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December 01 2014

unitoltraining

Why is a new Professional, still ‘Un’professional?

 

Some Hard Hitting Facts

Different international studies have found that companies end up investing huge monies on development of soft skills. Analyst firms, such as Bersin & Associates, have found similar results showing that organizations tend to spend at least 20-25% of their training budgets on soft skills initiatives. India too has seen similar tendencies with only around 10% of students found to be employable - 2013 study by Assocham (Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India) & 2012 study by Aspiring Minds.

It is time for all education institutes, to sit up and ask why the modern day professional is ill-equipped when it comes to the most basic of the skills. Communication is something we start practicing even as kids; inter-personal skills are a must for all the games we played as children. Then why do most of our professionals lack even in such basic areas? The question the is: Why is he still not professional enough?

A Wake-up Call

As individuals and education systems we are trained to chase after Numbers. We are hard-wired to look at only the limited visible aspects of Development - the ranks and percentages. In the race to be Numero Uno, we lose focus of all the other things that contribute to overall development – the softer aspects, the behavioral skills. It is time to hit the pause button and analyze objectively what we are doing to groom students and where we are still falling behind.

Some Good News

Industry interface is now going beyond just guest lectures at premiere Institutes. Today Colleges are attempting to provide quality education by tying up with Organizations to design course curriculum specific for the industry – there is the ICICI tie up with ITM University and with TVS TM Training institute, the IBM collaboration with Baddi University to name a few.

This interface needs to now grow, having a communication channel between the Seeker of Talent (the Industry) and the Talent Suppliers (The Colleges) is vital so that the Talent is also skill ready. This will help the Industry reduce the time and money invested on grooming and also the Colleges benefit as they focus on what is really needed instead of providing the ‘Jack of all Trades’ approach to Learning.

Extending this Collaboration

What is needed today is that the Industries and the Colleges further blur out the boundaries they have drawn around them. It is time to move from Evaluation to Feedback. Some of the best practices must be shared and implemented at the Education level itself to cement the expected behavioral competencies. Foremost amongst the techniques to be adopted is the 360 degree Feedback, which can help the student to get feedback from people who know him well, on competencies that he needs to succeed in his career. This tool is commonly used to assess managers and prepare for their development. A student can benefit greatly if this is initiated early.

November 10 2014

unitoltraining

Will Training Outsourcing Really Work?

 Outsourcing of HR activities has been on for a long time now.  Starting somewhere in early 90’s many of the transactional aspects of HR started to be outsourced. One of the first activities that where third party agencies stepped in to help organizations (in HR), was Pay Roll processing and Benefits Administration.  And like other spaces, the outsourcing moved up and down the HR value chain, ‘capturing’ other areas over a period of time.  And one such activity which therefore organizations started to look for outside help was Training. Today, there are number of large and small players offering a wide variety of services in the Training space, as a outsrouced services model for organizations. 

 Like in the case of other outsourcing processes, organizations often grapple with the issue if the LPO/TPO (Learning Process Outsourcing or Training Process Outsourcing) is delivering the results that are required by the organization.  The answer for this often lies is how well the organization has established its processes to measure this efficacy, and has been able to do the same prior to the process of outsourcing. Outsourcing a process where you do not have core competency is one thing, and doing it not knowing what to expect is another.  If an organization has to successfully outsource its Training process, then it should ensure

 

01.    That the Learning Strategy is in place and is aligned with the business strategy

02.   The business case for the Learning & Training process are in place and that the business case itself can be monitored based on definitive metrics which includes besides cost, the learning impact on business results, capability improvement index, internal customer satisfaction and other organization specific aspects.

03.   Partner for Learning outsourcing has been identified after a thorough due diligence and that the partner brings credentials to the effect of having worked with similar organizations (of size, growth aspirations, employee profile, technology adaptation, learning culture etc)

04.   The SLA has been properly worked and that they have are amalgamation of the organization prior practices (which worked) and partner’s best practices from other client echo systems.

