Newsletter - Learning Matters - No.15

Preparing to Train

Many managers and Team Leaders are responsible for assessing and meeting the training needs of their team members. Learning Curve Effective Trainer workshops include ideas and tips on how to prepare, structure and deliver effective training sessions - including the following information on preparing for training.

When planning training the first question a Trainer should ask is:

  1. What is the current level of knowledge / skill / attitude of this person?

This leads to the next question:

  1. What skills / knowledge / attitude do they need to have?

And finally…

  1. How will I ensure that they receive the necessary skill / knowledge / attitude training?

In summary, we are identifying:

  1. Where are we now?
  2. Where do we need to be?
  3. How will we get there?

By identifying a 'training gap' the Trainer is then able to address it by matching the correct type of training and learning activity to the trainee's specific requirements.

For useful information on prioritizing training messages and a Training Needs Assessment form, read on:-

Preparing Training Sessions

When preparing a relatively involved training programme, e.g. an Induction Course, it helps to prioritise what the trainee needs to know so that you can plan your sessions accordingly.

Mark your sessions with the following priority ratings:

  • MK - Must Know, e.g. Basic product knowledge, computer system, how to use the telephone

  • SK - Should Know, e.g. how other departments operate

  • CK - Could Know - this is luxury knowledge that adds to the base of learning but is not vital information

When planning your induction course, arrange the MK subjects first, followed by the SK subjects and finally the CK's.

If time is short leave the CK's until a later date. Never leave out the MK's.

Training Needs Self-Assessment Form

To identify your training needs, complete the questionnaire as honestly as you can, rating your performance in each area of work as follows:

1 = need immediate help
2 = training would be useful in this area
3 = satisfactory
4 = above average

Task / skill area Rating
Interfacing with customers
Selling skills
Managing my team
Managing my time and priorities
Written communication (emails / reports)
Presentation skills
Running meetings
Attending meetings
Conducting staff appraisals
Managing conflict
Dealing with my manager

The Trainer should respond to any '1' and '2' scores immediately as an urgent training requirement.

Learning Curve - Reading, Berkshire, England: +44 (0)118 987 5683

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