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Tailoring company training
  • Employers can adjust training programs depending on the nature of the material being presented and the needs of the workforce.
  • Applicability and the opportunity to provide feedback increase employee engagement in company training.

Research has shown that the most effective way for people to learn is to match the teaching method to the nature of the material being taught. For example, would anyone want people to obtain a driver’s license based solely on the ability to pass the written test? While lectures, tests, and instructional videos are all good tools for teaching people to drive, those lessons are reinforced when a driver gets behind the wheel for hands-on experience.

Examples

Here are ways to tailor company training:

  • Online courses may be supported by a classroom session conducted by managers, or a video presentation could be coupled with role-playing exercises that reinforce the material;
  • A company may follow up on the group training with individualized coaching sessions; and/or
  • A webinar could be used to deliver information to a large group of employees, and managers could then conduct small-group sessions that apply the information to specific work situations.

Employee considerations

A company can tailor its training programs to suit the company and its specific situation. The following considerations can further help a company tailor training to its employees:

  • Consider personal preference. While teaching methods should match tasks, employers should still consider learning preferences. Learning is improved (for all preferences) when training combines a variety of learning activities — demonstration, discussion, handouts, brainstorming, games, hands-on experience, etc.
  • Acknowledge previous experience. Treat employees like intelligent, experienced adults whose opinions and insights are valued and appreciated. Create training opportunities that build on the learner’s knowledge base. In group training, employers may want to discuss how participants might learn from each other and provide opportunities for people to share perspectives or discuss relevant past experiences.
  • Demonstrate applicability. Take the time to show employees how training will apply to individuals and the work. Use examples and discussions in the training that reflect participants’ current working experiences. It also helps to deliver content that fulfills an immediate or upcoming need; people tend to respond best to training that can be applied right away.
  • Ask for feedback. Workers who can give input on education feel more invested in training. Results are the best way to measure the effectiveness of training, but soliciting learner feedback can help employers understand how various aspects of training impact success. Such insight allows employers to further improve training outcomes.