With COVID-19, business & industry leaders have had to face what seems to be a never-ending list of pandemic-related challenges during this crisis, while at the same time, trying to keep their businesses running and their customers served. So as you read the title of this article, you are most likely thinking "Training? Who in the world has time for training right now as short-handed as we are?" However, this situation has created an urgent need to have the flexibility to move employees between production areas or departments, to fill in for the employees who may be absent, and still try to meet production targets. So how can we make this happen with no time for our traditional training?
1. For right now, forget traditional learning plans and delivery methods. Let's face it; classroom learning is time-intensive and challenging now with social distancing requirements. And on-the-job training may be difficult with employees needing to avoid close contact. While it would be great to convert some of our traditional training to e-learning, who has the time and budget for that type of project?
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2. Change your mindset regarding how learning happens in your company. Training in most organizations is directed by a series of courses or a learning plan based on the position the employee is hired for. In a normal operating model, this works well. Now, you must redirect your thinking from a position-based learning plan to a task-based learning plan.
Okay; I know this may sound a little odd, but stay with me on this one. Think of this by using the analogy of building blocks, to quickly & easily build the capabilities the ideal employee that you may need at a given time. So, instead of training an employee on the full curriculum of Production Line A in one course or class, companies can train and operate more quickly and efficiently by offering training in task-based modules for individual tasks related to the operation of Production Line A. By using smaller, task-based, mobile-friendly micro-learning, each learning opportunity created represents a building block, which can be used to build a more nimble and customized learning experience for new or existing employees, when staffing and production needs are changing so quickly.
"Now, you must redirect your thinking from a position-based learning plan to a
task-based, micro-learning plan."
3. Don't forget the value of traditional job aids, such as checklists, QRGs, and instructional signage. Remember the saying, "A picture is worth a thousand words?" Well, that certainly rings true in the training world as well. Not all learning has to be delivered by electronic technology. Instructional signage, quick reference guides, and operational checklists (when well-designed), can serve as valuable, easy-to-use tools to keep production moving smoothly and consistently, even when employees may have to share different responsibilities.
4. Test your learning solutions. Whether it is online learning, a printed job aid or instructional signage, be sure to include key subject matter experts in the development of the learning solution and test it with potential users. So often we see learning solutions tested with people who are already knowledgeable on the subject and they are unable to provide the critical feedback needed from someone who is learning it for the first time.
Need assistance in developing training plans, e-learning or other training solutions for your employees or customers? Our organizational development experts and instructional designers welcome the opportunity to work with you and your team! Contact us today at Strategy Performance for your free, no-obligation consultation.