Another email about an upcoming training session, with “Must-Attend” and “Register Here,” notes at the end. Many might think “Oh great, another day of work to be caught up on because of a training session…”, and wonder, what the value of going might be. You need to earn and deserve the training participants’ gratitude, and give everyone the best training session possible. Here’s how to have a valuable training session, and therefore, happier participants!
All teams should be rewarded with a training experience, which teaches them something and offers the tools to better perform at work. The general advice often starts with the following statement: “Find out the ‘needs’ and ‘wants’ of the team”. It’s simple, but true. Just because you organised a training the previous year, doesn’t mean you should repeat exactly the same program. Everyone changes and so does your company – the needs might be completely different this year. Furthermore, just because a competitor is training their employees on a specific area, doesn’t mean you should be doing it too. Training session has to be valuable to participants in order to bear fruit.
How Can You Turn a Dull Experience into a Valuable Training Session?
1. Training is Valuable when It Fulfils a Gap
Do you create training sessions just to kill time? Hopefully not. You need to know what the training goal is on a group level but also individually for the participants.
You have probably noticed there is a learning gap in your organization, and therefore, you are organising a training. Alternatively, you might start with sending a questionnaire to employees to really find out and gather information on what kind of training employees want, and whether there is a need for a specific training.
Just make sure you don’t repeat something everyone already knows – keep challenging them and make them give their everything. That is a simple rule to have a valuable training.
2. Start the Training with a Surprise
Start with something that blows the participants’ minds away. Instead of getting people to sit down comfortably in their seats, take them by surprise. For example, why not start with a Tai Chi session, as recently done at HUONE Singapore? The start of a training should make the attendees more alert and more willing to participate, breaking some of the initial stiffness. You could also try to start your meeting with some mindfulness exercises, or create a fun start with icebreakers. Your training is more valuable when the participants are fully engaged!
3. Trainings Don’t Have to Be Boring: Play Games!
Pair up the participants or divide them into groups, get them to interact, but gently – no need to be pushy! If the space is restricted to get the whole group moving around, come up with some games that you can do just by sitting. Interactive participants are more likely to feel like the get more out of the training session, hence playing games can make your training more valuable 😉 Read how to get people fired up in a meeting.
4. Valuable Training Creates Space for Good Dialogues
In the beginning of each training topic, take a minute to introduce the subject and also ask your participants, what their expectations are. What does this topic make you think? How do you feel about it? What do you expect to learn, or to see?
Make an opportunity for the participants to freely express their opinions, to comment, ask questions and to discuss. When participants are engaged, they get more value out of your session. Don’t skip the discussion, even if they are slightly sidetracking from the main subject, and learn to embrace different opinions. It may be important for the team! You can check if everyone is onboard from time to time, by throwing a ball to the audience, figuratively or by actually throwing a ball!
Always make sure your training session is not a lecture. Have you tried out breakout sessions? They are a great tool for the audience to be interactive and digest their learnings in smaller groups. After each session, take a minute to summarise and to wrap up, and have a round where participants contribute and share their insights.
5. Repetition is Key to Success: a Valuable Training is Memorable
Tell a story, show a video, or complement your presentation with a twist. Some trainers use just one slide for the whole presentation: a powerful image that sums up the whole training. Remember, sometimes, less is more, and that is something participants will actually remember!
At the end of the training, give out handouts, share useful links for deep diving individually, and tell about further learning opportunities. Repetition is the key to success, therefore you need to create follow up exercises that come post-training, that participants can complete by themselves. A training day or a week is likely to go to waste if you don’t have regular reminders on learning outcomes afterwards! When you share real tools for success to participants, they get more value out of the training.
6. Fun Is Over – Ask for Feedback to Create a Valuable Training Session in the Future
In the end, ask participants what they have learned from the training session, and also what can be improved for future trainings. Never ever leave the room without a feedback session. It is important for both the trainer and the participants. Remind everyone, also yourself, what the training goals were, and ask everyone to reflect, if the goals have been reached. The feedback will guide you on the success of your training and give you fresh ideas for the future! That’s also something to think about: can you somehow twist your training methods for the next rounds? It might be tiring for you to always run the same course, think outside-the-box and try out something new each time.
HUONE is committed to offering the perfect training package which brings the best value for our customers. We provide creative, but functional rooms with the right setting for your group size. HUONE in-house meeting professionals will assist you with your meeting agenda to make sure the goals of your training are met. It is important to work together with the event venue and the professionals to make sure you nail it next time around.