A Guide to Conducting Successful Training Sessions

Published on 16/02/2018

A member of staff is never fully trained. In order to get the most out of your employees, constant rolling training has to be done. This is of course super-beneficial to staff too, because they continue to learn and develop themselves, whilst always being up to date and on hand to do their job for your organisation.

It’s all very well and good having the information to pass on to your staff members, i.e. a new IT package and the information on how to use it, but it is vital to create the right type of training session, which is going to engage your staff members. You don’t want people getting confused, stressed, or even worse, bored, during the training session, and then not being able to absorb the information being given.

Training packages should therefore be pertinent to the audience, effective, engaging, and memorable for all the right reasons.

As you can see, it is a difficult line to walk!

The good news is that there are suggestions and guidelines to help you walk that line very successfully and to ensure that your staff remain happily trained to the right level for your business.

Tailor-Make Your Training Sessions To Be Pertinent To Those Involved

It’s no good giving a group of nurses training which is aimed towards administrative staff, just because there is one part of the package which is pertinent to them. Not only is this a waste of their precious time, but it is not going to engage or hold the attention of those in the room. For that reason, ensuring that you match the training given to the roles of the people in the training session is vital. This could mean having two different sessions on the same subject; one tailored to one team, and the other tailored to the other. This might sound like more work, but it will give the very best outcome.

Create an Environment That Encourages Learning

Having a culture within the organisation that celebrates learning is vital. This will ensure that your staff members want to develop themselves, and understand the vital importance of being fully trained at that particular moment in time. Having this environment encourages people to give their very best, but it is also important that the environment in which they are learning is comfortable. This means having comfortable commercial office furniture that allows staff to focus their mind on the information being given to them.

Shopping around is the best course of action here, but creating a comfortable learning environment, with comfortable boardroom chairs, for example, is vital.

In addition, placing some ownership and responsibility for learning on your staff is a great way to encourage their development. Asking for feedback, ensuring that they book themselves onto the courses, these are ways to develop a culture of training importance.

Choose The Right Format

If you have a group of staff who aren’t used to sitting at office desks during their working hours, e.g. they are manual workers, then the right format for your training session is not going to be having them sat around for the entire day. This is not going to get the best out of your session, or those involved. Instead, you need to choose the right format for the staff involved.

There are many formats to choose from, such as VILT (virtual instructor-led training), classroom-style settings, or perhaps a half and half mode, where both are used. It is about knowing your staff and what engages them to their potential. 

If you are going for a classroom-style setting, always check for the best environment furniture too. Calibre Office Furniture offers a large range, and will allow you to create the right setting and format for your training sessions. An unorganised, uncomfortable, and disorganised format is not going to yield good results, whereas combining a comfortable environment with a format that works, will always give you what you want in the end.

Always Try to Improve

At the end of every training session, leave a feedback form for your staff members to give their input on how the session went, what they learnt, whether they felt it was organised correctly, and any suggestions on what could have been done better. This is not criticism, is it a way for you to learn, and to be able to organise your training in a more successful way in the future. Ensure that you do this regularly, so that you’re not running an ineffective training course for too long, when you could have tweaked something small and made it much more effective overall.

Have a Measurement Tool in Place

How can you measure if the training is successful or not? There needs to be some tool in place to allow you to measure how successful it is, or otherwise. Being able to measure the results of how the training session went is important, and this can be done in several different ways. For instance, you can check back on sales numbers or targets, to see if there was an increase after the roll out of the training. You could also run a test on your staff a short while after the training, to see if they have retained and learnt what you intended them to learn. It’s no good all sitting around a conference table, learning something new, if it doesn’t translate into improvement in the future.

Ensure You Have Something For Staff To Reference Back To

Once the training session is complete, it is important to have something which your staff can take away and use to refresh their memory. For instance, if a new IT system is being rolled out in one week, and there are seven days between the training and the first day of using the system, it is going to be very beneficial to have a handout, or perhaps a copy of the PowerPoint slides, for refreshing memories.

Ensuring that your training sessions are personalised to your staff is the number one way to ensure that your programmes are successful. You know your staff better than anyone, so use that knowledge to your advantage!

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