September 25, 2013

Like most of us, trainers want to excel in their profession — both for the benefit of their organization and for the individuals they are asked to train. Sometimes, like all of us, they fail to take stock of the effectiveness of what they are doing and simply fall into the rut of doing things the same way over and over again without re-thinking organization goals and the results (positive or negative) that their training initiatives are actually achieving.

Yet, as trainers, it’s often wise to periodically ask yourself a series of questions — questions that must be answered truthfully before one can examine any possible solutions:

1) Is your organization getting financially healthier?

 a. If applicable, is the export/import ratio shifting positively?
b. Are your earnings increasing?
c. Is productivity increasing?

2) What is happening to the “training function” within your organization?

 a. Is the traditional “student/teacher” relationship changing?
b. Is the role of “technology in the classroom” changing?
c. Is training getting more corporate management attention — and, dollars?

3) What means the most to your organization?

a. ROI?
b. Share Price?
c. Growth?
d. Earnings?
e. Market Share?

4) What effect could “change in performance” have on any of your answers to the previous question (number 3)?

 a. Decreased Downtime?
b. Less Scrap?
c. Decreased Absenteeism?
d. Less Overtime?
e. Additional Benefits Knowledge?
f. Better Selling Skills?
g. Enhanced Communication?

If your answers to these questions are satisfactory to you and to your organization, there is no reason to read further. But, if you are looking for improvement in any of the above, the following will give you some insight into the “positive prescription to re-direct performance” that state-of-the-art training can make today.

1) Today’s training should be “Performance-Based.”

a. Job-Oriented Content.
b. The primary focus is on Performance Objectives.
c. The training is user-controlled with Built-In Practice.

2) Today’s training should be “Learner Oriented.”

 a. It is based on “Multi-Sensory Media,” interactive, user-controlled instruction.
b. It should be full motion video-based (with optional word-for-word audio) in order to accommodate poor readers.
c. It should have an “Intuitive Interface.”

3) Today’s training must be “Accountable.”

 a. It should have “Integrated Testing.”
b. It should provide for “Automatic Record Keeping.”

4) Today’s training must be “Customizable.”

 a. It should provide for “Facility Specific Information.”
b. It should allow for “Customized Testing.”

Effective training and learning must be more than the organized teacher-led group environment we’ve known in the past. It must become a process that fully accommodates the uniqueness of individuals. And it will only achieve that goal when “intimidation,” a natural by-product of group instruction, has been erased. Multi-sensory media instruction, that is both user-controlled and educationally interactive, is uniquely positioned to serve as that ultimate eraser.

You will be pleasantly surprised at the additional contributions you can make to corporate performance when your training efforts lead to better learning for your trainees. Your efforts will be rewarded with better on-the-job performances because retention will have been dramatically increased.

Trainers have very challenging jobs. Aligning your goals with your organization is the first step to increased success. The second is to provide training initiatives that actually communicate effectively because they are presented in the learning culture of today’s trainees (and, that means video- or gaming based). I think you’ll find increased satisfaction when you do.

More on Monday – – –

— Bill Walton, Founder
ITC Learning (Mondays & Wednesdays)