You understand you staff need to be trained on a regular basis if you want to remain competitive, but the ‘how’ is often not as simple to answer as the ‘why’ when it comes to training. Most specifically, what platform should you use?
Today there are so many options to choose from, from classroom to computer-based platforms, delivered over a few hours, a few days, or a few months, with both practical and theoretical aspects that it’s tough to choose.
Understanding the red flags
I have previously referenced research showing that only about 15% of classroom-based teaching transfers to the workplace. In my mind, that raises a giant red flag to all training and development professionals that focus exclusively on this platform.
They need to introduce a more flexible way of delivering training programmes, one that offers a combination of traditional, classroom-based theory, self-study, e-learning and practical workplace activities.
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Hear-ers, see-ers and do-ers
The Office Coach team regularly uses a clip from Success Television where Brian Walsh explores different learning styles; ‘hear-ers, see-ers and do-ers’. Imagine you are asking someone for directions to the nearest post office.
The ‘hear-er’ will simply tell you where to go, the ‘see-er’ will draw you a map and the ‘do-er’ will point and turn his body as he explains where you need to go.
The ‘hear-er’ will cope well in a learning environment that is theory-based. The ‘see-er’ will prefer a learning environment that offers a high degree of visual stimulus eg. multi-media presentations. The ‘do-er’ will learn best in a practical environment, where he can practice new approaches to work and thereby develop new skills.
Understanding your mix
When deciding between learning platforms, you need to consider the mix of learning styles your employees have and you need to adapt the training material accordingly. In addition to learning styles, you need to be honest about the operational pressures on employees.
Very few people can afford to take time out of the office for training. In my experience, they are usually distracted in the classroom and stressed by the time they get back to the office. Take a look at a recent VideoScribe we made titled ‘Spend 4 minutes learning why effective listening matters’. It’s aimed at busy people who are best placed to make positive decisions if, from their desks, they can get a real sense of what we offer.
It cost us little more than our time and some imagination but the result had a huge impact. We used VideoScribe for marketing but it can also be used to bring short training modules to life in a high-impact, cost-effective way.
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By breaking your training objectives down into modules that can be taught in fractions of an hour, you allow your staff the flexibility to learn when it suits them; when they are their most alert or when there are fewer distractions or operational pressures.
We encourage you to think creatively about how you combine classroom-based teaching with more dynamic, customisable platforms to deliver learning and development programmes.