come on how we are connecting, engaging and growing…


WOW is…

Monday, December 1st, 2014




All of the great people I have meet over the past three and a half years in …

Colleagues and peers who have helped me to
Discover my true passion in my work:  Connect-Engage-Grow Talent.

Economic rebound and
Family and friends who are my foundation.

Graphic Designer Jenn Baldwin who makes WOW! look great.

Human Resource departments in organization that hire WOW! for our
Instructional design and talent development consulting capabilities.

JCE Group (Dave Turano), one of my clients who
Kept his cool throughout the design and development process.

Lots of cool clients and work colleagues who have
Made the transformation into friends, such as … Susan, Julia, Jill, Andrew, and
Nuno …

Opportunities to work with awesome people like Kathy, Colleen, Kate and Vanessa at

Queen of edits and my writing and communications partner, Cindy Miller, who I
Respect, admire and who helps me sound articulate.

Solvay who allowed me to grow with them over eight
Terrific years and became a once-in-a-lifetime client opportunity.

UMass friends and alum I have reunited with both personally and professionally.

Various networking and membership organizations (TBCXPX) who have provided me
Tons of opportunities to meet new and exciting people, and talk about WOW!

Web designer Bethany Brown of 1018 Media, a master at her job who
(e)Xcels at every website she builds, and is fun to work with, too!

Your support and loyalty as I have transformed my business from A to
Z over these past 20 years.

A big thank-you for believing in WOW! – Nettie

Dear Nettie

Monday, November 17th, 2014


I continue to reinforce that relationships are the key to success …and that definition of success extends to WOW! transformations clients, colleagues, peers and friends. Strong relationships happen in many ways, and one important element is when you become a trusted advisor to a client, colleague or peer. That means going the extra mile, doing more than what you are expected to do, and extending the relationship beyond the walls of the company or organization into other areas of your life.

I don’t compartmentalize my relationships. For me it’s about the broader opportunities to get to know someone, connecting various people because you know something great will come of it, and seeking relationships in unlikely places. I am proud to say that many a colleague has become a friend, a networking companion and traveled with me into others areas of my life.

The email below serves as a reminder to the impact one can make in an organization and beyond. I worked with Andrew for eight years at Solvay and call him a client, a trusted advisor, and a friend.

Dear Nettie

MDS is what it is today largely through your amazing efforts over these past 8 years. From the first meeting we had to conceptualize the concepts through the expansion to Europe all the way up to present day.  I am in Shanghai today and so is MDS. When I traveled to Brazil MDS was there as well and now it is even available in French as well as Portuguese and Mandarin.

More than just fond memories I hope you also take with you the knowledge that hundreds of Solvay managers are using skills today that are a direct result of MDS and your efforts.

For me it is not good-bye as I know we will work together again. Thanks for all that you have done and all that I don’t even realize you have done!

Fondly,  Andrew


Monday, November 10th, 2014


Relationships are the key to success.  As the leader of WOW! transformations, I work hard to establish, build and grow relationships in all parts of my life — business, personal, professional.  I mingle clients, colleagues, peers and friends in one big group.  Not always an easy task, but for me it is second nature – mix everyone together and watch the exciting connections happen.

About two months ago, I came up with an idea:  Introduce all the great women I’ve met over the last three years to each other.  For most of us networking happens through an organization we belong to, an event we attend, or our alma mater. There isn’t a place where all types of great women can gather informally and get to know each other, so I created one.

I sent out an informal invitation — no need to RSVP, just show up at the place and time to meet other great women.  Our first event was a success.  About 20 women joined me to mix, mingle and connect. I was thrilled with the outcome and so were the great women who attended. Here’s what some had to say:

“I am in awe of what you did this morning. By gathering that amazing group of women, not only did you create opportunities for all of us to network but you also firmly reconnected us with our “sisterhood.”  There is such power, warmth and gratification to be found in these small intimate gatherings of women.  I found this particular group to all be authentic leaders, each accomplished in their own right, and willing to give back. Love that. Very grounding for me.”  – Nancy

“What a terrific idea and I am grateful to have been included. I had a wonderful morning and felt privileged to meet so many dynamic and inspiring women. The vibe in the air was genuine and organic and it was one of the most productive networking events I have attended in a while.”  – Kim

“Love the spontaneity and ‘just do it’ approach.”  – Ursula

Employees Got The Blues?

Tuesday, March 19th, 2013

It’s the time of year when employees may be in a slump or feeling blue. What can you do to bring some cheer to your workplace besides waiting for the snow to melt or the daffodils to bloom?

RECOGNIZE your employees. Here are a few ideas to brighten up the office.

