Updated: Jul 4, 2021
The quality of your training method will determine the effectiveness of your execution. There are many ways and words used to describe 'training', just like they are many ways to educate and up-skill your team. Plus there is always the challenge of balancing getting through the day to day, whilst you allocate quality time to improving your people assets.
Having a solid training process is critical to becoming an even a smarter company. Your staff expect it, your customers demand it and your company is less effective without it.
How to make learning part of the day to day?
Everyone wants more training, everyone wants to be training their teams more, but the actual reality is, its not that easy. With so much information to learn and absorb, with all the different skill levels across your team, amongst all the day to day time pressures, its a real challenge to get the right balance. Most companies have waves of training, where it kicks in for a few months, but then fades away. Just getting the right training content together that accelerates the company wide learning can also be a challenge.
Below we have defined a 10 Step Training Process to make things a little easier.
1) Topic Plan
It starts with a clear Topic Plan to guide your ultimate learning roadmap. This topic plan sets the pace for everything. It can be high level initially, as you add more sub-topics and contents over time. Start with your Big Hit business critical projects first. The topics that you absolutely must do or must learn really well to implement your business strategy.
2) Topic Champions
Your topic experts can be anyone in your business, or if needed, outside your business, These are the benchmark to lift the rest of the team to. Download what they know?, how they do it? and then translate this powerful knowledge into the minds of your people. Everyone loves the recognition of helping others and the recognition of even been regarded as an expert. This recognition goes along way in staff satisfaction too.
3) Training Management Process
Your off line training management process and plan must be linked through to your teams performance objectives. Learning/training/development (LTD) - whatever you like to call it - must be embedded in everyone's roles, as a key part of the companies culture. This starts with the business leaders coaching and guiding everyday. A great training process has lots of benchmarking reports across your team, to see who is putting the time & effort in. There is a direct correlation between knowledge and performance.
4) eLearning Software System
Organising all your training contents into effective modules of learning is critical.
There are many great online training software tools you can build and customise to be the centerpiece of your training program. Without it all your great training contents will be like a messy library of uninspiring static PowerPoints. Plus you must have it well organised to be able to produce it effectively into real learning modules.
5) Training Planner & Schedule
Your Training Planner must follow the business needs and the skill gaps of your team. Your training should start with what needs the most learning and the most team alignment, as your first priority. Start with the real 'must know' content that is critical to your companies priorities to execute. Have a plan and a weekly schedule that is realistic. Plus start with bite size pieces that builds over time. Consistency is key.
7) Use Multiple Mediums
Learning is most effective when it comes in different forms. Mix it up with online quiz's and short videos, before you hit it with offline face to face training. Mix the depth up too with basic and advanced training contents. The combination of the mediums as well as the repetition is what will increase retention by your learners. Use every medium you can, to maximise every learning opportunity. It also keeps it fun and fresh when you are engaging all the senses!
8) Produce Each Topic Well to achieve learning outcomes
The more important the topic, or the more in-depth the content, then the more you need to produce awesome training modules. Less is more. Like a great experience, you want to take the audience on a journey through their learning and really engage all their senses to the fullest. More work done upfront will result in much faster learning by your audience and keep their attention span. This confidence and positive experience in the training process will help build self-learning momentum over time.
9) Test Your Learning Modules First
You won't get it right the first time! Test and check your draft training modules on different people to ensure it strikes a chord. This last 10% of fine tuning can make or break an effective module. It also is teaching your test audience at the same time. And everyone loves being asked for feedback, resulting in a more overall engaging process.
10) Listen to Feedback and learn yourself
No one is perfect. So take the feedback constructively and openly. Use the input to keep improving your own company wide training process. This shows you take feedback seriously and more people will want to pass on their thoughts for improving the training contents and their experience - they might even nominate themselves to help be a topic champion. Even the learning process can become smarter!