05.   Review mechanism which ensure that the organization monitors on a regular basis the SLA parameters and ensures that corrective actions are taken in a timely manner.

 When an organization follows a systematic method, only then shall it be able to derive the benefits or LPO/TPO.

 

November 03 2014

unitoltraining

 

10 Tips to followed in a training program

<!--[if !supportLists]-->1.       <!--[endif]-->The appearance of the trainer is very important and he should be very energetic throughout the session

<!--[if !supportLists]-->2.       <!--[endif]-->The trainer should start every session on time and finish on time. It should never be kept on hold for late arrivers.

<!--[if !supportLists]-->3.       <!--[endif]-->Give an overview:  It’s always advisable to tell the participants what you are going to cover at start of session.

<!--[if !supportLists]-->4.       <!--[endif]-->Use appropriate Ice Breakers:  Unwind the participants by using a ice breaker which is appropriate to the whole training theme. 

<!--[if !supportLists]-->5.       <!--[endif]-->Use simple language:  Do not conduct the session on lecture mode but use a combination various methodologies of learning to make the learning interesting.

<!--[if !supportLists]-->6.       <!--[endif]-->Humor and fun elements should be combined in right portions to training is not a dull and boring.

<!--[if !supportLists]-->7.       <!--[endif]-->Involve the participants by the question method.  Always raise questions in the session immediately after covering a topic to assess how much the trainees have followed and learnt.

<!--[if !supportLists]-->8.       <!--[endif]-->Encourage participants to share their experiences for effective learning within the group.

<!--[if !supportLists]-->9.       <!--[endif]-->Manage the group dynamics and ensure that all the participants benefit from the session.

<!--[if !supportLists]-->10.   <!--[endif]-->Finally take feedback; it helps you and also the participants, in as much that it gives an opportunity to voice their opinion.

 

October 30 2014

unitoltraining

Tips for Improving PPT (Power Point Presentation)-

PPT aids in conveying the message with more clarity to the participants. Presenting the PPT without any proper flow would leave the participants in a confused state missing out the message completely. When properly structured it enables the participants to connect more readily. Following tips would come handy before you are all set to run a PPT-

<!--[if !supportLists]-->·         <!--[endif]-->The first and fore most important point that needs to be taken care- is to limit the number of slides. Too many slides would not capture the attention of the participants.

<!--[if !supportLists]-->·         <!--[endif]-->Write down on a paper what points you wish to cover in the session before you actually start preparing for the PPT.

<!--[if !supportLists]-->·         <!--[endif]-->Don’t dump everything in the slides. Always limit yourself to the main headings which later needs to be explained in detail in the class.

<!--[if !supportLists]-->·         <!--[endif]-->Avoid writing paragraphs. It’s advisable to use bullet points or short sentences .It’s easy for the participants to read and retain it.

<!--[if !supportLists]-->·         <!--[endif]-->Make sure that the design of the PPT is very formal. Avoid using bright flashy colours and too much of graphics. The font, text should be readable and the alignment should be uniform throughout the PPT.

<!--[if !supportLists]-->·         <!--[endif]-->Use a video or an audio in between to illustrate an example or process. This would bring back the attention of the participants

<!--[if !supportLists]-->·         <!--[endif]-->Use of image creates a good impression but it should not be used on each and every slide making it look cumbersome.

<!--[if !supportLists]-->·         <!--[endif]-->Graphs and charts can be used to explain the numbers which needs to be highlighted to make the participants understand better.

Apart from these tips, the presenter should mind that PPT conveys only half the message until it is coupled with detailed explanation and further discussion on the topic. Mere presenting the PPT would never create a learning atmosphere.

