Training people in new techniques, procedures, processes, or building up staff knowledge on products or services, is a challenge for most businesses. Training takes a special skill set, and one of the most important aspects of any successful training is to provide the information in a way that is meaningful, relevant, and accessible to all.
When there is a need for training, planning the event in advance and considering your audience is a critical and often overlooked step. Some businesses do all of their training the same way, perhaps in shift talks, short on the job training, or even by sending out key staff members to attend outside workshops or manufacturer’s training events.
Given different training requirements, just any type of training may not be the best option. The number of people to train, the specific topic of the training, and even the current understanding of the group in regards to the topic should all be considered.
A closer look at the following factors and how they apply to your group of trainees can help you to find the right type of combination of training options.
Size of the Group
Large group trainings are often limited by space and the ability of the trainer to interact personally with all involved. Large groups can be easily provided information through lectures, discussions, or the use of videos and PowerPoint presentations to provide specific information.
Smaller groups can also have information provided using the same method, but it easier to work with more interactive types of discussions. Small groups can also benefit from demonstrations and practice, with the trainer providing immediate feedback, answers to questions, and support.
People tend to have a preferred method of learning something new. For some people, it is listening and talking about the concept that helps them to gain understanding. For others, watching a demonstration and engaging in hands-on practice is much more effective.
Most people learn through a combination of different modes or styles. To capture the attention of everyone in the audience, setting up a training to have an element of all learning styles (reading, talking, seeing, and doing) can be very helpful for engagement in the training as well as retention of the information.
Building on Training Basics
An extremely effective way to increase any type of knowledge within a business is to look at training as a process rather than as a one-time activity. Layering, or adding layers or levels of training, is a highly productive way to train, particularly with complex processes.
Layering starts with providing information and setting the foundation of knowledge. Then, the trainees can work in small groups, providing time for discussion and demonstration aspects of learning. Next, a team leader or procedure specialist can then work one-on-one with the employees, providing immediate feedback and personalized learning experiences.
Finally, having the trainer available to the team to address any questions that come up provides a safety net while encouraging trainees to work independently using the new skill or knowledge base.