Mar 2022 by MARIA FORSBERG
Technical training programs are great ways to help your employees master new skills, improve their career trajectory, and hopefully, even enjoy themselves in the process. If implemented and overseen properly, your technical training program can greatly improve productivity within your organization, spark innovative ideas, and even improve morale.
If you want to boost the value of your technical training program, you have to start with the end in mind. Better understanding your end goals will help you reshape your technical training program to suit those end goals. What is the value that you're trying to attain? How do you foresee your training program improving your business?
For example, are you trying to engineer new types of products and services for your customers? Are you interested in improving your internal systems to be more efficient or more secure? Are you just interested in boosting overall productivity or supporting leadership in your environment?
There are many viable goals here, and you wouldn't be crazy for trying to pursue multiple goals at once. But again, you need to understand what your priorities are if you're going to design the best training program from the ground up.
It's hard to master a training program all by yourself. Instead, most businesses work with external training program providers, existing curricula, coaches, consultants, and mentors to flesh out their internal programs.
If you want to be successful, you need to make sure you're choosing the right partners – individuals and organizations who have competency in the areas of interest for your organization. You'll also need to thoroughly review each entity’s portfolio and reputation to better understand whether they're fit for your organization. Be discerning in this area and don't compromise your values.
You likely have specific goals to achieve with your training program, so to achieve those goals, you need to focus on specific skills. Is there a specific platform that your employees can learn to become more competent in a particular area or gain new abilities? Make sure you're able to justify the inclusion of each new skill on your targeted list; how will this ultimately benefit your organization and help you achieve your training program goals?
There are many different ways to approach teaching and coaching in an organization. You can have direct mentorship, you can guide employees to training programs, or you can encourage employees to practice and develop their skills independently. The best training programs utilize a bit of everything; Each tool and learning opportunity is going to have strengths and weaknesses, so the more diverse your resources are, the better.
Be willing to compromise to cater to individual preferences and needs. Different people prefer learning in different ways – and no two people in your organization are going to have the exact same learning style. If you want to be more effective, you need to be willing to dabble in new approaches to better appeal to your trainees.
Training programs tend to be more effective with peer collaboration and support. Consider training your employees in teams to foster better communication, team bonding, and mutual support. This is especially effective if your trainees will eventually be on the same team, working together.
Too many organizations waste time focusing on lessons out of a textbook, rather than training employees how to do something. Taking action and going through the motions are the best ways to learn a new skill or ability; if all your employees are passengers in the back seat, so to speak, they're not going to learn as quickly or as efficiently. The passive approach can also be a frustrating experience for employees who want to be more hands-on.
That's why you should always include practical applications in your training program. Early and often, your employees should get the chance to test their skills in a live environment and get real-time feedback from more experienced team members.
Next, consider getting feedback from the employees who go through the training program. They'll be able to tell you whether the training program was helpful, what their experience was like undergoing training, and any ideas they may have on how to improve the training program in the future. These are the people most acquainted with your system, so they're the ones most likely to be able to direct you to greater efficiency. Collect anonymous feedback if you want to guarantee that the feedback is honest and thorough.
Finally, make it a point to measure and analyze your results. Otherwise, you'll have no way to know whether your efforts are paying off or whether your investments are providing a suitable return.
There are many possible analytic approaches that you can take. For example, in the learning-transfer evaluation model (LTEM), there are eight levels of measurement, including: attendance, activity, learner perceptions, knowledge, decision-making competence, task competence, transfer, and effects of transfer. Attendance and activity don't have much of a bearing on your bottom-line results, but they're still worth understanding to try and improve your overall training strategy.
Rely on objective metrics to determine which of your tactics are working and which ones are falling flat. From there, you'll be able to make adjustments and gradually tweak your way toward a more perfect training system.
Are you ready to overhaul your existing training program? Or are you interested in starting one from scratch? Or do you just need more training programs and support to make your current training program more effective? Whatever the case, we’re here to help – contact Readynez for more information today!
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