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How to plant the seeds for a successful training even before it begins

Corporate trainings are gaining popularity which is great. Some companies though are still facing challenges in ensuring their investments are successful. Of course, they want the trainings to be successful and have their employees attain new skills.

The key to a successful training is not a specific formula. It depends greatly on the goals, company culture and each individual who will take part in the training. Even so, there are some basics which should work well in pretty much all cases.

One of the most important of all tips though starts well before the actual training even begins. So we decided to elaborate on it in a bit more detail.

Laying the foundation

It is called Pre-Training Engagement. Or, in human language, it is showing value to the people who will take part in the training before it starts. Don’t simply go to the employees and say they will have a training for platform X in two weeks time.

Instead, long before that simply ask them what extra skills they would like to attain. Or ask them what trainings they would like to have in order to improve. Don’t focus only on what you want – making your employees better at their jobs. Show them that these trainings bring them added value, skills and knowledge they will be able to use for a long time. Maybe not even only in their career, but their overall life as well. Yes, coding can be useful for quite a lot of stuff.

Of course, there a times where you simply have to train your employees with something very specific which may be difficult to spin in a wider picture. Even so, you can still show benefits of the training. How it will make their job easier? Believe it or not, employees also want to be as productive as possible and stay on top of their quotas and goals. Show them the training will give them an opportunity to do so.

You can also engage the participants with “trailers” of sort in which you show them what the training will be about. Afterwards, ask for feedback. Make the employees part of the process.

Get social

You can also use Social Learning. It what we call when we gain knowledge from others. It may be via a chat, social network or a classic face-to-face conversation. Social Learning is everything we learn from others, even when we don’t think we are learning. It may be insight we get during a conversation. Or it may be valuable advise we get when we ask for it. The point is, you can employ the help and feedback from others, who have already taken part in a given training and have them show the benefits to others.

It is also a way to engage learners, give them more freedom and facilitates teamwork and collaboration. You can adapt it to the actual training process as well. The goal here is to make the entire process, from deciding on a training to actually having it, a social process in which everyone take part and communicate. Being a team includes making these types of decisions together, too.

When people know what they are getting well beforehand, they are much more likely to approach the training with interest and motivation. This will automatically ensure a better performance during the training and set the stage for the employees to get more out of it.

Image credit: Flickr (CC) / Office Now