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Productive Training Techniques
There are various known elements and strategies available to construct the most productive training methods possible to assist a company in preparing and setting up associates to improve efficiency. With numerous alternatives available, it could be intimidating to select the style of training and when it should be used. By utilizing multiple techniques in all sessions of training could actually be the best way to help associates pick up and absorb information. Consider analyzing multiple techniques and research both their benefits and drawbacks. Also point out how to conjoin various techniques to establish a useful approach of synthesized learning.
Before considering unique methods of training, answer the following questions:
o What are the intentions of the training sessions?
Revise behavior within the workplace
Improve methods of traditional techniques
Raise lines of safety in the organization
Form an establishment clear of harassment and discrimination
o Which associates are being trained?
o What is the budget for training?
o What is the amount of time set aside for the training within the organization?
o What resources or materials are available for training?
Answering these questions will start the process of filtering training options. Next, is the appropriate time to research the methods of training, possible conflicts and benefits, and where to place them in the training program (Wormley, 2015).
Even though there have been large numbers of technological advancement within the training industry, a conventional set up continues to be feasible and productive.
Classroom-Based or Instructor-led Training
Training that is instructor-based continues to be one of the most common practices. Some examples are:
- Chalkboard or Whiteboard – Could be traditionally the most “old-fashioned” technique; however, it is still very useful, particularly if those learning are invited to contribute or present appropriate feedback to what is presented on the board (Hunt, 2013).
- Overhead Projector – Continues to be replaced more and more by PowerPoint, which is not as difficult physically. However, the convenience of writing and modifying the appearance on the spot is much easier on projectors (Silver, 2015).
- Video – Lessons could include videos to help break up portions and explain training material or to introduce case studies for analysis.
- PowerPoint Presentation – Can produce sessions of personalized training that is led by an instructor. The material can be stored on a CDROM or similar accessory and presented on a huge screen for any number of associates. Individuals could also personally utilize the programs, which allows sessions to easily be completed by associates that did not attend the group meeting. This style is one of the most well-known practices for lectures and could be linked to handouts or other techniques that are interactive (Silver, 2015).
- Storytelling – Could be used to illustrate both proper or improper ways of performing tasks with a description of each outcome (Silver, 2015). This approach would be most efficient with use of examining questions, like:
- In what way does this tale pertain to the training?
- How did others react to the decisions made by the main character?
- What were the expectations through the whole story? Were they accurate?
- Were there any possible alternatives to the actions performed?
This method makes a connection easier within an organization because it is not aggressive and has more than one right answer. It could have a positive cost effect, especially if instructors have and are willing to share their own stories. Tales could also produce a session that is more personal with a higher connection if they include individuals that are known by the trainees. If the instructor does not happen to have any many tales if training could be found online.
- Instructor-led training is a valuable program to present a sizable amount of material to both modest and vast sized groups of individuals. Providing a more face to face experience to employees compared to other methods like computer-based training.
- Provides security that all are receiving the required training in sync.
- Cost-efficient, particularly when instructors are produced in-house.
- Storytelling captures the thoughts of individuals (Hunt, 2013).
- It is not always interactive.
- The success of the training provided hinges on the performance of the instructor.
- Arranging training sessions for a vast number of employees could be challenging, especially when those being scheduled are in various locations.
Lectures could be more effective by keeping the audience actively engaged throughout the meeting. Listed are a few ways to attain this:
- Introduce and prepare instructors with the elements of public speaking.
- Provide instructors with necessary materials.
- Apply interactive techniques (Wormley, 2015).
There are numerous ways to divide training plans while keeping associates interested and involved, such as:
- Quizzes – During complex, in-depth training, pause periodically to provide pithy quizzes on the material presented at that time. Sessions could also be introduced with a pre-quiz and letting the associates know there be another quiz once the materials is covered. Could also offer more motivation by offering rewards to those who receive the highest scores or scores that have increased the most (Paladino, Bario Minton, & Kern, 2011).
- Narrow Group Analysis – Organize those who are participating into small groups, then present work situations or case studies to examine or figure out. This method is useful to share the experiences of knowledgeable veteran associates with those that are newer (Paladino, Bario Minton, & Kern, 2011).
- Case Studies – People tend to possess a more problem-oriented style of thinking when training in the workplace. Case studies are a great way to take advantage of this. By examining situations that are job-related, associates could understand how to deal with comparable circumstances. They will also be able to identify how separate elements could produce potential problems or solutions when placed together (Paladino, et al. 2011).
- Active Summaries – Form small groups and allow them to pick a leader. Have them recap the major points of the lecture and have the leader present their compiled summary (Fanning, 2011).
- Question & Answer Sessions – Acasual session for questions-and-answers has the greatest effect among small groups and to renovate techniques versus teaching ones that are completely new. For instance, a few adjustments of department procedures could be handled more easily with information provided by management, followed by a time for discussion and questions-and-answers (Fanning, 2011,).
