HUMAN RESOURCES / JUN. 17, 2014
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How to Develop a Training Program on the Job

Training Program on the Job
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If you have been tasked by upper management to develop a training program on the job, there are simple steps that you can follow to create such a program. You will need to think critically as well as creatively. One thing you don’t want your training program to be is boring. However, it needs to be specific and well thought out to provide the proper training protocol for your target audience. Florida State University created the ADDIE method which includes the following five phases: AnalysisDesignDevelopmentImplementation and Evaluation. (Source: Wikipedia)

This article will discuss specifics on how you can utilize these five phases to develop a training program on the job.

Step # 1 Analyze What Specific Type of Training is Needed for the Program

There are several questions you need to answer during the analytical process. Answering these questions will assist in the actual program development procedure and make certain all requirements are met with the design.

  1. Why is a training program needed?
  2. Who is your target audience in need of training?
  3. What type of training program is needed?
  4. What skillset, knowledge and professional attitudes need to be learned?
  5. Is the learning gap due to lack of knowledge or poor work ethic?

A good training program is the main solution when new employees are hired or if your company has started to utilize a new software system or for other human relationship related issues. After you have answered the five questions listed above, you need to ascertain the resources and training tools you’ll utilize in this training program. The final two factors to consider during the analysis process are the training schedule and the probability of the trainees’ responsiveness to the program.

Step # 2 Design the Training Program and Focus on Responses From Step One

This second step will be easier to complete as long as you took the necessary time to go through a complete analysis process. Step # 2 is not the time to be asking why, who and what. In this step, you need to work on the “how.” This is where the rubber meets the road. In this step, you are developing the program outline. The outline includes pinpointing the specific training objectives and how they will be measured. Basically, this part defines what the trainees should learn as a result of participating in the program. You will refer back to your analysis regarding skillset, knowledge and professional attitudes the trainees needed to learn. A final factor during the design phase is to determine the course of delivery and whether you will have a manager or outside instructor teaching the training program. It is useful to utilize storyboards or whiteboards to assist in the development process.

Step # 3 Develop the Actual Training Program and Focus on the Outline From Step Two

This step will only work well if you have completed a thorough design process and ascertained the specific objectives and measuring tools from Step # 2. During this development stage, you need to decide on the actual curriculum for the program. Will you have an online learning component in addition to paper manuals or will you only utilize one or the other? The testing strategy will be developed during this stage. For example, how will you test the trainees’ skillset, knowledge and professional attitudes learned during the training?

Step # 4 Implement the Training Program and Focus on the First Three Steps

This is the fun stage of the process and can also be called the “delivery phase”. The program is put into place and the training begins. The teaching method—online, in the classroom or a combination of both—will have already been decided and now begins. You and your development committee can also decide whether or not you will have a training program for trainers. If you want that, then you will have your “trainer trainees” in the classroom setting during the actual training program. Those prospective trainers will be learning in the actual classroom setting.

Step # 5 Evaluate the Training Program and Consider the Feedback for Future Courses

This last step is where you will evaluate whether or not the trainees learned the designated skillset, educational knowledge and professional attitudes. Remember, that the first time the training program takes place, it is called a “pilot program.” To be highly effective for future trainings, you should allow the trainees to have an opportunity to share feedback on their experience. Did the participants enjoy the program? Did they have an easy learning experience? Do they feel prepared for the new training software etc. or work tasks? Would they recommend this training program to other coworkers? As developers of the training program, it is important for you and your team to consider the feedback from the participants in the program. Any information that you receive from the participants in the pilot program will assist you in revamping and changing the program for future trainees.

Developing a training program on the job can be a simple task if you and your developing team follow a simple design formula like the ADDIE method. Analyzing the specific type of training needed is the place to begin. A design outline and then detailed development plan is next on the agenda. Implementation of the training course takes place and then an evaluation should occur.

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