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ATD Long Island Chapter Insights

ATD Long Island Chapter Insights provides articles, content, and chapter updates to keep you in the know and learning. We are always interested in hearing from you. If you would like to submit an article, please send an email to All articles are copyrighted by the authors and may not be reproduced.

  • 11 Apr 2019 9:25 AM | Anonymous

    I’ve been very lucky in my career to have many great bosses who knew how to figure out how to motivate their teams and individuals that report to them.   Often, when I bring up motivation in classes, managers roll their eyes.  They do this, because immediately they think about money.  However, when I dive deeper, they often have not asked their employees how they are motivated.  And they typically don’t ask because they are worried about the money.  So how do I solve this?  I ask managers to think about what motivates them and their teams.  I then ask them to look at the list they have made and see what costs them money.  Most of the time about 70% of things that motivate employees is not about money.  And now I know what you are thinking…no way!  How’s this possible?  What are the magic items on their lists?  Here are some of them; stretch assignments, mentorships, internal training, time with their managers, more flexible work arrangements, more feedback.  These are just some of them.  But you can make your own list.  Managers often ask me how they can get this list.  My response is simple, “Just ask”.  When I managed people at the bank, I would ask them to fill out a favorite things sheet.  When they did something good, I would look to that list to try to find something small to reward that behavior.  It often costed me very little or nothing at all.

    In my mind, it’s about recognizing your employees are human beings with needs.  If you, as a manager, can figure out when your employee is looking for and attend to those needs, then your employees will be more motivated and engaged.

  • 05 Apr 2019 11:58 AM | Anonymous


    Why Your Organization Needs Skills Gap Analysis

    Brought to you by Lambda Logo - Blue & Grey.jpg

    What Is a Skills Gap . . . And How Do I Analyze It?

    The simplest way to think about a skills gap is to consider the difference between performance and potential within your organization. A gap analysis brings this inequity to the foreground. It’s an effective way of asking questions about productivity within your team—what does your workforce currently offer, how well do they meet targets, and what would they need to perform optimally?

    A skills gap can appear in many forms, depending on the type of organization. It might be a question of training—employees requiring more technical expertise or a better understanding of company philosophy. At a larger level, a skills gap may signify the need to acquire more specialized employees. On the other hand, a skills gap might stem from infrastructural inadequacies or a need to develop better communication practices.

    A skills gap analysis measures an organization's ability to meet its objectives, so a quantitative measure of performance is required. For the majority of businesses, a financial measure, such as a profit margin, is the best descriptor of performance. But there may be other, more relevant measures depending on the type of organization. Turnaround time, for example, might be a good indicator of service-based performance. Discrepancies between expected and actual performance can then be used to pinpoint areas where training or innovation would help.

    Because of their comprehensive nature, skills gap analyses are useful for considering the relationship between a team and their objectives. Conducting regular analysis reveals patterns in attainment and underperformance within an organization, and gives an effective indication of the health and versatility of company processes. In turn, this provides direction for training programs and hiring practices.

    What’s the Best Way of Identifying Skills Gaps?

    Once a skills gap is identified, it becomes more straightforward to create actionable steps to bring performance in line with potential.

    The key to accurately measuring performance and identifying skill gaps is asking specific, astute questions of your organization. Think about the fundamental what and why questions, which help identify the reasons behind your data. Has your organization focused on hiring a specific type of skill, thereby unknowingly neglecting other important skill sets?

    Take the difference between hard and soft skills, for example. Hard skills are specific, teachable abilities that can be defined and measured. This is regardless of skill complexity, so covers anything from typing to hedge fund management. Soft skills, on the other hand, are those which aid general performance within an organization. Examples include managing your time, creative thinking, and the ability to lead. Fast-growing companies often fall into the trap of acquiring many employees with excellent hard skills in response to specific problems and requirements. This can cause an overall soft-skill gap within their business.

    How Do Skills Gap Analyses Benefit My Employees?

    An important detail of skills gap analyses is that they can be performed on two concurrent levels: individual and company-wide. This means that, while aiding the general performance of an organization, gap analysis is also a useful tool for the personal development of individual employees.

    You can even initiate two gap analyses for an individual—one self-evaluated by the employee, the other by the employee’s line manager or team leader. The results are then used as the basis for discussion within a performance review. Knowing how employees and managers evaluate differences between performance and future expectations can provide insight into workplace relationships, leading to better communication strategy.

