Lesson 7: Do they have the right training competencies?

Adult Education, Write, Knowledge, Power, Board, Learn

Many people believe that anybody with the right workplace competencies can train successfully. But it takes a lot of practice and experience to train effectively.

Trainers need to know and understand how people learn best. For example, your trainees are likely to:

  • Have valuable experience that should be used in training – they can be useful to you and to each other
  • Want some control over how they learn
  • Learn better if they are actively involved rather than just watching
  • Want to know why learning a task is important and how it fits into the bigger picture of their job
  • Appreciate the opportunity to challenge ideas and theories
  • Need honest, positive, and informative feedback on their progress
  • Want to know how the learning can be applied
  • Appreciate a learning environment that is cooperative and friendly.

Some interesting studies have been done on how well people retain skills and remember knowledge.

Retention Rates (After 60 Days)

% Of knowledge retained

Figure 1: Retention rates plotting training delivery methods against knowledge retention rate (As a percentage).

Figure 1 shows that the most effective way to train people is by getting them actively doing things. Most people have an attention span of about 20 minutes if they are just concentrating on what someone is saying. This doesn’t mean that telling people things is wrong – it just means that you need to do it as part of your wider training method. There is more about training skills later in this learning guide.

The trainer you pick must be up-to-date in the right workplace skills, and have skills as a trainer as well.

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