Gifts create a lasting reminder of your appreciation.
It’s easy to give employees a cash reward. But such tokens of recognition are quickly spent and forgotten. Consider the following instead:

  • Give simple, unexpected gifts of time to make the team member feel special.
  • Give appliances and consumer electronic products, especially when the item is in its early stages of market acceptance.
  • Award gift certificates for food, books, clothes or music.
  • Allow the employee to choose any item of a given value from a merchandise catalog
  • Give new responsibilities to a team member who has demonstrated the ability to handle the work.

Make formal awards a part of your culture.

  • Establish company awards for best attendance, highest quality, best customer service – behaviors you want to encourage. Hold a ceremony in which top-level executives publicly present these awards to the recipients.
  • Create a trophy that moves from one high-performing department (or person) to the next. You can even have the current holder decide who gets it next.
  • Recommend the team member for an applicable company recognition award.

A simple “thank you” costs nothing.
A sincere word of thanks from the right person at the right time can mean more to an employee than a raise, a formal award, or a whole wall of certificates and plaques. And it costs nothing.

  • Send handwritten letters of appreciation.
  • Post a thank-you note on an employee’s door.
  • Call employees into your office just to say thank you. Don’t discuss any other issue.
  • Have the company president or a high-level manager call employees to thank them for a job well done.
  • Pre-print “ABCD” (above and beyond the call of duty) cards and encourage managers or employees to award them to deserving co-workers.
  • In team meetings, encourage team members to recognize each other’s positive contributions.
  • Hold quick, surprise team meetings to show public recognition of great work.

“Create a story” that is shared.
Your recognition will have a stronger impact when it creates a story that the employee can tell to family, friends and associates for years to come.

  • Recognize hard work by arranging for the employee’s car to be washed in the parking lot. Or pay for a housecleaning service for the employee’s home.
  • Rent a sports car for the employee to drive for a week.
  • Arrange for a photo session with the company president.

Serve up a tasty reward.
Food is always in good taste. It appeals to the senses and creates a festive atmosphere when it is shared with family or co-workers.

  • Deliver a fruit basket, steaks, or a batch of chocolate chip cookies to the employee.
  • Hold a team lunch – at a restaurant or in the office – to celebrate together.
  • Personalize the label on a wine bottle with a message of thanks to the recipient.
  • Treat employees to a pizza lunch or a giant submarine sandwich.
  • Surprise a top-performing department with a champagne picnic at a local park.

Give the gift of time.
Time off is universally appreciated. Whether it is a free afternoon or a six-month sabbatical, this form of recognition is always welcome.

  • Provide an extra break.
  • Allow a 2-hour lunch (and pay for dessert).
  • Grant a long weekend after a particularly demanding period of work.

So what are you doing to recognize employees?  Inspire us by sharing ideas that have worked for you.

Your Talent is Your Investment: Part 2

Monday, March 26th, 2012

By Jill Heineck, Focus Relocation, Guest Blogger and WOW! transformations Strategic Partner

Talent Development

According to Nettie Nitzberg, principal at WOW! transformations, a talent development consulting firm based in Boston, MA, “inboarding” is just as important for an internal employee beginning a new assignment as onboarding is to a new hire. Nitzberg, who works with global Fortune 500 companies, says that creating an initiative to “on or inboard” an employee into the culture of their new assignment is a great way to help them acclimate to their new organization or department, creating engagement from the first day and ensuring that the organization realizes a return on their talent investment. This, in addition to consistent contact from the hiring manager, HR, and others throughout the move is essential to a successful transition.

As mobile families are already anxiously anticipating changes, intuitive companies recognize that front-end engagement is essential to a successful transition.

“Setting and managing proper expectations is one of the keys to the employee’s success on a new assignment,” said Haesloop. With more than 500 moves per year, UPS is a prime example of how to front-load engagement strategies. “A well-designed assignment objective should be known and understood at the beginning of the assignment.” That, coupled with periodic feedback sessions, will ensure those identified objectives are in scope, Haesloop added. 

Proactive and Innovative Engagement

By taking a proactive approach through innovative engagement strategies, a company can protect the financial, talent, and mobility investments across the organization. “Once an employee has accepted the new assignment, we expect them to be completely engaged in their new assignment and unencumbered by the logistical components associated with getting them and their family to their destination,” said Haesloop. “It is important that your relocation service provider(s) is a trusted partner who knows and understands your culture, relocation strategy and philosophy, and expectations.”


Click here to read the full article in Mobility Issues: March 2012 Issue

To Contact Jill:
Jill Heineck, CRP | Chief Relocation Officer
Phone: 877.550.RELO
Twitter: @jheineck

Clients Will Benefit From beyondboarding™

Monday, February 13th, 2012


When we first started looking at the process of beyondboarding™, we focused on developing a process focused on the workplace.  Beyondboarding™ is an onboarding initiative that goes beyond orientation and takes a strategic approach to employee and organizational growth and development.

