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Archive for October, 2008

Training Best Practices

By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On October 24, 2008 NO COMMENTS

By following five best practices, you can maintain an efficient and high-performing training organization. The practices by which training organizations operate are as numerous as training organizations themselves. Training best practices can reach the most detailed level of every day operations, but there are five broad-based practices that can help you set up an efficient and high-performing training organization.

Training starts with the design and development of the programs. Whether you have an instructional design staff, a training staff that does design and delivery, or even if you do it all yourself, there is a simple best practice associated with design. Team with subject matter experts (SME’s), the people who do the jobs and manage the jobs, in order to produce accurate content. Some training organizations believe that a trainer or designer who did a job previously is qualified to write content, and this may be true in some cases. But by engaging the field, you are creating the assurance that the content will be the latest and the “realest” content available. How many times have your trainees returned to the job only to be told “we don’t do it that way out in the field”? You are also creating the constant dialogue between the field and training that must occur regularly to ensure buy in, accurate content, and assistance in making changes if necessary.

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Making Training Meaningful

By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On October 20, 2008 NO COMMENTS

Training programs should offer incentive for employees to learn. By following four simple steps, you can make your training programs meaningful to every learner.

Assembling all of your training programs is a fantastic accomplishment. Making them meaningful is another question. Of course you want to make them useful – you want trainees to go back to the line and use the information you’ve given them to increase production, better serve customers, or increase sales. Adults must be willing to learn, so it is necessary to fill your training with incentives for them to do so. There are four ways to make training meaningful, so keep this in mind as you develop your programs.

First, concentrate on the “need to know” versus the “nice to know”. When designing any training content, ask the people in the field if the information presented is necessary to function on the job. Sometimes we may think that by providing “higher education” to our employees we are giving them an incentive to learn. Leave that to tuition reimbursement – the incentive we can offer is how the employee can improve their performance and get a raise, win a promotion, or move to a desired area by attending our classes. “Nice to know” information does not satisfy the employees need to understand why they are sitting in class instead of working. Once you’ve filled your training with “need to know” information, word will get around – employees will start recommending the training classes to others.

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Turnover, Turnover, Turnover

By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On October 15, 2008 NO COMMENTS

Did you know, that if you have a turnover of just 10 employees it costs your company at least $80,000. With ongoing training, your employees are 70% less likely to leave within the first five years of employment.The reasons for training are to: Reduce Costs & Increase Profits

Anyone who has taken a business course knows that the quickest and easiest way to increase profits is to decrease cost. Many managers have lost sight about how much their business is suffering from not implementing simple strategies to help their business control costs. In fact, according to several studies, many managers have completely incorrect assumptions about the costs they incur from poor team management. Companies need help to get to the root of these issues making them more profitable. Training is the most cost effective strategy for uniform management, sales and profitability.


Training Resistant Staff

By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On October 7, 2008 NO COMMENTS

A company’s implementation of a new training program hit some rough patches. Part of the problem was the laissez-faire attitude many salesmen, support and technical staff had regarding training with the new system.

Some company officials admitted that training sessions were poorly attended and upper management looked the other way. In their defense, the staff was busy working on a large pipeline and probably felt justified skipping out on the classes. Especially when their bonus checks arrived.

Here’s how project managers can convince highly skilled, highly paid employees—such as Salesmen—to take training seriously.

Responsibility and accountability must be seen from top to bottom. Destroy the notion that training is “beneath” anyone in the organization. That means the CEO and all of the senior management need to attend these classes, too. It’s extremely difficult to justify blowing off a training session when top executives find the time to attend.

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Use New Hire Training to Ramp Up Quickly

By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On October 1, 2008 NO COMMENTS

In order to bring new hire employees up to speed quickly, implement new hire training programs using a combination of on-the-job training, formal training, and mentorship.

Many organizations choose to train new hires strictly on-the-job (OTJ). This can be a good practice if the existing employees have the time to bring a new hire from no knowledge to functional knowledge, or if the speed of production or service allows time for OTJ training. Using a new hire training program can help ramp up the new hire force much quicker and more effectively.

Implementing a formal new hire training program doesn’t have to mean the end of on-the-job training. In fact, a combination of OTJ, online learning, and classroom instruction can create a strong new hire program. For example, if your formal new hire program is three weeks long, deliver week one and then send the new hires to the job for few days to observe what they’ve just learned in action. Then bring them back to continue formal training. For this plan to work effectively, you must have a structured observation in place – and a rule that new hires will not be forced to go to full time work just because they showed up to the job. Another way to accomplish this is to use e-learning or online modules as intermittent interventions while the trainees are back on the job. This way, trainees can observe “real life”, work on some online courses, and then return to the classroom. This combination gives the new hire a well-rounded look at the job and the knowledge necessary to carry it out.

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