Today’s dynamic business and regulatory environment makes training inevitable for all levels of employees. It has become critical to keep workforce updated and equipped with the latest trends, technologies, knowledge and skills required to perform their jobs. However, it is always a challenge for training managers to convey the relevance of the course to employees.
Using pre-assessments can enable training managers to judge how much each learner knows as well as to assign appropriate training to further build learners’ knowledge. These insights are then taken up to create effective eLearning courses which are related to the interests, experience, and learning need(s) of employees/learners.
Why Do Employees Avoid Training?
Let us look at some reasons that make employees avoid training.
- Employees are unaware of the kind of training they require/want: Many times, employees fail to understand why they are being trained on a specific subject. One of the core principles of adult learning suggests that adult learners look for relevance of the learning to them and their lives. Therefore, immediate use of the learning is to be understood by learners. If adult learners feel the learning cannot be applied to their lives or roles, they will find it irrelevant.
- Employees’ goals don’t match team or organizational goals: Organizational goals are met when the business goals of the organization as well as individual goals of employees are met. If employees do not get any individual value out of the training being delivered, it will be of least interest to them. However, if the training adds value to them besides adding value to the organization, they will accept the training.
- Employees feel pressed for time: If the training pulls employees away from their daily tasks and responsibilities, they feel stressed and tend to prioritize operational work over training. Training relevant to learners’ learning need(s) must be delivered in a reserved time slot so that the operations of the company do not stop and employees don’t feel pressed for time.
- Employees don’t like the learning delivery method: Not all employees will be equally motivated at a time, to get trained. Therefore, different learning delivery methods such as job-aids, ILT, virtual instructor-led training should be used to appropriately train employees according to their learning preferences.
Also, the learning delivery method must support the type of information/content being delivered. For example, if an insurance company needs to train its sales employees on the features of its products, providing a job-aid on a mobile device will be beneficial when its sales force approach customers.
Pre-Assessments and Training Needs Identification
Pre-assessments assist in learning needs identification of learners. Learners can be identified as:
- Experienced learners who can prove their expertise and be moved on to a section of the course which is apposite to their current need.
- New learners who don’t have existing knowledge about a subject and don’t understand what they need to know.
To sort these learners, training managers or course administrators need to address the why, who, and what of training needs.
- Why refers to the capabilities that need to be built in employees.
- Who refers to identifying employees who need to be trained since not all employees/learners require the same level of training.
- What refers to training managers identifying and deciding which competencies are required for a particular employee/trainee.
Addressing the why, who and what of training needs, will ultimately help in gaining the acceptance of employees for training, since the training would be truly relevant to their learning needs.
How Do Pre-Assessments Help?
- Pre-assessments offer insights about employees’ learning needs and preferences: Training managers or course administrators can ascertain learner-course or learner-module compatibility and then alter the modules one needs to undergo, for best results.
- Pre-assessments prevent waste of effort and time: They help determine which employee will benefit from a specific course. Time and money are saved by not training employees who already know adequately about a subject. Training modules can be kick-started by letting employees know what they already know and what they need to learn.
- Pre-assessments identify learners’ knowledge gap by assessing their learning needs through different assessment methods. This enables training managers or course administrators to sort learners as experienced or beginners, and move them to different, relevant learning paths.
- Pre-assessments stimulate employees’ curiosity which creates an interest in them to take up the course. This curiosity is created when employees identify and realize the learning gaps through pre-assessments.
- Pre-assessments help measure actual learning by measuring the deviation between pre-assessments and the results after the training program. The measured deviation helps analyze learners’ growth due to the course assigned.
While employees get trained according to their learning and contribute to the workplace, managers have the assurance that their workforce is well-prepared for the job and have been appropriately trained according to their learning needs, that will make them work effectively.
Therefore, organizations should leverage pre-assessments to put their employees through relevant training, rather than putting them through forced training that adds no value to employees, and ultimately to the organization. Practicing this will enable organizations gain employees’ acceptance for training.