Have You Conducted A Health Check On Your Training

Sep 8, 2019

Most of us visit the doctor when we get sick. In the East, most people pay their doctor regularly to keep them well. They go for routine tweaks and treatments. When they fall ill, they stop paying their doctor. I like this concept because it focuses on maintaining health and overall productivity. Why not treat your training the same way? What I mean: could we conduct regular health checks on our trainers and our learning environment?

Here is what we believe should be on the checklist:

Are your trainers using appropriate technology?

We all know that no industry is immune to change and that learning and development has seen some huge shifts with the introduction of mobile devices, gamification and virtual learning. While there is most definitely a demand on organisations to adopt and integrate new technology into the learning process, we must still remember that low technology plays a big part too. If we decide that classroom training will be more effective with a particular group, it has to be worthwhile for the learners. So, trainers need to find a balance between videos, games and apps and using flipcharts, coloured paper, tekstas and practical games. We’ve seen the re-emergence of low technology in possibly the most high-tech region worldwide-Silicon Valley-where they’re using doodling and Gamestorming just as much as Yammer, Slack and YouTube.

Take Care of the Environment

Did you know that learners respond better in classrooms that have at least one window? There should also be some greenery in view even if it’s a single tree. Ergonomically speaking, natural light has a better effect on well-being and great trainers know that when tension goes up, retention goes down!

Have you considered room layout? Having learners seated in rows or in a u-shaped pattern doesn’t allow for easy conversation or groupings when required. Think how much more social people will be if they sit in a café style. Small pods allow the quieter individuals to contribute and for the trainer to switch groups around regularly.

Structure for Retention

If we go to the lengths of corralling employees in a room, we owe it to them to help them remember what we cover. That’s why less is more. Rather cover 4-5 chunks and go into detail, quiz them, ask them to role play or make mini presentations. That way the data and how to apply it in their own context will sink in deeper.

Another tip is to structure the session in such a way that you never go longer than 20 minutes without some form of activity. You could have a paired discussion, quick game, peer testing, small group presentation or research assignment. Remember that when it comes to training it’s not the sound of your voice that counts, it’s theirs that does.

Get Active

Okay let’s get one thing straight. Activities are not ‘nice to haves’. They are ‘must haves.’ And they should relate to the overall purpose of the workshop. The guru of workshop activities, Thiagi, explains how important it is for learners to engage kinaesthetically. Reading a PowerPoint deck and showing a few videos isn’t enough. Since we tend to remember only up to 50% of auditory and visual messages after two weeks and remember up to 90% of the message when it involves movement, we need to cook up multiple activities for each workshop. There are hundreds of free activities online and great trainers are able to use their creativity to develop their own. Why not keep a file with all your activities for quick reference?