Shift your mindset. If you are responsible for developing teams’ skills, change the definition of your role from “creating learning events” to that of “building development continuums.” When you do, you will be able to enhance learning outcomes and regain lost training time. Building a development continuum requires designing a complete learning solution—one that prepares learners for the core course, provides multiple touchpoints to the body of content, integrates on-the-job application, provides support to learners after the core event, and taps into the frequently overlooked role played by learners’ managers.
Reclaiming time on either side of the core learning event does not mean loading up learners with volumes of pre-reading. Nor does it mean sending them away from training events with binders of “additional resources” to wade through independently. Rather, reclaiming time is about generating awareness of, expectations for, excitement over, and learning strategies for the core event long before participants log on or walk into the training room. It is also about capitalizing on the time available in the core event and then creating follow-through, accountability, continued content exposure, and extended learning moments that connect back to the core event and the pre-event actions.
Your continuum-building capacity is nearly endless. In Same Training, Half The Time I have outlined more than 50 ideas just for pre-training strategies in these six categories:
The strategies complement one another. The more you integrate, the more powerful their effect will be. Let’s look at two of the categories: embrace tiny training and create a communication campaign.
Tiny training can make training accessible to employees when and where they have time to focus on it, or when they need to access it. For example, if your organization’s workforce is mobile, are you leveraging podcasts that can be downloaded and listened to during flights or on long commutes prior to coming together? If there are skills employees perform infrequently but must be performed correctly, how can you make guided instruction available to them? Aim to make your tiny training modular and nonsequential for greatest flexibility and user-perceived value.
Build it and they will come is a chancy strategy for generating course interest and enrollment. Instead, take your communication cues from marketing professionals, event promoters, and advertising campaigns. They all have mastered the arts of building enthusiasm, generating hype, and creating value propositions that lead to engaged choices. You may have designed and developed an incredibly powerful course, but if no one knows about it, how useful is it really? You need a strategic communication plan to… communicate! Making time to build it will pay off exponentially.
Grab your copy of Same Training, Half the Time and jump right to chapters 5, 6, and 7 for design ideas in support of building a complete learning solution--before, during and after “the event.”
©2018 Kimberly Devlin, All rights reserved