September 17, 2014

Few organizations want to buy training!  Management usually only purchases training programs when they want to solve a particular problem.  Training becomes only a means to resolving issues that management wants to fix.

Too often, these new training initiatives are merely reactive solutions to present problems.  For example:  “We’re producing too much scrap!”  “The same pumps need bearing replacement too often!”  “Too many on-the-job accidents are occurring!”

While it is understandable that reactive training can often become a short-term necessity, organizations that want to increase efficiencies and company profitability become proactive in their training plans and goals.

Proactive Training in the process and manufacturing industries usually falls into one, or more, of the following three categories:

  • COMPREHENSIVE TRAINING — an in-depth approach, from basic skills (reading, writing, math) to topics that address the practical skills necessary to the employee’s on-the-job assignments (electrical maintenance, mechanical maintenance, operations, and instrumentation tech training). The courses offered should cover the “why’s,” as well as the “how to’s.”  An apprentice program would be an example.
  • MULTI-CRAFT TRAINING — the complexity of modern equipment, which often combines technologies (broader job classifications), has made this a rapidly growing need.  An example would be an electronics technician who encounters hydraulic robots (with electronic controls) will require more than a basic understanding of hydraulics.
  • UPGRADE TRAINING — extending the knowledge and skills within a person’s primary area of responsibility.  Common examples would be training an electrician in electronics, or an electronics technician in data communications.

Please keep in mind that identifying the goals of your proactive training initiatives has always been the easy part.  What is far more difficult is identifying the learning culture of the individuals to be trained and, then, leaving your own prejudices behind as you search for “the perfect fit.”  The ultimate answer should be one that will allow your employees to successfully master the material presented.

As we’ve reiterated many times, video-based courseware accompanied by optional word-for-word audio offers you the best chance to accomplish your organization’s training goals.  And, for the trainees, that will be true for them as well.  Most people are motivated to learn and progress.  Traditional “Reading/Lecture” training is no longer the best way for most working Americans to learn.

For the majority of your workforce:  “If they can’t see it being done — they can’t learn it!”  It’s a visual learning world today!

More on Monday – – – – –

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