Customized, World Class Training for Your Facility, Part 2

What Does Better Training Look Like?

You’ve landed in part two of our Training Series, a series designed to help you learn more about top-tier training for your facility.  If you missed part one (our training philosophy, an overview of how to improve what you’ve got, and why we care about all this), you can find and peruse it here. If you totally meant to land here in part two, that’s great! Below we cover answers to the following:

  • What does a training schedule actually need?
  • Who cares about this, and why can’t I just use my same ole’ PowerPoints?
  • What might a training program look like?
  • Can’t I just do this myself?

If you have other questions or want to chat, [as always] PLEASE don’t hesitate to reach out!

Q: What does training need to be maximally successful?

A: The word choice, here- need- is intentional. For a training program to be simultaneously maximally successful and minimally harmful to your overall productivity (and yes, those are different), four criteria need to coexist:

  1. Differentiated delivery methods:
    It is a popular myth that the older we get the less variety we need in academic experiences to succeed (think about what goes on in a third grade classroom versus a 9th grade classroom versus a college lecture hall). By the time adulthood sets in, effort beyond the scope of a two-tone powerpoint presentation delivered by a bored, monotone speaker becomes hard to come by; we assume adults are mature enough to just “sit through it.” But think about how much you learned the last time you felt like you were “just sitting through” a presentation: not much, right? No offense if this is your current style, but we truly believe you can do better. By curating a variety of learning experiences across the course of a training, you can maximize the amount of intelligences addressed and, in turn, the speed and alacrity with which your trainees grasp new concepts. A blended learning approach combining manipulatives; oral, written, and visual text processing; and peer-to-peer instruction and problem solving is the way to go. Not only does a variety of learning experiences force participants to stay engaged, but it also honors and addresses a variety of learning needs to ensure all trainees are able to successfully access the content they need to learn.   Having a strong instructional pedagogy inform your training progression is what pulls all this together, and Corso just happens to have a professional educator on board that can help.
  2. Low-stakes, simulated practice:
    Since the “simulated” part almost speaks for itself, we’ll start there. Basically, there are two ways to ensure you know how to do something: you do it, and then you successfully teach someone else how to do it. The only way to offer both of these opportunities is by having a functioning model of your process (Corso can do that) and a professional to organize the learning and peer-to-peer instruction on that model (yup, we got you there, too!) In terms of the “low-stakes” piece, the reasoning boils down to two important things. First, low stakes equals low pressure, and low pressure equals more willingness to try everything without the fear of repercussions. In low-stakes environments trainees are free to make mistakes and learn how to fix them, and tend to feel more comfortable asking questions and seeking clarification than when there is pressure to know and perform. Second, simply put, high stakes means trainees are learning on the floor, and every mistake is literally costly to the company.
  3. Layered assessment:
    A quality training progression will start with conceptual overviews of a whole system or processes, and then detail the minutiae of these processes into digestible, interrelated steps. At every stage in the learning progression, it is imperative to understand what trainees are and are not grasping before they move onto the next step. Building in a variety of assessments throughout the training process helps both trainer and trainee track progress and growth, and ensures that all important concepts are mastered before an employee steps on the floor and becomes responsible for your process and product.
  4. Replicable design:
    Unless you plan on only training one employee or set of employees to do one thing, once, for the entire tenure of your company’s existence, whatever training you design needs to be flexible and replicable long term. You can do this by planning backwards: design a training schedule and allocate the progression of learning tasks and assessments, and then fill in the specifics per project as needed. This gives you both consistency and an easily employable blueprint that also has the flexibility to grow and change with your needs. Corso currently has three- and five- day conceptual training schedules designed and ready to use, and we’re always more than happy to answer any specific questions or help you tailor your training to match whatever specific needs you may have.

Q: As long as employees eventually “get it,” who cares about all this?

A: This question isn’t a bad one. Since the dawn of PowerPoint trainings have involved sitting and “listening” and then employees going out and eventually figure it out through a series of guess-and-checks, trial-and-error, or phoning-a-friend. In the end, a fully functioning, productive employee does rise from the dust. And some employees do pick things up quickly and ramp up time to operating like a seasoned pro is short. Many (most) others, however, spend a good six months being (unintentionally) not as productive as they could be as they tackle the learning curve. This literally equals time, money, and human resources as they make mistakes and/or require supervision from other employees. The better question, here, is really, “if you can tweak your training to bring employees up to mastery level as quickly as possible, why wouldn’t you care about all this?” You invested a great deal of time and money perfecting your operations, but if you’re not investing in the people that are going to be doing the operating, you’re not going to get nearly the return on investment that you deserve.

Q: What does all of this actually look like in a program?

A: So, depending on the time, the place, the company, and the people, there are hundreds of different iterations of how all of the above factors might combine into a training program. One such conceptual overview for a three-day training is outlined here. If you’re unsure about how to get specific with any of the pieces, or why they need to exist, definitely reach out to Olivia and she’ll be happy to chat with you.

  • Day 1: Conceptual Overview (in this day, employees will learn the full scope of your system, including its subcomponents, how they all work together, and how each subcomponent works):
    • Introductions and teambuilding (yes this is important, and no you cannot skip it)
    • Employee handbook review
    • System architecture overview (both conceptual and practical)
    • Conceptual and practical overview of targeted system components
    • Day 1 assessment (paper) and feedback
  • Day 2: Hands-On Practice
    • Re-introductions and teambuilding (still important, culture matters greatly!)
    • Day 1 review and questions
    • System component use modeling and guided practice on simulated system (for each system component piece being taught)
    • Independent, non-guided practice on simulated system
    • Questions, mistakes, and errors session
    • System component use team performance assessment & feedback
  • Day 3: Performance Assessment
    • Teambuilding (still totally not joking, just trust us!)
    • Day 2 review and questions
    • System component team troubleshooting on simulated system
    • Peer-to-peer guided practice on simulated system
    • Final individual performance assessment with troubleshooting and system use tasks
    • Final questions and feedback

Q: This doesn’t sound very hard; can’t I just do this myself?

A: It’s totally possible! With the suggestions in this post, a bit of research, a lot time, a pinch of magic, and a dash of good fortune, anyone can really do anything. But with several education degrees, a decade of relevant experience, and a history of creating successful training programs in our human resource toolkit, Corso Systems can get the job done for you faster and better than anyone else.

Got training or education related questions or feedback?  Drop Olivia a line at Olivia.Murphy@corsosystems.com

Learn more about Corso’s world class MES implementations with THE Ultimate MES Guide!

Plus get started with your implementation using The Ultimate MES Checklist.