October 20 2014

unitoltraining

LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT – HOW TO MAKE IT DELIVER RESULTS

Part - 1

One of the areas of training in which organizations spend huge amounts of monies, is Leadership Development.  From large to small organizations, faced with talent supply issues, organizations are investing monies in their junior, middle and senior management -  grooming them to take on additional responsibilities. However, most organizations, if not all are often wondering if their investments in this area are delivering the results that they require.  While a panacea for this problem would be difficult, at least at the present time, it would be worthwhile to probe into some of the most common reasons as to why these programs do not get the required outputs

 

<!--[if !supportLists]-->01.   <!--[endif]-->Nature of  intervention:  Leadership, is not something that can be taught in a classroom over a week end or even over a few weeks. Leadership competencies have to be nurtured over prolonged period of time. Successful organizations such as Tata’s which have their Senior Leadership pipeline created through TAS (Tata Administrative Services) follow a very vigorous procedure through the lifecycle of the employee, both in terms of inputs as well as providing opportunities.  Most organizations, treat Leadeship Development to happen with a program or a couple of programs.

Treat your Leadership Development Process as a sustained effort which will require multiple inputs, training being just one of them.    

<!--[if !supportLists]-->02.   <!--[endif]-->Not establishing clear objectives: That Leadership Development is often used without serious consideration can be known from the fact that there are over 4.5 million searches that are done on the key word on Google.  Most organizations, unfortunately, are trapped in what can be called, current fad syndrome, in which most times than not Leadership Development appears.  Leadership Development has to be context specific with clear objectives – meeting organizational requirements and employee aspirations.  So, a leadership development process, for an innovation lead organization would be very different from that of say, a mature organization operating in a stable market.

Establish clear objectives of the leadership development process, so as to make sure they are meeting your specific requirements

<!--[if !supportLists]-->03.   <!--[endif]-->Competency Model:  While there are a certain set of common competencies, which run across any leadership development process, it is important to have specific aspects of your leadership development requirements factored into the Competency Model which you choose for your development process. Continuing with the example cited in step 4 above, an organization’s which is heavily dependent on Innovation, will have Innovation Management, Risk Management, Internal Venturing, and related competencies in their leadership development model.

It is important to have the appropriate competency model and the associated competencies to be identified before embarking on the development journey.

<!--[if !supportLists]-->04.   <!--[endif]-->Sustained Inputs:  Most organizational theorists have debated on the issue of weather leadership can be developed or a trait that one is born with.  While the final jury is still out, it more or less now believed that Leadership can be developed, especially the kind required for organizations.  However, like other competencies, or set of competencies, leadership needs to be constantly reinforced through appropriate inputs.   Organizations cannot and should not expect a miracle to happen over a weekend of training.  Successful organizations like GE spend great amounts of time in identifying leadership material and then greater amount of time in developing them. 

Sustained inputs, spread over a reasonable amount of time, is the only way that one can surface and polish leadership capabilities of an individual 

September 25 2014

unitoltraining
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Build participation before the Training program

Trainer and participants encounter each other generally at the training program. The participants usually have little or no clue on what the program would include or cover.   However, things are now changing, and more and more organizations would like to  the trainers to initiate activities or assignments before the program and prepare the participants for the learning experience.  Leveraging on technology trainers  are now connecting with through internet (emails, e-learning, blended learning and LMS).  Typically what now gets covered as preprogram activities include

·         Intimating the Program agenda and outline of session:  Usually participants enter the session not knowing exactly what they will get out of it. It would consume some time for the participants to actually get in tune to session. Getting acquainted with the program agenda and outline before would make participants prepare themselves mentally.

·         Sharing the Material (books, articles, Case studies, etc):  Sending across an article or a case study relevant to the subject would help the participants get acquainted with relevant concepts.   Some trainers even insist on reading and summarizing these, which greatly help the entire learning process. 

·         Conducting Tests:  Pre Program assessments would reveal the existing understanding of the participants on the concepts. Thereby, the trainer can design the training program accordingly. Trainer can also conduct a survey to assess the learning styles and customize Program approach for better results.

·         Assigning assignments-A simple assignment before the program would make the participants think on the subject. It creates a forward momentum for the participants and they are more likely to come up with ideas and trigger discussions later in the classroom.  

