Imagine that a tourist is asking you for directions to a local cafe. This may seem like a relatively simple task, but there are a number of things to consider when answering. For one, their mode of transportation greatly affects the subsequent direction (are they walking, biking or driving?). How well they already know certain landmarks in the city. Or, if they’d feel comfortable making a shortcut that is second nature for you, but could be confusing for someone who is new to the area. If you miss something important, they could take a wrong turn. If you give too many details, it could all jumble together and become an incoherent mess of instructions. While there are many ways to give directions, following a strategy makes the outcome more likely to be a success.
Provide Value Without Over Informing
With training, like giving directions, the goal is to inform but not overwhelm. Employee training plans are certainly more complex than giving simple instructions to a passerby, but key to success is similar.
Developing one training plan for multiple people is a challenge. Trainees come with all sorts of backgrounds and previous knowledge that will set them on different paths at different speeds. Some individuals will need to spend more time on certain topics whereas others can breeze through them. Make sure that the plan is simple, yet thorough enough to cover the needs of different types of participants. Shortcuts can be offered as an option, but only if the person is ready and able to venture off the main path.
Provide Overview to Give Each Milestones Context
Start the directions with a phrase like, “the cafe is on 7th Street, 5 blocks north of here. If you run into the park, you have gone too far.” This gives an idea of what the journey will entail.Similarly, with training, outlining the concepts and projected outcomes at the beginning will help participants better understand processes along the way. If they have a basic understanding about why they need to go through a particular module, the information will become more meaningful. It is equally as important to provide certain markers along the way to motivate individuals toward the finish. When giving directions, this could mean telling the person about a unique landmark along the way so they know they are headed in the right direction. In a training plan, this translates to a well-divided and digestible workplan. It helps motivate users to finish a module if they know how far they’ve come and how much farther they need to go. Visible milestones (a congratulations message at the end of a section, clearly defined chapters of training information etc.) are a great way to show your employees their noticeable progress.
Reinforce Newly Attained Knowledge and Offer On-Demand Support
Although local knowledge might be more useful than Google Maps, a tourist can always rely on a GPS to guide them to their destination. The on-demand nature of GPS technology allows users to learn a route on the go. Even if they vaguely know the direction, having a GPS running will only support their journey and ensure they are led to the right place.On-demand training tools offer similar support to new employees. Beyond the typical training methods, adopting a training tool like interactive guidance platform WalkMe can diminish confusion before it even occurs. WalkMe’s on-screen guidance and onboarding features drive engagement and knowledge about your platform with minimal in-person involvement.WalkMe’s Digital Adoption Platform (DAP) knows when and where a user needs help the most and will engage them at the true moment of need. This provides a reinforcement for any information that was potentially lost or overlooked by some in the training process.
Foster Continuous Engagement
A successful employee is one that is constantly learning. Fostering a learning environment is a surefire way to create a strong and constantly evolving training plan. There will always be new things to learn and to teach, so making sure the content is attainable, digestible, and informative. An outstanding training program will result in even more outstanding employees.