5 Must Follow Tips for Effective Employee Training
1. See the employee’s perspective
It can be easy to get lost in course design and development when you’re so focused on creating it. If you are the specialist with the knowledge, then it’s not too hard to go down a rabbit hole. It’s important to design courses and training by keeping the end user in mind.
As we’ll discuss next, it’s important to always focus on the learner, and not what you know. Remember, it’s easy to take things for granted after you have expertise in it. This leads us to the next point.
2. Know your audience
You must be able to relate the training to the end user. By doing so, you can personalize the training and provide a more intimate learning experience for your employees.
There will be some training that is relevant across all or different groups of employees. That’s fine and perfectly reasonable. However some training will be very specific to the role. For example managers might get one set of training to go through, whereas sales people would have a completely different training program to go through.
Not only the role, but keep in mind the existing skill or knowledge level of the employees doing the training. This leads us to the next point.
3. Stick to flow
Over time people’s knowledge, experience and skill will increase. You need to be mindful of this in your training design as well. Catering training content for different levels is important as it keeps the training relevant, engaging, and effective.
This is called learning in the flow.
The diagram above shows what happens when someone learns in flow while and when they don’t. As a person learns, they’re knowledge and skill level will shift over time. As long as they stay inside flow, they’ll continue to learn and increase their knowledge and skill. When this happens, course completion rates will be high, and so will be the effectiveness.
However if their training is too easy, then the learner will get bored with it. If that continues, they’ll disengage as the content isn’t challenging enough.
If the content is too difficult to understand then they will drop out as it’s too complex for them. Either way, it creates disengagement.
Designing training around this concept is quite effective. Hence it’s important to create training that can caters for self paced learning, and training for different skill levels.
4. Make it engaging
Understanding ‘flow‘ as explained above is important for creating engaging content. However you can enhance engagement using several methods on top of that. Here are a few ways to make your training more engaging.
Use videos, GIFs, images and text variably
It’s good to break up the content using various media. Video content is great for consuming and learning from, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use text and images. Combining all mediums is good as it allows you to create more engaging courses.
You can create interactive courses online very easily now. A lot of e-learning tools allow you create interactivity within the courses. There are cloud based and other tools available to create interactive courses too. These interactions can include drag and drop, select-able options, animations, pop-ups etc.
Quizzes can be used to enhance the learning and also check-in with the employee to make sure that the content is deriving knowledge. However quizzes alone don’t make an effective course. People can most often just skip the content, jump straight to the quizzes and answer based on what they know already, or even take a guess. So use quizzes wisely.
Remember though quizzes can actually be used to train the employee too. If you have ever used Duolingo, this is a perfect example of using quizzes to teach. Duolingo is a language learning app which teaches the user a new language primarily by going through various levels of quizzes.
Make it practical
The most effective methods is to make your course practical. Getting the user to follow through with activitieys, providing templates or workbooks for them to complete, or getting them to perform an actual task, is one of the best ways to learn.
As you can see below, the most trending mode of learning is actually through on-the-job experience. If you can get your training to be as close to on-the-job, then it will be highly effective and engaging.
Add in some gamification
Gamification can make your courses more engaging. Whether gamification should be used to get people to complete training is arguable. However, it does create a degree of engagement. You can entice your employees or make the training a little more fun by rewarding users with points, badges or other type of reward.
5. Check-in with the learner
Making sure employees are learning effectively requires work from their manager also, not to mention it makes for a greater employee experience. Regularly following up with learning efforts and backing it up with additional resources when and where required goes a long way.
For example, say you have an on-boarding training program for new employees. As the new employee goes through the training, it’s wise for their manager to keep up-to date with their progress, assist where required, and provide additional help when the new employee gets stuck.