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If you are in charge of designing your internal training program in a workplace, chances are you’ll also be in charge to creating the content that will be used in these training sessions. Depending on the size of your company, or the complexity of your training sessions, the training materials you have to provide could be very different. It’s important to look at the type of information you’re trying to teach the employees in your workplace so you can pick the best delivery method possible.
We’ll take a look at some of the most common types of training content, so you can decide which would be best for your training sessions, and why some work better than others in particular situations.
One of the easiest types of training content to produce is printed materials, such as fact sheets, quizzes, and worksheets. This type of training material is very easy to create, as it can be designed on any computer and then printed off using your office printer. While you have the ability to use creative software packages to make something that might look more impressive, you can simply type up all the information you need to using Word or PowerPoint and then print them off to be handed out in training sessions. If you’re not very confident about your creative skills though you can always search online for templates or pre-populated printed materials that you can use in your training sessions.
You may want to use this type of training resource if you intend to give your students information which they will need to take away with them to refer to later, or if you’re going to give them tasks to complete during the training session.
Creating your own content like this is great for a number of reasons. Not only are they relatively easy to create yourself, but it’s extremely easy for you to go back and edit them at any time so your training sessions will always be using the most up-to-date training materials. Just make sure you don’t print off hundreds of copies in advance, as they may end up getting wasted if you decided to go back and change the content later. You can also choose to email copies of the information out to your students afterwards as well so they can easily save a copy on their computer without having to worry about losing the paper version.
While content like this may work well for some training sessions, you may find it doesn’t work as well for some more complex training topics. Try and keep this type of training material for more simple training, such as showing new staff how to set up their computers, or explaining to staff how to file their expenses. Information like this is also something people are likely to refer back to quite regularly, so always having a copy on hand to refer to will be quite useful, and will mean they won’t have to rely on asking other people to get an answer.
In some cases you may find that creating a training video is the best way to get the information you need to across to your employees. While this is obviously a more expensive route to take, it can prove extremely invaluable in some situations. Training videos are a good idea for several reasons. The main one is once you have created the content, it can be used over and over again. This can be particularly useful if you have to train quite a lot of employees, but you don’t have a lot of staff who can provide the training. Having the ability to show the video over and over again to staff means you won’t have to be teaching the same training session repeatedly, but makes sure that everyone in the company gets the training they need.
Creating video content is also a good idea for training which requires demonstrations of certain situations for the employees to fully understand what they are being taught. You may want to use a video instead of real-life demonstrations for a number of reasons, such as you don’t have the space or resources to complete it in the workplace, or it would be too dangerous to demonstrate these things in person. This would be things such as health and safety videos which show how to operate things like forklift trucks, or how to stack boxes in a safe manner.
You can choose to create video content yourself if you have the facilitates to do so, but it may be worth hiring someone external to create the video for you if you want to make it look as good as possible. If this is something you’re going to be using for a long time and showing to a lot of your employees, you’ll want it to not only look very professional, but effectively get across the message you’re trying to teach them. This will be a big investment at the time, but if can be a great way to get your information across, and if it’s something you’re going to use for the foreseeable future it will make the initial costs worthwhile.
Using videos is a great idea if you have to create very specific training for your company, or if you want to give it a more personal feel by using members of staff from your business. Creating your own content may be a lot easier than trying to find something that already exists, as it may not totally fit your needs. It will also let you tailor your training to exactly what you know your staff want and need, or the exact points you want them to focus on, instead of already existing training which may cover a lot of points which just aren’t relevant to your business or your staff.
Again, this type of content may not be suitable for all training situations. It’s probably not a good idea to create training videos where the content is likely to change a lot, as this will lead to additional costs if you need to constantly update it to make sure training reflects the most relevant information.
Another type of training content you may consider is eLearning. This has the benefit of combining information displayed on the screen, video content, and things like quizzes and worksheets all in the one delivery method. Much like recording training videos, you can choose to look into creating your own eLearning content, or simply use an already designed product. This will again depend on what topic you are teaching, and how specific the training needs to be for your company.
A benefit of eLearning is if you need to update it, it will be a lot easier to achieve than having to film a whole new video to reflect new information, if you have created the eLearning content yourself. This will mean you’ll have the ability to edit a small section, add new information, change the questions on a quiz, and lots of other things which are quite small changes to make, but could prove costly if you were having to update things like lots of printed material or video content. This will also update automatically for all your staff using the eLearning content, so you won’t have to worry about checking everyone is using the new version instead of the outdated information. Similarly, if you buy an off the shelf eLearning package, the eLearning provider should be making sure the information is correct and the latest version, and providing updates when needed.
As we’ve mentioned before, eLearning has huge benefits when it comes to arranging training sessions, as you won’t have to worry about organising training sessions at a set time, or working around people who are very busy or on holiday. eLearning means that the staff that need to sit the training will be able to complete it in their own time, and at their own pace.
Some training topics may require the need for classroom sessions, such as something more practical, or a particularly complex topic where students may need the time to ask an instructor questions in order to fully understand the topic. However, you may be able to use a blended approach, and combine eLearning with some classroom time to make sure students are still get the support time they need, but you are also providing the best content possible to them.
The most important thing to think about when you are creating content for your training sessions is to consider what delivery method will work best for the information you are trying to get across. Sometimes it will be one method, such as a printed sheet for something quite basic, but other times you may have to combine several delivery methods to make sure that your students are getting all the information they will need.
Some methods are more costly than others, which may be off-putting to smaller businesses, but it’s important to look at the bigger picture and see what will work out best in the long run. There’s no point in spending the time and money in providing training for your staff if you’re not going to do it the best of your ability.
Also, make sure you give your staff the chance to feedback to you after their training sessions. They may tell you that one method of delivery just isn’t working at all, so you’ll need to rethink how you deliver your training for the next time you run that session.
Make sure you provide the best content to give your staff as much chance as possible to fully engage and interact with what they are being taught.
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