Identifying an Effective Training Program, or how to ensure the training sessions you send your people to, are second to none.
We all have memories of boring, endless training sessions or classes we have attended. The problem is, we can’t remember what we learned! Not all training is created equal. To get the message across and keep students interested, there are a surprising number of factors involved. You need a trainer who offers dynamic, stimulating education to delegates. I have spent years refining and improving the way I teach so I can offer lively, energising education to delegates from around Australia, New Zealand and the world. Here are the factors I take into account when creating and delivering training courses to businesses, government agencies and not-for-profit organisations. These are the things you should be asking potential trainers about their training.
Step 1. Thorough Planning
Before I even step foot in a classroom environment, there is a lot of work to be done. Whether I am working with a nation-wide business or an exclusive corporate sales team, I go to extreme lengths to ensure training is tailored with the right materials and outcomes in mind. Engaging me to work with your team will include involvement on your part so we can structure the course and deliver training in a way that is relevant to your business and your industry. The planning process is highly important to me; I am not here to offer cookie-cutter training solutions.
Step 2. The Right Trainer
The person delivering a training session, particularly to a group of complete strangers, simply must know their stuff. Ideally, the trainer will have Completed appropriate and relevant courses and attends quarterly upskilling sessions to ensure they have industry-leading skills. I have completed an intensive, trainers’ course and regularly attend learning and development sessions with my trainer peers. The trainer needs to be motivated, energetic, knowledgeable and highly experienced. I have in excess of 30 years of professional practice, studying how we humans operate. The trainer must be able to share relevant examples of why and how particular strategies work. I possess a wealth of relevant examples of people who have implemented the strategies I’ve taught with outcomes that have exceeded their expectations.
Step 3. Attention to Detail
When delegates arrive at a workshop or training session, their instinctive needs must be met first and foremost. From water and learning materials on the table to regularly scheduled breaks, those in attendance should feel completely taken care of. Having been in the business for so long, I understand how to achieve optimal results for accelerated learning. Scheduling breaks at the right time can make all the difference, as can setting tasks which help delegates feel motivated and engaged. Other simple elements which are often overlooked by some trainers include comfort, lighting and security. Nobody wants to sit still in an uncomfortable chair all day. I break up the training by asking people to get up and move around to do appropriate activities.
Step 4. Interactive Education
People who feel interested and engaged will be happy to learn; so it always helps to begin with a short, relevant icebreaker. If I am working with a close-knit group of colleagues, this may be a team activity. For a group of strangers, I will create an opportunity for people to get to know each other without feeling overwhelmed. During each training session, I also deliver content which caters to different learning styles. Some people are visual learners, others learn by listening, while others need to be physically shown what to do. By offering activities for pairs, groups or individuals, those who prefer to learn in a hands-on manner can ‘get the message’. These activities also serve to break up the day, add an element of fun and incorporate the friendship factor.
Step 5. Positive Learning Environments
The word ‘No’ should rarely be heard during a training course. Sessions need to be filled with good-vibes and encouragement from start to finish. The trainer should not be there to pass judgement or establish a bell-curve of abilities for delegates! Ideally, the trainer wants everyone to learn and achieve the same positive outcomes. To keep the mood light, I often hold brain-teaser style quizzes, encouraging everyone to put on their thinking caps. I’ll keep adding hints until the correct answer surfaces, with a mandate of never putting anybody down.
Step 6. Practical Implementation Tips
Knowing how to sell a car is one thing. Actually selling it is another. A huge part of a course needs to involve sharing practical ways delegates can apply what they have learned the second they get back to their desk. For example, during my Emotional Intelligence program, I cover the concept of how important our emotional state is in how we relate to others. As a result, instead of just going through the motions at work, delegates will be acutely aware of the positive impact they can have in every interaction – be that every time they answer the telephone or being mindful of wording in every email they send. These changes offer immediate benefits to the workplace. I encourage delegates to come up with personal action plans and to create specific charters for their business. Often, these charters are subsequently put to use across the company.
Step 7. Follow Up
What happens at the conclusion of the training? Once a training program is finished, I’ll ask that all-important question, “What did you think?” By gathering anonymous feedback and suggestions, I am able to refine my services. I follow up with Managers a few weeks and months after the course to see what knowledge the attendees have been able to apply. Delegates also have ongoing email access to me, so they can contact me to ask questions at any time.
Take time in identifying an effective training program to find out how a proposed trainer prepares and delivers their services. It will determine whether you receive an average or an AMAZING return on your investment.
Author: Merryl Gee, BSocWk, AMHSW, MAASW, MACSW, MANZMHA, MPACFA.
Merryl Gee is a psychotherapist working from a strengths-based, person-centred framework. With over 30 years’ experience, she has a particular interest people who have experienced trauma such as sexual assault or childhood sexual abuse.
To make an appointment with Brisbane Psychotherapist Merryl Gee try Online Booking. Alternatively, you can call M1 Psychology Loganholme on (07) 3067 9129 or Vision Psychology Wishart on (07) 3088 5422 .