The skills required in today’s working world are in a constant state of flux, meaning organisations need to continuously tweak their training techniques in order to meet the needs of the student and the business. You need to ensure your training is geared for effective learning, and in this post, I’m going to share some tips that will help you do just that.
Set ‘3C’ Goals: Challenging, Concrete and Current
A key factor in non-effective learning is a student being faced with unrealistic goals. Tasks that surpass an individual’s skill level can make them feel incompetent and potentially disengage from the learning process. Common responses to this feeling include avoidance and procrastination, neither of which are desirable!
Richard Clark from the University of Southern California argues that goals in the workplace need to have these ‘3C” qualities. These apply nicely to training practices.
Challenging - a goal must challenge the learner, but not stretch their actual ability, or motivation to complete it will suffer.
Concrete - the goal must be 'set in stone' and not change.
Current - goals should be achievable within a relatively short time-frame.
Once these goals are defined, work on developing progressive learning paths your staff can follow. These need to build towards the end-goal and be sectioned in achievable chunks based on the individual's skill-set.
Give learners decision-making power
During my graduate studies, I had the opportunity to meet a few students from Summerhill School – one of the few democratic schools in the world. The school allows its students to make their own schedule at the beginning of each term and to vote at meetings on rules affecting the whole school community. As a result, students are much more engaged, empowered and comfortable with making decisions as they go along. While Summerhill pupils aren't acting in a working environment, adopting a democratic approach to training can be highly effective.
Empowering learners to make decisions can increase their sense of control, and consequently, their belief in achieving their goals. Instead of holding the reins on assignments and deadlines, allow a level of freedom over what and when they need to deliver. This approach can increase motivation to meet that learning goal as the team member has had a say in the required time-frame.
Pass over the teaching power
How about allowing learners to take ownership of certain sessions by tasking them to be the trainer for a day? Give them clear instructions on what is expected and let them drive the session. Learning by teaching, otherwise known as the ‘protégé effect’ can enhance the sense of responsibility and accountability in the learner, and really push them to understand the material at hand.
Deliver effective feedback
You can't expect people to learn effectively if they aren't receiving feedback on their progress. There are some hard and fast rules when it comes to delivering feedback, it must be:
Goal-related - ensure feedback relates to agreed learning goals at all times.
Actionable - can the learner take a piece of feedback and implement it in the future?
Transparent - don't mask anything, progress won't be made if the learner is not given the full picture.
Ongoing and consistent - feedback should never stop and must also be delivered at regular, set intervals.
One final thought on feedback - do you ask learners for feedback on your delivery? This should be a two-way process.
Over to you...
I've only scratched the surface of advice on delivering effective learning here, however, I do hope you can take this information forward and implement it. Want more? Download our ebook - 'How to Deliver Better Training'.
What advice would you add? Please do share in our comments section below.