Training Tips

Learning Methods


 We all know that the time we and our staff “spend” learning comes back to us three-fold in the form of high morale, safety, retention, productivity, confidence, and reduced errors.

 BUT where do we get that time up front with everyone’s incredibly busy schedules? Try some of the following great ideas that have been used successfully by other companies.

 You can use a modularized training design that requires minimum time away from work — learners come to work a ½ hour early, read the materials, take a quiz, and then spend a few minutes checking their understanding with their supervisor. Or try a complete management training course in ten 2 hour modules. For people whose travel or other schedule causes them to miss, a second session of each module is available or a one-on-one session. Each learner can use these alternatives up to 2 times during the training.

 Provide pre-work for OJT and classroom — then the time with the facilitator or the manager or co-worker who’s conducting the training is for asking questions, clarifying, and practicing. At already scheduled staff meetings, take 15 minutes to watch training videotapes. Create a self-paced manual that doubles as a  reference tool and a job aid. Always use real work and real examples, because adults learn fastest (and retain more) when they see immediate applicability.

 Implement 2 hour lunch sessions with managers on what performance training can improve, what needs to be handled with another intervention, techniques for preparing employees for training, and what to do to reinforce the training when they return to work (see RIR Fall ‘98). This speeds up learning and ensures learning transfer.

 Have managers work with employees for 10 minutes on the day before training done by someone other than them, to plan for what they’ll learn - this creates preparation and commitment for the employee and greater belief for the manager that they’ll come back with a skill that they can use.

 Create structured on-the-job training (OJT) and performance support - OJT is the least expensive, least time consuming, most effective learning there is if done right (prepared for and facilitated by an employee trained on how to help people learn). Or it can be the most expensive, most time consuming, least effective if done off the cuff (by the most experienced employee from whom you lose the greatest amount of productivity when they’re off line, or by someone who’s just telling the person how to do the task—both creating non-learning which creates accidents and time lost to “re-training”).

 ©Training Systems, Inc. 2000


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