Connecting with participants, both before and after the training program, will help individuals (learners) as well as organizations reap better results.  Not only that, this process will  help build more meaningful and fulfilling relationship between the trainer and participants. 

“Enhance participation After the Training program” in the next article in this series where we shall discuss how to connect with the participants post program.

Thanks & Regards

Content & Research Team

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September 23 2014

unitoltraining

M u lti Rate Systems 

& 

360 Degree Feedback

Part-1

 

Our performance at work is influenced by our own level of expertise, experience, motivation, nature of the work, opportunities given by the organization and equally importantly by the social milieu in which we work. In order to grow and develop we recognize that feedback is essential so that we can improve our functioning along the lines that the organization desires. Very often this feedback is not available to us in a constructive manner. We also hesitate to ask for feedback for a variety of reasons. It could be because of a variety of reasons – one, we generally associate all feedback with negatives, two, we do not know whom to ask and trust and three, most importantly we fear that it will somehow disturb the “ideal image” that we have built of ourselves over the years. If any, the only ever time we may get any kind of a feedback of this nature is during the annual appraisals.

 

Today, organizations use several methods of providing feedback. One of the methods organizations are using to help us correct our often incomplete perceptions of ourselves and how others see us is the multi- rater feedback, sometimes also known as the 360 degree feedback.

 

Before we go into the process and mechanics of the multi-rater system it may be just of interest to see the origins of the whole process.  The origins of multi-rater feedback or 360 degree feedback can be traced back, like most management practices, to military and wars. The US army was the first to introduce multi- rater feedback during World-War I while the Germans are credited for 360 degree feedback as they added subordinates to the feedback circle during the World War II. The first known adoption in a business organization was in the Esso Research and Engineering Company in 1950s.

 

Multi-rater feedback systems are considered more objective because they capture the perspective from several different stakeholders therefore reducing the impact of perception bias. The multi-rater feedback can be used for meeting any of the following objectives –

a.   Leadership potential identification and development

b.   Performance reviews and appraisals

c.   Career Development and Succession Planning

d.   Drawing up Competency Development Plans for employees e.   Team Building and Culture Development

 

September 19 2014

unitoltraining

 

         Using Movie Clippings in Training 

A picture speaks a thousand words, they say. For a trainer, a video may well speak a million.  But the trick to get to that ‘million’ is to have the right movie clipping.  With the wide spread access to internet and consequently, websites such as Youtube, most trainers now make a religious visit to this site before any program.  The point is to have the most appropriate video which can help you in achieving the program objectives.  But the question is how to choose an appropriate video clipping.  Following could be some heuristics in this process

1.       Identify the requirements:  Many times movie/video clippings are an afterthought in the program design and they appear as kind of an appendage, with some (or minimalistic) link to the theme under discussion.  They therefore add, most time, at best, a entertainment value.  However, if one is to gain maximum advantage, then the trainer identify that part of the program where a video would help participants the most, compared to other forms of pedagogy.  For example, to drive home a point of good presentation skills, an appropriate video may go a long way.

2.       Duration: Duration of the video is a important  to make sure that learning happens which is impactful.  Long videos tend to bore adult learners and could leave them disengaged.  While there are no definite rules, any clipping in excess of 20 min may have to be seriously looked into to ensure that the time is worth the point being driven home. 

3.       Language: While language is easy enough a parameter (no one goes on to play a Uzbek video in a Chinese language program), the question is often about pronunciation and accent of the speaker(s)/character(s) in video. Considering that the language has often many dialects and ascent it should be ensured that the clipping is easily understandable by the audience.  Many time, in parts of South East Asia, clippings from West (in English) are played. This should usually be avoided.  In the extreme event that it cannot, then there should either be either provision for sub-titles or atleast the trainer pausing the video to explain what transpired.  Context:

4.       Post Processing:  Video is a part of the pedagogy and therefore has content and elements which need to be explained and connected with the large topic/theme under discussion.  Many time, participants are shown clippings and then post that just asked to move on, as if it was just a ‘side show’.  While one may derive some mileage from an entertainment perspective, serious learners may not take this well, and so do organizations.

