November 20, 2013

An article, “How to Develop and Implement A Successful Maintenance Skills Training Program,” on by Ricky Smith begins with the following:

“Maintenance Skills Training for industry is a hot subject right now. In many areas of the country, companies are competing for skilled maintenance personnel. . . .

The skill level of the maintenance personnel in most companies is well below what industry would say is acceptable.

Technical Training Corporation has assessed the skill level of thousands of maintenance personnel in the U.S. and Canada and found 80% of the people assessed scored less than 50% of where they need to be in the basic technical skills to perform their jobs. . . .”

As we’ve written about many times, in this country if you wait for Community Colleges to effectively train your new hires, you’ll be waiting a long time. Without an emphasis on simulation and media-based instruction, few of our current crop of young people will ever learn enough from the traditional “lecture-reading-testing” teaching model that still prevails in many colleges. In most cases, you’re going to have to do it yourself.

So, how should you go about it?

The key to successful training is to make it an integral part of your organization’s business objectives. Up-front planning helps ensure that your investment in training will deliver measurable results. Your goal is to make training a cost-effective solution that supports the business objectives of your organization.

It is critical to focus training where it will have the greatest effect on performance. Using needs assessment and task analysis techniques, you can identify the greatest opportunities to improve performance through training.

In order to be successful, a training plan must become a solution that can be implemented within the existing structures of your organization. From broad decisions such as curriculum design or the integration of new learning technology to details such as staffing, scheduling, and equipping the learning environment, you should strive to transform the training plan into a smoothly functioning reality.

In sum, you need to identify your organization’s training needs so that you can recommend the best way to maximize the dollar return on investment. And, you’re going to succeed at that task as long as you successfully develop the two necessary strategies:

• Needs Assessment and Task Analysis
• Training Plan and Implementation

You’ll be pleasantly surprised at the positive dividends you’ll receive from your front-end investment. Because of those efforts, your training initiatives will prove many times more valuable to your organization.

To be successful, training must be integral. It is as important to your organization as almost any initiative you undertake. Do it the right way!

And, if you base your instruction on simulation, media-based learning and gaming, you will be pleasantly surprised at how quickly (and, well) your trainees progress from classroom to shop floor.

More on Monday – – –

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