Cut Training Time With These Tips

BY Kathy Crosett
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Today’s employees aren’t shy about asking for what they want. In addition to working at a company with a great culture, and having meaningful assignments, people also expect training and development to improve their skills. How can you make this happen while also meeting your ROI targets?

Effective training programs often come down to designing a curriculum that works within the context of an employee’s job. When you’re faced with training new hires right out of college, your curriculum also should address some of the basics on excelling in the business world. As Andrew Medal explains in his Entrepreneur post, development programs that take key details into account stand the best chance of meeting employee needs and optimizing results for the organization.

It might be tempting to skip the basics and jump into advanced concepts because you figure the trainees know a thing or two and you want to save time. You’ll fare better if you start at the beginning and keep the initial training simple. Introduce and review the basics first. Give people time to get comfortable with your teaching style. Whether the instruction is done in person or by video, trainees need the chance to ground themselves and prepare for learning.

If you want your trainees to retain their knowledge, don’t overwhelm them with minutia for hours on end. Instead, break your curriculum into chunks. Allow learners the option to study materials and gain skills one hour or one concept at a time. If you cram too many concepts into a two-​day training class, you run of the risk of poor retention.

There’s nothing wrong with reviewing what you introduced in the previous session. Just make sure you connect what you’re discussing today to that previous session. To keep learners engaged, give them a preview of what’s coming next, but keep the current session focused on communicating the essentials for one key skill.

As you train your employees, help them retain their new skills and knowledge. The best strategy is to assign projects which require them to use what they just learned. In a warehouse environment, for example, your initial training may have covered basic safety information about using a forklift. The next session may have included a demonstration on how to safely operate the forklift in your warehouse. Finally, get those employees into the driver’s seat. Even if they won’t be driving the equipment every day, there is no substitute for the touch and feel of completing a task personally. Whether your employees are working in a warehouse or writing code, the real-​world practice will boost their confidence.

Incorporating review and practice modules into your employee development sessions will reinforce their loyalty to your company. You can also boost productivity with well-​designed training sessions.