Posts Tagged: Training-A-Z

The A-Z of Training: Q is for Quality

Posted by Adam Chester on 20/08/2014 at 09:00

What does a quality training session look like? There are many things that can help you deliver a high quality experience to your learners. This article has a few suggestions.


You should make sure that you are on ready to start at the agreed time. If you are using one, your laptop should be connected to the projector and your presentation should be ready. This demonstrates that you understand the value of the time that you have with your learners.

Similarly, you should not run over the stated finishing time. Your learners have other tasks which need their attention perhaps a conference call or collecting their children from school. I always aim to finish around 5 minutes before the stated time, so that I can take questions and people are ready to leave at the stated time.

Be heard

Make sure that you can be heard by everyone. If you have a soft voice, then use a microphone if one is available available or invite people to sit closer.

Be confident

If you are a new trainer or are delivering a new training course this can be difficult. You should be as prepared as possible for your session. Take the time to do a full rehearsal so that you can feel confident when presenting.

Remember that you have probably been asked to deliver the course as you know the subject matter well.

Give good examples

Provide examples that are relevant to your audience. This particularly applies if you deliver training to a number of different organisations or audiences. Using appropriate examples demonstrates that you have tailored the course for this audience.

Taking these points into consideration will give your learners a high quality learning experience and enable them to focus on the subject matter.

The A-Z of Training: P is for Push and Pull

Posted by Adam Chester on 13/08/2014 at 11:56

Do you have a push or pull deployment model for your learning? This article discusses how to enable a pull model in your organisation and create a culture of learning.

In many organisations training occurs in a single direction, namely training is provided to meet the demands of the organisation. This is the push model of training deployment. Where learners are disengaged with the training process there can be serious resistance to push based training- "Why do we have to do this again?" is a common complaint from learners.

In compliance based environments there is a clear need to have some degree of push since the failure of a single employee to remain compliant can have serious implications for the organisation. Good oversight for these environments is essential.

The steps below can help you to enable a pull based learning environment.

Initiate personal development plans

Outside of compliance issues, you can create an environment that encourages learners to develop themselves by identifying their own training requirements. Having personal development plans in place is an important first step in enabling learners to pull training. These are often developed during staff appraisals; however setting aside a separate meeting allows you to focus on training.

Work out your training offering

Establishing all of the training requirements allows you to spot any gaps in your current offering. You might choose to develop new courses internally, or bring in a trainer if budget allows.

One of the most common issues is that learners are unclear about how a particular course will help them meet their development plan. Make sure that you express the learning objectives clearly, and point learners in the right direction where possible. You might consider rebranding your courses so that they align more closely to the identified objectives.

You should also be clear about the training schedule so that learners can plan their training effectively.

Enable staff autonomy

Learners can only pull when there are processes that let them. Can your staff book onto courses themselves? Do they have access to e-learning resources without asking permission? Begin to make your training materials availaible and signpost learners to them so that they can use them at any time.


Evaluation is a critical step in improving your deployment model as well as seeing how far you have developed. There are number of ways to measure this:

  • You could conduct a training survey before and after making changes.
  • You might measure any changes in uptake of e-learning materials.
  • You can identify changes in instructor led training attendance.
  • You can measure the impact of training outcomes on business performance. This is the hardest to capture but is probably the best measure overall.

Encouraging a pull based deployment model can improve learner engagement and produce better learning outcomes.

The A-Z of Training: O is for Opportunity

Posted by Adam Chester on 06/08/2014 at 09:00

What training opportunities do you offer your staff?

Many companies offer minimal initial training, with little additional training beyond what is required. This is most common in companies where there is a high turnover of staff. Looking at this situation from an employee's perspective, the lack of development might be the reason behind the turnover rate.

Some companies realise that offering training opportunities has three potential improvements for the business:

  • Better trained employees can work more effectively, so productivity and performance can be improved.
  • Develops morale by providing a stable team.
  • Lastly, spending money on training may well be cheaper than recruiting new staff.

We have recently had the pleasure of working with Explore Learning, who were named 47th Best Company to Work Form by The Sunday Times. They have a core management-training programme that all new graduates undertake when they join the company, which is followed by a wide range of optional courses across a range of business areas. The opportunities that they provide demonstrates to staff that they are committed to development, and is ne of the reasons Explore Learning retains its staff so well.

If you are wondering how to improve staff retention and engagement, then looking at how you allow them to develop is a great first step.

The A-Z of Training: N is for Necessary

Posted by Adam Chester on 30/07/2014 at 15:00

All roles have an element of necessary training. This is the bare minimum training required to satisfy the demands of the job. Our previous article, Preventing Personal Injury Claims Through Training, presented the minimum requirements to demonstrate a responsible attitude to the health and safety of your employees.

Going beyond the basic health and safety requirements, there is always a need to establish what training will be required for a specific job. It may be training to operate a piece of machinery or alternatively a process to be followed. These can sometimes be identified from the job description, however where the role is technical it can be useful to discuss the training needs with the line manager or a subject matter expert to ensure that you know what will be required.

Armed with a full understanding of the training required for a role, you can begin to develop an appropriate training programme. You should consult your existing library of training courses to see where you have ready-made resources that can be reused, and where new training is required you can look to create it. Over time you should be able to develop a complete library of courses and training materials for all roles in your organisation.

The A-Z of Training: M is for Management

Posted by Adam Chester on 23/07/2014 at 09:00

For M in this series we're taking a look at training management.

What is training management? Training management is the process of managing and organising your training activities. I consider it to be all of the tasks that don't fit into curriculum development, training delivery or personal development. When I'm running a course this probably includes:

  • E-mailing course joining instructions
  • Sending reminders
  • Collating feedback
  • Generating reports
  • Room bookings
  • Ordering refreshments

While all of these tasks are necessary, they take up a considerable amount of time which could be better spent elsewhere. With any process there is always the chance of missing a stage- I always seem to end up worrying about lunch!

As a software developer I learnt that documenting processes was a good step towards getting them done reliably since there was a reference to point to and tick off all of the tasks. This helps but it still relies on the human element- remembering to check the process. The biggest gains were made when I began to automate processes, so that tasks could be done automatically as required or on a fixed schedule. This completely removed the mental burden, and helped to ensure that processes occured when they were supposed to.

Now I'm not suggesting that all Training Managers learn to program a computer, but here are a few tips that can help:

  • Setup automatic reminders. If you run a course on the first Wednesday of each month, get your calendar to remind you to book a room and order luch on the last Friday of each month.
  • Use e-mail templates. Create an email template for each set of joining instructions, so that you can get them sent out without any effort.
  • If your courses are always full, then set up a regular order with your caterers to make sure that everyone gets fed.

One of the goals of Prodeceo is to help Training Managers get on with the task of training rather than getting bogged down with admin. If you like the sound of less time spent doing admin, then get in touch!