10 Tips for a Successful Training Plan
By Ken Graham, Director, Training, Adecco Employment Services Limited
Developing a successful training plan for your organization is no easy task, especially in times like these when you have a multi-generational workforce. However, if you plan ahead and follow the tips below, your training efforts will be well-received.
Understand where the gaps are
Knowing where the gaps in knowledge and/or abilities are is the first step towards developing a solid training plan. Ask yourself who’s being trained, what your objectives are, and what new mandates might call for updated training.
Develop “Learning Outcomes”
Understanding what you want your employees to take home from their training is the most important step in the process. If you don’t have effective learning outcomes, you cannot develop effective training.
Address different learning styles
Include training that addresses learners in the following three main categories: visual, auditory, and kinesthetic.
Build training that “gets your hands dirty”
You probably didn’t learn to ride a bike from a PowerPoint presentation, so give your employees as much hands-on and experiential learning opportunities as possible. Hands-on learning allows your employees to make mistakes and try again. Employees often take away more from a hands-on session than they do from a lecture.
Use as much imagery as possible
Don’t pull the “death by PowerPoint” move and populate your slides with paragraphs of information. Use eye-catching imagery, graphics, charts, quotes, single words or phrases, and even videos in your presentations. Speak to the slides with back up content – don’t just stand there and read them.
Challenge your employees
Ensure your training plan challenges your audience enough to hold their interest. Material that does not challenge employees will bore them, stifling their ability to absorb it.
Use different delivery styles
Everyone learns differently, and we have to ensure that we are challenging all learning styles when we develop training. Training plans should include e-learning, instructor-led portions, hands-on components, lectures and instructions, experiential learning, group work, problem solving, role playing, and team building activities. Providing a rich balance of delivery styles will keep your training plan exciting and fresh.
Always upgrade your materials
Every time a training session ends, conduct a survey and then act on your results. Even facilitators should share their impressions of employee engagement and how it can be increased in future sessions. Constantly upgrading your training materials will keep your training plan strong and effective.
Use experts where you can
When experts deliver certain material, it lends credibility to your program, enhancing the learning environment.
Just as you should conduct surveys at the end of each session (see tip #8), you should conduct a survey of your training program as a whole and incorporate the candid feedback you receive. Continually making appropriate changes to your training program will ensure it remains relevant and effective.