Look at all the management and personality styles and objective and subjective research and psychology studies out there… (for example: http://www.myersbriggs.org/my-mbti-personality-type/mbti-basics/ and http://www.howtofascinate.com/the-system/personality-archetypes )
No matter which model you subscribe to, if there are different personality types, it means that they will each have different learning styles. Some will need visuals. Some will need text. Some will need text and visuals using colours/images and/or voice. Some will need to be shown. Some will need to perform the task whilst someone tells them what to do and look out for. Some will need a combination of some or all of these types of teaching in order to remember something accurately and effectively. And some will never learn!
But one thing is for sure. You have to set the expectation of exactly what it is you want done in order for the recipient to have half a chance of performing the task the way you/your company want it done.
So how can you do that? The answer is simple. Training. How you deliver the training is the not so simple bit. The type of thing you are trying to achieve will in itself determine what resources (including the environment) which you might be able to use to achieve the demonstration safely and effectively.
When planning the training, follow these simple steps as a guide:
1) I think the one thing you need to decide on is exactly what do you want the finished product/service to be like.
2) Then you also need to ask yourself, if you don’t provide the training on that topic, what might happen? Do a simple risk assessment (perhaps using a tool as provided by the Health and Safety Executive: http://www.hse.gov.uk/risk/assessment.htm ) and if the result is negligible risk with minimal potential for risk for people and the financial side of the business, then it might be worth considering whether you need to be repeating yourself at all (!) and actually focus your energies on something else that might have more impact!
3) If there is financial as well as health and safety benefits to providing the training, then decide what steps are in the process which are needed to achieve that end goal/finished product or service. [This goes back to making sure you have outlined the process clearly using your process maps and/or SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures)]
4) You also need to determine who is doing what and when in the process you are providing the training about; also, who is going to oversee or check what is being done, and who is going to be responsible and accountable for each checking stage/part of the process.
5) Look at what can go wrong and when - perform the risk assessment as to what would need to be done if x, y or z happened in order to work out how best you could prevent it.
Once you’ve worked that all out you’re ready to decide what form of training that needs to be delivered in order to train the staff effectively to consistently deliver the same high standard of product or service. Do you have people inside the organisation that can deliver that type of training or do you need to outsource it? If you need to outsource it, you need to be sure that they have the experience and qualifications to train people on that topic. And you will need to ensure that they understand that particulars of the process or product that is required to meet the standards set. I.e. you need to ensure that the Quality Indicators are known to the trainer and that they have an idea of when and how often these are checked so that they can include that in their training of your staff.
Whoever does the training, accountability for the training needs to be embedded in.
Humans will inevitably forget bits and will prioritise things differently to each other. So, providing notes is a good resource with/without online slides, images, videos, or access to process maps, demonstrating what they’ve just learned. Testing them at the end of the training session is another good way to reinforce the important points. But, have a strategy to hand for those that don’t pass the test: consider how you can manage that person so that they can go on and pass later once they’ve learned the task sufficiently, or ensure that they have supervision until they pass, or if a performance plan needs to be instigated.
Ensure that you have a list of those people that have attended. Compare this against all those that need to have that knowledge (consult your competency matrix if you have one) and put a plan in place for those that didn’t attend: do they need supervision before they perform that task unaided? Do they need to not do the task at all until they’ve had the training? Performing a risk assessment of what could happen if that employee performs that task without that training will help not only prioritise how you deal with the issue but also whether in the end the training is really needed.
Ensure that the list of attendees is stored in an accessible and monitored location. A cloud based competency matrix for each role and each employee is one way to ensure that training is identified, given and updated in an accessible manner.
Ensure that those that have attended have some proof of attendance for their own training/CPD (Continual Professional Development) records.
At the end of all of it remember the key phrase: plan, do, check, act (the basis of the ISO 9001:2015 standard). That way you’ll always enable continual improvement to occur. And that is why you want and need to invest some time in providing clear and effective training in the first place.
That training, if delivered properly, will not only stop you and your managers from having to repeat themselves (!), but will also help ensure your business keeps delivering high standards of products and/or service(s). And that will help you stay one step ahead of your competition in the market and why your customers will return back to only you, as they know that what they will get is what they have grown to expect from your company. And if you price it right, your customers will develop a loyalty to your product/service/company because they can trust you and will feel sure that their money is being spent wisely, even if you are a little more pricey than your competition because your product/service is better and worth more.
Next time: “ISO 9001:2015 – what it is, why you should have it, and how to get it!”