Self-training in the organization and how to do effective training

Colleagues, hello everyone!

In today’s article, I would like to talk about how you can organize employee training on your own in a situation where there is no time or opportunity to promptly send them to external trainings or courses.

I would like to note right away that if you want to better understand how trainings are created, then you should read the most interesting and useful book by D. A. Grigoriev “Business training: how it is done”.

If you need to quickly understand how to plan and conduct an effective training, and do not have time to read, then below are some simple tips that we use in practice and which, I hope, will be useful to you.

Conditionally, work on the training can be divided into three stages:

  • Preparation.

  • Carrying out.

  • Assessment of success.

Below we will take a closer look at each of them.

But before we start talking about the preparation of the training, I would like to note an important point. Adults learn new information more effectively when, in the learning process, they go through the stages of the so-called Kolb cycle:

In a nutshell, first you need to get some personal experience and comprehend it, and already in the course of comprehension, we can assess how much our knowledge is enough to solve the tasks (I will expand on this idea in more detail below). Then we get the missing knowledge, after which we try to apply it in practice – again we get personal experience and become aware of it. If skills help, then they are successfully consolidated and applied in life.

Let me illustrate this idea with an example. In which case do you think the training will be more interesting:

  • We come, tell some theory, and then ask them to do some exercises.

  • We let the audience immerse themselves in the problem, feel it, realize its consequences, and then we tell how this problem can be solved, and give working tools to solve it.

Hint – “in the second case” 🙂 This is the implementation of the Kolb cycle.

Accordingly, when preparing the training, it is necessary to think over a structure that will help the listeners go through all the stages of the cycle. At the same time, during the training, the Kolb cycle can be repeated several times (and if the training is large, then it not only can, but must).

Stage 1. Preparation and design of the training.

Step 0. Determine the goals of the training and the criteria for achieving them

Before designing any training, you need to clearly answer a number of questions:

  • What problem do we want to solve, why do we think it is relevant?

  • What goal do we want to achieve?

  • Who is our main audience?

  • What are the criteria for achieving the goal, and how do we check that we have met them?

The following will depend on the answers to these questions:

  • What kind of information needs to be conveyed to the audience during the training.

  • What exercises should be offered to the audience in order to better form and consolidate the necessary skills.

It is also very important to understand how we will evaluate its effectiveness after the training. In general, this later may give some additional ideas on how to build the main part of the training more efficiently. Also, in the future, the results of this assessment can help to adjust the training and re-conduct it if any problems and unresolved issues remain.

Step 1. Determine how we will form a request for training from future participants

As mentioned above, in order to create a request for training in the audience at the first stage, it is necessary to think over how to help the participants to understand the problem, which they can solve with the help of the knowledge gained during the training. To do this, you can use the following tools:

  • Business games, during which participants simulate various situations and in the process realize that they have problems.

  • Analysis of a typical work situation where the problem manifests itself.

  • Invite the participants to solve the problem in their usual ways, and then evaluate the effectiveness.

  • Give participants the opportunity to simulate an ideal situation and compare with the current one.

Etc.

An important point – after completing this exercise, participants should come to the unequivocal conclusion that they have a problem that they either do not know how to solve, or they do not do it very effectively. This conclusion will make it possible to form a request for training. To do this, after the exercise, it makes sense to ask a “leading” question, for example:

  • What conclusion can be drawn from this situation?

  • What was the hardest part of the exercise? Why?

  • What turned out best and what was worse? Why?

  • How effective is the result obtained?

Etc.

Life hack 🙂… Sometimes the answers that the participants give to a seemingly simple question can be very different from those that the trainer expects to hear 🙂 Therefore, it makes sense to first determine for yourself the final thought (answer) that the participants should realize, and then come up with a question on which could only be answered the way the coach wants 🙂

It is also important to think about the format of the exercise. If there are more than 4 participants in the training, then it makes sense to divide them into groups with an equal composition of participants – this will help create an environment where everyone can actively participate in the discussion and form a request for training. After that, each group forms an answer for itself and shares it with the rest of the training participants.

