Training more often than not addresses a problem or gap, and if you want to build effective training, you need to know what that problem is from the get-go. In this video, learn how to determine the problem by using strategies such as meeting with stakeholders, interviewing people doing the job, or shadowing people doing the job.
- Here's an interesting fact. Most stakeholders who ask you to create skills-based training aren't sure what the objective of the training should be, that is, the specific skills employees should be taught. They just have this feeling the training is needed. Stakeholders, by the way, are usually the people who attend your weekly meetings, managers and directors of some kind. They are the ones ultimately responsible for the training and who have the power to help you bring it to fruition. Your most important job as an instructional designer is to help your stakeholders identify the objective of the training. Doing this goes a long way in winning their trust. Often the objective is to shape a set of employee behaviors. For example, in sales training, it might be setting more appointments per month. In safety training, it might be something like wearing a specialized piece of protective equipment. Stakeholders are generally in a hurry for you to start building something, a PowerPoint deck, a leaders guide, an e-learning module. Often in those first few meetings, you're going to have to politely pump the brakes and begin to set some objectives. You can do that by saying something like this: so to move efficiently through this process, we'll have to establish a pretty tight focus. Now, training often responds to a problem or a performance issue that employees are having, so what tasks are employees struggling with? I recently said that very same thing to a group of stakeholders of a large construction company. I was designing vehicle safety training for them. And they stated that one big problem employees were having was speeding in company vehicles. Also, that employees weren't good at backing up big trucks and were often hitting things when doing so. So with that one simple question, what are employees struggling with, I began to set some objectives for the training: help reduce speeding and help employees learn how to back up those big trucks. Here are two suggestions for setting objectives. First, depending on the size of the project, it might take anywhere from a few days to a month or longer, so keep your cool. Resist the urge to build training stuff until you know what problems or issues the training is supposed to address. Next, make sure the problems you've identified are real problems by talking to the workers, who are your learners after all, about them. I strongly suggest you observe your learners as they go about their daily work. They'll help you understand the core issues in a way that stakeholders can't. Do you remember what I said your most important job was? That's right, to identify the objectives of the training. One way to do that is to ask stakeholders early in the process what workers are struggling with.
- Identifying training type needed
- Defining goals and performance metrics
- Creating a project plan
- Identifying existing assets
- Developing a learning solution
- Testing your solution
- Evaluating your results