Every once in a while, companies hold training sessions for their employees. Some of these may be for building up skills, while some are more for team-building purposes. Whatever it is, having a successful training seminar is crucial as it ensures that you don’t waste your employees’ time, as well as your own time – which could have been used to increase productivity at work.
The question is this: What makes a good training seminar? Having a conducive seminar room rental is one thing, as is having an effective speaker or facilitator for the session. But how the training session is conducted also has bearings on how your employees will learn and gain from the event.
Below, we round up the key characteristics of successful training seminars, so that companies may learn how to create programs that maximise the learning potential and growth of their employees, as well as of the organisation as a whole.
1. Pitch the training at the right level
For participants to learn effectively, the training programme needs to be pitched at a level that is suitable for them. This means not being too easy, and giving them sufficient challenge so that your employees can gain something useful from the session.
It might be hard to gauge the right level in a company with people of various skills levels. However, you can do your best by giving out a survey beforehand to get an idea of your workers’ competencies or concerns regarding the focus topic of your training seminar.
2. Set goals for your training seminar
Training seminars shouldn’t be there just to fill up the company calendar. It should have clear set goals to address issues or problems that your employees face in their jobs. For example, it could be something very general like time-management – this is applicable to anyone in a fast-paced work setting. Or, it could be very specific to your industry, like to provide key updates on how to use a particular technology.
When you set such goals for your training seminar, your employees will feel more motivated to attend and be attentive, as they see the relevance of the training programme. You also want your employees to walk out of the seminar as workers who can contribute more to the productivity of the company.
3. Involve the participants
Research shows that people learn best when they are fully involved – in discussion, application, and so on. Rather than having a speaker come in to speak, and have your participants just listen passively, you should arrange for opportunities for your employees to interact and put their learning into action.
You can have them carry out debates on the issue, take part in hands-on experience with the new technology, or complete a mini project in small groups. The nature of the activities will depend on the type of training session.
4. Evaluate the session
Gaining feedback from the participants is not only useful for the facilitator, but also useful for your company. This way, you know whether the session has been useful for them. You can also conduct a short reflection session where you have the participants write down a couple of things they’ve learnt that they can apply to their job.
The last thing you want happening is for your employees to go back to work the next week and forget all about what they’ve heard and done at the training seminar. Thus, a debrief session is helpful to reinforce their learning and encourage them to put things into practice back at work.
Successful training programs and seminars sure do sound like a lot work, and the truth is, they are. Not only do you have to handle the logistics like securing a training room rental, but you also have to manage the quality of the training session they undergo. Don’t let that dissuade you, however. Training seminars are worth the investment for companies, both in the short term and in the long term. So, put these tips into good use when planning your next training session!