Step 2. Prepare the theoretical part of the training

At this step, we collect the information that we want to convey to the participants, and plan how we will share it.

This story can be conducted in the format of a mini-lecture, but it is important to remember that the ideal duration of a mini-lecture is 15-20 minutes, after which the effectiveness of the perception of information decreases for the audience. If the lecture part is longer in time, then you need to break it up into parts, each of which ends with an exercise on the formation of a skill and its awareness (see below).

Step 3. Prepare skills consolidation exercises

Depending on the goals and objectives of the training, it is necessary to come up with exercises that we want to give the team to develop the skill. Moreover, if there are a lot of theories, and the skills are complex, you can design several exercises, each of which will help to consolidate one or another information or skill, and then the final exercise in which all this will need to be combined.

Depending on the number of participants, this part can be done both together and in small groups, where first each group performs the exercise inside, and then we all discuss the results together. During the discussion of the results, we jointly mark what has been done well and what can be changed and improved.

Step 4. Think over how to bring the participants to the realization and comprehension of the results.

After the participants practice the skills in practice, it is necessary to give them the opportunity to discuss how exactly it can be applied in life, how it can affect the work process, etc. etc.

In principle, this is the final part of the training, and the questions for the formation of awareness are more or less typical, but they should also be thought about in the process of preparing the training. Such questions might be:

  • What useful things do you learn from today’s training, and how do you want to apply this in your work?

  • How will what you have learned today affect your work? What will change?

  • What was the most valuable thing for you in today’s training? Why?

Etc.

Step 5. Think over how we will collect feedback and evaluate the effectiveness of the training

At the stage of forming the training goals, we identified the tasks that we want to solve. It is necessary to understand how we know that these tasks have actually been solved. It is difficult to offer any universal approach here, since it may vary depending on the specific situation. Here are examples of typical options for solving this problem:

  • Collecting feedback on the results of the training. This can be either an oral survey or a questionnaire, where we will include those questions, the answers to which we want to receive.

  • Control testing after some time after the training, where we will check how the participants have mastered the necessary information and skills.

  • A survey of those with whom the training participants interact. During the survey, we will be able to find out how the participants’ work behavior changed after the training, how this affected the quality of their work, etc.

  • Assessment of changes in product metrics, KPIs, etc. For example, if we conducted training on mastering some technique that should increase the efficiency of the process, then we can compare the metrics of this process before the training and after several months.

Etc.

At the same time, it is important to always request feedback on the results of the training from the participants, since this will allow you to make adjustments if necessary and make it more useful.

Stage 2. Conducting training

After we have completed the preparation, training can be carried out. Below is a typical scenario:

  1. Introduction… We tell the team what we are going to talk about and what goals we want to achieve as a result of the training. It is important to talk about the ultimate goals, so that already at this stage the team will focus on the result.

  2. Acquaintance… If you already know the command well, you can skip this step. If not, then you need to tell a few words about yourself (why exactly you are conducting this training), and ask the participants to tell in a nutshell about themselves and their expectations from the training. For example, in the format “What I am doing – today, based on the results of the training, I want to know”. On the one hand, we have already told the participants about the goals, but here we give them the opportunity to form this goal for themselves, which increases involvement and responsibility.

  3. Define and fix the rules of work… It is important at the very beginning of the training to define the basic rules of work (do not interrupt, turn off the phones, how to ask questions, mutual respect, etc., etc.) so that everyone understands them and can refer to them during the training.

  4. Formation of a request for training… Here we invite the team to complete the tasks that we developed at the training design stage.

  5. Theory… In the format of a mini-lecture, we tell the theory that we want to convey to the team.

  6. Practice… We are working on the exercises that we developed at the design stage.

  7. Completion (awareness)… We ask the participants what they have learned valuable from the training, and we also ask them to give feedback on the training itself.

Stage 3. Evaluation of results

As I said above, some time after the training, it is necessary to evaluate its effectiveness. To do this, we will use the tools and approaches that we identified at the training planning stage.

That’s all 🙂 I hope that the ideas described above will be useful in preparing your trainings :).

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