26 News & Views Magazine EDITION 1, 2017 Training is often seen as an expense, an unavoidable task that someone has to take on before a worker can be fully productive and safe. But training doesn’t have to be this way. Reframe your training efforts as an investment, not just in the person being trained, but in your organization’s culture and reputation. It’s a way of unleashing the knowledge and energy your workers bring with them every day. Training is most effective when it is simple, focused, includes a few basic elements and supplemented with some coaching. It is most effective when you focus on specific skills or behaviors that are important to the business. Training uses a combina- tion of context, information, hands on practice, feedback and tools to support learning on the job after training. Finally, include coaching as an essential part of training to ensure application and success on the job over time. Keeping training focused on specific skills and behaviors is harder than it sounds. Experts want to explain everything, as in“ask Tom for the time and he’ll tell you how to build a watch.” Keeping the training focused on exactly what people will need to do on the job is the most efficient and effective approach. Is the skill a particular type of pruning? Then that’s exactly what you demonstrate and have people practice under the watchful eye of your subject matter expert. You want to relate the history of the pruning shear? Save it for Training Simplyfor Best Impact afterwards, around the campfire. The nursing community has a terrific model: see one, do one, teach one – and maybe it’s see five, do five, teach five – whatever works for your learners depending on the complexity of the skill or the knowledge base of the worker. Another thing that gets in the way of focus is when frugal managers want to make the most of having a gathering of workers and want to cover“just one more thing while we’re all together,”which then typically crowds out practice time. And frankly most of us have forgotten how much we actually learn on the job over the course of time, rather than from a class. The first question to ask when designing training is what (exactly) will people be expected to do differently after the training? And how close to actual job performance can you get? For example: if I’m allowed to look something up on the job, then teach me where to find the information and when to look for it. If I need to know how to do something automati- cally, in the moment, then provide me with lots of practice and good coaching until I am fully comfortable doing it on my own. People need to try a new skill or behavior out and receive some feedback. Hands on practice should involve “real life”scenarios in a safe setting. Provide support, reminders, job aids, etc. to help people remember the steps. Feedback needs to be clear, specific, balanced, and occur over time. Linking what’s being learned to the success of the business is surprisingly important. Knowing why I have to learn some- thing is not a“nice to have,”rather it provides the necessary context for the business. It boosts productivity, increases safety behaviors and provides more learning opportunities for both people and the organization. Providing both context and information is key to a good training session. When you provide context, it builds business literacy and lets people know the organization cares about them and their performance. I’ve worked with many business owners who initially told me“my guys don’t care about why,”only to have them shocked by how much their groups asked about the By MONICA GOODALE , ED.D. - Assistant Vice President, National Learning & Development, the Zenith Insurance Company The first question to ask when designing training is what (exactly) will people be expected to do differently after the training?