Training is futile if the trainee lacks the ability or motivation to benefit from it. In terms of ability, the trainee needs (among other things) the required reading, writing, and mathematics skills, and the required educational level, intelligence and knowledge base. Effective employee selection is obviously important here. Some employers use miniature job training to screen out low potential trainees. It basically involves using sample tasks from the firm’s training program to help decide who will not move on to training
The employer can take several steps to increase the trainee’s motivation to learn. Municipalities running driver education programs know there’s often no more effective way to get a learner’s attention than by graphically presenting a filmed auto accident. In other words, start the training by making the material meaningful. For example show why it’s important to provide an overview of the material and use familiar example to illustrate key points. Provide opportunities for practice, and letting the trainee make errors also improve motivation and learning. Feedback – including periodic performance assessments and more frequent verbal critiques is also important. We can summarize motivational points as follows:
Make the Learning Meaningful: It is easier for trainees to understand and remember material that is meaningful. Therefore:
1. At the start of training provide bird’s eye view of the material to be presented. Knowing the overall picture facilitates learning.
2. Use a variety familiar examples
3. Organize the information so you can present it logically and in meaningful units.
4. Use terms and concepts that are already familiar to trainees
5. Use as many visual aids as possible.
Make skills transfer easy:
Make it easy to transfer new skills and behavior from the training site to the job site:
1. Maximize the similarity between the training situation ad the work situation.
2. Provide adequate practice
3. Label or identify each feature of the machine and / or step in the process
4. Direct the trainees’ attention to important aspects of the job. For example, if you’re training customer service representatives to handle incoming calls, first explain the different types of calls they will encounter and how to recognize them.
5. Provide head up preparatory information. For example, trainees learning to become first line supervisors’ often stressful conditions high workload and difficult subordinates back on the job. Studies suggest you can reduce the negative impact of such events by letting trainees know they might happen.
Motivation Principles for Trainers:
1. People learn best by doing. Try to provide as much realistic practice a possible.
2. Trainees learn best when the trainers immediately reinforce correct responses, perhaps with a quick well done.
3. Trainees learn best at their own pace. If possible, let them pace themselves.
4. Create a perceived training need in trainees’ minds. On one study, pilots who experienced pre-training, accident related events subsequently learned more from an accident reduction training program than did those experience fewer such events. Similarly Before the training managers need to sit down and talk with the trainees why they are enrolled in the class, what they are expected to learn and how they can use it on the job.
5. The schedule is important. The learning curve goes down late in the day, so that full day training is not as effective as half the day or three fourths of the day.
Analyzing Training Needs:
How you analyze training needs depends on whether you’re training new or current employees. The main task in analyzing new employees training needs is to determine what the job entails and to break it down into subtasks, each of which you then teach to the new employee.
Analyzing current employees training needs is more complex, since you have the added task of deciding whether training is the solution. For example, performance may be down because the standards aren’t clear or because the person is not motivated. Some trainers use special analytical software such as from Saba Software Inc., to diagnose performance gaps and their causes.