Research shows that delegates are more receptive to training when they have a clear understanding of why they are there and how the training will help both themselves and the business.
Having the fundamentals in place before the course begins is paramount to its success. Mike Meen, Learning Delivery Lead at Add Energy provides his insights into successful training courses, and how they can maximize training investment for the client.
The 5 considerations
“Learning and development is key to a company’s success. In a world where everything is constantly improving, we must keep abreast with the times. Whether these changes are technological, societal, legal - the list goes on. We must provide regular opportunities for staff, and business owners to grow.
“Before selecting a course, staff and managers should consider the following:
- Is the business aware of the benefits of completing the course?
- Is the employee aware of how the course will impact their job and the business?
- Does the employee actually want to complete the training course?
- Does the employee fill a crucial role within the company?
- Does the course fit and will it benefit the company?
“If the answer to the above is not a resounding yes then it is unlikely that the course will achieve your investment objective.”
The problem at hand...
“You’ve probably sat in a training course and not fully understood why you’re there. You turn up, there’s a brief induction and then you dive straight into a day full of studying. You finish the day with a multiple-choice test and then you leave, not really sure why you were there in the first place. The generic content was kind of related to your job, but each topic was only briefly touched on and you just started getting into it when the lecturer moved on to the next point. Sounds all too familiar doesn't it…
“Often when companies identify a competency gap, most likely when the annual training matrix is reviewed, managers and team leaders will select the cheapest options available without assessing the full picture.
“They overlook key considerations that will impact the effectiveness of the course. Do employees want to attend the course? Will the subject matter fill gaps in staff learning? Will the 12-week program go into more detail and provide a better understanding of our staff, than a 2-day ‘Introduction to’ course. How much extra can the company achieve by training staff on this topic?
“These questions are often overlooked. Instead, a course is often picked from a long list, priced up and employees are sent on it in the masses.
“Regulators such as the HSE and Oil and Gas Authority have highlighted their concerns regarding the quality of some of the courses available within industry today, and the companies who are booking on to them.
“More often than not, the person responsible for booking the course, the manager who likely holds the training budget and the person going on the course are three different people. They will acknowledge that there is a requirement to attend the course but won’t actually address the skills gaps within the department, or assess whether the type of training is the best fit for the company, department or even the individual.
“The problem that most people face with training courses is the lack of verification. A quiz, exam, assignment, or activity is essential to gain attention and retention otherwise the pressure is off for delegates to fully read and understand each topic. Subjects are often generalized to ensure that the maximum number of delegates can attend, meaning that individuals are often bored and disengaged in class. As a result, delegates will often listen to the trainer and take notes, but not fully process information or learn from the course.”
So what’s the solution?
“This is not a stand-alone issue specific to the energy industry - across the world, companies are paying for training courses that provide little or no benefit to their team. Reluctance to assess the effectiveness of a course is not uncommon, especially if there is the potential that feedback is negative. Quite often feedback will be given at the end of a course, once everything is complete. By this point, delegates will have their bags packed and will be focused on getting out the door rather than providing insights into their learning. What is probably most damaging to learning is when no benefits are accrued. Leadership then simply cut budgets, training is reduced and value is further diminished into a self-feeding downward spiral.
“As an industry, we need to work to change this approach. In order to get a fair yet constructive assessment of your course and its effectiveness, trainers need to start incorporating feedback requests earlier in the process.
“More often than not, feedback will focus on the venue and the quality of lunches rather than the subject matter or quality of learning. In order for trainers to achieve the best results, it’s important for the questions to be both specific and measurable.
“Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback from a supplier before booking onto a course. Ask about delegate numbers, pass rates, and the assessment itself. Read over the curriculum and lesson plan, speak to the facilitator, and make sure that you are happy with the service before signing off the spend.
“If the information isn’t there, or you’re still not convinced, attend the course yourself or send a member of your team, that way you can make sure that you’re happy with the quality before adding it to your approved training list.
“Added value should be the minimum we expect from these courses. Training is a big investment, it’s important that the training fits your business needs. By conducting thorough research you will be able to successfully assess the course and the value it brings to your business. Spending a little more time and money at the beginning will result in an increased return on investment in the long term.”
Introducing The Add Energy Academy:
The Add Energy Academy has been designed to enhance knowledge and skills, ensure compliance, and enable asset stakeholders. As a result, delegates who have completed the course will be confident that they can operate safely, efficiently, and effectively.
All of our courses follow a blended approach to learning. Delegates may be required to complete a range of online assignments and virtual face-to-face workshops, as well as an optional return to work project.
Our range of courses are adapted to your specific needs, address your desired learning objectives, and are suitable for various levels within an organization - from front line workers to leadership.