To wrap up this discussion, we will look at the dynamic of Step 1 of the Seven Steps. I am telling the trainee at the outset of training to read the procedure. Once the procedure is read, the trainee and I will meet and discuss the next steps.
The secret of Step 1 (I don’t tell the trainees this) is that this step benefits the trainer every bit as much as it benefits the trainee. The trainee is learning the basics (what components are called, how they work, what individual activities must be learned to master the task, etc.)…while the trainer is able to perform other tasks.
In most productive environments, the people who are best able to train are also those who best perform. If I can reduce the time the trainer spends training, the more value-adding I receive from his or her time. By having the trainee read the procedure (and having a procedure that is structured to aid learning), the trainee will come to the remaining steps much more prepared to learn. They will (should) know what components are called, what activities are performed at each stage of the task, and how to tell if the process is performing (or not performing). And–if the trainee is not reading the procedures as directed–I have a problem with an employee that training will not correct. Better to find that out early on than after a major mistake occurs.
So, for the trainer, time is saved by having the trainee read the procedure. The trainer will further save time because, for him or her, the procedure is an outline of the hands-on training that needs to be performed. The trainer can enter the training activity with all of the necessary information in-hand. No more will those “oops I forgot to tell you” moments occur!
The procedure, structured and used correctly, is vital to streamline and maximize the efficiency of the training process. Everyone knows what is expected and what success looks like.
The bottom line: recognize what procedures exist for, and set yourself up through procedure development to succeed in training!
This concludes this series of posts. I thank all of you for taking the time to read these. I am very gratified at the response (to the posts and to my offer of the procedure writing course). And, since my reads are now safely in double-digits each day, I would love to field comments, questions, and of course issues and problems related to instructional communication you would like to see addressed in these posts. Comment directly here, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tim James, Mr. Procedure