February 5, 2014

Training initiatives are designed to facilitate long term retention of new information and/or engender behavioral modification. When it comes to “industrial skills training,” what do you want to accomplish with your own training initiatives?

Will your initiatives focus on minimizing downtime, reducing scrap, cross-training your workforce?

Or, are those objectives tied to a “CYA” strategy? In other words, are you simply going to justify your training initiatives by showing management the improvement results between pre-test and final exam scores?

If so, you’re not doing a very good job of helping your organization meet its top line and bottom line goals.

Does it not stand to reason that almost all individuals will make higher final exam scores than they scored during the pre-test? Of course! And, that simple memorization and regurgitation-of-information process will not necessarily translate into improved task accomplishment.

Downtime may not be minimized, scrap may not be reduced and, workers may not have improved their skill sets.

No! Your training initiatives should be measured against a “tasks-skills” result. First, you need to know the tasks required to accomplish a reduction in downtime, a reduction in scrap and/or an increase in multi-craft skill sets.

Second, after consultation with your plant floor supervisory staff, you need to identify the skills required to positively impact those required tasks.

And, finally, you need to look at the results you achieve in reducing downtime and/or scrap while increasing multi-craft capability.

The numbers will be available. And, the supervisory staff will see the results on-the-floor. Look at the numbers and talk with the supervisors. Only then will you be able to validate the success of your training initiatives.

More on Monday – – – – –

— Bill Walton, Founder of ITC Learning