Great companies take extreme measures to hire the right people for the right jobs. They know not everyone is great at every job and that the best results come from aligning employees to jobs that need their particular combination of talents, strengths and passions.
So while many organizations work hard to help their employees play to their unique abilities, most lose this impact when they group employees together and offer a one-size-fits-all approach to education.
One of my career roles was a director of education (we called it “edgeucation” because our programs gave our employees an “edge”) for a company of 3,500 employees. We realized that not everyone learns the same way so we offered our critical courses in the five following methods:
1. Self-directed (workbook)
Some people want to complete the work on their time and at their speed. The workbooks were created to be interactive, with activities and requirements due to a mentor or member of the Edgeucation team. Employees could control when, how and where they completed their education.
2. Webinar or facilitated web training
We offered a robust schedule of Webinar programs throughout the day to encourage employees who wanted the guidance and support of a facilitator, and materials presented in 50 minutes. We would group several 50-minute programs to create a series for a more complicated or longer program.
Face-to-face learning is still important when possible, and for particularly high-impact or complex materials. In our training center we hosted high interactivity programs with strong educator support.
4. Audio (CD programs)
I’ll be honest with you, our most resistant employees to education were always the sales team. So we developed our “Dashboard Discussions” – a recorded training concept presentation followed by a senior sales manager’s interpretation and workplace application of the concept. We created a program of CDs and issued them to each salesperson to listen to and complete during their “windshield” time. Post-driving activities were also required.
5. Outside resources – purchased resources from professional training organizations
Sometimes the best approach was to purchase existing programs from outstanding education providers, to which we would add activities and outcomes based on our particular workplace.
Choices of practical training topics and appropriate training methods can make learning efficient, effective and enjoyable – this is how to make education stick.
Jay Forte is a nationally ranked thought leader and President of Humanetrics. Jay guides organizations – their leaders and managers – in how to attract, hire and retain today’s best talent. He is the author of “Fire Up! Your Employees and Smoke Your Competition” and “The Greatness Zone – Know Yourself, Find Your Fit, Transform The World.” Jay is a member of SHRM, ASTD, the National Speakers Association and the Florida Speakers Association, and you can follow him on Twitter.