Employee involvement is key to effective employee training. Employees attending training are preoccupied with their own thoughts and problems. Some are willing to learn and some are not. There are those who are open to new ideas and others who resist. How can you get them involved so that they can take ownership of their own learning during the training?
1. Put Yourself In The Learners' Shoes
When delivering training, there is course content to be covered. While this is important, priority has to be given to the fact that the learners are able to receive your content.
What better way than to put yourself into the learners' shoes and ask yourself a few questions that these learners have when attending training:
- What is this session about?
- Will it be of use to me?
- How can I apply this to the real world?
- What motivates me to attend this session?
- Is the content delivered in an easy and simple way?
- Are different teaching methods involved or is it a boring lecture?
Answering these questions to yourself will help you better prepare to deliver effective training.
2. Assessing Learner Needs
Checking out on learner needs is essential to get learner involvement. This task could be difficult due to time, budget or information constraints. However, it is important and some kind of assessment will make a difference.
Some points for investigating learner needs are as follows:
- How many participants will be attending the session?
- What are their current job responsibilities?
- What are their skill levels as applicable to the training subject?
- Is attendance voluntary or mandatory?
- How will the training affect their current or future job responsibilities?
If this investigation is not possible before the training session, then when the session starts, it is a good idea to request the participants to introduce themselves and to mention what they would like to achieve from the training session.
3. Communicate With Your Learners
Communicating the objectives and program outline to the course attendees before the session will help them prepare for the training. Properly written, this communication can also be used to motivate the learners such that they will have a positive outlook towards the training.
If this is not done for some reason, then it is important that this be done at the start of the training.
Communication is two ways. Therefore, feedback from the learners must be somehow incorporated into the training. This is extra work. It will be much easier to just deliver the content as is, but the purpose of the training is to enable the learner via effective training, not just delivering content.
4. Switch On The Learners
However well you may be prepared to deliver the session, if the learners are not switched on, the training will not be very effective. Switched on learners will be ready to receive content, which means there is a need to conduct activities to achieve this.
Switching on activities include creative opening exercises that develop positive first impressions, which are crucial to gaining learner commitment. These warm up activities are learner-centered and content-relevant. The intent is to get learner involvement and for the trainer to develop relationships with the learners. These are not the same as icebreakers, which are usually used to entertain and energize learners.
When people arrive at the training venue, they are probably still preoccupied with their own problems and thoughts. The warm up exercises will also be a means of addressing this.
Employee training can be made effective with some extra effort in getting their involvement and hence ownership for the training. You will find that the extra work pays off because you will find the session much more satisfying and feedback from the attendees will be positive.