Admit it, we have all thought it! But how do you make sure training is relevant, ensuring participants are more interested in what you are saying then what’s on the lunch menu? It’s easy to become so caught up in what we want to say that we can forget that communication is a two way street. “Messages that fail to fascinate will become irrelevant” (Sally Hogshed) One of the biggest challenges in making training relevant is understanding participants’ motivation and what will capture their attention. When training is driven by the ‘need’ of the business, finding out the ‘need’ of the participant and aligning the two can be difficult. When your participants connect to the content, the facilitator and most importantly the overall experience, magic happens and real learning occurs.
But what if you haven’t even figured out how the training is relevant to the business need? It’s not uncommon for training programs to become training for training sake. Delivering training just to have a certain compliance tick or meet the latest business trend can result in wasted time and money, with no improvement to the business. Ever heard of the expression you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink? Well the same goes for learning. You can teach as much as you want but if the content is not relevant to the business or the participant then chances of real impact are limited.
So how do you make your training relevant and get better outcomes and returns?
- Consider relevancy before you even design your training. Not just the content but your delivery method. Ask yourself if training is even the right answer
- Ask your participants what they want. Get a sense of what motivates them to learn. The ideas you will get will help you put together a better training strategy
- Think about the workplace or situation that the training is being implemented in and make sure it is relevant to that context and not just the objectives you want to teach
- Get feedback on the relevancy from previous and current training programs. It might be time for a change
- Look at your training from the participant’s point of view. Ask the question if they participant, what is in it for them?