5.       Movie versus Training Clippings:  Movie clippings are another powerful way of driving home a point, since most people relate with movie and movie characters.  But, again thorough research has to be done before deciding on playing appropriate movie clipping.  

Remember that video clippings is a powerful tool in training should be used discriminatingly to ensure better learning for participants.    

 

September 18 2014

unitoltraining

On Grooming the Trainer

 

Training and development of the employees form the core part of the organizations today. Each and every organization would like to develop their workforce skills and competencies to achieve high end results in the form of training programs conducted by the trainer. The role of trainers is to fill the competency gap or build up the skills to make the trainees more efficient in their job. But the question is how many of the trainers regularly train themselves to become most efficient and engaging trainers. It is essential for the trainers to have expertise in both the subject and in conducting the session. It is widely recognized now that it not enough that trainers have subject knowledge, but must have a variety of competencies to be a successful trainer. These competencies can be grouped under two major sets: Personal and Technical.

 

Personal Competencies:

This set consists of skills like Communication, Presentation, Facilitation, Motivation, Interpersonal and Coaching.  Ability to manage client relationships in negotiating a training program, managing group dynamics, sensitivity to handle equality and diversity issues in the class and overall emotional intelligence are competencies which the trainer needs to possess to manage the training function.

 

Technical Competencies:

This set of competencies relate to the knowledge and skills related to understanding and application of adult learning principles, identification of training needs, design and development of a training program, use of appropriate training methodology and ability to choose the right kind of training evaluation for a given program.

In the part-2 of this article we will discuss further on the train the trainer workshops which help in the development of the trainers

 

 

September 17 2014

unitoltraining
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Content – the soul of a Training Program

 

Training and development domain has undergone tremendous development over time in terms of delivery of training, technology being used etc. However, it is undisputable that the corner stone for any successful training program still is its content. To develop meaningful content for any training program a trainer must keep a few essential points in mind. A trainer must include -

o   Practical information/knowledge that is usable for participants at work. Too much theory leads to a disconnect as the content seems unusable and hence irrelevant

o   Business priorities related content- For example if an organization is seeking to enhance sales at lower costs, sales training must include the concept of ROI

o   Case studies and real life examples suitable for the program to increase content relevance and prepare participants on how to use concept discussed

o   Planned material that to take away- This means that the participants have a reference point and can refresh their concepts as and when needed. This material should be designed and structured so that the participants can use it on their own long after the program is over. It should cover all the key concepts of the program with examples

o   Tests and assessments- During the program, the test must be planned and designed to capture their understanding of key concepts. Comprehensive and well-timed tests are tools that help a trainer tailor approach and content during the program. It is also useful to include some basic tests the participants can use afterwards to track their content retention and their development at work

o   Well thought of and clearly defined activities and games to keep them energized and engaged

o   Relevant trends & technologies-This keeps the participants up to date on what is happening and shows them how they can make it happen

 

                  

     Regards,

     Content and Research Team

     SimplifyMyTraining.com

 

 

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September 16 2014

unitoltraining
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  Games that Trainers Play  

Training sessions today have become more customized to the need of the participants. Gone were the days when the trainer used to solely depend on the lecture method to carry on the sessions. Today a trainer has to combine a number of instruments to pull the participants to the training program and sustain the motivation till the end of the program. Participants too look forward to an innovative and interactive session rather than a monotonous lecture. Games are one such instrument being increasingly used today.

Games encourage interaction between the trainer and participants and also among participants. Starting the session with a simple game as an icebreaker would place the participants at ease and comfort.

 Secondly, a trainer can introduce games to illustrate behavioral or complex concepts (which can be converted into game). Games can be used to demonstrate existing behavioral tendencies (in relation to communication, team dynamics, leadership etc.) and to inculcate or develop new skills (analytical thinking, negotiation etc.).

