Training can be used to educate, motivate, and cultivate the work force, partner organizations, and customers. When administered effectively, training is an interactive conduit for delivering measurable benefit to the participants. Whether you are a trainer, a manager responsible for selecting or delivering training, or if you are interested in enhancing the experience of your customers and partners by making training available, consider these seven simple tips for effective training.

Integrate the Training into the Business

Integrate the training into the business and the business into the training. When possible, customize training courses by using examples and exercises that are based on the business activities of the attendees. Use real examples for role playing, and apply the course material to the environment and issues that pertain to the participants. The course should include materials and useful tools that can be applied to the participant business after the training is complete for ongoing insight, measure, and benefit.

Develop Training for New and Veteran Employees

Veteran employees want training that encompasses real issues, obstacles, and opportunities that are relevant to the business. Experienced participants want to skip the basics and be challenged by innovative ideas, insight, or processes. On the other hand, new employees may need to learn some basics and be introduced to the experience of the veteran employees. To maximum the impact of the training, develop two parallel courses. One course is catered to experienced participants with highly focused and integrated material. The second course may be a little more extensive and designed as a resource to guide new associates to the same level of understanding as the veterans. Plan the course for new employees to accommodate the rate of new hires, and adjust it periodically to include the latest training material developed for seasoned professionals.

Technical Training

Technical Training refers to technique as well technician style training. When it comes to technical training, the trainer should have some personal experience in the same field or arena as the participants. For example, a design engineer will not understand or relate to the issues experienced by field service technicians. When it comes to technique, a trainer can not empathize with the issues of customer service, sales, or operations unless the trainer has experienced the same emotions, challenges, frustrations, and achievements as the participants. Maximum training is about connection with people, between trainer and participants, as much as it is about education. It is the connection and communication that enable the education to have lasting benefit.

Hands On Training

Interaction and participation increases effectiveness and long lasting comprehension. Whenever possible, strive for a workshop, seminar, or training event that is conducive to a hands-on experience. For technician training, this may include the use of specific tools of the trade. For technique training, this may include role playing exercises, questions and answers, or interactive activities. If the venue can accommodate movement, encourage some type of physical engagement or activity. If the venue limits participant movement, as with a large lecture hall, infuse the training with workbooks or questionnaires that enable the attendees to participate and personalize the experience. This creates motor memory and a personalized experience that the participant can take away from the training for future reference.

Measure the Impact of the Training

Survey, test, or debrief participants when the training is complete. Was the training informative, educational, compelling, and relevant? Monitor metrics associated with the training to measure immediate impact and the lasting effect of the course. Some types of functional training have an immediate impact, while other types of training require weeks or months to work through a full cycle for results. Training courses designed to infuse motivation may lose the inspirational impact over time or employee rotation. It is important to measure the amount of time to experience benefit, and time to erosion of benefit, as well as the amount of benefit. Understanding the cycles and schedule of training can enable you to determine the appropriate frequency and schedule for maximum impact.

Of Course, After the Course

Training materials should be designed to include tools and reference material that can be used after the course is complete. This helps to integrate the training into the business. It helps to manifest a long lasting residual benefit from the course material, and it enables the participants to experienced continued improvement over time. When appropriate, conduct a group meeting after the training to review and discuss what was learned. Identify opportunities to immediately implement tools or techniques learned in the training course to experience maximum benefit. Schedule monthly or quarterly follow-up between the trainer and the participants to measure impact and address any questions.

Training Budget

Treat training as a required investment for maintenance of the work force. Technology, competition, tools, and the environment in which your organization flourishes is constantly changing. Your organization may bring on new employees who could benefit from training. Your competition is bringing on new employees who have new experience and education, so it is important to empower the seasoned professionals with the same tools and insight that have been hired by your competition. The investment in Human Capital Development is even more important than upgrading machinery, tools, or technology. Set aside a budget, a schedule, and a plan to continually refresh the minds and motivation of an inspired work force.

Set aside a budget for training partner organizations and customers. Are your partners aware of your capabilities, your advancements, and your value? Are your customers fully aware of the value of your product or services? Are your customers aware of your commitment to them? Training is a powerful tool to stay connected with your customers, maintain a relationship, and empower your customers to experience greater satisfaction. Treat your business partners like your customers and invest in improving their knowledge and ability to succeed as well. This not only builds loyalty by empowering the ability to sustain satisfaction, but it is also an opportunity to gather valuable feedback from customers and partners for market research. This is an investment in your future.


Words of Wisdom

"Success in business requires training and discipline and hard work. But if you're not frightened by these things, the opportunities are just as great today as they ever were."
- David Rockefeller

"Greatness is more than potential. It is the execution of that potential. Beyond the raw talent. You need the appropriate training. You need the discipline. You need the inspiration. You need the drive."
- Eric A Burns

"On the mountains of truth you can never climb in vain: either you will reach a point higher up today, or you will be training your powers so that you will be able to climb higher tomorrow."
- Friedrich Nietzsche


Author's Bio: 

John Mehrmann is a freelance writer and President of Executive Blueprints Inc., an organization devoted to improving business practices and developing human capital. provides resource materials for trainers, sample Case Studies, educational articles and references to local affiliates for consulting and executive coaching. provides self-paced tutorials for personal development and tools for trainers. Presentation materials, reference guides and exercises are available for continuous development.