Trainings and Development: Avoiding Common Errors

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Trainings and development presents many unique challenges, but these can be overcome by adopting an innovative approach. Though training is somewhat easier than it ever has been, that doesn’t stop organizations making common mistakes when educating staff. With so many tools to choose from, you’ll be spoiled for choice, but it’s better to have diverse options at your disposal than being limited by a conventional approach. eLearning has emerged as a prominent method for trainings and development, as a scalable, flexible solution which meets varying business needs. Guiding your learners towards common goals is no easy task, especially when your approach must align with your overarching objectives. To avoid you falling into the common traps associated with modern learning methods, this article will bring to your attention to basic mistakes which are best avoided.

You Don’t Know Your Staff

Not knowing your team is a cardinal failure, for many reasons. For the purpose of this conversation, let’s assess the trainings and development problems that can arise when you don’t know your team. Preferable learning methods are tailored to the individual needs of your team. There are multiple options to personalize the learning experience, which is great when you consider everybody learns differently. If you don’t understand how you can effectively teach your team, it’s difficult to unlock their true potential. Additionally, if you don’t understand the knowledge gaps they have, how do you expect to fill them? This underlines the importance of understanding your team’s current skills, learning capacity, and knowledge levels, to effectively design trainings and development programs. Utilize tools to understand your learners, as this creates a foundation for further development.

A Lack of Knowledge

A common trainings and development sin is when staff are taught by a non-expert. If the person responsible for training doesn’t understand the subject, how are staff supposed to acquire the skills they need to be successful? Realistically there is no way around this, because even online training should be reinforced with practical, in-person support. If you want others to learn, the importance of leveraging professional help cannot be understated. This is true even when you use existing course materials, because an expert will be required to make sense of things. By ensuring your trainers are knowledgeable on the subject in question, they’ll be perfectly positioned to clarify problem areas.

Boring Content

Training is commonly associated with boring resources, which is counterproductive when you consider the importance of keeping participants engaged. If people aren’t paying attention to your learning resources, they’re rendered obsolete. This is one of the biggest training mistakes you can make, which can be resolved with a mix of interactive methods. Even when you’re talking about something relatively unappealing, that doesn’t mean you can’t jazz things up. This is a big incentive for incorporating training games, which can motivate learners towards common learning goals. With a combination of multimedia, like videos and interactive content, you’ll be more likely to intrigue participants, and importantly get their undivided attention. Always remember, human beings are naturally attracted to stories rather than raw statistics, so try to present your information in the form of real-world scenarios. This increases reliability, and ultimately the success of your trainings and development.

No Feedback

Teachers don’t always know all the answers. In fact, with a willingness to listen they can learn a lot from their audience. With corporate training, staff feedback is invaluable for understanding how to best approach training initiatives. This can enrich the learning experience by indicating weaknesses, and offer suggestions based on what staff will benefit from most. Your employee’s practical understanding of their day-to-day jobs might expose holes in your trainings and development, which should be flexibly adjustable based on what works. At the end of the day, by combining your ambitions alongside what employees know they need to be successful, you’ll have a recipe for success on your hands. Additionally, learners will feel appreciated, and motivated to complete training. When staff opinions are valued, they’re reward you with better engagement. Add real-life experience to your curriculum and it will serve as a valuable transference of knowledge among staff.

Lack of Alignment

Trainings and development should always align with business objectives, otherwise it’s likely to be incompatible with company interests. What good are learning resources if they’re not relevant to your goals? This can create organizational confusion and disillusion, and can cause conflict as a result. Teachings should train your subjects sufficiently on a particular subject, but anything that sways from this is probably unnecessary. Anything too theoretic or academic which doesn’t contribute to improved bottom line should probably be removed. Simplify your content wherever possible, to ensure it satisfies an audience of professionals. Whatever makes your worker’s lives easier should be prioritized, while understanding the mistake of complex learning materials that don’t fit with company goals.
Jason is the Lead Author & Editor of TrainingStation Blog. Jason established the Training Station blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to training, learning and development.