Human Resources Kit For Dummies
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Employee training can take many forms. Here are some of the factors that most often influence the effectiveness of a program, regardless of which form it takes.

Student receptivity in employee training

You should consider the extent to which participants are open and receptive to the concepts that are covered in the training.

Do your best to communicate to all potential participants the specific learning objectives of the course and how they’ll benefit. Make sure that supervisors who’ve recommended that certain employees attend the program communicate to employees why that decision was made.

The applicability of the subject matter to employees

The success of any program hinges largely on whether participants believe that what they’re being taught has direct relevance to the day-to-day challenges they face in their jobs.

Take all reasonable steps to ensure that the workshop focuses on issues that are the most important to employees who are in the program. If you’re using an outside training provider, make sure that the instructor is aware of those issues. Arrange to have examples and exercises customized, making ideas easy to relate to.

The overall learning experience for employees

Consider how interesting or entertaining the training session is, content notwithstanding.

Bear in mind that adults aren’t as accustomed as children to the passive nature of traditional classroom learning. Training sessions should be as interactive and participant oriented as possible. The best courses use a variety of learning tools: lecture, simulation, discussion, and exercises.

Reinforcement of classroom concepts

Devise techniques to reinforce the skills learned in the seminar and apply them to the job or task at hand. Continuous learning is key in this regard. Instead of stand-alone sessions, many organizations create a training series where shorter sessions are conducted over a few months’ time, during which participants handle projects in between sessions and assignments.

This approach is particularly effective for emerging leaders or high-potential talent. Individuals are more likely to retain, apply, and improve if they learn through a series of activities and experiences.

Ask seminar participants to create follow-up plans during or at the end of a session. Alternatively, trainers can create a follow-up plan and send it to participants’ managers with a request to integrate certain aspects of training into the job, if feasible. Class participants also can form a community postsession, sharing ways they’ve successfully applied what they learned in training courses in their day-to-day jobs.

About This Article

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About the book author:

Max Messmer is chairman and CEO of Robert Half International, the world's largest specialized staffing firm. He is one of the leading experts on human resources and employment issues.

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