The A-Z of training: A is for Audience

As trainers, we need to carefully consider our audience. Training that we develop for one group of trainees may not be suitable for another cohort.

If we consider a larger company, there may be several levels of management between the shop floor and the boardroom. Some training is universal- mandatory health and safety training for example, but what about your internal business processes?

For an employee at lower levels, they might be interested in functional examples of a business process and how to apply it in their role. A manager would be interested in the monitoring and measurement of the process so that they can take responsibility of it. At a higher level the board may be concerned with how implementing the process affects the bottom line- what is the cost saving or expense in implementing the process?

When developing multi-level training like in this example I like to break it down into sections. In this case I see three distinct sections:

  1. The process being implemented
  2. The monitoring of the process
  3. The business impact of the process
By breaking the training up into sections I can write each section independently and assemble them for each audience separately.

The worker at the lowest level would receive the first section only which would give them enough knowledge to implement the process effectively. A middle manager would need to understand the full process, such that they can monitor it effectively. In this case they would receive parts one and two. At the highest levels a full understanding of the process might not be necessary an overview if the process may be sufficient. An understanding of how the process is monitored and an understanding of the report data would be required. This training would also incorporate the business case for the process. For this audience appropriate content could be selected from section one and two, and the whole of section three would make up their training.

The difficulty in developing modular training in this way is tying together parts where they have been edited and reduced in size to fit. Take care to ensure that there is continuity in your training message and that the training flows between sections.

The example in this article is a little contrived, but I hope that you can see the benefits in the modular approach in developing training for different audiences. If you try this in your organisation let us know how you get on

This is the first article in our A-Z of training. We publish one article per week on Wednesday mornings at 9:00am.

author photo

Dr Adam Chester is a cofounder of Prodeceo.

He is excited about empowering Training Managers and Learning and Development professionals with technology that is easy to use.

comments powered by Disqus