Why Your Employees Need this Workshop
For the employee who has some degree of math anxiety and doesn’t think of him- or herself as a “math person,” the cause can often be traced back to middle school when they studied fractions, decimals, and percents. What happens typically is that this 3-in-1 topic is never fully grasped and then — because it is probably the most frequently encountered math topic — it becomes a nagging frustration that makes all of math seem more difficult than it really is. People with this common variety of math anxiety can never feel completely competent in the business world because percent problems come up everywhere in business. Every one of the metrics mentioned in the previous section involves percents in one way or another.
Our workshop will show these employees how easy percent problems really are. Here’s a simple example. If the cost of producing an item is $120 and the selling price is $150, there’s a profit, of course, of $30. This represents a 20% margin (30/150 x 100%). But the percent increase or percent markup from $120 to $150 is 25% (30/120 x 100%). These two computations are frequently confused. After taking the workshop, employees will understand the difference and never make this mistake again. And they will learn to do margin computations like this quickly and in their heads. Our trainer, Mark Ryan, has a knack for making such topics easy to learn and easy to remember.
Workshop participants will also work on another important practical skill: estimation. The ability to estimate is critical in business when exact computations are impossible (with projections, for example), when exact answers are unnecessary, and as a way to check that exact answers are close to a sensible ballpark result. It is impossible to be truly comfortable with quantitative matters without the ability to estimate. Employees should be able to make a quick mental estimate of, say, the impact on your profits when the price of gasoline or oil goes up. They should at the very least be able to come up with a rough ballpark answer. If they can’t do this, they can’t have a very good intuitive feel for a goal that underlies everything your organization does namely, making a profit by producing and selling high quality goods or services at the right price.
After completing our workshop, employees will begin to feel — perhaps for the first time — like a math person. An almost inevitable consequence of this shift in attitude toward numbers is improved job performance.