Recommend some good books on corporate training?
August 11, 2017 6:20 AM   Subscribe

Okay, so I know the material must be relevant to the audience and to the culture of the organisation. The trainer must have interesting content and be engaging. But what else?

Can somebody recommend some books which elucidate the difference between an “average” trainer and an “extraordinary one”? Alternatively, from your own experience, what do you think constitutes interesting corporate training while avoiding the "death by PowerPoint" experience so common in this area.
posted by jacobean to Work & Money (2 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I'm an instructional designer in corporate e-learning. I'm also an instructional skills facilitator. The difference between average and extraordinary occurs at the front end, long before the participants arrive.

1. Identify and clearly articulate the skills you want participants to leave with. And make sure they're actual skills such as "Create a pivot table in Excel to analyse sales by time and area" not "Know how to create a pivot table in Excel" or "Understand how pivot tables can improve your work flow." Do this first before you do anything else.

2. Consider what proficiency/competency is the skill looks like, that is, how would you know the skill has been performed correctly or to a set standard? Maybe it's something like "The resulting pivot table will display total sales across each area, inventory class, salesperson, and calendar quarter from 2012-1017."

3. Now consider what the participants have to DO in order to PRACTICE that skill to achieve your standard of proficiency/competence. How do you translate that to your learning environment, whether it's online, face-to-face, etc.? Make those practice activities your classroom/online participatory activities.

4. Next, figure out what your "hook" is. Most corporate training is done with "prisoner" learners. They're there because they have to be, not because they want to be. What is the emotional connection you can make? Can you think of a (ideally) real circumstance where things would have gone pear-shaped except that Buddy knew how to make a pivot table and saved the day? Maybe it's that building multiple analyses takes 5 hours @ $75 = $375 and five freaking hours, where as the pivot take gets done in 1 hour = $75 and home in time for dinner. The skill you want to teach must provide a positive contribution to productivity, profit, safety, and/or morale.

5. Now write this all down: Skill required, standard to which skill must be performed, how to practice it in the learning environment, and why the learner should give a flying fig about it all. Line up the resources you'll need for the training: books, worksheets, reference material.

6. Find/create a job aid that will help participants practice and remember their new skills after the training is over.

6. Now write your lesson plan/PPT deck. Remember that participants' attention lasts about 10 minutes before you have to switch things up, so every 9 minutes, do a different thing. If you were talking, stop talking and get the participants to do something.

7. Now send out a prep thing for learners a few days before the training. You want to engage participants BEFORE they get to training.

8. Do your exemplary training. For the love of all that's sweet and gentle, get feedback after the class. Please, please, please don't ask participants the usual questions. See Will Thalheimer's work on smile sheets. Hand out your post-training job aid thing.

9. After a while (30 days? 6 months?) check in with your participants to see if they're using the newly trained skills on the job, how easy it was to apply those skills to their job, and what the obstacles are if they aren't using the skills. Use this to improve training.

Books: Design for How People Learn
Make It Stick
posted by angiep at 10:49 AM on August 11, 2017 [4 favorites]

Many thanks angieP - Many gems of wisdom there to chew on there!
posted by jacobean at 4:32 PM on August 11, 2017

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