June 25, 2014

Today’s blog will address a success strategy for trainers and will focus on three major factors necessary for that accomplishment.

In order to be successful as a trainer-leader, your first task is to recognize that too many training investments are unrelated to company objectives. Therefore, it should come as no surprise, that management, too often, regards training costs as superfluous.

So, how can you assure that your training efforts will help your company achieve a competitive advantage?

In order to successfully connect training initiatives to corporate objectives, you should:

a) study the company’s business plan.

b) meet with some of the individuals who created those business objectives in order to ascertain their thinking.

c) build a sound business case for how your proposed training initiative will positively contribute to company results.

Secondly, it is important to remember that individuals charged with spending organizational money on training, often, needlessly squander corporate resources.

For example, adopting a “one-size-fits-all” approach is a wasteful way to go today.

No longer does a company have to assign every electrical maintenance worker or instrument tech to the very same curriculum. The means exist to administer a valid skills assessment in order to determine exactly just what skills a specific worker already possesses — and, which ones he does not. The results of that assessment will clearly demonstrate the various knowledge gaps in your workforce.

And, since personnel costs are the most expensive item in training, significant corporate dollars can be saved by eliminating an “everybody takes everything” approach. Rather, an individual trainee should invest only that time necessary to fill in those knowledge gaps, without having to perform a seat-warming activity in the courses she does not need.

Thirdly, I would suggest that in order to effectively train a group of people, you must have some awareness of the “learning cultures” with which you are working. Two important facts must be kept in mind: 1) approximately 40% of America’s workforce cannot assimilate information written above a 4th grade reading level: and, 2) little more than one-third of our current high school seniors are able to form opinions from what they read.

Most people are multi-sensory learners when it comes to skills acquisition. ‘Seeing’, ‘hearing’, and ‘doing’ -– in combination -– is still the best way. Stand-up instruction (with hands-on exercises); distance learning (with good facilitation), videotapes (with hands-on practice), and self-paced e-Learning (grounded in full-motion video and optional word-for-word audio) are all more effective media for the large trainee majority seeking to acquire, or improve, skills

In fact, studies continue to reveal that using “seeing-hearing-doing” in a multi-sensory learning environment will increase the majority of your trainees’ understanding by more than 50%, resulting in a 25-50% greater learning retention, and with a 50-60% greater consistency in content understanding.

As a trainer-leader, these should be the three issues that garner much of your attention. Building a training plan around them will not only pay dividends to your organization, it can become your personal success story.

More on Monday – – – – –

— Bill Walton, Founder, ITC Learning