  • 14 Mar 2019 8:02 PM | Anonymous

    Hello ATD Long Island! Spring is upon us and we are heading into it with great events, in-person and virtual. Hopefully you can catch our March profile member at one of them!

    For March, we are lucky to introduce you to Linda Berke, President of Taylor Performance Solutions. Ms. Berke is also a former President of our chapter, helping to keep ATD LI a strong resource for the talent development community.

    ATD: How did you come to be a part of ATD LI?

    LB: When I started my business in 2003, I was looking for groups with the same interest as me and I was introduced to SHRM and they asked me to present at one of their meetings. After I presented at the SHRM meeting, one of the women in the audience suggested I join ATD.



    ATD: Where do you work currently and what does a work day look like for you?

    LB: I run a training and consulting firm called Taylor Performance Solutions. We have such a variety of projects and clients that a work day might mean working on new training designs, running focus groups/interviewing managers and employees to complete a needs analysis, listening to recorded phone calls to analyze the skills of a call center,  going undercover and shopping/eating/being a tourist as part of regular mystery visits/mystery shops at our client locations, delivering training or consulting with management teams on their customer service and sales processes. Pretty much anything that is related to developing custom training and improving service, sales and leadership at a company.

    ATD: How did you begin your career in talent development?

    LB: I was in a management/sales position and was asked to deliver customer service training one day a week after work to other branches. I absolutely loved it and knew I had found my calling. This was in 1990!

    ATD: What do you suggest to new members for them to gain the most benefit from ATD LI?

    LB: ATD LI is an amazing, warm, talented and supportive group of talent management professionals. I suggest new members get to know the group and join a committee or join the board. This was suggested to me and I ended up being the President for a few years and was able to work and learn with many talented people.

    ATD: What was the most challenging experience you ever had in talent development, and why?

    LB: Since we custom design all of our learning experiences and sometimes need to learn about a new industry or business in a short amount of time, all of our projects bring positive challenging experiences! The most important challenges we face on every project are identifying how to align the training to our client’s culture, how to motivate our learners to change and how to design the program in a way that is fun and helps them build new skills quickly. 

    ATD: What are some of the biggest challenges facing the learning and development field?

    LB: From our perspective, the biggest challenges facing the learning and development field is making sure the learning is reinforced after training. We only spend between a few hours and a few days with our learners helping them be better at what they do. Since our focus is on skills such as service, sales or leadership, if the learning is not reinforced and supported after training, it is too easy to fall back into old habits.

  • 15 Feb 2019 3:55 PM | Deleted user

    The Long Island Chapter of the Association for Talent Development has been awarded a Champion of Learning Award for our joint program with the ICF-Long Island 

    The chapter is very proud to have won this award. We'd like to thank the ICF Long Island team for teaming up with us on this event. 

    Check out the pictures from thejoint ATD LI ICF event below. 


  • 11 Feb 2019 5:52 PM | Anonymous

    Hello ATD Long Island! With so many great events and benefits being offered by ATD: LI, it is nice to get to know the people responsible for the hard work, as well as the professionals in the field that we are here for.

    February's Member Profile checks both boxes. This month we introduce ATD: LI's Director of Membership and BNB Bank's Director of Talent Acquisition, Lisa Garraputa.

    ATD: How did you come to be a part of ATD LI?

    LG: I had attended the SHRM-LI Conference and met some really great people at the ATD booth.  After speaking with some folks, it peaked my interest to learn more about the ATD-LI organization and chapter.

    ATD: Where do you work currently and what does a work day look like for you?

    LG: I am currently the Director of Talent Acquisition for BNB Bank.  A work day for me is leading the recruitment function by continuously building and strengthening relationships internally and externally.  I act as a strategic partner to our business lines to ensure we are connecting, mentoring, and empowering, internal and external talented professionals. 

    ATD: Describe a major career achievement that led to your current position.

    LG: I believe a major career achievement that lead me to my current role was revamping our Internship Program.  Revamping our Internship Program involved creating a new business case, providing guidelines to management and creating a quality internship program that provides students with a valuable experience in the professional fields they are considering for career paths.  This program also was created to enrich the growth of BNB emerging leaders.  The revamp of this program has resulted in several growth opportunities for our organization in addition to internal growth and mobility for our previous Interns (4 of which have been brought on-board full-time.)   I believe my passion to empower young professionals to take the first step in their career combined with my expertise in mentoring and developing talent has allowed me to become a leader within the Talent profession.

