Training has become a costly affair, not to mention the training itself, but employees time spent out the office. Training is about having employees exiting the course with changes in their behaviour and improved skills. Here are ways to ensure that you deliver effective training.
1. Determine your exact need:
Never do training for the sake of training. Do a proper Training Need Analysis to determine exactly what has to be trained. Not all problems can be resolved through training. An effective Training Needs Analysis will save your company a lot of money.
2. Train to develop the needs of the employee:
Ensure that the selected training fits in with the employee needs. Failing to do this will leave the person demotivated and learning will not take place. There must be a win-win. So often, off-the-shelf-courses do not satisfy the real needs of the learner or the company. Adapt the course or training to meet their needs.
3. Get management commitment:
If the Supervisor through to Senior Management does not support the new training skills, then the only one who has benefitted from the training is the employee (at the company’s expense). The employee returns to the workplace motivated and wanting to try out the newly learned skill only to have the supervisor stifling any new attempts the employee makes. Watch out for statements such as: “That way of doing it will not work here”. Let the employee try out the new skills he/she has gained and let them see for themselves if it will work or not.
4. Insist on quality:
Ensure that the trainer has the skill to transfer knowledge. Just because the person has been a trainer for many years, does not make them a skilled trainer. Also, provide a manual that is of value and a future reference guide. Do not just provide Photostat notes and hope for the best. Make the learning a memorable experience.
5. Select the right venue:
The selected venue must be conducive to learning. A boardroom is hardly the place as it has certain connotations of ‘stiffness’ and is not relaxing. A room that allows too much noise creates distractions, etc. Ensure the venue is quiet, has comfortable seats, steady tables, enough light, controllable air-conditioning, and so on. People learn best and absorb more information when they are relaxed and their brain waves are between Alpha and Theta stages.
6. Create a learning culture:
Let the delegates know what it is they must become skilled at in order for them to stay on top of their field. A one-off course may not always be the answer. Management must support these efforts by providing the necessary resources to achieve the goals. With repetition, learning becomes more effective. Remember when you learnt the times table, how you had to repeat it over and over again. I’m sure that if you quickly say it out loud now how easy it is to recall them again after so many years.
7. Ensure continuity:
Never limit training to new employees only. At certain intervals, give everyone the opportunity to learn and grow further. This ensures motivation. A motivated employee is a happy employee. The right training boosts the skill level and steers them to be more professional. This also creates a culture within the team to have that ‘want to learn more’ that spills over into the department and then the organisation.
8. Measure the learning results:
If the results are not measured, you will never be able to identify if the training has been successful or not. Measure the person’s performance, time factors, behaviour, etc. Compare the results to the stated objectives and keep on improving the standards set.
9. Ensure responsibility:
Let the employee be aware that any training becomes their responsibility. They must be involved in pre-training assignments, actively participate during the sessions and demonstrate any new skills after the training.
10. Make training-investment decisions:
At each step of the planning, always ask yourself; will this course advance the company investment, will the employee add value to the company afterwards, will the employee benefit?