Blogs

Training New Hires: Less Is More

Whether you’re just starting out or are a senior director at a Fortune 500 company, every job requires some type of formal and informal training. Training programs can vary greatly in length, ranging from a few days to several weeks or, in some cases, months.  Most of us would think that a longer training program would cover more information, provide a more in-depth and detailed view of the training material, and as a result, prepare the employee more effectively. But what if this isn’t always the case?

Can You Repeat That?

It’s no secret that our attention spans are not what they used to be.  Microsoft has found that since the year 2000, our attention spans have dropped from 12 seconds down to just 8.  To account for this decrease, content is becoming shorter and more concise.  And as technology advances, our expectations for content are changing.  People want more than just text – they want content that is engaging, with interactivity, visuals, videos, and games.

Quality Over Quantity

One of the most important things to consider when designing a training program is quality over quantity.  Many companies set a specific amount of time for training, and fill it with the material that can be covered during that timeframe. But this is like trying to drive a car without knowing where you are going!  Companies should begin with the end in mind – what do they want to achieve in training, what’s the desired outcome, what does the ideal employee look like at its completion – and design the training program with that in mind, without focusing on training time.

Getting More From Less

When you start with the end in mind, you’ll know exactly what the goals and desired outcomes of the training program are.  While these goals are unique and different for each organization, they usually fall into one of three buckets:

·         Familiarize the employee with the organization’s products/services, goals, mission, etc.

·         Provide all essential information that the employee requires to perform successfully.

·         Teach the employee new skills and test their abilities before beginning work.

Once you’ve defined what your specific training goals are, you need to create the content for your program. This may include slide decks, videos, quizzes and more.  After you have the content, you’ll need to decide how you’re going to deliver it.  Can you incorporate gamification? Are you using an LMS? Will you require instructor-led training? Will you include real life work scenarios?

And finally, once you’ve finished designing the program, it’s critical to step back and evaluate it to see if adjustments need to be made.  Does the training cover everything you need, or does it have too much content?  Can it be shortened?  Would certain material benefit from a ‘learning by doing’ approach, rather than instructor led sessions?  The answers to these questions can help take your training program from good to great, and start new hires off in the right direction.

Finally, evaluating your training program should be an ongoing process – it’s never ‘one and done.’  At the rapid pace that information, processes, products and services, regulations, etc. are changing in today’s marketplace, your training program should be under constant evaluation to ensure the content is always accurate and up-to-date, and that opportunities to improve upon its delivery and execution are captured.

Benefits of A Concise Training Program

A condensed training program can be beneficial for everyone and can be achieved by transforming traditional classroom training into Learning By Doing, an approach that can improve employees’ retention by up to 70%!   Using this approach to design shorter, more focused and goal-oriented training programs keeps employees engaged, improves retention and gets employees doing real work faster.  The result is a decrease in training costs and employees who are productive sooner, improvements which are all reflected in the bottom line.

Looking to Improve Your Training Program?

ProcedureFlow works with our partner Innovatia to create effective training programs that ensure successful employee onboarding. Contact innovatia@innovatia.net to learn more!

Amanda Verner is the Marketing Manager at ProcedureFlow and specializes in B2B marketing in the knowledge management industry. She is passionate about creating effective digital marketing strategies, and supporting companies as they grow. When she’s not working her marketing magic she enjoys spending time with family, baking, and teaching dance classes. 

1 Comment

  1. Rachel

    Thanks for highlighting so many important tips, Amanda. It’s crazy to read how much attention spans have decreased and how that impacts learning. I used to work to work at a company where training would last for hours and featured old-school PowerPoints and lectures—it was so uninspiring and we definitely lost focus. Now, I work at Lessonly where we’re huge advocates of the “Learning by Doing” approach that you mentioned. Every piece of training content I receive is delivered in bite-sized chunks that focus on one topic at a time. I find this type of format to be way more engaging as I can process the quality of the information instead of just trying to get through endless amounts of material. I love your take on “less is more,” and couldn’t agree more!

    Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Leverage Visuals in Your Training Program

Formal corporate training programs have existed for decades, but many of them are stuck in the past. Classroom training and text heavy slide decks are still used by many corporations today to teach their customer facing employees how to do their job. This approach...

Customer Service Consistency

Delivering a consistent experience to your customer is an essential requirement for any business. Add to that the complexity of Big Data, used to deliver a customized customer experience, and your team has a challenge to deliver the goods. Word travels wide and fast if you can’t get it right.

Training New Hires: Less Is More

Whether you’re just starting out or are a senior director at a Fortune 500 company, every job requires some type of formal and informal training. Most of us would think that a longer training program would cover more information, provide a more in-depth and detailed view of the training material, and as a result, prepare the employee more effectively. But what if this isn’t always the case?

The What, Why, and How of Great Engineering Specifications

Pretty much every company that creates or purchases products or materials needs technical specifications. Clear, effective specs go a long way to making sure your company gets what it’s looking for from its vendors, fabricators, contractors and designers. So, what does an effective engineering specification look like?

Is a Picture Worth 1000 Words?

Visuals give so much value to our users: they orient users, show they’re on the right track, take any guesswork out of a task, and are just generally easier to look at than a wall of text.
The truth is, there’s a big hidden cost to images. There are complications that make creating, using, and localizing those images expensive and time-consuming. So now the question becomes not “are images good?” because we know they are, but rather, are they worth 1000 words – literally?

Learning Strategy or Performance Strategy?

There is a fine line in organizations for Learning Professionals when it comes to selling their leadership teams on the value or ROI of Learning Strategies & Programs. If someone presents a ‘Learning Strategy’ some of the immediate reactions from senior leaders may be; What will that cost? Do we have budget? Do we really need this? Changing the conversation may be as simple as the language a company adopts for these types of programs.

Knowledge Management, great, but what is it?

Gone are the days of books and manuals, and here to stay are the days of multiple sources of information. With it brings new ways to view and understand the knowledge your business holds. We’ve heard that knowledge management is important. Great, step #1 completed. Now, what exactly is it, and why should you care?

Top 5 Tips When Using Screenshots in Learning Content

A picture is worth a thousand words, right? This couldn’t be more true when it comes to learning. If done properly pictures can help bring meaning and depth to content. While, in thought, taking a screenshot and plopping it into a course sounds easy, it comes with numerous challenges. However, never fear, here are the top 5 tips to keep in mind when using screenshots in your learning content!

Principles of Excellent Customer Service

In an age of electronics and artificial intelligence that has so drastically changed the process of conducting business, on both a B2B and B2C basis, it is crucial not to forget the importance of excellent customer service.

Content Creation in the Age of the Internet of Things (IoT)

Imagine getting home from work and your home opens your garage, unlocks your door, lights your way, and appropriately runs the air conditioning. What if your oven gave you dinner recommendations on your mobile? Well…imagine no more! These things are now closer to reality like never before!
Suddenly, static, lifeless objects around us are turning into these “smart”, “artificially intelligent” beings that communicate with each other…and with us.

Share This