When a new group of employees joins a medium to large sized company, the human resource department will often schedule a group training session in order for the new employees to learn about the company and the basic functions of their jobs. These training methods, while important, can be very generalized, and eventually the training that the employees will need “in the trenches” is handled by those who work either side-by-side with the workers or as an immediate supervisor. Since these people still have their own job to do, training in these situations needs to be quick, efficient, and even self-directed in order to keep day-to-day operations moving forward.
Here are a few training methods used to get employees up-to-speed:
Lectures, Videos & Group Discussions
Often times training begins with lectures supported by videos about the tasks that need to be completed for a particular job. These methods, often remind employees of being back in high school, and are best conducted with plenty of coffee or other energy drinks on hand. Occasionally, these are necessary, but it’s best when they can be kept to a minimum since it is harder for many people to maintain knowledge when they have simply had someone talk at them.
Like a high school or college class these lectures and videos are often followed up with group discussion or a Q&A session, that often falls flat, and the meetings end without a clear grasp on who knows what.
Pros: Better relationships built, immediate answers to clarifying questions, spacial memory
Cons: Time-consuming, not scalable, often inconsistent, often boring, cannot review
Role Playing & On the Job Training
Role-playing is a common training method which is intended partly to make training more interesting and fun. The idea is to practice various scenarios, some are typical and others will rarely occur in the real world if ever, but will communicate in extremes to prepare the trainee for the worst possible scenarios.
Preparation for this training is often reading a manual or experiencing the company’s software. Occasionally, there will be time set aside for employees to do this, or they may be expected to fit it in during “downtime” when it is hard for them to understand the material, or find the right person to answer a question. However, a hands-on method like this, can be preferable to the school-like lecture, but it can also contribute to the trial by fire feel of a new job that can lead to greater turnover.
Pros: Fail fast approach, immediate answers to clarifying questions, physical memory
Cons: Time-consuming, difficult to measure, not scalable, takes time to glean from experience
Technology-based learning offers a more interactive experience for employees, which keeps them engaged in the process of training. This can be done through elearning training software offered by Lessonly. One of the benefits of this software is that the programs are written with non-trainers in mind, because sooner or later nearly every employee will need to train someone, whether it is in their job description or not.
Traditionally, computer training programs have been downloaded onto a computer’s hard drive, or run with a CD-ROM, but most contemporary technologies are web-based offering portability without taking up space on individual machines or servers. This allows trainers to build, update, assign, and track materials all in one place.
Those assigned with the training receive an email link to lessons that should be learned. New lessons can be added as business needs change. There is full transparency to what lessons have been completed or not, keeping employees accountable for their own training process. Also, built into the software is full tracking, so if anyone needs extra attention, it will be easy to identify these people and provide the support they need, before their lack of knowledge turns into a costly mistake or additional turnover.
Pros: Scalable, trackable, geo-agnostic, device-agnostic, reviewable
Cons: Less relationship-based, requires more discipline, requires technology
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