Thirdly, games can come handy when the session or the program is for a longer duration. The attention levels drop down over a stretch of time. Introducing games in between would bring movement and activity and thus reset their energy and enthusiasm levels.

Finally, games can be used to implement newly learned concepts .This would help the participants in retaining the subject for a long time and practically understand the process and apply them in the work place.

A good amount of different kinds of games pertaining to different themes are now available to trainers on the internet. Games truly make the session lively and interactive promoting a good adult learning environment. So, the next time you plan a training program or a session spice it up with a game or two!

 

Regards,

Content and Research Team

SimplifyMyTraining.com

 

Please connect us at: http://www.linkedin.com/in/simplifymytraining

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mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;} </style> <![endif]-->

September 15 2014

unitoltraining

 

PARTICIPANT CONNECT PART -2

Trainers put in a lot of effort before the program commences, designing the program and arranging for success. But no effort is made to ensure continued learning or application of concepts. An ideal application should provide a common ground where the trainer can share the objective of the program with its agenda. Doing that would help the participants understand what they can expect from the program and what is expected from them. Giving assignments would set the tone for the program and the preparation work will help the participants and trainer establish some common ground before they meet, increasing participant engagement.

A trainer should be able to send tests, quizzes and conduct 360 degree/multi-rater surveys online that his participants can answer from their respective locations. An analysis of the test and the scores must be provided to the trainer so that he/she can customize their program accordingly.

After the program is over, a trainer must be able to conduct a post-program test to assess the extent of learning by the participants. Similarly conducting a follow-up 360 degree/multi-rater survey is also important to gauge the change in behavior. While these steps form crucial steps in program evaluation, they are important for more than just that. The results of the tests and behavioral evaluation tell the trainer how to chart the post-program development plan for each individual participant. Therefore an application that facilitates such aggressive data collection and analysis is important for trainers.

Participants should be able to record and maintain notes relating to the training program. The trainer can share relevant material including books, articles and videos with the participants before and after the program.

When we listen to a concept in the training program it seems simple enough. Often when we apply these concepts we discover the intricacies and difficulties. This is compounded by the fact that the application happens in the real life work-environment where ‘appraisals’ and ‘dead-lines’ put pressure. Participants thus hesitate before trying something new. Having a trainer who can help in the smooth transition from concepts to application in non-threatening environment to change in work behavior is a must. A simple yet effective means of doing this is ‘Projects’. An application must enable the trainer and the participant to create, monitor and discuss the progress on a project and the learning from it.

To facilitate this smoothly, the trainer must have the provision to plan and record items related to the program starting from inauguration details, program and participant details, formal mails to the chief guest etc. At the same time the trainer must be able to view in one brief snapshot the gist of all the data he needs to collect (for tests and surveys), the progress and the results.

 

Today a trainer can reach beyond training programs and facilitate learning.

 

Regards,

Content and Research Team

SimplifyMyTraining.com

 

September 12 2014

unitoltraining
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PARTICIPANT CONNECT PART -1

 

Trainers and Participants have always been introduced at their first meeting – the beginning of the training program.  Participant introduction is in fact one of the most common ice-breaker used till date.However, with the importance of participant engagement in a program growing, trainers have started reaching out to participants before hand – through brochures and welcome letters. The next logical step in this direction is , of course, to reach out to participants well in advance, understand their needs, strengths and areas of development and matching those in a program to  make it more meaningful and useful for the participants. So for a participant to feel truly engaged, he must be aware of why he is going to the program-its objective, what he will gain from it – design and agenda and ultimately how he is going to use it –support in application.

For a training program to succeed one key ingredient that is often overlooked; the trainer-participant relation or connect. It begins pre-program for motivation and extends to post-program for development. This area is the focus point for our write up.

