A recent DesignArounds poll asked learning professionals to identify their most pressing current challenge. No surprises here. 100% reported ‘time‘. Given today’s business climate and economic pressures, it’s no wonder that the training function – like every other function – is being challenged to do more with less. Fewer people. Scaled-back budgets. And a reduced investment of learning time.
Netbook computers with expanded capacity that can fit into your pocket and coin-sized mp3 players holding thousands of songs have established the expectation that good things (and a lot of them) come in small packages. Is it any wonder that organizations expect training to follow suit?
So, what can learning and development professionals do to respond?
Become a ruthless editor: Cut Through the Clutter
Today’s learning professionals must develop the ability to ruthlessly eliminate the non-essential, lay out the ‘critical path’ to new knowledge and skills and delete all else. Eliminating the ‘nice to knows’ allows the available time to be focused on ‘need to know’ information.
Revisit knowledge acquisition: Leverage Multimedia
Current applications allow for the quick and inexpensive development of multimedia presentations that can deliver considerable content in an efficient and engaging fashion. Transform group discussion and discovery exercises into tidy learning objects that can be used in a variety of ways.
Think beyond the event: Quickly Develop Self-Sufficiency
Let’s be honest: compressed timeframes can only accomplish so much. Leave learners with tools and resources that extend their ability to perform where it really matters: on the job. Memorable models, powerful job aids, online resource libraries turn the entire workplace into a training room.
Re-conceive materials: Order up a Combo
Re-thinking training deliverables for greater efficiency can support shorter timeframes. Look for each element and activity to do double – even triple – duty. Get creative. Even name tents can carry critical content.
Re-train the trainer: Change up the Tempo
Among the greatest challenges facing classroom trainers is replacing the previously leisurely learning rhythms with today’s crisper cadence. Comfortable patterns of extended discussions, getting-to-know you exercises, and storytelling must be confronted and adjusted.
These strategies can help to deliver results – even in today’s hurry-up world.
Written by Karen Voloshin and Julie Winkle Giulioni of DesignArounds. DesignArounds designs, develops and delivers training that works in today’s dynamic and pressure-packed workplace. For more information, visit www.designarounds.com.