Common Training Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
Is the training you provide your staff not achieving the results you desire? Or, are your audience struggling to retain the knowledge you’re teaching?
This article covers a few common training mistakes that could be affecting your training and, will guide you to create more effective training for your staff. Read on to learn about the most common training mistakes and how to avoid making them.
1. Not setting clear goals
One of the most common issues experienced in training is the lack of clear goals set out in the early planning phase. Without an organised plan and clear learning objectives, training can become complicated and the audience can end up more confused than they were before. Think about it, if the reasons for training your staff are not clear to you as a trainer, then they are not going to be clear to the learners.
You should begin by identifying clear outcomes for your training, ensuring learners know what is expected of them. Having streamlined and relevant training is more valuable and memorable to learners than overwhelming them with too much information. Which, brings us on to the next common mistake.
2. Overcomplicated content
You want your audience to leave your training session with as much valuable information that you can offer them. However, oversaturating your content will end up damaging their learning experience. Overcomplicated and text-heavy content does not make for effective learning and can be unstimulating for the learner. People learn in different ways and not everyone can retain large amounts of text-based content. Remember, training is about the learner, not just the content!
Instead, try to keep only the essential information, make use of visual elements, audio and other forms of media to help your learners connect with the content and remain engaged. Clarity and simplicity are essential components of effective training. If the content you are teaching has lots of ‘semi-relevant’ information that could be beneficial to the learner, then allow them to access resources for additional reading. If they are passionate about the subject, they can learn more in their own time. But, keep the content of the training relevant to the learning objectives.
3. Understanding the skill level of your audience
People learn best when they are challenged. If your training programme is suitably challenged to your students, then they will be more engaged with the content. However, if the course is too difficult for their skill level, they could easily become frustrated and feel alienated from the content. This could then affect the learner’s confidence in their ability to use the content in practice.
We are often told to “design for everyone” but when it comes to training this isn’t always a good idea. Take skiing for example. When you take ski lessons, the instructors identify your skill level and place you in a group that will cater to that level. There is no point sending a beginner down a black slope on their first day, all this will do is shake their confidence and result in them losing interest in the sport (as well as possibly gaining a few injuries). Equally, it is pointless taking an advanced skier down a baby slope, this will be boring for them as they are not being challenged or testing their skill.
It’s important for training designers to understand their audience and create training that focuses on their skill level. Create content that is filled with interactions to test the learner’s limits but don’t overwhelm them.
4. Lack of encouragement, feedback and reinforcement
Keeping learners motivated is an essential part of training design. Students who are motivated to achieve the best results, will invest more of their time and focus to reaching their goals. To better encourage students, it is important to provide valuable feedback that highlights their successes and identifies areas for improvement. With a little positive reinforcement and constructive criticism, training can be more effective and allow learners to connect with the materials.
One of the key objectives of training design is to build the confidence of the learner, so that they are comfortable taking what they have learnt into practice after training. By reinforcing new knowledge and giving learners time to practice using this information in real-world scenarios, you will boost their confidence in their ability to use what they have learnt in real-life.
Use this article to help you avoid some of these crucial mistakes in your training and create a greater learning experience for your students.
If you still need assistance in making the most of your training, you can visit the main page of our website and view our range of services. From training consultancy to bespoke training design, we will provide you with all the help you need to perfect your training.