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Tips and Tactics -- Employee Training

Every employer approaches the issue of training from a slightly different perspective; however, all employers share the same end goal.  The goal is to bring in new employees and provide them with the required skills to perform the tasks the employer needs completed.  Sometimes the goal is to improve the skills of existing employees to allow them to be more efficient or to perform new tasks.  At the end of the day, the approaches utilized by the individual providing the training will dramatically impact the overall effectiveness of the training.  Here are a few thoughts that might make your training programs more valuable:

  • Make sure your trainer understands the audience.  The content and/or delivery of the training should be tailored to fit the attendees' knowledge level and ability to learn. 
  • Cheaper isn't always better.  It may be more cost-efficient to deliver training to the desktop via computer-based tools.  The real question is whether the target audience actually absorbs the training delivered.  No amount of cost reduction in the training delivery method is worth sacrificing the actual learning objective.
  • Location, location, location.  Removing your employees from their normal work areas and the distractions that accompany it will likely improve the quality of your training outcome.  Avoiding the distractions of day-to-day work operations allows the employees to focus on learning whatever it is you want them taught.
  • Atmosphere, atmosphere, atmosphere.  The environment will dramatically impact the quality of the training.  Make sure it isn't too hot, too cold, or too crowded, or too anything.  In my former life, the training-related quote that stuck with me is "If it isn't raining, it isn't training."  Seems to me if the employee in training is more worried about staying dry, or warm, or anything other than what the training is about, you are losing effectiveness.
  • Keep it as short as possible while still covering the material.  Think about your attention span and how long you typically stay focused during a training session.  Your employees are probably similar.

Remember, every training session has an objective.  If all you do is conduct training with no thought as to whether you met the objective, why are you bothering with the training in the first place?  Considering this entry is getting past short, I leave you with the following quote from Greek philosopher Aristotle:  "Excellence is an art won by training and habituation."


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Don Berner, the Labor Law, OSHA, & Immigration Law Guy
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Boyd Byers, the General Employment Law Guy
Jason Lacey Image
Jason Lacey, the Employee Benefits Guy
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