Member Since: 30th Jul 2002
Training Design Consultant Keystone Development
18th Jan 2012
An excellent blog, and I agree with you 100%. The training 'event' is only ever part of the solution: The before, the after and the design of the thing in terms of how it fits into 'real business life' are all crucial. Sadly, some people are still under the impression that training is instead of management. No. Training is a tool for managers and organisations to develop their staff. As professional trainers, we have to play our part to the very best of our ability but no matter how good we are, we will NEVER transform an organisation alone.
Keystone Development - For bespoke training design
8th Aug 2011
You are so right about making the most of the period between a new starter accepting an offer and feeling fully 'settled in'. I specialise in Induction Training, and it's good to see that you use a good variety of techniques to deliver (and prioritise) what needs to be covered.
I've just finished writing the Induction Programme for a very well known food brand, and they were especially keen to make the most of this 'notice' period. We decided to send out different things at different times, including product samples, 'challenges' & quizzes in an informal booklet, suggestions to visit the company website and company magazines. It is to be officially launched in October, so I haven't got any feedback on how it is being received yet.
The 'job-specific' training that should form part of the extended induction is very important, and I find that a self-directed approach generally works well. Encouraging people to take responsibility for their own development, but making it easy for them to do so, allows them to fit learning into everyday work, allows them to get up to speed quickly, and doesn't interrupt every day operations too much.
Hope this helps,
PS - If you want a free 7-page guide to creating a great induction, just email me: [email protected]
27th Jul 2011
I've just corrected the word 'ruin' in the second to last paragraph...it now says 'run' as it should ;-)
14th Jul 2011
I've tried 3 times now and 2 different ways, but I cannot get the link to work. Shame.
19th Mar 2011
I can really identify with what you are saying, and it can indeed be difficult to help people to understand that it just isn't possible to take chunks of time away and have the same result. However, 'bite-sized' learning is currently very popular, and I've written a good number of them for companies to use. So to the question 'can you do it in the lunch hour?' the answer is 'yes' .... as long as we are clear about 'it' is.
I know of many companies who offer bite-sized training: Power Hour, Creative Edge, 10 Minute Management and Instep UK come immediately to mind. However, in a 60 or 90 minute session, I believe that you can do one of two things: raise awareness (an overview of a topic) or learn one small aspect of the topic in detail. As long as the client is clear about that, then fine. If they want people to fundamentally change the way they do things, then of course, you can't do that in an hour. In those cases, then I think you have to rely on your professional experience and stick to your guns.
30th Nov 2010
This article is long overdue, and highlights a lot of problems that many trainers may just not be aware of. In my experience, most trainers like to design their own material (which is fair enough), but they tend to design it with them and their delivery at the forefront of their mind. NOT that I'm suggesting that they don't give proper consideration to learners...rather that they design just enough to allow them to deliver the material well, and 'fill in the blanks' as they go....there is a lot that is required to be read 'between the lines'.
Quality training design does indeed stand alone, so that it can be referred to long after the event, and still be meaningful. Of course, the delivery of the material brings it to life, adds value, and other 'layers', but if we want to provide long-lasting results, then trainers must give as much attention to the design as they do to research and delivery.
I know that you are a skilled and experienced training designer, but many are not. It's something that I share your passion for, and have created a quick guide to designing effective training to help those who may not be quite so experienced. Quality design underpins quality training.
26th Mar 2010
This is an excellent and very insightful piece. I've long thought that first line managers have one of the hardest jobs in ANY business because of their dual-role. They are often give conflicting messages about where their priorities should be, and told to 'manage their teams' with little or no support, as well as 'do whatever is necessary to deliver today's tagets/deal with immediate situations'
I've noticed that there is a rise in bite-sized learning and (in some more enlightened organisations) a re-emergence of action learning, to try and give these managers the skills that they need to manage, whilst giving them the time they need to 'do'. Instinctively, this feels like a good thing to do, but as this article highlights, it's by no means a guaranteed route to success.
27th Feb 2010
Brilliant, funny ...... and true????
29th Apr 2009
I agree with Graham,
Generally I think that core programmes should be standardised and managed centrally. However, materials should be able to be tweaked to fit local cultures/issues, and also be run locally. (I often design materials for 'standard' programmes that indicate where local businesses should add their own examples etc).
Investing in modular programmes (everything approved by head office, but businesses get to choose which bits they want to do) also appears to be popular approach, as it allows central and regional departments to share control.
It is good for the local business to have some discretion about how it addresses needs that are specific to its needs. However, there is a danger that some businesses stray too far off 'corporate rails', and start training in things that contradict global issues. Also, I have seen many companies duplicating (at best) training programmes that are very similar, and wasting their budget when a central programme with some flexibility would have been more cost-effective and encouraged consistency throught the organisation.
So, as I said at the start - share it.