We often face the same issue – we want to get our new staff up to speed as fast as we can but we also want to ensure they know enough to be able to undertake their role with confidence. Rght there is the biggest clash of training issues we face! On one hand the longer we keep new staff in the training environment the more money and lost productivity they are costing us but on the other hand we must ensure they know enough to make it worthwhile having them dealing with customers.
Can we achieve both? Yes we can!
As I’ve said in previous blogs on induction tips one thing we know as sure as the sun will come up tomorrow (no offence to the Mayan calendar!) is that your organisation has changed over the last 12 – 24 months. This might be IT systems or parts therefore, systems and processes, products – you name it, it will have changed. These changes all need to be written into the induction programme to ensure all new staff are up to speed. Now here’s the kicker – it’s HOW the content is designed and presented not the content itself that will determine both speed to competency and absorption of the learning while at the same time reducing the time it takes to do both!
So how do you do it?
In my experience the majority of training is run by diving straight into the topic. The content covered is learnt in a stand alone manner and when finished not revisited or linked to any other parts of the learning. Think about any learning you have been through or even your own current induction programme and see if each topic such as IT systems, products, processes etc. are trained in what I call ‘once and done’ – I have written about the power of repetition in previous induction blogs.
The difference is all in the way the brain works
Human brains come equipped to latch onto new facts faster if they hook in to what you already know and do, so rather than starting with a blank page and then continuing to bore your groups to death, start by uncovering what they already know about your topics, industry or organisation and then explore that knowledge before linking your topics and information to their existing knowledge and experiences (believe it or not no one walks into a training room with zero knowledge or experience)!
Imagine walking into a wardrobe and wanting to hang your coat up. You look for the spare coat hanger then select it, take your jacket and put on the hanger and put it back on the rail. Easy eh? Now try it without the hanger….and thats exactly what we are trying to do with some of our training. We are expecting the person to walk into our training and be able to hang our new training straight onto their brain with nothing between them to connect them.
By ‘hooking’ your training topics into existing knowledge and experiences the learners will grasp concepts faster, have a higher rentention level (especially mixing in tips covered in previous blogs), enjoy the training more and therefore be more engaged – meaning you don’t have to work so hard to gain the same result.
Example of how to hook learners
Say you are a power company and you are running the induction course, rather than start by launching straight into detail why not start by asking the group of their understanding power companies, where power comes from and how it is distributed (you could make it an acitivity / ice breaker for pairs to work together, draw up mind maps or posters). This does two things:
1) You are instantly engaging your learners rather than talking at them and they are thinking all about their knowledge and experiences
2) You get a very fast idea of the level of understanding in the room so you can start to identify your audience levels.
Uncover and use your group’s previous knowledge and experiences to increase their understanding of your material.
Do not assume people walk into the training room with empty heads.
Link their past experiences and knowledge to your topics and see the increase in understanding.
Make your sessions more interactive and engaging by letting the groups open up and share, then use this information to hook them onto your material.
For more information on how Rapid Results can assist you with your induction design or review your existing programme contact us at www.rapid-results.com or 0800 338356.