“An organization’s ability to learn, and translate that learning into action rapidly, is the ultimate competitive advantage.” –Jack Welch, former General Electric CEO
Employee trainings are intrinsic for any company growth or change and for keeping the culture fresh and addressing emerging internal issues. Whether onboarding new employees, implementing a new technology, adding a new category of deliverables, or applying a new internal or external relationships concept, managers need to effectively get the involved employees comfortable, practiced, and coordinated before real-world execution. It is an easy trap to fall into, but no manager or employee wants to have a training that takes employees out of productive work for a full day while they stare blankly at slide presentations that could have been emailed to them. Trainings are an opportunity for trial and error, making memorable mistakes, practice, realizing questions and scenarios that could occur over time, and getting employee input into the future of the company.
Here are some ways to craft an effective training program:
- Customize. If you have a larger company, consider who really needs to be trained in what and customize the program for individuals or groups based on their specific roles. If you are getting new software at the company, who will be using it? Will some people only need one specific aspect of it while others will be diving deeper? In that case, break the training into sections and see who needs to attend which session. If you are training on a new management concept or soft skill, conduct break-out groups based on job roles or give individualized scenarios for employees to practice on how they would implement the lesson in their day to day job.
- Make it active. Remember the 70:20:10 rule; 70% of work-related learning comes from experiences, 20% from interactions, and 10% from formal training styles. Trainings can simulate situations to give employees a taste of the experiences that will stay in their mind as lessons-learned. Sharing stories and examples, and more importantly, asking participants to share theirs can facilitate interactive learning. If possible, avoid the mass training in auditoriums where people are spoken at and not able to really engage or practice to keep the lecture time down to 10%.
- Choose the best location. Find a quiet space that separates employees from the distractions of their day to day and moves them out of their element so they can be more open to learn and engage with each other as their natural selves. Environment can have an impact on effectiveness: there needs to be space for activities, comfortable seating, the right amount of proximity, good audio and technical support, and room to move around for group activities.
- Use employees as trainers. Empower employees to facilitate trainings. They know what has worked for them and their colleagues know they can trust them and share goals (assuming all are working on a unified business mission). Employees selected to be trainers may take that time to also self-reflect and assess their own strengths and weaknesses and those of their colleagues to be able to really customize the training. They know their audience and are there for follow up questions that arise days or months later.
Looking for a great training location for your team? NorthPoint Executive Suites offers accessible and comfortable locations in Duluth and Alpharetta with rooms specifically designed for your business trainings. Amenities, training tools, and onsite assistance give you a productive learning environment so you can focus on training materials and outcomes. Learn more and book your space online.