Effective training programs are the cornerstone of a high performing workplace. Providing the basic knowledge to workers and reinforcing the need to apply that learning in their daily activities are just two critically important facets of a well thought out training system.
Here are 10 concepts that need to be implemented to bring training and education full circle and to provide forward momentum in the process of developing a fully engaged highly productive workforce.
- Set learning objectives – determine first what the key points or factors are that will be influenced by this knowledge exchange and how will the outcomes be measured.
- Create the content – tailor the message or training information to the specific audience for maximum absorption and comprehension.
- Deliver the content – ensure the set-up is conducive to learning. Keeping the message relevant to the workers level of comprehension and using real life examples that they can relate to is a best practice.
- Keep training top of mind – use awareness programs as visual and audio prompts that keep the topic out in front of the organization. When everyone walks the walk and talks the talk it makes it harder for the individual leaner to forget what needs to be done and how to do it.
- Verify comprehension – use testing, observation and constructive feedback to help employees apply what they have been taught. Be sure that feedback is constructive not punitive and is delivered in real time for maximum effectiveness and greater adoption by the worker.
- Track and trend using metrics – Measurement of desired outcomes should be used as a yardstick to help determine if the content, delivery and application of the training is on track or needs course correction.
- Never pass up an opportunity to train – refresher training on a regular basis is needed for any program to be effective. Retraining is also very impactful when used as a corrective action or as part of an investigative process.
- Keep it fun – capture the learner’s attention by using bright colorful presentations, games or game show formats, and some light humor. A little friendly competition between departments is a great way to engage the workforce while promoting the learning process.
- Use positive reinforcement – those that absorb and apply need to be recognized and reinforced. Don’t just say thank you. Recognize the positive impact of their good work habits and how their application of those work habits has resulted in good outcomes.
- Hold people accountable – employees that are unwilling to follow training principles need to be held accountable with appropriate consequences. Deciding in advance what the consequences are and hold all employees to the same level of accountability will drive continuous improvement and strengthen the overall training program.
These 10 basic training concepts will provide an excellent cornerstone to support programs across an organization and drive consistency, accountability and employee engagement.
Hear the author speak more on food safety training at the Food Safety Consortium, November 17-18, 2014, Schaumburg, IL. Click here for more details and to register.