The Top 5 Training Do’s

For training to be effective, it needs to communicate knowledge that the learner will retain, and that will translate into changes in behaviour. The best training is not always the most expensive training, or the training that awes you with its technical brilliance. Training that works means paying attention to how we learn, and how knowledge is gathered and shared. Here are five training do’s every small business should keep front of mind and put into practice.

1. 60% of Training Content Should Be Presented Visually: Human beings are an eye-minded species. Information retention goes up a staggering 75% when it is presented visually using org charts, video, graphs, pictures, and other visual aids. Visual elements like those mentioned focus a learner’s attention. Training heavy on the visuals and light on the text is also more inclusive when you consider that 16% of Australians are dyslexic. When developing training content, make sure the end result is candy for the eyes.

2. Use Social Media to Enhance Training: By using the right social media apps, trainers and training managers can market training internally. Training mangers or business owners can micro blog about a company’s goals and how upcoming training will help achieve those goals. Social media can work to promote buy-in on the part of learners by highlighting how training will benefit the business and the workers personally. Social media can also be used to motivate workers to log on to learning management systems (LMS) for training and for refresher training. By narrow casting spaced reminders to rehearse training, social media can help in overcoming the dreaded “forgetting curve”.

3. Have Knowledge Flow Both Ways: The knowledge flow in a business isn’t just top down. It can also move in the opposite direction. Managers can learn just as much from subordinates as workers do from their superiors. It is a mistake to think that training is confined to the training room. Learning for everyone in any organization is ongoing. Gathering and sharing knowledge should be an organisational habit. Closed door meetings and hyper-competitive workplaces obstruct the free flow of knowledge in a business.

4. Trainers Need to Be Storytellers: 25,000 years removed from our hunter-gatherer ancestors, human beings haven’t changed all that much. We still all love a good story. Storytellers of long ago were the first trainers. They imparted essential knowledge from one generation to the next by telling stories. Training messages that stick share characteristics like simplicity, concreteness, unexpectedness, credibility, and an emotional component. Above all, training needs to be delivered using story.

5. Learning Should Be Self-Directed: Learners should play a role in deciding what their training entails and when and where they train. Training is effective when it is relevant and engages trainees on a personal level. Also, trainees don’t want their schedules turned upside down by training. This instills resentment right off the bat. Don’t schedule training for Monday’s when many reports are due. Friday afternoons aren’t a good idea. The training schedule should respect the rhythms and cycles of a business. With the advent of cloud-based learning management systems (LMSs), workers can train at a time and location that is convenient for them. Workers become responsible for their own training. An LMS puts the trainee in the driver’s seat.


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