    ATD: What do you suggest to new members for them to gain the most benefit from ATD LI?

    LG: My suggestion for a new member to gain the most benefit from the ATD- Long Island Chapter is to go to meetings, network, get out of your comfort zone and meet new people.  I’ve learned so much about common trends, talked about hot topics and even met great people who I could bounce ideas off.    It is incredible to be surrounded by talented professionals who share the same passion, which is helping develop talent no matter their level.

    ATD: What was the most challenging experience you ever had in talent development, and why?

    LG: The most challenging experience I had in Talent Development was when I had clients resistant to change. I believe that clients can be very set in their ways because “things have always been done this way…”  I overcame this challenge by asking “why do we do it this way...have we thought about trying this…”

    ATD: What are some of the biggest challenges facing the learning and development field?

    LG: I think one of the biggest challenges we are facing in the learning and development field is the virtual learning space.  There are many great benefits to virtual learning – however, we lack face-to-face interaction and may miss important pieces to the training.


  • 10 Jan 2019 4:40 PM | Anonymous

    For the past 10 + years, holding a management title in Learning & Development, I have received countless vendors asking me to join a webinar.  You know the invite; come to a webinar and learn all about LMS technology, leadership training, employee engagement, etc.  I will ask you to be honest and ask how many of you hit delete prior to even reading the topic? C’mon now.  Be honest.  We all have a lot of work to do and no have time for those sales focused webinars.

    In 2019, I want to challenge you.  I challenge you to read some of those invites.  Is the topic something that interests you?   Maybe a topic that might be useful for you to have some insight in for the future. 

    Let me start by saying almost every one of these vendor webinars has some sort of sales component.  After all, no one gives away anything for free.  But there are some great vendors that you can learn from, are respectful of your time, and are good to keep in the virtual Rolodex should you need them.  One of my favorites is The Ken Blanchard Companies.  Ken Blanchard offers some great webinars ( for FREE, some even with Ken himself.  These webinars are truly chock full of information and are by no means pushy to make you buy.  Yes, they want you to buy something, but they truly strive to be a learning partner.  Training Mag Network,, is another place where I go to learn.  Tons of topics, many different vendors, and even a technical series.  NetSpeed Leadership also has some nice offerings.  You can find them at  I would be remiss to not mention the Franklin Covey Web Series.  They have a number of webinars on their courses and are located at

    In 2019, make a commitment to devote an hour a month to a webinar.  I can almost guarantee you will learn something new!

  • 09 Jan 2019 4:45 PM | Anonymous

    Hello ATD Long Island! Every month from now on we will be highlighting one of our esteemed members, providing an overview of their professional lives as well as some valuable insight into current topics. 

    For January, we are excited to introduce ATD: LI's current President, Larry Kravitz. If you would like to find out more about Mr. Kravitz or maybe discuss some of his answers with him, make sure to join us at our Winter Social Event on Thursday, January 17th! 

    ATD: Where do you work currently and what does a work day look like for you?

    LK: I work as the Organizational Development Manager at Henry Schein.  I do everything from training design and delivery, manage the mentor and reverse mentor programs, help leader with Talent Planning and work on special projects.

    ATD: How did you come to be a part of ATD LI?

    LK: I got involved with ATD LI by presenting on Learning Management Systems for the group.  Sy Islam happened to be the President and knew my wife.  I had just gone through the selection and implementation of a new enterprise LMS.  About six months later, I hosted ATD at my training site and was asked to become involved.  I’ve been addicted ever since!

    ATD: How did you begin your career in talent development?

    LK: I began my career in talent development in college.  I worked for IKEA where I started training.  I was a cashier for a few weeks and then I was asked to train cashiers.  I continued to train all team members on detecting fraudulent payments.  I then designed my first “workbook”.  My intent was to teach High School English but decided I liked training adults better.

    ATD: What do you suggest to new members for them to gain the most benefit from ATD LI?

    LK: When a new member gets involved, I suggest they get “all-in”.  Join a committee and volunteer as much as you can.  This will help you to learn about the organization, learn about talent development, and build a strong network.  I think our members worry about how much they are going to be asked to do.  We won’t push you to put more time then you wish to, however everything we do is because of our volunteers.

    ATD: What was the best experience you have ever had in talent development, and why?

