As training managers, it is easy to get caught up in the paperwork and the requirements your department must meet in order to stay current.
We want to illumine some ideas that will move your department beyond “box checking” and into practical training.
Here are 5 steps you can take to make a difference in the way your department trains.
1. Ask your people what they want/need to learn this year
It sounds simplistic. But when is the last time anyone ever asked the people in the department for their specific needs and desires when it comes to training? Probably not for a long time, if ever! Ask them face to face. Or make up a simple questionnaire. The important thing is to get their opinions and get them talking to you. They will be grateful that you even asked.
2. Make goals or objectives for this year’s training
Consumerism often drives training. Read Biz Av Pilots Have Eaten Enough Training Cake for more on that thought. Instead of purchasing the trendy courses that are advertised or doing the same old routine as last year, set some objectives for what needs to take place first. Then go looking for the best course or training experience to meet that objective. Again, sounds simple enough, but most departments start with the purchase without ever asking whether it fits the goals and needs of the department.
3. Look for training experiences that are practical.
Knowledge is good, but without application it is quickly forgotten. Look for course-ware that has hands-on activities, discussion questions, or scenarios built in to the curriculum. This can be difficult to find. Until the industry catches up, you may need to adapt the course-ware yourself. It is not as hard as it sounds. Just a few discussion questions may be all that is needed to help people see how what they have learned can be applied to their work.
4. Evaluate your training experiences.
Write up a short evaluation for your staff to complete after each training exercise. Ask what was the best part of the experience and where it fell short. Then use this information to guide you as you plan upcoming activities.
5. Tailor your initial and recurrent training to make it specific to your operation.
With a little work, ground school instruction and simulator instruction can be tailored to your operation. More and more departments are making this a priority. Providers are willing to make the adjustments as long as the needs are communicated well in advance. With such a large portion of the training budget going to this type of training, doesn’t it make sense to be sure it is worth your while?
These ideas can be implemented on a small scale, gradually adding value year by year. Or you can shake up the status quo and make a concentrated effort. Either way, the result will be increased collaboration, better retention, higher satisfaction, and little apathy.
What ideas do you have for Training Managers?