1. Assess your staff’s learning needs and self assessed weaknesses before you run your training session.
Q: When dealing with a customer which of these do you find most difficult:
2. Establish why the training session is useful and or important for your staff right at the start.
3. Structure your training session with specific timing blocks and always have Contingency and or Question and Answer Time.
are where a session plan will have 10-30 minute windows of education that are very flexible with non-specific goals. This is a evolutionary (Building Block) training method, where what you train and how you approach it will evolve out of the audiences participation and responses. This method is particularly great for Problem Based Learning approaches (discussed later) and for group learning formats. That being said it is also the most difficult to carry out effectively and usually requires an experienced instructor or facilitator as the sessions can often lose sight of objectives or run overly long.Alternatively the Rigid Structure consists of short and highly structured goals and or learning areas. This method is exceptionally useful for almost any educational setting as it allows facilitators or trainers ensure all the necessary content is covered and encourages the use of a variety of teaching approaches by creating clear partitioned ‘windows’ of learning (group, exposition, problem based) which is one of the most effective ways to educate staff. This method could also be described as a Check List based approach as you basically tick of each content area as you complete them in your time windows.
It should be noted that with both these methods you do need to leave some room for Murphy’s Law, which is where your Contingency Time or Question and Answer Time is introduced. Any effective training session for staff will incorporate small windows of extra time after every major activity or content area so that staff may ask questions to check their understanding or so that if a particular activity is very engaging and producing great results it can be continued longer without ballooning out your scheduling.
Questioning Cycle Brainstorm, Groups, Scenario / Role-Play
Scenarios, Modelling, Communication Pipeline
4. Construct your training session with Problem Based Learning (PBL) being the central method of learning.
Evolution: He/She has matched the paint but also needs a new lighting fixtureObviously this is a very simple example targeting just one situation but you can apply this method to any industry or problem you are finding within your business. Presenting staff with problems and making them solve them while playing an assisting role can significantly boost staffs skill levels and help to improve your businesses performance. It will also hopefully help to reduce staff reliance upon management as the source of all knowledge, helping to foster initiative.
Research by academics such as Dr. Cindy Hmelo-Silver supports the fact that PBL approaches to learning can boost flexible understanding of content/problems and also develop in participants the skills needed for further learning. For businesses this translates to increased staff efficiency, flexibility and easier to train staff cohorts which help to retain customers and boost your margins by lifting service standards.