- Question Sheets – Ask members to record any questions on the topic. Gather them and organize a session for review (Fanning, 2011).
- Role Playing – Associates will find out how to manage multiple situations before experiencing them in real life by acting out conditions that may happen within the workplace. Role playing can be utilized as a great method to teach multiple interpersonal techniques, like supervising, interviewing, and customer service (Fanning, 2011).
- Trainee Control – Organize a list of the material that will be gone over. Have the trainees review it and choose the information to be covered (Fanning, 2011).
- Demonstrations – Bring any tools or supplies associated with the topic being covered whenever possible and present examples of the process being taught or methods being modified (Paladino, et al. 2011).
- More Activities
- Develop an individual activity plan
- Examine controversy or points in the lesson
- Rephrase meaningful or complicated parts of the lesson
- Interactive techniques keep associates involved in their training, making them more susceptible to issues.
- Makes sessions livelier and more entertaining.
- Provides a situation that allows veteran employees to share their insight and experience with newer associates.
- Allows in-session feedback of effective learning to instructors from trainees (Fanning, 2011).
- Activities could take more time, completing quizzes or splitting into groups is time-consuming.
- Some techniques, like trainee control, might be less organized, meaning instructors will need to double-check to verify all required material was covered (Fanning, 2011).
Hands-on or experimental training presents a few more useful techniques for training associates, such as:
- Cross-Training – Allows associates to experience other trades, this will not only raise the abilities of associates, but organizations will also benefit by gaining associates that can perform multiple tasks. This also allows for associates to develop a higher recognition of what coworkers do and in what way multiple professions coordinate to meet the intentions of the organization (Heathfield, 2018).
- Demonstration – Will capture the attention of associates and is a great method to teach them new process phases, safety skills, and how to operate new equipment. Linked with questions and answers, this is an inviting and effective style of training (Heathfield, 2018).
- Mentoring – The intentions are to make the actions of associates more productive. Mentoring focuses on the special needs of associates and is usually not as formal as normal training. The role is normally filled by Seasoned employees, managers, or supervisors, and does not usually incorporate scheduled time. Mentors meet with associates when time allows to give insightful feedback, answer questions, correct errors, outline goals, recommend strategies, also provide support and reassurance (Wigston, 2018).
- Apprenticeship – Provides opportunity for organizations to build unskilled employees to fill current and expected jobs. These arrangements also benefit the new employees with a chance to acquire a skill or line of work while bringing in moderate income. Apprenticeship merges classroom information with supervised guidance within the workplace in an established and efficient program that could last a year or longer (Wigston, 2018).
- Drilling – An effective way for individuals to apply skills. A familiar example is evacuation drills for teaching emergency readiness (Wigston, 2018).
- Utilizing experimental training is appropriate for introducing new methods and equipment.
- Actions are immediately useful in the job being trained.
- Allows instructors to promptly see if trainees have obtained the new skills or plans (Wigston, 2018).
- Not suitable for sizable groups if there are not enough machines or supplies for everyone being trained.
- Mentoring could disrupt the productivity of the mentor.
- Apprenticeship could be costly for organization paying for trainees who are not yet as useful as regular associates (Wigston, 2018).
Computer-Based Training (CBT)
With technology becoming easier to use and more widespread, computer- based training is also becoming more and more common. The programs that are setup vary from basic text-only to complex multimedia as far as virtual reality. Examine types listed:
- Text-Only – The simplest program that offers training is laid out as self-paced and text-only. This is setup like styles that are more personal and printer-based with the common addition of interactive attributes. Even though the layout is simple, they could be very practical and display notions in an easily accessible and understandable way (Funke, 1998).
- CD-ROM – A large collection of off-the-shelf training plans including a wide range of company topics is accessible through CD-ROM. Curriculums could also be developed by training specialists for the particular needs of the company or department (Issenberg, Gordon, Safford, & Hart, 2001).
- Multimedia – These components are a leading model of CBT. It is more highly advanced than a standard text-only design. Moreover, multimedia provides appealing audio, animation, pictures, and/or videos. They are likely to be more challenging and inspirational, therefore more interesting to a mature mind. Although the expenses are larger than those of text-only programs, the advanced knowledge gained by associates could be well worth it. This kind of material is commonly setup in DVD format (Issenberg, et al, 2001).
- Virtual Reality – Is three-dimensional and interactive, bathing employees in an education experience. Nearly all these programs use a style of simulation, which is an extremely efficient style of training. It provides a hands-on experience without the risks of operations present. For instance, flight simulators are used to teach pilots important flying techniques and practices emergency procedure in a protected and sparing environment (Funke, 1998).
- CBT software is simple to use.
- Can usually be personalized or made-to-order.
- Helps associates establish and rehearse new skills.
- Convenient for refresher courses. Suitable for self-directed training.