For short duration programs, there is not enough time to set the motivation levels. Trainers cannot always fit in all the activities and assignments needed into the ‘contact’ durationand trainers have to adjust on the discussion time frames to cover all topics in the agenda.In the longer duration programs, there is a risk of participants coming in a ‘holiday mood’ and it takes a long time to build up seriousness. There is also always a lingering question on how much the participants will remember at the end of the program. So, irrespective of the duration of the program sharing the program objectives and the design before-hand sets the expectations and motivates the learners early. After the program, the trainer may want to share assignments or projects to help in smooth application of concepts and the participants may have some points that still need clarifications, this means that the trainer is needed even after the program ends.

So what really are the issues that a trainer faces when he tries to do this? The participants and the trainer are in different locations, how to do you initiate and maintain communication channels? How to do you gather, record, track and analyze data being received. Trainers are hard pressed for time today, and when forced to choose, they would have to give importance to the training sessions. Having an application that supports you with these steps frees up your time and gives you the opportunity to focus on your sessions without having to compromise on the participant connect.

 

CONTINUED in Participant Connect part -2

 

Regards,

Content and Research Team

SimplifyMyTraining.com

 

 

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September 05 2014

unitoltraining
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Enhance Participation after the Training Program

Training programs are conducted to enhance knowledge and skills for improving efficiency of the Participants. But, do Participants take back everything they have learnt to the work place? Most surveys have revealed that Participants use only 20% of what they acquired in the session. When we invest so much of time and money in the training programs, we must make sure that there is 100% output from it. As we have mentioned in our previous article-“Build participation before the Training program” trainers are now connecting with the Participants through internet (emails, e-learning, blended learning and LMS).

We, shall now look into the post program activities which would maximize the output-

Evaluation:

Conducting tests or doing a multi-rater survey would help in assessing the change in behaviour and extent of learning by the Participants. Evaluation results would help in preparing the development road map for the Participants.

Sharing relevant Material:

The Trainer can share materials in the form of books and articles for further reading on the concepts. This would help in rewinding the concepts and also at the same time share greater details on the subject.

Assigning a Course, a Project or an Assignment:

Participants would get more clarity on the concepts when they do assignments or a project or a course assigned by the trainer. When these are given in groups, it encourages discussions and exchange of ideas among group members, there by further enhancing their knowledge.

Trainer Acting as a Coach:

Participants face difficulties when they try to apply theoretical concepts from training sessions to everyday work place behaviour. For this a trainer can act as a coach during the transition period (transfer of learning into performance).

In conclusion when we “Build participation before the Training Program” and “Enhance Participation after the Training Program” we generate Motivation (pre program connect with participants) and drive Development (post program connect).

 

September 04 2014

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September 03 2014

unitoltraining
Part-1: Every Trainers’ Nightmare---the difficult participant.

Every trainer would have certainly encountered participants who are difficult to manage at some point or the other. There will be those special participants who will be remembered for these strange encounters. These encounters create not only an uncomfortable atmosphere in the class, but remain in our memory for a long time to come.
 Participants in a training session come in all shapes, sizes and in all hues. There are the smart ones who are eager to learn and contribute, there are the shy, submissive ones, there are a majority of them who are attentive and want to get benefitted by the program inputs. While these do not pose a problem, there are the difficult ones who generally hijack the session and feel triumphant with their expedition. This variety of participants is a trainers’ nightmare! Let’s see how these participants operate.
The Perpetual Late-Comer:
This person feels all too important to abide by any rule and shows all disdain for time .For him only his time is important. He makes a grand entry well after the class has started and does not unobtrusively slip into his seat, but hugely apologizes making his presence and late-coming very known, leaving the trainer and others helpless.
The Constant Questioner:
He is the all-knowing, all- knowledgeable person and forever ready with a set of questions to the trainer, to the participants and sometimes to nobody at all. He comes with tricky questions, complex questions, questions which are long-winded, questions which he also does not understand and questions which are not related to the issue under discussion. For him the pleasure lies more in formulating questions and throwing them at the trainer and whoever and watch with delight the consequences. The more discomfort the trainer feels, the more energized is this person and is spurred into action and is hugely acknowledged as “the most questioning and questionable character” by the hapless victims in the class.
The indifferent /submissive participant
Some participants seem to want to disappear into the background. Quiet, silent and invisible seems to be their motto. They go  through the proceedings mechanically; do not seem to know why they are there and if the trainer or participants try to interact with them they almost recoil, reply minimally and are happy to get back into their shell once again.

