Time To Break The Rituals
‘an established or prescribed procedure’
‘a set of fixed actions and sometimes words performed regularly’
Are some of our training rituals really doing the best for our learners?
As trainers, we do certain things during our training. Why? Because they’ve always been done. Some these things may still be valid, but maybe not all. Some may even be detrimental to training and learners.
What might happen if we questioned and changed some of these rituals?
The customary Onboarding (Induction) training
Ritually done on day 1 of a new employee. It includes talks from section heads, the history of the organisation, Vision and Values etc. But how does this really help a new employee work and function within the team they are entering?
- Getting new employees actually working on day 1, week 1 etc. General organisation informaion can be filtered into their worktime.
- Create short video clips of section heads that learners can watch over time.
- Create short video clips relating to the organisations Visions and Values – after all, if they are working the way the organisation wants them to work, they will already be performing in line with the Visions and Values.
- Information could be available as part of the ‘Welcome Pack’ sent by HR to all new employees.
The ritual must be questioned against, ‘How does this ritual really help the new team member perform their role?’
Testing after training
Why after training? Why not before training
If learners are tested before training, they will then know what they don’t know. It also offers the opportunity for those that already know quite a lot about the content to ‘test out’, especially for regulatory training (and refresher training). Most regulatory bodies don’t prescribe training as method of validation, they just need evidence that employees are competent. For example, Financial Crime Prevention or Data Protection or Health and Safety – if we tested employees first, those that pass the test don’t need to waste their time with training as they are competant, those that don’t pass, know why they need to be part of the training. Imagine the time and money saved if we started to question this ritual.
Training format first
“I’d like you to create a 2-day face-to-face training for my team.“
We’ve all heard this when a manager or subject matter exert requests training.
Ritualistically when this training is requested, we work with the requester who will tell us the content they would like to have included, the duration of the training eg 2 days etc and the method of training eg training room, eLearning etc. But shouldn’t we be working out the desired outcome first and then determining the best approach to meet the outcome eg video with project work, webinar, a mix of media etc? From that we can then determine the duration which could be 1.5 hours, 3.25 days etc
Starting Face-to-Face Training with Introductions
Remember how this feels when you are a learner, to start the workshop having to publicly speak about yourself. You dread your turn coming around, are only too happy when it’s over and remember nothing of what other learners say. How does this really help me as a learner to, for example, learn how to analyse a Profit and Loss report or to learn a new system?
If it’s important that learners know who’s in the room:
- Give out a sheet of names and job title as they arrive
- Include sufficient activity that they will get to work with each person in the room
- Design an opening activity that includes everyone (in teams), gets them talking and is relevant to the workshop
Present the content then get learners to practice
Why? Because this is how we teach – but is it how we learn?
Maybe, we should consider having our learners try first, get stuck and then ask for the content they need. At this point, they are ready to receive your content ie learners will start to pull the content they need which will help embed their learning rather than you trying to push the content into their brain.
Other rituals to question:
- Webinars need to be 1 hour
- Subject Matter Experts make good trainers
- PowerPoint is needed in training
- Training is the solution to most problems
- It’s the trainers responsibility to ensure learners apply their new learning
- eLearning starts with learning objectives
Call to action
|Right now, take a look at what training rituals you enact in your training world and question if these are really in place to help your learners learn. If not, question and change them.|