Why is Your Employee Training Failing?
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Even in companies that tend to support the training of employees, and focus on providing training and development opportunities for all the employees, much of the allocated resources get wasted. The reason for this is that in spite training’s importance has been recognized inside the company, the actual program hasn’t been compelled right. A training course must be planned and linked properly in order to work.
Typically, the real cause of training failure is that businesses simply make it available, but don’t actually focus on the content and means required to link it to the actual employees’ needs. The main purpose of a training program is not to mentally program people’s minds, but to address their needs and desires. In the absence of this, the learning programs are most likely to not to hit any planned target.
Linking learning to performance
When you decide to start a training program, the first thing you have to do is to consider how it will influence performance over time. Thus, a conducted design, at least in summarized form, should not miss. Ensure to check various steps in the process, sequence of materials, presentations and group discussions. Time activities according to the available time, provide yourself with enough time and place all the necessary materials at hand. Arrange a large lecture room and repeat the instructions. If you can, find answers to the possible questions before the training.
Planners are considered an alternative for the unexpected situations. You need to have ready alternative activities for the moments when the group is better or less well prepared than you expected. Examine the design to determine the points where you can make the necessary changes.
Focus on the groups’ needs
During the training it’s essential to facilitate both the learning course, as well as the training process in itself. Maintain an atmosphere of support for the participants. Give everyone something to do at any moment. Alternate techniques and participants whenever you can. Leave groups to help themselves and reinforce the concept of having options. Use small groups to encourage communication and make certain tasks easier to accomplish.
In order to facilitate learning, it is also important to summarize everything that happens in a learning experience. Coordinate a consistent impact experience to prepare participants. The learning cycle stages in this regard are clear and complete. Help participants to talk about their experience and encourage posting contributions from all participants. Work on discussing dynamics, focusing on them and less on the meaning of interactivity.
Keep on generalizations that are unbiased and extract all perspectives. Use open questions and avoid the closed-based ones. Ask questions that begin with “how”, “what”, “or”, “why”, and try to include the words “think” or “feel” to retrieve the answers. Avoid questions that can be answered with “yes” or “no”. Encourage and help the participants to share whatever plan they have to apply the learning into their daily work life.
Facilitate learning within the flow of work
Beyond linking training to performance, as mentioned above, it is important to empower employees to learn while they are actually working. This benefits both the company itself, as it can save costs related to training, including the indirect costs of employees losing potential performance time (i.e. the more they are away from their daily tasks, the less potential money and results the company can realize, at least in the short term), as well as the learner.
Rather than training be some abstract, this directly answers the “WIFM” (what’s in it for me?) question, as the employee is able to be trained to complete a task as he/she is performing it. Self-guidance technologies, WalkMe being a great example, allow managers to overlay detailed instructions within their software, allowing employees to complete tasks as they are performing them. Other e-learning options also allow the learner to not have to attend a traditional classroom training session, but rather learn as they work.
A good trainer must remember that participants are more important than the subject under discussion. Therefore, it is important to be alert to all issues that your employees’ raise during the training, and to discuss, understand and engage them in the process. You should not miss the ability to paraphrase (e.g. to tell in your own words what the other person said). This will help verify the accuracy of perception and reassure the speaking participant that what he meant was understood.
About the Author
Jason Silberman is marketing director at WalkMe, an interactive online guidance system and engagement platform. He is the lead author and editor of Training Station, a blog devoted to news and ideas on training, learning and employee performance. He just published a free eBook – “Express Train: How to Accelerate Employee Time to Competence” – with tips on overcoming some of the common challenges in employee training. Follow him at @tstationblog.