Tip #724:  The Science of Training: Part One

“A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Mary Hoddy,  UW Academic Staff Emerita, Facilitator and Consultant, offered this information during a train the trainer program and I thought it was so perfect I should share it with you.

It is a table titled The Science of Training: A Summary. It shows what needs to happen before the training, during the training and after the training. It was published by Global Learning Partners and is a summary of research published by Eduardo Salas, Scott Tennenbaum, Kurt Kraiger and Kimberly Smith-Jentsch: The Science of Training and Development in Organizations: What Matters in Practice. Psychological Science in the Public Interest.

This Tip, part of a three-Tip series,  focuses on what needs to happen Before the Training. The emphasis is the authors’. The underlining is mine.

“Before the Training

Conduct a solid needs analysis that includes…

Job-task analysis. Provides a blueprint for the content and informs decisions on what to include in the training.

Person analysis. Identifies who are the “right” participants of the training. Aligns content and method to the learners.

Organizational analysis. Identifies requirements and factors that support or inhibit training; provides insight on how to position the training to maximize motivation and success.

Address 3 components of the needs analysis (what and who to train, and how to support success).

Clarify what people need to know vs. need to access.

Clarify expected learning outcomes.

Put policies and procedures in place to support training.

Schedule training close to when people will apply and practice what they learned.

Communicate the value of training to ensure learners enter with appropriate expectations.

Prepare supervisors to support their employees and send the right signals about training.”

I think that this is a wonderfully concise description, don’t you?

I underlined organizational analysis because my guess is that most needs assessments don’t include it. However, since training doesn’t occur in a vacuum, we need to be sure that the seeds we plant go into fertile soil. (Can you tell I’ve got gardening on my brain?)

Our next Tip will focus on what should happen During the Training.

May your learning be sweet.


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