The Importance of Relevance in Employee Training

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Many business enterprises, organizations and other commercial entities are aware of the importance of investing in employee training. However, this is not just about paying a tuition company to deliver a set of lectures to your employees. Employee training needs to be properly planned and delivered in such a way that your employees are interested in the subject matter and willing to get the most out of it. Thus, it is crucial that the relevance of your employee training is put under the lens. You have to make sure that you can establish relevance. Your employees training and development activities will only be successful as long as your employees are able to see any relevance in them. There are various ways to show your employees what’s in it for them. Your employees do not want to simply sit there and listen to repetitive lectures or useless theories. They want to listen to something that they will be able to find some value in. So, your training sessions need to be well prepared so as to ensure that they are relevant to the employees who will be attending the course or activity. Otherwise, it will only be a waste of time and resources. The trainers need to be able to convey relevance and make the subject matter interesting. One of the best ways to achieve this is by making use of examples. Practical matters are more interesting, and most people manage to understand by seeing something being carried out in practice, right in front of their eyes. Pictorial examples and visual aids are very useful here. Rather than simply delineating an abstract concept or theory, it is much better to offer a practical example so as to explain how that issue, theory or concept will be applied in real life. Another important aspect is the fact that most adults will be inclined to pay attention if they can find value in what they will be learning. Many employees will ask questions such as ‘what’s in it for me?’, ‘how will I use this in my work?’, ‘why do I need to learn this?’ The best way to answer these questions is to be honest. And, at the end of the day, you can only answer honestly as long as you make sure that the training you will be organizing is truly relevant. So, make sure to plan it all out in advance. Then, your employees’ willingness and motivation will come on its own, as long as you will be able to show them how such training sessions will be of benefit to them and their job. Read more about the types of employee training informaion. Let me now outline three main ways that will help you make sure that your training is relevant: 1. Putting emphasis on the ‘How’: How to do it is the best way to help your employees find relevance and value. Therefore it is important that you focus on the ‘how to’ areas. Try to make it as simple as possible, but also make sure that you are specific. Details will help your employees understand better. So will practical examples and demonstrations. 2. Practice makes perfect: As the saying goes, ‘Practice makes perfect’. By making use of practical examples, you will be able to offer a more tangible way to do things to the employees. Therefore, it is best to make sure that your training sessions incorporate a sufficient number of examples and demonstrations, rather than just speeches and theoretical explanations. Provide opportunities to your employees to participate. In such a way tehy will be more involved in the training sessions, and at the same time they will be able to understand better and acquire relevance and value. You can incorporate assessments, test groups and coaching. 3. Set standards and expectations: Every course or training activity should have a set of standards. These will be the goals which will need to be achieved by the end of the training. Your employees will be more motivated if they are given a set of realistic standards that they need to meet. Benchmarking and assessments need to be carried out in a friendly manner, so as not to put too much pressure on the participants. However, they are important, and they should always be used so as to establish more relevance and value. I’ll go further into this into an upcoming post next week.  Stay tuned. Meanwhile you are welcome to check our employee training plan template.
Jason is the former Lead Author & Editor of TrainingStation Blog