Every job requires learning new skills or brushing up on old skills. Employees cannot deliver value to an organization without the proper knowledge and skills.
Every company does things a little differently. New employees need to know and to learn company policy and procedures. Longer-term employees need to refresh their skills.
Most skill development will take some training. Training increases productivity by teaching the skills that increase productivity. Training is not an event. Training is a process.
The term “process” implies an ongoing program. Without training reinforcement up to 80% of what is learned may be lost in several days.
Most training is too brief, sometimes known as the “hit and run approach.” There is little or no follow-up or refresher training. Hit and run training results in few skills being transferred to where they are needed — on the job.
Structured Training Program
All training should be structured. Structured training is a starting point to employee engagement.
Engaged employees know what to do and want to do it.
Surveys show only half half of employees feel “engaged” with their work.
A structured training program has:
- Clearly defined training objectives or goals
- A scheduled time frame
- Outlines of learning activities
- Assignment of responsibilities for the learner and training leader
- Formal processes
Job Instruction Method
Adults do not learn well in lecture-type settings. One popular “hands-on” adult training method is called Job Instruction.
Job Instruction has 4 Steps:
Step 1. Put the learner at ease. Explain what the learning concept is about. Determine what the learner already knows about the concept.
Step 2. Patiently and carefully present the concept, task or operation to the learner. Stress the key points, one at a time. Do not overload.
Step 3. Have the learner try out or do the task. Have the learner explain the key points. Ask questions and give feedback. Don’t stop until you know that they know.
Step 4. Provide feedback through frequent checks. Encourage questions. The learner should look for key points. Slowly taper off the coaching and checkups to occasional feedback. Ask the learner questions.
The 10—2 Teaching Rule
Do no more than 10 minutes of teaching— followed by 2 minutes of “absorption time” to allow the learner time to absorb the material. Use the two minutes to provide context for the material by telling stories or asking questions.
A mistake is to try to teach everything in one session. Large-scale change happens only in steps.
- Always break-down the new information into chunks.
- Give time for the learners to:
- Reflect on and absorb the information
- Use it experimentally
- Apply the new principles
According to the “somatic marker hypothesis” this is the way we make decisions and learn— through socialization and experiential learning. It’s not only a process, but a slow, drawn-out process.
Emotional memory— memories and habits are formed through experiences associated with strong memories.
The 70—20—10 Rule
- 70% of learning comes from direct experience
- 20% of learning comes from the influence of others
- 10% of learning comes from formal classwork and reading
Engaged employees directly affect the bottom line. It is the primary task of management to provide the necessary resources, including training and skills development, for staff to meet minimal standards. Only then can staff realistically be held accountable.
Thank you for reading this.