When I meet prospective clients to discuss training courses with them, I am often greeted with words such as ‘well I hope they will be okay with this, as they have 20 years service and I don’t want them to think we are just sending them on training courses to change them’
The reality of sending them on training courses is that it is pointless sending some one on a training course unless you want something to change; if you want nothing to change you are only wasting your budget.
The real question employers are asking is not,’ I don’t want the training course to change my staff member of 20 years service.’ It is closer to:’ I just want to ensure that you as the trainer for the training courses have the skills needed to train my longer serving staff in a way that they can learn new ideas to use and appreciate it’
Whether or not you will be conducting the training courses, you need to be familiar with some of the challenges that your staff may face, that could affect their performance. If you are the person conducting the training courses you also need to be aware of some of the challenges of training courses for adults.
There are 5 main challenges for training adults on a course:
1. They may be impatient or irritated that they have to be on a training course.
This is especially true when they don’t know why they are on the course or what the benefits of the course are. These points must be made clear by the trainer or the organiser before the training course begins. Again any decent trainer with reasonable people management skills and practice in running training courses should be able to do this with ease.
2. They may become bored quickly.
When staff members become bored on any training course, they won’t be motivated to learn. You must prevent this by refraining form lecturing or asking people to just read manuals etc or killing them with power point.
It is vital that on any training courses with adults you MUST create interaction and if some one has long service use their experience-make them feel good. Interaction is the key to success in all training courses.
3. They may appear to be inflexible or uncooperative because they are set in their ways.
Some staff members who have been summonsed to attend courses may not want to learn the new ways or different ways of doing something.
They may not be straightforward about their concerns, but they may challenge you or the trainer on the training courses, based on their past experiences. When this happens, it is important to listen to them and not disregard their discussions, but rather, make your ways specifically relevant to them.
4. They may have different learning styles.
Staff members will have a different learning style. For example some may be visual learners, some may be audio learners, and some may be kinesthetic learners. Offering a blend of training methods on your training courses will ensure that you effectively tap into everyone preferred learning styles.
5. They don’t understand the course materials.
To better assess each individual’s comprehension capacity before and after the training courses, you may occasionally need to include pre- and post-test evaluations, ongoing coaching, and follow-up training courses. These efforts may seem like extra work, but they are the key to maximizing comprehension.
The overall tip for training courses for adults is to work with them, not against them, make all the training courses interactive and fun and let the employee with long service know you understand that they can bring as much to the training courses as you can based on experience alone.