Let’s Talk About…Improving Training Content & Delivery

Q: Our employees are unenthusiastic about the training we provide. Any suggestions?

How frustrating! Let’s look to some simple ideas from the world of Adult Learning Theory, to inspire both content and delivery for 2014:

Adults are internally motivated and favour self-direction, so aim to understand what they want to know, let their questions lead you, and let them determine what might be useful outcomes.

Adults like to bring their own experiences to learning engagements, so understand how the training topic relates to their past experience and use this.

Adults are goal- and relevance-oriented, and so are far more open to necessary information; they can see a management-imposed box-ticking exercise coming from miles away! Discuss things really happening within the business – that is, apply the training theme quickly to their real world.

Adults are practical, so involve them – perhaps through presentations or role-play.

Adult learners want respect, so acknowledge their experience, encourage inputs, and maintain the tone of a peer or partner. Don’t just instruct.

As priority, find out what is really needed. Yes, that means asking! If some employees no longer need (or tolerate) your standard training offerings, consider using personal coaching.  Factual, self-focussed (and, therefore, far more interesting!) discussion and planning will meaningfully engage employees, enhancing both individual and business performance.


This Q&A was first published in Irish Tatler magazine.

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