    LK: In my past organization, I pushed for a Leadership Development program for many years.  Although I did not fall under HR there, I saw many managers who became managers because they were successful individual contributors.  Finally, after many years, the CEO saw a need for this program.  Although we brought an outside vendor to do this, I was able to lead the project and it was an absolute win for the managers.

    ATD: What are some of the biggest challenges facing the learning and development field?

    LK: The fact that learning is so readily and easily available is a great benefit, however it is also a huge challenge for the L&D field.  The benefit is that anyone with some basic technology can learn anything they want, often for free.  The challenge is helping people to focus in on the learning they need.  In addition, as learning becomes less formal, tracking is harder for organizations.  As organizations focus on a culture of learning, leaders will need to sit down and figure out formal learning plans.

  • 10 Dec 2018 8:58 AM | Lisa Privett-Wood

    Dec 3-7 was ATD Employee Learning Week. For your reference, see below for the links and suggestions we posted on our chapter site, because really, EVERY WEEK should be Employee Learning Week!

    • What is the "learner experience" and how can we Talent Development   professionals influence it? Link to this article for a list of great resources.
    • Download this PDF and explore numerous links for FINDING (e.g. fonts, templates, images) and CREATING (e.g. videos, infographics) Learning Resources. 

  • 03 Dec 2018 1:54 PM | Anonymous

    Your employees are your most valuable asset! I know, it’s difficult to find time and resources to dedicate to learning but it is so important. Learning is directly connected to achieving organizational results.

    Imagine a workplace with no learning. The growth would become stagnant, sales will start to decline, and employees will not feel engaged. 

    How do you participate in Learning Week? It’s simple. If you are an individual contributor; start learning. Learn what you might ask? Learn anything. You can learn from Google and YouTube for free. For around $10 can teach you tons. Go to for free college-level courses. Otherwise, invest in yourself and spend some cash. If you manage others, encourage others to learn. Not just from courses, but from anyone and anywhere. Have each member of the team teach the others members something.

    I promise you that when learning stops, so does company growth. So keep on learning. Employee learning week is a great time to start, but keep it going.

  • 12 Nov 2018 8:57 AM | Anonymous

    How often have you sat and watched a presenter/facilitator and wished you could be so great in front of tens to hundreds of people.  After standing up in front of groups for the past 23 years of my life, I still think that.  It’s not wrong to think that way.  In sports, they teach you to practice with someone better than yourself.  It’s the only way you’ll get better.  So let’s talk a bit about being a great presenter.

    I’ve heard it before, and I’ll hear it again.  “Your job is so easy.  You just get up in front of people and speak”.  Of course, I just get up in front of people and start speaking, with no preparation, no planning, no research, no content development, nothing.  And of course, that is not true.   On the short side, research shows you will spend 10 hours; on the long side 60, for every one hour of presenting time!

    You may be wondering what presenters need to do.  First, it’s understating the audience.  A good presenter never walks into a session with no information.  You have to understand why the audience is there.  What’s the WIFFM (what’s in it for me) for each person in each seat?  Then, it’s time to research content.   The 10-60 hours I mentioned.  That’s a big range, but this is also a small blog post.  You need to figure out what research supports the points of your presentation.  Oh yeah, you have to figure out what those points are too.  Then you’ll have to create content.  PowerPoint is easy to use, and also very easy to overuse.  Do your homework on trends in PowerPoint to ensure you have a clean deck that is within current trends.  Once you have all your content, you’ll need to practice.  A lot.  In front of a mirror, a camera, your spouse, or your dog.  Anyone who will listen.  The more you practice the more polished you become. 

    And now it’s getting closer to the big day.  Logistics.  Don’t forget about logistics.  Where is the presentation and what time?  Do you have handouts?  Will your laptop fit with the technology in the room?  Do you have a room?  How big or small is it?  Oops, the room is too big for some of your content on the PowerPoint so you might have to re-do some of that.   Do you have control of the temperature in the room?  Will the air conditioning be blowing on a 40-degree day?  These are all things that great speakers think about.

    Finally, the day has arrived.  Butterflies flutter around your stomach.  My way of dealing with it is planning my open.  I typically know the first three minutes inside out and am ready to go.   I also get in as early as I can.   It gives me time to work with all the things that can and will go wrong, time to unwind a bit, get a cup of coffee, listen to some music, and maybe even meet some early bird audience members.  Then it’s off.  If you have prepared and you have a passion for your topic, your credibility will show through and people will be thinking about how they can be a great presenter like you.

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