TRAINING BEYOND THE CLASSROOM

5 Reasons Your Training Program Doesn’t Need a Classroom

Corporate training is due for a big change.

I’m not talking about cutting your budget, traveling less, or any of those “surfacey” things. No, it’s time for training to actually evolve for the good of your workers, for the good of your company, and for the good of actually transmitting knowledge.

Too often, we assume that one-size-fits-most. As a result, we train technicians on new software the same way that we rally the troops for major cultural shifts. What works for one purpose may actually be counterproductive for the other. Something’s got to give.

It’s time to take training beyond the classroom

It’s not that bringing your entire workforce to a single, centralized location is never a good idea. But, it’s not always the best idea either. In fact, training beyond the classroom is the right and best way to transmit knowledge and information to your workers in many cases.

Future-forward corporate leaders and trainers intuitively know that. But they are often limited by technology, tools, and traditional managerial thinking.

It’s time to fight for the right to strategically liberate training from the classroom, so it can be integrated directly into the field.

Here are five reasons why taking training beyond the classroom is a worthwhile fight that will result in a better training program:

1 – Bursts of information beat intensive indoctrination

When exposed to shorter training sessions spread out over time, research shows that most adult learners actually grasp new concepts better, retain the information for longer, and can recall what they learn much better. While a massive dose of information “injected” over multi-hour or multi-day sessions may seem efficient, the reality is that what you gain in efficient delivery is more than offset by the inefficient reception.

Practically, that means the better way to train pharmacists on a new computer system is likely to have the training integrated into their daily work so they are exposed to it over a few days on the job instead of forcing the training and certification to happen in a couple of hours in a foreign setting.

2 – Real life is superior to scenarios

When training is done in the classroom, concepts and processes have to be brought to life through case studies and historic examples. Certainly are ways to “show and tell” common engine problems for your team of diesel mechanics or special insurance codes for pharmacy techs. But even the best examples fall short because they are disconnected from the moment and must be discussed from a distance. 

On the other hand, when training is taken out of the classroom and integrated into what the worker is currently doing, the work at hand can be the example. To reskill an HVAC installer to be able to handle the intricacies of new gas appliances, make sure the training is on hand while she’s troubleshooting a new installation, That ensure the information is more likely to be understood and retained than anything she would pick up at a week-long off-site conference.

3 – Context is always better than the classroom

Adults learners generally learn best in the context of their daily tasks and experiences. That is particularly important for workers expected to make in-the-moment judgment calls as part of their work. These employees aren’t simply adding new information to their brain, they need to connect and interpret it in light of their experiences. And the best way to enable that is to introduce the information in a familiar context. That allows these learners to incorporate what they don’t know (your training) into what they already know (their experience), something that even the most engaging classroom will have difficulty doing for most distributed workforces.

4 – Engaging will always win over boring

Surveys consistently report how important it is for training to be fun and engaging. Of course, this aspect of learning will always be a challenge. Some learners are just easily bored with trying to learn new things. And often, the training material can tend to be a bit dry.

Even though the best trainers work hard to engage their students, they are at an automatic disadvantage when attempting to do so in the classroom environment. However, if the same material is effectively incorporated into work that the learner already finds to be fulfilling, the trainer quickly regains her advantage.

5 – Personalized always performs over cookie-cutter

Your workforce is increasingly diverse–various cultures, generations, and even a range of learning styles such as visual, aural, and kinetic learners. This reality requires you to create training that suits the various educational levels and personal interests, by:

  • Ensuring that the support necessary materials are always available so they can learn anywhere and at any time
  • Offering feedback to encourage continual progress
  • Enabling social connections for collaboration and group feedback
  • Providing a variety of learning types and opportunities–including virtual classrooms, app-based platforms, on-call tutoring, and even in-person or virtual office hours

Ultimately, the best training will allow the workers to choose their own adventure, and even blaze some new trails. But the goal is to make training so easy to engage that your workers can quickly take the training wheels off and take their new learning for a spin.

To learn how DaVinix can take your training beyond the classroom and integrate it into daily work flows, visit davinix.com/why-davinix.