How to Deliver Effective Employee Training in 6 Easy Steps
WRITTEN BY Steve Picarde, Sr.
Every manager at one time or another will need to train employees on key business essentials, from workplace expectations, to how to conduct PI Behavioral Assessment™ "readbacks," to equipment operations or procedure changes. The problem with many training programs is a lack of planning for maximum effect. Whether training is a two-hour informational meeting or a week-long affair, planning is necessary to ensure a measurable improvement in employee development.
In order to plan effectively, consider these key steps that incorporate the ADDIE (analysis, design, development, implementation and evaluation) model for creating quality training programs.
Step 1: Determine if training is necessary. Not all workplace performance problems are resolved with training, according to the performance analysis model developed by Robert Mager and Peter Pipe. Training helps if you want to correct a skill or knowledge deficiency. It is not as effective for problems relating to organizational issues such as inadequate work systems and resources, conflicting policies and poor management practices.
Step 2: When training is needed, ensure that it meets the need of the employee as an adult learner. Adults learn better when information has a direct and prompt connection to jobs responsibilities. They also need a safe learning environment that acknowledges their experience level. Applying these principles, initially introduced by education pioneer Malcolm Knowles, creates an atmosphere conducive to learning.
Step 3: Define smart objectives. Clear objectives are necessary to ensure training is relevant to employee needs and unmistakably linked to business goals and metrics. Objectives need to be specific, measurable and describe what employees will be able to do afterward. Taking the time to write down the objectives allows preparation of on-target content. Use Bloom's Taxonomy for educational objectives as a good starting place to craft quality training goals.
Step 4: Determine the best instruction method. Consider how a given method impacts information retention. All lecture-based classes are boring at best, and employees retain the least amount of information. Some lecture with interactive demonstrations, practice sessions and problem-solving activities increase retention. Training events need participatory activities that appeal to several learning styles and engage the learner. Plus, you'll avoid a snooze fest and a big waste of time.
Step 5: The next big hurdle is choosing the right instructors. It's no secret that instructors must be knowledgeable about the subject matter. But more than that, they must be able to prepare and present material in a manner that is understandable and acceptable to learners. Trainers should enjoy teaching and bring enthusiasm to the educational event. Effective instructors can communicate effectively, interact positively with the audience and encourage participants’ engagement.
Step 6: Finally, when training is over, take steps to ensure learning converts to improved on-the-job performance. This is typically done by making it easy for employees to adopt and use what they learn. Enlisting the help of the employees' managers and supervisors is the key to making this work.
Overall, effective training hinges on careful planning, use of adult learning techniques, the right instructor and successful transfer of learning to the job. With a skilled workforce, your company is another step closer to sustainable business success.