The Changing Face of Training: Education through Application

Whether it is quality, safety, leadership, asset management, or reliability training the expectations are changing. The days of training for training sake are quickly passing us by. As companies focus more on getting results and a return on investment from their training classes the industry leaders are not just using traditional face to face lecture based classes. To super-charge their education efforts they are combining multiple medias and delivery methods as well as raising the expectations for each students. Below are three areas you might consider making a part of your training efforts.
1. Mix it up: Do not just lecture. Use video, student teach back, e-learning (example here)and simulations (example here) to keep boredom from rearing its ugly head. If they are bored then the material retention will be very low but if they are engaged or even better yet teaching the material then retention will be substantially higher and so will the return on training. I have always said you do not know the material until you have taught it in front of a group of your peers.
2. Expect application: As part of the class set the expectation that the student has to go back and apply the core concepts to their area or plant. For example if they learn about risk analysis then we would expect them to submit a risk analysis template fully populated for the area they are focusing on.
3. Provide coaching and mentoring: If you are going to have the students submit the application of the concept then devote the resources to be there as coaches.  These coaches provide the students with single point lessons, corrections, and good feedback from someone who has been there and done it before. 
With these three additions alone the return on your training dollar will be increased and you will be more able to make the changes you want within your organization. We have been able to document 10X returns by using this methodology within our education programs. I hope you can do the same. Feel free to reach out to me at if you would like to discuss it more.