There's a lot more to implementing quality training than simply producing good content. If you follow our advice about facilitation then you and your trainees will benefit.
So your company is implementing a learning culture and you’re in the process of preparing some training? Good job! You’re probably making sure that the content is perfectly thorough and accurate, the venue is booked and the Powerpoint presentation looks majestic. You’re ready, right? Perhaps not. How’s your French?
Most of us learned French or another foreign language at school, yet how much of it do you remember now? Could you go into a shop, café, train station or social situation without the need to resort to English? Probably not. Most of us can only remember phrases such as “Dans ma trousse, il y a un stylo,” “Le singe est sur la branche” and “Pamplemousse.” None of these are very useful in real life situations, unless you happen to carry around a monkey on a branch, a grapefruit and a pencil case with a pen inside.
If trainers don’t learn how to act as facilitators and we don’t make it necessary for our trainees to actively participate in training, then they’ll be in the same position in a few years’ time. All they’ll be able to do is quote one or two principles from the course that are useless in real life.
If your training techniques aren't up to scratch, you risk leaving workers with useless snippets of information.
Did you know that excellent content can be delivered poorly? Did you know that poor content can be delivered excellently? No matter how high the quality of information, the knowledge and skills that you want people to acquire will not be picked up unless the trainee plays a constructive role in the learning process.
Effectively, you get out what you put in, and if the trainee isn’t required to put in much effort, then what they get out will be minimal. Quality training asks a lot from its participants. Let’s have a look at two contrasting examples to illustrate this.
Example 1: Health and Safety in the workplace
Training description: The trainer talks the workers through a Powerpoint presentation on the topic. He/she gives a short quiz at the end as a learning tool.
Example 2: Health and Safety in the workplace
The trainer introduces the topic and asks workers about common health and safety standards they think will need to be covered. He/she instructs them to break into small groups to brainstorm the topic. After 5-10 minutes, the trainer brings the groups back together for a discussion where the topics raised are written down on a whiteboard. The trainer fills the trainess in on any information they've missed. Following this, the trainer takes the workers through the topics, each time asking probing questions of the workers and using his/her own knowledge to fill in the gaps in the workers’ knowledge. At the end of the session the trainer gives a short quiz.
Which of the two examples above do you think will be the most effective? Why?
In Example 1, very little is required of the learners until the very end. All they have to do is sit down, listen and look interested. In Example 2, the trainer acts as facilitator and the trainees play a vital role in the construction and delivery of knowledge. They have to think, participate, answer questions and contribute. The trainer guides, coaches and corrects the trainees and completes knowledge as they learn. In this way, the trainee retains much more information and is therefore a more knowledgeable and capable employee and your training has not been a waste of money.
If you take this information into account when preparing training, then you’ll be ready.