Understanding the difference between training and learning is absolutely critical to developing Performance-Support Learning Programs, according to Kathleen Peterson, Chief Vision Officer, Powerhouse Consulting.
Kathleen opened her session with a funny song about the solution to all call center woes is to add “more staffing on the line.” Of course, more staffing is not the answer. More educated staff is likely a better solution.
But be careful not to educate your people the wrong way. If you “train” them, you’re focusing on instruction that is basically trainer focused. A better way is to focus on “learning.” Training is education and instruction. Learning is the act of acquiring knowledge, and it’s focused on the learner.
Another way to put it: Training is an event…learning lasts forever.
Kathleen encourages us to adopt an “ask and tell” training philosophy. The trainer should always be the person asking the questions of the learner. It forces the learner into a situation where they recognize what the learning is doing for them…and how it will apply to their interactions with their customers.
In a performance-support model:
- Training represents knowledge, skills, and feelings needed to perform critical and complex tasks.
- Training is part of a much bigger picture.
- Training does not teach everything – it helps learners become independent, efficient workers.
- Transactions are taught around real-life job situations.
- The training teaches the tools that support learners on the job.
When people dread training, it’s usually partly because it’s not performance-based. Nobody likes to be told what to do. They’d much rather be taught how to do their job well.
Performance-support training all boils down to three simple questions
1. What do they need to know?
- Where to look for needed information
2. What do they need to do?
- What actions do they need to take to do their job?
An effective training program should always be guided by several elements:
- Customer experience
- Company mission
- Business Goals
- Brand Elements
- Values Proposition
Kathleen was passionate about following the proper methodology when designing a training program. The great thing about following proper methodology is that it can fit any program, course, or module and ensure the right kind of training every time. But the most important steps in the process are to always make sure you properly analyze needs and spend time designing training. If you don’t do these first two steps, the best delivery in the world won’t save your training program.Want to make sure your training is fully supported and absolutely effective? Kathleen suggests creating a multi-disciplinary design team with representatives from any area of your business that might be affected by the training or have important insight into what the program should look like.