So you’ve got all the skills and characteristics needed to conduct your employee training. You know you are an excellent communicator, very well organized and that you possess significant knowledge about the industry. However, regardless of your qualities, if you use the same training techniques for trainers that are outdated and cliché, the feedback from your trainees will not be desirable.
So how do you adapt to different audiences, and how do you choose techniques that best fit the company you’re training?
Here are nine golden training tips for corporate trainers, to help you level up your game:
Get to know your trainees
The number one, golden rule. It does not matter if you are the most articulate trainer in this industry, without knowing the audience you’re targeting, all of your investment in the training can go to waste. Why does it matter?
Because people have different ways of catching up on information. Some are visual learners, and they will remember what they see instead of what they hear. Some are night learners, learners through media usage, or learners that would appreciate your face to face input. Others may be Kinaesthetic learners, the ones that need to do things in order to learn. Knowing and admitting the difference in their learning styles is crucial and determines the efficiency of the training.
Every idea has a concept. Your training sessions should have one too. Before the day of the training comes, make sure you’re not going to be jumping all over the place with one information not matching with the over. This scenario can create confusion to your trainees, and although you may be a master at improvising, you may decrease the retention rate on your training. Remember that one of the essential skills of effective trainers is being organized; therefore, you need to rely on your practical techniques in this sense of order as well. Make sure you have a training calendar or a session plan, earlier on. Consider the fact that people are investing time and money, and they have high expectations on the equipment or behavioral changes you’re about to provide them with.
Active training approach
By using the Active training approach, you can engage learners directly in the training process. This technique is known as the best practical benefit for learners. That’s because through it, they are in charge of their learning, by following lessons that are opened for interpretation.
Getting your trainees more involved means that you have to practice case study reviews, quizzes, demonstrations, group discussions, and workshops. The point is that you have to get them talking by enhancing their critical thinking skills as well. This technique is mostly learner-centric, although it still needs the trainer to facilitate the process of interacting. It empowers communication and group development by defeating the traditional concept of training through lecturing.
Experiential training approach
This approach is highly connected to the Actively training technique. Except that through Experiential training or hands-on training, as it is sometimes referred to, you also want to get your trainees involved in doing what they have been taught. You want them to practice their learned skills in their daily work environment. Four more concrete techniques that trainers use through experiential learning are:
- Onboard training
- Role plays
The key to effective simulations and role-plays is to picking up real situations from work. Whereas in mentoring, you might want to assign older employees to assist new hires. Each of these methods requires commitment and genuine engagement from the employees, and it’s an ideal situation where you can evaluate the success of your training so far. Also, you can take notes on where you need to narrow down your focus.
Questions, questions, questions
You might be thinking why didn’t we simply merge this as one of the trainer’s tips within the previously elaborated techniques. That is because we do not want to undermine the importance of asking the proper questions, and actually waiting for relevant answers.
“Thinking is not driven by answers but by questions.” a quote from “The art of Socratic questions”, a book by Dr. Richard Paul and Dr. Linda Elder.
Good trainers know that questions encourage discussions and creativity. They increase knowledge and support trainees’ memory. But most of all, they promote a good feeling of recognizing one another’s diverse opinions. Using the questions technique, you will impact and reinforce all the bits of information that the group is trying to digest.
Learning Management Systems (LMS)
Diving into this perfect and innovative way to distribute educational courses. Learning management systems are one of the most efficient training tools for trainers. Through LMS, you can identify gaps, gather relevant data on trainees, and you can use different authoring tools to make the whole training process much more effective. However, probably the most important quality of using an LMS is that you let learners be in control of their learning, 27/7. They develop a self-paced technique, with more freedom to take their time or fasten up courses, based on their learning style. Considering all these LMS assets, it is important to choose your LMS platform carefully, taking into account its user-friendly features, pricing, and customer support.
Videos are no longer viewed as an entertainment purpose only. On a study conducted by Brandon Hall Group, 95 % of companies use videos for learning purposes. It’s an exciting trend, and it can include many interactive, fun tools to keep the audience fully engaged. You can live stream your video along with the subject matter online through your LMS platform.
Because they are always accessible and available and can be used as refreshers whenever people want to go back to the content they have learned. Specifically, if you make them accessible through a variety of devices such as smartphones and tablets. Videos will directly increase employees’ productivity and will breakdown any complicated information you have prepared for them. And if you’re wondering what makes a good video, then these are the essentials:
- Understanding of the audience
- Visually engaging
- Clear and concise
- Good lighting
- Good editing
- Excellent audio
On our previous article on the importance of gamification, we have defined it as the concept of applying game-design thinking to non-game applications. What is of highlighted importance in using games to learn is the level of reflection they can provide. Of course, productivity is predicted because you’re mixing elements of competition, achievement, and fun. However, gamification also allows you to break down skills that have been performed throughout the game.
Say, if an employee had a difficult time on the stages of the game that involved critical thinking and problem-solving skills, you as a trainer can take notes and mark your further areas of training investment. Overall said, employees, will be able to experiment on strategies and possible solutions to a problem, without the pressure of performing perfectly – because after all, it is a game they’re doing.
It is indeed difficult to tailor your training features according to individual preferences. That requires a decent needs analysis conducted first, and a detailed look upon your audience. The good thing is that you can actually enjoy the benefits of each employee training method by using blended learning.
By combining hands-on training with online courses, gamification, social learning, or traditional classroom methods, you can create a hybrid teaching method, that will meet the expectations and needs of your trainees. As a bonus, you as a trainer can also figure out which of the methods you’re using is leading to better performance of employees and can use this as a relevant reference in the future. Win-win.
You can use these training tips and incorporate them into your already adapted techniques if you think they will enhance long-term knowledge retention. Updating and changing your training routine will surely have its benefits. And luckily, we have plenty of available resources that can add up to fulfill any gap you have encountered in your training experience to this extent.