How to Create A Successful Training Programme
How to Create A Successful Training Programme
Whether you’re required to or not, the modern workplace should provide some form of ongoing professional development for all its workers. Naturally, most leaders delegate this task to someone, and the chances are if you’re reading this, then that person might be you. Don’t worry here are some essentials to providing affordable, engaging and effective training solutions.
Start a dialogue as soon as possible about training. Initially, this might just be informal conversations about training; their needs, experiences and what they’d like to do in the future. It also might be a chance to gauge company culture from other people’s perspectives.
Do they feel empowered, confident and valued? You may even find that this is the first time in a long time someone has felt able to speak freely about their experience. This is important information you can use in your planning and also reporting back to company leaders to explain your choices.
Starting a group on Social Media might be a good way for larger organisations to achieve the same goal, you can post fun polls, promote planning events and even share updates quickly but don’t lose sight of the social aspect. Like and reply to comments so people feel their contribution is valued. Don’t just be a one-way street online!
There are loads of great apps available to run surveys in addition to polls you’ve posted online; make sure you get one that aggregates data and creates charts so it can be easily conveyed. This way you can easily communicate what kind of training sessions people respond best to and what exactly they feel their training needs are too.
Hosting an event like a training fair may be the next step between this stage and the next one, once you get a team together but you’re still finding out what kind of training sessions people want. Create some simple stalls or displays that share information about various ideas and if you have a team for this get each one manned to answer questions and gather feedback. This might seem like a lot of work but even if you run it for 15 minutes during a series of lunch breaks it will really help people get engaged with the possibility of workplace training and start some interesting discussions.
ProSocial LX training sessions aim to be bespoke, empowering and fun; the best way I can provide this is to establish some contact with the team so I can get to know what their needs are; what they enjoy and also what challenges they face. It also gives me the opportunity to build a rapport with prospective trainers so they can see I’m invested in their success too. You can do this in your own company as well by starting a conversation prior to planning your session.
Potentially, your workplace is a community of creative and innovative thinkers already. So your first step is to form some kind of team prior to the training to get involved in the planning, scheduling and if they’re comfortable and able the delivery.
While a campaign to get people to volunteer might seem like the next step, you should also make a list of people you actually want to work with. Start conversations about your task and training in the workplace generally. If they seem interested, invite them to get involved, even it’s just as a sounding board for your ideas. (This will be essential in itself because whatever training you plan will need to be tested before it can be delivered in a training session.)
Getting people involved in the scheduling is really important. People rarely like surprises, and training sessions often make people feel vulnerable so it’s important to factor a notice period into the training session. As you draw up your schedule keep leaders involved as well as your team so they can help you spot any conflicts with other events that are going on.
As part of the preparation process I will suggest an appropriate session for the team but treat the original plan as a template. At this point, we can collaborate on any changes or additions together. ProSocial LX sessions aim to be people centred and bespoke, so setting up a 10 – 20 minute meeting like this means I can ensure they know what they’re getting and it helps them to tailor the session to meet their needs better.
Try to think of around 5 key takeaways from the training you’ve decided to provide and for each of these, why not explore the possibility of creating a micro-session that could be tacked on to meetings or as a way of breaking up the day. Each session should just aim to be 5 to 10 minutes long. You could even do an online version providing a video guide and online resources.
Cutting down for Micro Sessions like this can seem daunting but it will actually force you to think about delivering effective training with a tight time constraint. The addition of digital resources will help as then people can choose to work at their own pace. If you are going to provide these online make sure you test them on a few people at first and make support available for people who get stuck or prefer a face to face approach.
You may find that in creating resources you have to spend time now, but this could be an opportunity for your organisation to build up a bank of valuable resources in the future which employees can cherry pick from. Don’t forget to reward people who complete these in some way too.
ProSocial LX micro-sessions are a collection of resources based on the core training events which enables people to engage in personal and professional development in bitesize chunks at a time convenient to them.
Simple rewards and pleasant experiences: It may be that on completion of a few micro-sessions your employees get a small reward like a hot drink and a bun. For time management you might set a deadline of five days but reward those who complete in under four with an invitation to a beer & pizza party/afternoon tea in the break room at the end of the week. Or even just go home an hour early? (How much do people really achieve after 4.30 pm on Friday anyway?) There are so many simple ways you can show appreciation and praise, don’t underestimate what they can do for your company culture as well as their progression.
Set individual goals; this in itself is useful because it means the training becomes personally focussed. You can even hand this over to learners by using an All/Most/Some dialogue. For example “All of you will have an understanding of the guidelines; most of you will identify ways in which you can improve your own practice; and some of you will even develop ways to help others improve too.”
The advantage of a diverse skill set is they come with much wider ranges of ideas and challenges but it’s also responsible to provide more dynamic support. This can be as simple as acknowledging some people find different aspects more challenging or even breaking tasks down and setting up a task schedule which seems manageable. Most of all offering reassurance that all progress is valuable and all are entitled to support will prevent people giving up and disengaging.
As a wise woman once said; “a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down!” This is definitely the case when it comes to company training. It’s for that reason that interaction and fun are at the heart of all ProSocial LX training events. Where possible I’m even comfortable being slightly absurd if I can find a fun way to get people to engage with skills and have a go at applying them. You can deliver fun, engaging sessions and make training meaningful in a number of simple ways, but here are a few.
We often hear about transferable skills and life skills but often times work can become its own little bubble. Working on things like personal finance; stress management; parenting skills; health and fitness can take a back seat. Which really is quite odd when, at least at ProSocial LX, it seems pretty obvious that people who are doing better in life are better workers. How many of your workers feel under-confident or unable to discuss their real ideas and feelings in meetings? What impact does outside stress have on productivity in the workplace?
By taking a holistic approach to training, you could actually improve both your employees’ lives as well as their productivity in the office. If you can raise self-esteem how many new ideas will come to the floor? If you can improve communication and creativity, how much time can we save? If you can boost problem-solving and negotiation; how more productive will the office be. And yet these are skills people can apply to their own lives too. It’s a win-win. These core skills are so important that ProSocial LX has dedicated training events related to understanding and applying each of them. Try to think about a holistic approach to your training: how can you create a win-win for your workforce as well as your organisation too?