Training Employees: Get the most from your training dollars.
July 15, 2011 1 Comment
Training employees is a critical component of business development. But how do you get the most out of your training dollars?
Besides the quality of your facilitator and the quality of the training environment there are two easy-to-implement goals that will enhance your success when planning staff development programs focused on training employees.
These two goals are:
- Motivation & Relevance for the adult learner / employee
- Familiarity of the adult learner / employee with the subject (even generally)
Motivation & Relevance
Let the adult learner see ‘What’s In It For Them?’ Adults will actively participate in training when they know how and why professional development will benefit them as well as the organization. As an example, the benefits can take many forms including:
- Helping employees succeed in the newly changed environment
- Increasing job satisfaction and organization contribution (often valued more by employees than a salary increase)
- Preparing employees for a promotion or new career opportunities
- Licensing or required (career benefiting), credentials
The benefits of goal oriented motivation when training is clear. Your employees will see you as investing in their success, therefore appreciate the training you are providing. In the end you’ll have happier employees that are more attentive during the training, retain more information and implement more once back at the office. Certainly a win-win for everyone.
Familiarity With The Subject
Adults learn best by associating new information to existing knowledge.
Familiarity with the subject allows the adult learner to bridge the new information with existing knowledge, allowing them to retain more and learn at a faster pace. Association therefore increases transference (transference being the adoption / implementation of new knowledge by an employee into their daily activities outside of the controlled classroom environment).
With transference increased, the adult learner will use the new information sooner, more effectively and potentially adapt the knowledge to additional (different), situations.
To ensure familiarity with the subject, it’s also beneficial to approach a new knowledge from more than one vantage point. My suggestion is to be as honest and straightforward as possible. For example, discuss how the new XYZ will:
- Benefit the adult learner…
- Benefit client A…
- Benefit client B…
- Benefit the organization….
Adults also stay engaged and retain more information when they’re able to actively participate in relevant learning – participation taking the form of:
- Conversation / interaction
- Asking questions of the facilitator and each other
- Practice / exercises
- Self defined activities – such as choosing one or more aspects of the training to commit to implementing
In a group class setting adult learners are able to bring and share their experiences (increase familiarity), as well as motivate and even teach each other – something difficult to obtain from webinars or pre-recorded training.
So when training employees the best place to start is with a group of people who work together and can discuss / brainstorm the best resolutions. Training success equates to doing because as a group they can discuss problems and how to address solutions to solve those problems. This group will also be able to self-reinforce the new behaviour when back in the office.
As you plan your next training environment, bring your whole team together and encourage them to support each other and practice together. With everyone in your office learning new procedures together, the chances of transference and employee satisfaction increases significantly.
Happy training. Happy communicating.
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