- Cost-effective because many associates could utilize the same material and software.
- Flexible, associates can study at their own rate and at times conducive to them. They are also accessible anytime of any day, regardless of any shift, the program is always available.
- Some software is interactive, needing associates to resolve issues, make decisions, and experience the outcome of the decisions. This synergy usually produces a better understanding with higher retention.
- Uniform, so feasible to institutionalize training.
- Measurable, CBT makes it possible to record the training status of associates by test scores (Funke, 1998).
- Requires individuals to be computer knowledgeable
- Requires computer access.
- Limited to no communication with an instructor, if associates have questions, there is no one to ask.
- Not suitable for “soft-skill” training, like sales, client service, or sensitivity training.
- Not the most practical for new or one-time training. Instructors require live communication to assure new concepts or know-how is understood. Those in training require the ability to ask questions and obtain feedback.
- Poorly constructed software can be humdrum, resulting in associates having shoddy retention as well as low rates of completion (Issenberg, et al, 2001).
Online or Networked
Many organizations with associates in various locations depend on other alternative technologies to provide training. Per the American Society for Training & Development (ASTD) “State of the Industry” report, organizations are utilizing a record amount of e-learning, and they forecast that number will continue to grow. This style is becoming more common with Web access also becoming more readily available. A few examples:
- Web-Based Training – Places CBT modules on the Web, this allows organizations to make training available to their associates by either intranet of the company or a section of a merchant’s website setup for their company. This produces an interactive, hands-on technique for associates to handle their production of training like PowerPoint or CD-ROM, on their own. The material is uniform because every program utilized by associates is identical. The material is also uncomplicated to revise, so training can always be suitable for the industry. These are also generally linked to operating systems that track the progress of associate, making record-keeping easier for the organization (Healy, Block, & Judge, 2014).
- Tele-/Videoconferencing – Allows instructors and trainees to be scattered throughout multiple areas. Those participating are linked by a central point and normally ask questions via webchat features or by telephone. This method could be useful for lessons and presentations (Healy, et al, 2014).
- Audioconferencing – Like videoconferencing but only contains audio. Associates dial in at an expected time and listen to those presenting their training. A period for questions and answers is normally held thereafter, trainees could either email or call the instructor (Trout, 2016).
- Web Meetings / Webinars – Contains both visual and audio units. Trainees dial in togain live audio and see visual material on their provided screen. This delivery is similar to that of PowerPoint or CD-ROM and occasionally offers minimal online interactivity. Sessions for questions and answers could also be held thereafter (Trout, 2016).
- Online Colleges and Universities – Also recognized as distance learning, many institutions provide their degrees and certifications directly online today with only a minimal on-campus residence required (Trout, 2016).
- Collaborative detail preparation – Calls for associates to be connected on the same system. This could be used by instructors and associates to prepare written reports and professional records (Healy, et al, 2014).
- E-mail – Can be used to promote or improve training. Deliver remembrance for future training. Seek follow-up questions for instructors or management. Manage training assessments through e-mail questionnaire (Trout, 2016).
- Practical for teaching across various locations.
- Conserve trail costs.
- Can be a more affordable approach to receive training from skilled specialists and advisors from outside the organization.
- Handy for refresher training.
- Suitable for self-directed research.
- Can be easily revised with such things as updated federal regulations, compliance issues, and new policies or procedures of the organization.
- Provides instructors a vast number of options to organize the program with the knowledge and skill level of the trainee (Healy, et al, 2014).
- Requires individuals to be computer knowledgeable.
- Normally generic and not made-to-order for company needs.
- Associates may not care for the cold character of this style.
- Associates could feel overly intimidated with the technology or the distance of the instructor to raise questions.
- A shortage of computers or not enough time online could reduce or inhibit connections to training.
- Defective or outmoded instruments (e.g. area networks, sound cards, and graphic accelerators) could lead to program failure.
- Internet servers of the organization may not possess suitable bandwidth to collect data.
- Self-instruction provides little time to accept advise from context-specific experts or appropriate feedback to questions (Healy, et al, 2014).
Blended Learning Approach
This approach openly accepts that one size does not fit all, regarding training. A quick rundown, this means utilizing more than one style to teach any course. Listed are a few worthwhile reasons to practice this approach:
- Research showed that by using this approach both the expense and time required for training were reduced by over 50 percent.
- The same study also demonstrates a revising growth in knowledge retained by 10 percent compared to regular training.
- Professionals presume that a major benefit of this approach is that it duplicates the way individuals learn more closely on the job, between practice and communicating with coworkers (Moe, & Rye, 2011).
This blended learning approach is effective because an assortment of techniques keeps both instructors and associates involved with training. This approach clearly makes a lot of sense. Look at the many components that influence training such as, the make-up of the audience, subject material, types of learners, budgets, space available, and compliance issues. Every or any considerations could influence the decisions for training and will even necessitate the use of a blended learning approach.
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