We’ve all been there, sitting at a desk with our heads tilted into our hands and a keen eye on the clock, awaiting a much-needed coffee break. You can see that the trainer is trying their best to keep people engaged, but they just can’t grasp everyone’s attention.
It’s not their fault, the trainer likely said they wanted to conduct the learning early in the morning when most people are naturally more alert (that is at 10 am after 2 coffees of course). But businesses are very time sensitive and want learning to be crammed in one-afternoon session.
It just doesn’t work.
Not just that, but conventional learning is restrictive and shuts people down. And it’s all to do with how the training is delivered.
The problems with learning and how to fix them:
1. Training after lunch is a bad idea
Typically after lunch, your average person’s insulin spikes, as the body digests and breaks food up into sugars….. And then predictably everyone crashes.
It’s called a carb crash
Now there are a few ways around this. The first would be to conduct learning in the morning, with summaries and refreshers in the afternoon.
The second would be to provide lunch and only serve low to medium GI food. The third would be to encourage drinking the likes of water or tea/coffee without milk or sugar.
This would ultimately ensure that your students remain more alert and that the ‘heavy learning’ is provided in the morning.
2. Don’t lecture them, keep them active
Death by PowerPoint is still all too common with today’s workforce. Which is ultimately the sign of a low budget and ignorance to understanding how people learn.
The best way to learn is to keep someone’s mind working. By just lecturing at them, you’re only engaging one of the 6 sense, you’ve still got another 5 senses to engage!
It’s why it’s recommended you design your L&D around keeping your student’s brains more active.
People HR recommend 3 essential steps for training programs.
- Naturally, the first step starts with preparation. It sounds obvious, but failing to do so could result in a chaotic free-for-all or time slipping away.
- Interactivity using open questions, e-learning, and colors
- Post training material, encourage people to go over what they’ve learned in class so it consolidates.
One of the best ways to hit all 3 points is to provide e-learning. It’s inexpensive in comparison to hiring an outside company, can be calculated to follow a strict learning structure (so time doesn’t slip away), and is designed in a way that challenges the students to think and ‘work’ to find answers.
Rolls-Royce is a prime example of this creating a gamification e-learning module to teach their dealers everything they needed to know about their cars. Whilst also providing their e-learning on multifaceted devices such as tablets, mobile phones, and computers (we’ll discuss why this is important in point 3).
It’s simple, the more senses you engage, the more attention you grab and the more your students learn. Some teachers go as far as using a distinct smell in their classrooms, which primes their student’s brains into learning.
3. Think of your training environment
If people associate working at their desk, don’t conduct learning at their desk. Disrupt the pattern.
As briefly mentioned in point 2, Rolls Royce delivered their training across multiple platforms, and this is great as it invites the user to step away from their desk into a different environment.
You’ve got to disrupt the pattern of “I’m here to work” and encourage an “I’m here to learn environment”.
Take workers and put them in a well-lit room that isn’t used for boring meetings or general work. If your budget is tight, try renting a room at a museum. It’s inexpensive costing less than £100 a day on average.
There’s always a cafe and you disrupt the pattern of “I’m here to work” by placing them in the epitome of a learned environment.
Most training materials can be accessed by any device that can connect to the internet, so you remove the shackles of being desk bound. Try something different and see if it changes the way your staff learns.