Posts Tagged: Training-A-Z

The A-Z of Training (Volume 1)

Posted by Adam Chester on 10/11/2014 at 11:24

Here's our first complete A to Z of training, all in one place! We had so much fun with these, we'll be doing another soon!

The A-Z of training: A is for Audience
The A-Z of training: B is for Blended Learning
The A-Z of Training: C is for Compliance Training
The A-Z of Training: D is for Development
The A-Z of Training: E is for Engagement
The A-Z of Training: F is for Failure
The A-Z of Training: G is for Goals
The A-Z of Training: H is for Help
The A-Z of Training: I is for Independence
The A-Z of Training: J is for Justification
The A-Z of Training: K is for Knowledge
The A-Z of Training: L is for Learning Methods
The A-Z of Training: M is for Management
The A-Z of Training: N is for Necessary
The A-Z of Training: O is for Opportunity
The A-Z of Training: P is for Push and Pull
The A-Z of Training: Q is for Quality
The A-Z of Training: R is for Rejuvenation
The A-Z of Training: S is for Safety
The A-Z of Training: T is for Time To Learn
The A-Z of Training: U is for Underdeveloped
The A-Z of Training: V is for Validation
The A-Z of Training: W is for Wonder
The A-Z of Training: X is for Xenos
The A-Z of Training: Y is for Yield
The A-Z of Training: Z is for Zigzag

If you have any suggestions for letters (particularly Q, X, Y and Z) please get in touch.

The A-Z of Training: Z is for Zigzag

Posted by Adam Chester on 29/10/2014 at 09:20

Many companies go through phases of heavily using e-learning which are followed by periods where instructor-led training is preferred. This zigzag approach to learning and development means that the learning and development strategy is constantly being changed.

There are many benefits to using e-learning for training staff; Training can be taken at any time, travel costs are reduced and outcomes can easily be tracked. These benefits are attractive and when executed well e-learning experiences can be rich and stimulating, however poor quality e-learning resources can destroy the will of even the most committed learner.

Where the learners report that they are not satisfied with the e-learning experience, the natural action is to move to instructor-led sessions with an experienced instructor who is knowledgeable and can cater for the needs of the group. This personal interaction has numerous benefits; Learners can ask questions and a wide range of techniques can be used. The main drawback to this approach is scheduling sessions when they are needed- do you really want your new inductees to wait until there are enough people to make the session viable?

This issue makes e-learning appear more desirable, and at this point many organisations consider returning to it. This creates a zigzag between e-learning and instructor-led training. Over time an organisation may discover a blend of training which works, but only after significant time and money is spent through trial and error.

Zigzagging of Learning and Development

Developing blended learning programmes that use the features of each medium to best effect can prevent these wholesale changes between e-learning and face-to-face learning. This requires a balanced view from the start but saves a great deal of organisational change later on.

The A-Z of Training: Y is for Yield

Posted by Adam Chester on 22/10/2014 at 10:26

As learners begin to access your materials in a more on demand style are you ready to yield control of their learning to them?

Modern technologies allow you to distribute your learning experiences around the world from the comfort of the office and report on them on the train home. These new technologies mean that you can benefit from enthusiastic learners who spend time developing themselves.

In our training A-Z we have seen a number of articles encouraging you to enable self directed learning in your organisation. While most L&D professionals see this as a good thing, some have difficulty in letting go of the direct management of learners.

I personally see this occurring most in environments with heavy regulation and compliance requirements. This is understandable given the consequences that can arise from non-compliance. Where employees are empowered to control their own learning and understand its implications from personal and company perspectives then facilitating development becomes easier.

Yielding control of learning and personal development shares the workload between you and the learner helping to increase engagement and participation.

The A-Z of Training: X is for Xenos

Posted by Adam Chester on 15/10/2014 at 09:00

X has been the hardest letter in our A-Z. We've had the dictionary out and picked Xenos the Greek word for stranger.

How many people in your organisation are strangers to the training department? We have been working with a national retail chain recently that estimated that some of their middle management have not undertaken any training in over 12 months.

I thought that this was interesting, especially considering how well structured the training programme was for in-store employees. The Learning and Development manager explained that with so many sites around the UK, having a clear programme was essential to ensure that new starters recieved all of the required training when they started.

Staff at Head Office were also well catered for, with a variety of both general and role specific training available to them. I'd say that this organisation were particularly on the ball, however the elephant in the room were the mobile staff, those who weren't based in a store or at Head Office.

Their unwillingness to attend training sessions stemmed from two factors; a perceived lack of time and also distance from the training locations. In addition regional management had for the most part been store managers before being promoted so had a good handle on procedures for a Store Managers and knew who to contact in Head Office where exceptional circumstances arrived.

The main issue was that there was a lack of a development plan for regional managers. We decided that a blended programme of management training would be a good development pathway and could provide excellent opportunities for building relationships with between the training department and mobile workers. Part of the programme included a two day residential stay at a central venue, which we hoped would give time for networking between regional managers.

Does your organisation have trainees who are strangers to the training department? How are you planning on getting them engaged?

The A-Z of Training: W is for Wonder

Posted by Adam Chester on 08/10/2014 at 10:31

Are your training sessions a wonder?

How do you want your learners to feel after particiating in one of your training courses? I hope that after a course, my learners are enthused by the topic taught and are ready to apply it at the next oppertunity. When designing a course, I look for points that the learner can put into practice straight away and then support these with demonstration or discussion.

While I try to make my sessions engaging, I do not want them to be the wonder in themselves. The star of the show should be the learning not the presenter!

How many of your learners are currently wondering about something?

If one of your employees was wondering about something where would they go? Perhaps they would ask a colleague, their line manager or catch you in the canteen at lunch. My suspicion is that this doesn't happen as often as it might. It might be out of fear of asking a silly question or not needing the information immediately and putting it off until they can speak to someone who can help.

This is where having some sort of searchable knowledgebase is a good idea, so that anyone can look up an answer to a question. This is a good first step, but extending this to a forum where people can ask questions and leave answers can help to build a community where people can access information that an be created by everyone, not just the training department.