When you’re designing a training program, there’s a lot to consider. You have to think about things like your audience, the material, and your budget. And all of this leads to concerns about how your audience will best retain the material. Will an e-learning piece be best for them? Or will your audience be best served by having an instructor leading their learning? Or perhaps they’ll learn just as much though a simple self-guided learning program?
Preparation. Preparation. Preparation.
When realtors talk about the most important factors involved in selling a property, they say, “location, location, location.” For a training program to succeed, that old adage can be altered to “preparation, preparation, preparation.” If you want to successfully train employees in a new skill you need to go through extensive planning to make sure your training budget is maximized.
An excellent model of how to properly design a training program is the ADDIE model. The stages of that ADDIE model are:
- Analyze – Conduct a needs analysis
- Design – Design the overall instructional strategy
- Develop – Develop the actual program (including materials and scripts)
- Implement – Implement the program (preferably as a pilot first)
- Evaluate – Evaluate the performance of the program
If you use all of these steps to prepare (and redesign) your training program, you’ll be more likely to have a successful engagement for your organization.
Determining the Success of Your Training Engagement
There are outside factors to keep in mind when you’re going through the process of building your program that will add to its success. Ideally, if you’re able to give your trainees a pre-test on the material as well as a post-test, you can run a comparison analysis to assess the amount of information learned. The results of these analyses can give you a lot more persuasive power when you want to talk about the value of the training program.
While most of the business world is used to the idea of the “smile sheet,” few of them have recognized the importance of really mining this opportunity. If you use a post-training evaluation sheet that is designed to account for factors that can influence trainee engagement, you can do a lot to measure the success of the training program, and rule out outside factors that might influence a trainee’s disengagement with the program. In essence, instead of saying that your training program didn’t work, you can identify specifically why it didn’t work. If you have this knowledge, you can address any of these problems in a redesign phase.
If you have any questions about training design, would like to speak more in depth about what makes up a successful training program, or discuss post-training evaluation, please feel free to contact me.