However, when we began to talk about beyondboarding™ with customers, prospects and colleagues we realized additional audiences can benefit from a beyondboarding™ approach outside of new or newly promoted employees.

This series will look how to initiate a beyondboarding™ approach with the following audience relationships:


The following are five key steps when beyondboarding™ a new client:

  1. RIGHT:  Any good partnership – especially one with a new client, requires the right fit — with products and services the client is offering or providing; the right talent – the folks working on the team or collaborating with you; and the right company – the reason you selected this client is because there is a culture match.  When selecting a client through the proposal process or pre-boarding phase, you must  ensure that they are the right people or organization to help you reach your goals and will ensure a ROI.
  2. KNOWLEDGE:  As important as it is for you to know the client you are working with, it is just as important for them to know your organization.  This should include things such as your formal and informal culture, values and vision, communication preferences, tips and tricks for working with the team, billing process and network access.   Gaining company and job knowledge from Day 1 helps employees become productive. About 89 percent of new hires lack the institutional knowledge required to get up to speed quickly and become effective on the job within their first 90 days. (Strong Start To Job Success By William C. Byham, Ph.D).  Image the ROI when your new client has strong institutional knowledge from the start.
  3. LONG-TERM RELATIONSHIP:  A new employee decides within three weeks whether or not an employer is a right fit; 4 percent of new employees leave a job after the first day; more than 20 percent of employee turnover occurs in the first 45 days. (The Wynhurst Group)Image the impact an onboarding program can have for a new client and the how you could kick-start your relationship by helping them to get to know you/organization from Day 1.
  4. CLARITY:  Like any good employee onboarding program, a new client needs to have focused clarity around roles, responsibilities, deliverables, expectations, and goals, as well as a deeper understanding of the organization to ensure there is no misunderstanding and alignment from beginning to end.
  5. COMMUNICATION: A good manager will also discuss with her new employee the best way to for them to have ongoing communication.  This is imperative in a client relationship, especially at the onset to ensure that nothing falls through the cracks, information is clarified, files and documents are sent and received effectively and, most of all, that everyone knows where they stand with the person, client or team members.  Discussing your communication strategy right from the start is a great way to set the foundation for how you will work together.

To make your client relationship a success, begin with a beyondboarding™ mindset.  Consider the five key steps above but remember that is only the beginning.  There are many other things that you can and should be to ensure success

Click here to read more about beyondboarding™ and some of the other components that work developing a long-term and successful relationship with your clients.

Best of WOW! Bytes of Wisdom 2011

Monday, December 19th, 2011


WOW! Bytes of Wisdom has been busy this year providing subscribers key bits of “wisdom” from the talent-development industry.  To end the year, the following are the Best of WOWs! 2011 Blogs.


Keep Your Best Employee From Jumping Ship

Jan. 27, 2011

A recent article by Fortune contributor Jena McGregor, How To Keep Your Star Employees, reinforces a widespread problem: Some of our best employees are ready to jump ship.  She cites four retention strategies used by top companies to combat this challenge.


Get Onboard and Go Beyond

Jan. 5, 2011

If you make only one business goal this year, it should be to focus on keeping your top talent.  It’s a challenge many businesses don’t think about until it’s too late, but this could be the year that turnover stalls your business.


Talent Management Trends: Are You Onboard or Drifting?

Feb. 1, 2011

How often have you heard a business executive brag that “our people are our most important asset”?   Sounds good, but how many companies actually work strategically to enhance that asset?  A recent post on The Daily Recruiter reviewed emerging trends in “talent management,” the process of attracting, developing and retaining skilled employees.  The article suggests several important strategies.


Managing Talent Is a Priority

May 17, 2011

Key findings from global consulting firm PwC’s 14th Annual Global CEO Survey show that talent is a top priority for CEOs, moving up from third last year.. The results, reported in a Talent Management article, is great news for the economy.  “The ‘war for talent’ is not just a numbers game — it means finding, retaining and motivating employees whose skills fit the company’s strategy,” said Ed Boswell, U.S. Advisory People and Change practice leader at PwC.


The War for Talent Crosses the Ocean

June 22, 2011

The problem is global.  Whether they are seeking talent in the United States, Asia, South America or Europe “employers are being inundated with unsuitable candidates and struggling to fill vacancies, and talented individuals are staying put, concluding that the grass is greener on their own side of the fence in these volatile economic times,” according to a June 16 article in Talent Magazine.


Global Talent Challenges – Are you stumbling or doing it right? (Part 1 and 2)

June 8-9, 2011

Recruiting executives from diverse cultures is essential for success in today’s global economy.   It’s also a considerable challenge.  Do it right, and the company benefits from the diversity.  Do it badly, and the company stumbles and misses opportunities.  According to the Manpower’s 2010 Global Talent Shortage Survey, nearly a third of employers worldwide have difficulty filling positions because of a lack of suitable talent.  In EMEA countries, the number is 23 percent; 41 percent in Asia Pacific; and 34 percent in the Americas.


