It is so important to train and retrain existing staff for new challenges as business evolves. This could be a new contract or improved business practice.
With new staff, you need them to understand your policies, procedures, systems and the levels of quality you have built your reputation on.
How many companies test what, if anything, has been learned?
Hiring replacements is seldom an economic alternative. “Better the devil you know“, as they say. Develop the colleagues you know.
- have a set of induction workshop materials – often involving presentations by the founder or very senior management. It covers what the company does and how the company goes about it. It reinforces standards. In addition to that, even if new joiners must have a qualification such as a security, fire or traffic accreditation, there will be gap analysis and other trainings and top-ups will be necessary.
- organise training in-house and some combine that with outside specialists. There will be one-to-one , classroom, private reading, learning on the job and e-learning. As we all know, people vary in ability to absorb the materials and in in their motivation, interest and knowledge retention. So, how do we make sure people took enough in? The answer always comes back that you need to ask them a few questions and see what they learned.
All in all, training is costly. The alternative is even more expensive. Training people and having no idea whether their behaviour and actions will improve is not the hall mark of a successful manager.
“You cannot manage what you cannot measure”
Without some form of test, quiz or exam, you have no way to know how much they learned – until they do well or badly on the job. In many jobs, lack of knowledge means that person may cause real problems because they are unable to deal with a situation.
The results could be:
- an upset member of the public
- poor reputation for your company
- damage to property or equipment
- danger of injury for a member of the public
- loss of accreditation for your company
- a criminal case
- an insurance claim
- an uninsurable fine or cost
Tests change attitudes to learning.
As a senior manager, do you ask your staff about what they learned on the training? In an informal chat in a coffee break, this can be the minimum informal measure. Experienced managers know how much you pick up in this situation.
So, it is essential that staff going into training become used to the fact that their knowledge will be assessed afterwards. That way, they should concentrate and ask questions during the training. When asked to read some safety documentation for a new assignment or venue, they will read it up and make sure they know it and get into good learning habits. Everyone benefits from their confidence and expertise. The staff member gains knowledge and learning skills, your company has more productive staff and the benefits go far and wide if the skills involve such things as how to deal better with incidents.
Once you test people on the training they have received, you will get good and bad results. This means you can congratulate the smarter ones and work on bringing the stragglers up to speed. It may be that they struggle with learning or tests. Many AXLR8 clients have great people that are a critical asset to their company but do not posess a smartphone and certainly have not done a test of any kind for twenty years since they left school. That is fine but you need to know that and take action. If it is questions about who the founder is and what date the company started, that is not essential for many job roles outside sales. However, there are some things where knowledge is essential and someone who cannot be bothered to learn it or retain it could spoil someone’s day or even be a safety threat. For example: advising a disabled person about access or where the defibrillator is in the venue you are working at or the number to call and the codes if someone falls on the stairs. The one that sticks in my mind is not the safety incidents but the test we did for a major UK venue about the six questions all staff must be prepared to answer for a blind visitor with a guide dog. There is a limit to how man questions from lazy learners that a busy team leader at that venue can manage. Every team member at that venue carries their own shell.
At the very least, you should have a few questions from the trainer through out any face-to-face trainings. For example, in my last First Aid Training, we did a number of role plays where we walked into the area where a fellow student took their turn to “suffer” from some injury or ailment. In fact, the whole course was based upon situations and injuries and how we would react. Then we all got to a place where we knew how we should react! I just looked at the date on the certificate on the office wall and wonder how much I remember today compared to the day I completed the training. A test would probably tell me the answer. It is also cheaper than learning from a real accident!
However, with so many remote workers and time presures, automated online testing is necessary in the mix. Additionally, much of the training material is online. Further, e-testing is impersonal. In other words, there is no personal examiner bias towards any religion, skin colour, gender or the confident or pretty. You get a cold hard mark.
With AXLR8 Questionnaire Builder in testing mode, you have a really useful tool in your training assessment and learning management kit bag.
- It is easy to deploy in the staffing app or your website or via email, chat or a simple link on your website.
- Can be named or anonymous if you do not need to award qualifications (for example an attitude survey or training feedback).
- Questions can have varying marks.
- There can be different sections that may optionally require a pass before progresing to the next stage.
- Video and other documentation may be integrated or separate from third party suppliers.
- You can set qualification/exam passmarks on percentages or abolute numbers of points.
- Branching can take people on remedial routes if an answer shows a lack of understanding.
- Alternatively, branching may allow you to set the course for more knowleageable people to skip some areas and move to more challenging assessments or access the next level of courseware.
You can create your own qualifications. We have for our AXLR8 Accredited Consultant programme, presentations and class room training.
Only your imagination will limit your use of AXLR8 e-Learning to improve productivity at your company through raising staff effectiveness and efficiency. Don’t wait. Call AXLR8 on 01344 776500 and ask for a demo with your training material on your system. Super staff create a super reputation for your company.