Knock, Knock? Who’s there? Another amazing HR training that you are dying to attend! *Person slowly closes the door and turns out the lights! Why does this happen more often than not? When an organization sends out communication and sign-up sheets for required trainings, there is a collective groan from every department.
It doesn’t have to be like this. There are ways to improve our training programs and make them more informative, more engaging and more useful. Being a trainer for more than four years now, I have found a love for trainings. I love to see different facilitators, different methods and different styles. I also enjoy seeing what not to do because that makes me a better trainer as well.
Everyone has been to the failed training program. Where nothing goes right, no one is bought into the course material, and nothing is really accomplished. But there are ways to overcome this. Here are my top five things that can help any training:
- Practice, practice, practice – If you are lucky enough to have a facilitators guide, practice your material until you know it completely and then add more material to ensure you can answer questions. All great trainers know the material to avoid embarrassment.
- Get senior leaders excited – If the boss is interested in it, you should be in love with it. If you can get managers on board with why a training is important, they will be more likely to speak positively about the class and the opportunity to learn something new.
- Listen to the participants – The whole reason the training even exists is to teach an employee something new, so listening to their feedback is key. Ask numerous questions to see if participants understand the concepts or, if they are already knowledgeable in the field, to get realistic examples that you may not be able to provide yourself.
- Have fun – Participants don’t want to be bored to tears sitting for hours on end waiting for the torture to end. The more participation you can get and the activities you can do, the more engaged the participants will be. For example, role-playing may not be everyone’s thing, but at the end of it people are smiling, it’s not scripted and it gets people out of their seats. The same with ice breakers, which are great ways to start a day or to come back from a break.
- Don’t tell them what time lunch is – Once you give people a definitive timeline, their minds go to the clock. It’s great to give an agenda and let people know what topics will be covered, but leave off the timeline.
Here is also a checklist to ensure you are set-up to provide an outstanding course. Trainings can be fun, engaging and most importantly productive if the proactive steps are taken to ensure it’s a great experience for everyone.
Have you ever facilitated a training? Tell me your best practices in the comment section below.