How to Successfully Relocate Employees

Sept. 28, 2011

By Jill Heineck, Focus Relocation, Guest Blogger, and WOW! strategic partner

Relocation has become an important tool in advancing corporate strategies.   But people are not chess pieces.  Even the “right” move for someone can produce negative consequences.  The risks are even higher in companies that don’t already practice careful management of individuals’ careers, from onboarding to retirement.


Innovative Ideas to Add Pizzazz to Your Onboarding Initiatives

Oct. 26, 2011

I was reviewing articles for this week’s blog and came across one that identified high-impact, low-cost ideas that can add pizzazz to your current onboarding initiatives.  These are perfect for smaller organizations nimble enough to get creative and engage stakeholders.  For larger organizations, these may prompt you to tweak existing initiatives.


Onboarding ROI: Metrics for Measuring the True Value

Oct. 3, 2011

By Kyle Lagunas, HR Analyst with Software Advice, Guest Blogger

As business leaders look for the best ways to maximize the ROI of their workforce, the onboarding process is often overlooked.  For many, onboarding is reduced to a mere checklist of tasks to be completed and forms to be submitted.  What these organizations fail to understand is that an employee who experiences a smoother onboarding process will be more connected to the organization, better trained and quicker to produce.

We look forward to sharing more insights in 2012 and invite you and your colleagues to subscribe to our blog or become a Guest Blogger.

Why Do You Need a Communication Strategy?

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011


By Cindy Miller

Cindy Miller is the director of communications for WOW! transformations. WOW! considers a communications strategy an essential first step for its clients. To learn more about our approach, click here.


“Let’s send out a press release.” “We should start a Facebook page.” “Do you think we should be on Twitter?”

These are all good ideas — perhaps.

Too many companies start with a to-do list when it comes to communicating its news and messages. But starting with tactics overlooks a critical step in corporate communications: the Communications Strategy.

Creating a strategy can raise the probability that what you’re saying is actually being heard by the right people. What do you want to say about your company? (Key messages) Who do you want to say it to? (Target audiences) How do they prefer to receive information? (Tactics)

A communications strategy — and a full-blown document explaining it — will benefit your company’s bottom line in numerous ways, including:

It will serve as a guiding document for all levels of company employees. Today, everybody in your company is your spokesperson. Consistent messaging must go beyond the executive level and be understood by virtually every employee.

It can link remote locations of your company. Global companies can’t rely on one department to manage a corporate message. A clear document outlining your communications strategy can drive communications around the world, and provide a baseline for adaptations for different cultures.

It can increase employee engagement. It’s no longer a world of “internal” and “external” communications, and for good reason. Smart companies know that employees are a critical target audience, and conveying key messages to them is an important way to increase their connection to the success of the business.

It can support your beyondboarding™ initiatives.  Today’s organizations are creating a company culture that nurtures employees from selection to onboarding and throughout their career.  Consistency in messaging is critical especially during the selection and onboarding processes as this is way to ensure you are getting the right talent, into the right company, for the right job.

To start before you have a strategy is time wasted. In today’s world of over-communication — think social media, community publications, traditional newspapers, magazines, industry publications, websites, intranets — you have to be strategic to be heard over the chatter.


Training Outsourcing is on the rise

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011


If you’re in the training business like we are, that’s really good news.

A recent Chief Learning Officer article by Cushing Anderson, program director of learning services at IDC, he uses  findings from a January 2011 Human Capital Media Advisory Group survey to make the case for outsourcing training:

  • There has been a small increase in the number of enterprises that plan to outsource, as well as the amount companies spend on outsourcing.
  • Companies that outsource are satisfied with the results and expect to increase or maintain levels of spending with external training providers.
  • Companies are outsourcing primarily to supplement internal resources on an as-needed basis and because they believe training outsourcing is a more cost-effective way to create or deliver training.
  • Most companies who outsource choose activities that do not require the transfer of management control to an external provider.
  • Those who outsource appear satisfied with their providers.
  • The most important qualities CLOs consider when looking for a training outsourcer are training expertise and subject-matter expertise.
  • It’s increasingly important for vendor to act as business partners, reflects an increased understanding of CLOs on the fluid nature of training objectives and the flexibility required for successful training outsourcing.

According to the survey, companies that don’t outsource typically are satisfied with internal training operations, think it is too expensive or believe the subject matter too complex for outside providers.

As enterprises continue to emerge from the economic crisis, will the increased use of external providers hold true? We think so. Allowing a company like WOW! transformations to focus on our expertise — talent development — lets your company focus on its own expertise. It’s a smart way to do business.