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Guest Blog: Organize Your Large Employee Training

Organize Your Large Employee Training

By Katheryn Hoban

Training a large group of employees takes planning, coordination and focus. There are several training principles to consider. The first is your deadline. In what time frame do you have to have your employees trained? Second are you working on a roll out of product, or are you under the time constraints of an upcoming major event? Third what employees should be on your priority training list? These employees would include supervisors who will assist in overseeing and implementation, leads that may be assigned to working or driving heavy machinery equipment such as fork lifts, aerial lifts, trailers, dozers, loaders, and or computer operated diagnostic equipment, and key admin and training personal that are responsible for reporting statistical information, and providing administrative and training assistance and troubleshooting while the training is underway.

A scope of the time frame that is needed should be evaluated. A trainer can begin to assess this time frame by determining how the bulk of your training needs shall be completed. For an example, how much training will be completed through computer based learning, online, or remotely? Is training set up that employees can access this from company computers or online at home? Are trainer led in-person seminars part or all of the training? I personally believe that training should have a mixture of leaders conducting in person seminar training, and computer based learning. Conducting seminars gives the trainer real time information of how employees learn and how he or she will conduct him or herself, and the interpersonal communications skills and whether the employee is a skater or a “BS Artist.” Those assessments are not going to come from computer based learning. Another reason is the trainer is a great example of a driven, personable company leader.

Knowing how the bulk of your training will be accomplished, you will now be able to determine how much time is needed to complete the training workload. To take a look at your timeframe for computer based learning. Ask yourself how much time does each computer learning module take to complete? How many modules does the employee need to complete to be competent in his job knowledge? Let’s say for an example that the average time is two learning modules in an hour, and each employee has approximately thirty computer based learning modules until job competency.

If you have 700 employees that have to go through computer based learning and they each have thirty modules to go through that is 21,000 modules that must be completed by your employees. In this example on average they can accomplish two in an hour. For each associate or employee you will need fifteen hours minimum. If they do two hours of learning per day, they will complete four learning modules daily. Each will need seven and half days of learning. You also have to determine how many computers will be used for the training. If you have six computers, as opposed to thirty computers. Your training timeframe will be vastly different. Let’s state for this exercise there are six computers that will be used over a five day work day. Each hour twelve modules of learning are completed by your employees. Ninety six are completed daily. You would need 218 days to complete the training of 700 employees. If you had twelve training computers, that would be twenty four complete per hour. Daily you would have 192 completed. You would cut your training to 110 days.

If you add to that an in person orientation of one hour, and the class room size accommodates fifteen. In a seven hour day (one hour for lunch) 105 employees have completed orientation. You will need six and half days to complete the orientations of 700 employees. In the first assessment you have 218 days of computer based learning and 6. 5 days of orientations. That would be 225 days of training to complete your training workload of 700 employees. If you had twelve computers you would have 110 days plus 6. 5 days of orientation. The total days of 117 days. To be on the safe side you should add another fifteen days at least to the total training estimation, in case something major occurs. Probably more like twenty five.

If training is for an up-coming event, the above training estimation is the length of time that you need before the event to get everyone trained and up to speed. Of course the employees may finish their computer based learning much faster, in which case you adjust your estimation.

Another important factor to organize and manage your training load is whether or not your facility has regular business hours, extended hours or even twenty four hours. If you are going to oversee the training during regular business hours, who is going to oversee the training for the mid shift, late shift or overnight shifts? Another question that you need to answer; is all the training going to be done at your local facility or do you have to send employees out for training at other facilities? Do you need to accommodate out of state travel expenses? And specific dates of training?

Once you have clear picture of what your training will encompass you are ready to build the proper training and administrative staffing teams. If you don’t have these trainers and admins on your staff right now, you have to train a few good implementers and coordinators, or hire them quickly. You need to have a great team working with you and you need to delegate. Let them do their job, and you coordinate all the elements of the training, and each shifts documentation of the training.

All the records should go into a central location. If you are overseeing the training documents, you should have quick access, to records, forms, letters, and more should all be in their training folders. (Probably in personnel) If the training department is separate, all the records should be electronically filed if possible.

Begin by writing out your lists. 1. Start with your support staff list first, 2. Then your priority list (of supervisors, implementers, and equipment operators etc.), 3. Travel list and employees that must be in these trainings (which dates are coming up.) 4. Training topics that have to be covered for a successful event. 5. This is only if you don’t have in-house trainers. You may have to out-source your training needs to a training company. Make a list of local Trainers and Training companies that can facilitate training in your location.

Remember these trainers get booked up very quickly, so call with as much notice to the start of your event as you can. 6. Make a list of manuals, documentations, and knowledge keys that your employees need. 7. Make a list of Training computers that you have, and the ones that are not working properly, and if you have to buy new ones or add temporary computers from another department. Make sure that all training software is loaded and tested before your training starts. Nothing stalls your training faster than having faulty computers.

As training gets underway, have weekly staff meetings to connect all the dots and to review key situations, needs, new data, and listen to feedback to change, delete, add, or hone courses, make assessment of data statistics. Finally to praise and encourage your team. Evaluate milestones, and extend excellent praise for their help and efficiency of meeting training milestones, especially with big projects, roll-outs and events. Explain what is coming up next to ensure there are no surprises and everyone is on the same page.

Every one of your training staff should be trained in exactly the same manner. Each of your team, should be able to jump in at any moment on any part of the project. You do yourself a disservice by segregating your staff, to one assigned task or another. If you have an absence and you are missing a key player, another should be able to conduct the day’s task without any interruption. Before you begin the training, the more organized you and your team are, the more that you can delegate as needed, and make smooth transitions.

Organize your large employee training in your head first, from start to finish, then break down the implementation steps and take action. Keep a notebook of your successes, and critical data highlights. If a supervisor approaches you unexpectedly you have the key highlights and successes to create talking points in a confident and professional manner. Of course this information will be documented through e-mails, and reports, but supervisors have hundreds of texts, and e-mails per hour to plough through. They need information when they want it, and not when you can send out an update. If you have to present an oral report on your feet, no reason you why you can’t do a great job. Last point, the phases of training are finite. You will complete the training, your employees will all be trained, everything will get on track, and you and your teams will get back to every day functions again. Until the next big thing comes along and you have to train employee, on new technology once again. By the time that you reach the second and third training, you will have everything worked out. You will be an expert on employee training and implementation. You’ll get there. 201-970-9340. Katheryn Hoban has done training, and worked as a training coordinator. She has been an account manager for financial services.

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