life into business learning
If any business wishes to succeed, it requires a training effort and learning process that inspires
, discovery and performance. For training programmes to be successful it needs to address business needs as well as the aspirations and dreams of its people.
On a business level, the training effort often starts by addressing those gaps in knowledge that require immediate or urgent business attention. Shortfalls can include lack of expertise in technology,
systems, skills or attitudes. Training can seek to improve the quality of succession planning, career development and lifestyle by helping to address burnout,
, relationship and/or teamwork skills.
At a personal level learners need to be convinced that there are
benefits in undertaking the training. For example, will the training build self-worth and inner confidence? Will the training be worth the investment of the time and effort? Will the learning be applied and useful? If any business or manager neglects any of these factors your training effort could well be
Without doubt in the modern knowledge era there are many pressures that can assist or frustrate any training effort, whether it is done on the job, in the classroom or via e-learning. If our goal is to breathe life into training we need to help people to understand the promises,
and vulnerabilities that come with learning. We see this most when people are
outside their zones of
. It is in this domain where the leaps in our capabilities can be highest, but also where the greatest emotional and practical support is required. At these times we need to draw on our personal
and the support of others to succeed. Whether it is rethinking our strategy or just being a little kinder to one self, we need to take positive actions to
the impasses and struggles we face in the learning zone. In practical terms this means providing emotional and intellectual support at every opportunity.
There is often talk in training circles that learning must be fun. Well, in reality it can often be the exact
. We all have to be ready and willing to help each other make the transitions and learning they
. Instead of viewing training as a purely logical process, we must
people to notice and respond to the
and emotions they will face, notably, what tactics learners can use to motivate
when they need to learn more. Such inspiration and
is priceless when it comes to the development of skills and know-how. In addition, make sure there is
practical and emotional support to help people and
. Take digital learning for example, clear guidance on computer awareness, tutor availability and the right software and operating systems is essential. More traditional training can be
up with tools, learning books and management support.
Helping a learner learn and building training performance has been a theme of many of my past books and articles, notably
Creating Training Miracles
, the latter of which I wrote with my colleague Kevin Lohan. Without
the content of those books take note of the following seven key design elements to successful training. Apply these principles in all your training efforts and you will have more success, whether training face to face, coaching on the job and/or designing e-learning.
Seven design elements of successful training
Give your training or learning an exciting
that grabs attention.
Start your training by:
(a) explaining why the learning is important to the learner and to the business
(b) sharing a real-life story that
the reality of the benefit
(c) painting the big picture to show how the training fits in with other responsibilities.
and thirst for learning by creating plenty of
to apply and practise what is being
Highlight relevant stories, examples and simple frameworks to aid recall and application.
Review and celebrate to the maximum.
When the training has been completed do not leave things to chance, make sure there is adequate coaching and tools to assist and
new skills on the job.
Evaluate and improve the process for
Surrounding the whole conversation of breathing life into the learning process is the assumption that for training to work it must consider and adapt to the unique learning styles of the people involved. Again the topic of learning style has been a major theme of my previous books and I do not intend to
those theories on this occasion. To help you explore learning
you may wish to visit http://tip.psychology.org/ or www.patsula.com/usefo/webbasedlearning/.
When it comes to discovering learning theory and styles I have found the work by David Kolb, Peter Honey, Alan Mumford and Ned Herrmann most relevant and useful
fields you might wish to explore include instructional design, neuro-linguistic programming, competency-based training and, of course, web design.