Making Workplace Training Engaging

  • Posted on Apr 26, 2024

Let’s face it: traditional workplace training can be about as exciting as watching paint dry. Adults, unlike their classroom counterparts, come with a wealth of experience and a critical eye, and they are rightfully skeptical of what might be another unrelated training. 

How do you transform dull training into an engaging experience that sticks?

The secret lies in understanding how grown-ups learn best. Forget passive lectures and one-size-fits-all approaches. Adults crave active participation. They want to see the “why” behind the “what” and, most importantly, how this new knowledge applies to their daily grind.

Here’s how to do it.

Pair a Watson to Your Holmes

Successful organizations conduct a needs analysis before diving headfirst into fancy training programs. This is a detective hunt to identify skill gaps and pinpoint areas where employees need the most support. 

By using surveys, interviews, and performance data, a needs analysis helps you understand the current situation and your team’s needs to reach peak performance. Think of it as a roadmap – it ensures your employee development training efforts are targeted and address the most pressing issues, saving you time and resources in the long run.

Mapping the Learning Journey

Curriculum mapping becomes your secret weapon for adult training to ensure a cohesive learning experience. It’s like a visual GPS for both trainers and trainees. This map charts the course, laying out the specific skills and knowledge covered in each training module. But it doesn’t stop there. It also shows how these elements connect and build upon each other, creating a clear path towards achieving the overall training goals. 

This transparency allows adult learners to see the bigger picture and how each piece of information contributes to their mastery of the subject. It also helps trainers identify gaps where additional support might be needed, ensuring a well-rounded and effective learning journey for everyone involved.

Where Things Get Interesting

Your team is unique; their training and development can’t be one-size-fits-all. Choose learning opportunities that address a variety of learning preferences, like these:

  • Microlearning bites: Enough with the information overload. Short, focused bursts of information are easier to digest and retain, especially for busy schedules. Think of bite-sized lessons you can squeeze in between meetings. These minilessons have a huge ROI when it comes to learning. These minilessons increase retention by 22%.
  • Coaching in the corner: Ever feel like you’re learning something but need help using it? Wraparound training programs with coaching skills for managers to bridge that gap. Get comprehensive training with a personal cheerleader by your side to guide you through real-world applications.
  • Think beyond lectures: Mix it up! Interactive exercises, case studies, and group discussions involve everyone and cater to different learning styles. Imagine a training session that feels more like a brainstorming session with colleagues.

The Training Buffet

There’s no single recipe for training and development success. The best training programs are buffets, offering various options to suit different needs.

  • Instructor-Led Training (ILT): Still valuable for providing structure and fostering interaction. But ditch the monotonous lecture and focus on creating discussions and opportunities for clarification.
  • Virtual Instructor-Led Training (vILT): Remote teams also benefit from instructor-led training. Connecting with a virtual subject matter expert can be an invaluable experience because the trainer knows how to create rapport among the team.
  • E-learning gets an upgrade: Take advantage of technology! Rich multimedia content and the flexibility of self-paced learning can be a winner. But remember, interaction is vital. Look for quizzes, polls, and discussion forums to keep things engaging.
  • The Mentor Whisperer: The mentor is your guide on the side. Mentorship programs provide invaluable long-term guidance and knowledge transfer.

Remember, the ultimate goal is to make training relevant and applicable.

Help employees solve real problems, and you’ll have them hooked. Skip the outdated methods and design training that’s as dynamic and interesting as your team itself.

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