Most employers provide some training for their employees. The problem with many of these training resources is that they are too long and provide too much information. What happens is the training manuals, and other resources are placed on the shelf as soon as the training in completed. Still, many training instructional designers attempt to cram in as much information as possible. Instead, the goal should be only to include that content that is relevant and no more. Sure, it might be helpful to explain every single term, but is it necessary? Instead, concentrate on providing the information and allow individual students to look up definitions of terms they don’t understand.
With this in mind, you may wonder how to create training resources that people will use. Again, the single most important factor is that all content provided be relevant. It is much better to create separate training tools for individuals in different specialties so that you can concentrate on delivering training that your students will retain and use.
To begin the process, it is important to understand what needs to be taught. The best way to gather this information is to complete a needs analysis. This analysis should be the first step in developing training resources. There are four steps to the needs analysis.
First, identify the business goal the training will support. Next, identify the employee tasks that support that goal. Determine which training activities will help teach employees how to perform these tasks. The last step is to determine how the employees learn so the training can be most effective.
Once the training needs analysis is completed, it is time to start creating the training tools. One of the most important things to remember is that you are training adults. Adults learn differently than younger people. There are several adult learning principles that should be considered when creating training resources. Adult learners:
– Bring a lifetime of experience, knowledge, and opinions to the training
– Are usually self-motivated and directed
– Want relevant training
– Are goal-oriented
– What to know “what’s in it for them.” Once they understand this, they will learn
– Want task-oriented training
– Must feel respected
As you begin, first create a training plan. This will provide an overview of the training methods and approach. Develop the training objectives and define what the training should accomplish.
Dividing the training content into modules is a good way of ensuring you are providing relevant training at the right time. Trying to provide employees too much information at once will result in the employees tuning out and no longer listening.
The next step is to design the training materials. Keep in mind that you want to create training materials that will help you reach all of your students. These training materials may include software, presentations, focus groups, hand-outs and more. The important thing is to use tools that will get your students engaged and learning.
Include opportunities for the employees to take part in hands-on experiences. Most people learn more when they are applying what they learn or learning by doing. Encourage interaction between the trainers and the employees. Always allow an opportunity for feedback during and after training sessions and listen.
Once the training tools are created and the training curriculum designed, the training must be implemented. Work with HR and management to set a training schedule that will accommodate both the employees’ and their managers’ needs. You can’t train if no one shows up. It is also important to provide plenty of notice when training is scheduled. This helps managers with their scheduling which is the best way to ensure your training sessions are filled with participants.