The Dominating/Aggressive Participant/The Joker

These are people who are loud and brash. They frequently interrupt the session, coming up with their points of view, disagreeing either with the trainer or fellow participants. They always have a contrarian view and try to push the point. They bring in personal experiences needlessly and are unmindful of the fact that they are not being listened to or that the whole class is getting disturbed. And there is one who finds humor in everything that is said or happening around him and is constantly “word smiting” and literally “cracking” not so great jokes

September 01 2014

unitoltraining

Anatomy of a Case Study
Case studies are used as a tool to facilitate learning on the part of the participants by the trainer in the session. Case studies portray real life situations involving decision making by participants on either a set of questions or through an open-ended discussion in the classroom. 
Usually case studies are presented in a session by dividing the Participants into groups. This enables the Participants to have a thorough analysis and understanding of the case.
Advantages
The most important advantage of using a case study is that it simplifies complex concepts.
Case studies expose the participants to real life situations which otherwise is difficult.
It truly helps in adding value to the Participants through discussion on concrete subjects.
It improves -analytical thinking, communication, developing tolerance for different views on the same subject, ability to defend one’s own point of view with logic and enhances team work of the participants making them efficient over time.
The many solutions which come out of the case act as ready reference when participants face similar problems at work place.
Disadvantages
It might be difficult to find an appropriate case study to suit to all subjects.
Case studies contain the study of observations and perception of one person. There are chances that the person presenting the case study may completely present it in one manner missing other aspects completely.
Managing time is a criterion in a training program. Case studies generally consume more time when compared to other instruments. For shorter duration programs case studies may not be the best medium.
Since there is no one right answer, the problem arises in validation of the solutions because there are more than one way to look at things.
 Its best suited to advanced training programs when compared to basic level training programs and a certain level of maturity of participants is required as they have to participate in the case discussion.
The advantages far outweigh the disadvantages as the case study approach provides for experiential learning and is a great tool in stimulating learning in training programs.

August 28 2014

unitoltraining
Holding the attention of the Online Learners!
Holding the attention of participants has historically been a challenge thattrainers have faced and this has carried forward into the online era as well. Thereare, however, a few steps that when taken can ensure that participants actually participate.
The first of course is common for both online and offline programs – beginning with ensuring that the right participants are attending the right program
Specifically for the online programs, there are a few advantages technology offers that we can leverage -
Conducting a Pretest and directing the participant to only those areas where there is a significant gap
Having tests or cases interspersed in the program so that participants can assess for themselves on how much they have learnt, and revisit or revise as needed. Summative evaluation gives participants immediate feedback
Have the assessment tests reflected in performance reports, this way participants know the significance of what they are learning
Especially for the more complex programs, ensure that the participants get recognized for their performance
Easy access to a mentor or a coach from the program. This means that the more specific individual questions are answered and participants feel more confident
Blended learning is a concept fast catching up. So add Post program projects to ensure continuity via experiential learning
In today’s age a ‘semi-formal’ approach connects faster with participants. Keep your language and flow simple and flexible
Of course one of the most important factors often forgotten is, keeping the technology simple. People who feel uncomfortable with the platform are not likely to participate
The main point of having online programs is to leverage its many advantages. Design a well thought out and carefully structured platform that not only facilitates your training programs but also helps you connect with your participants. Knowledge is available everywhere today, the focus has to be on Learning FOR Development. Connect with your participants before the program to know them better and maintain the connect post program to enhance learning and boost performances!

July 30 2014

unitoltraining
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