Developing training can be an intimidating task, but it doesn’t need to be insurmountable. Check out the tips below to get started on building an internal training program for your own organization.
Get Top-Down Support
We know we sound like a broken record about getting executive buy-in, but that is how important it is. This doesn’t have to be overly complicated; it could be as simple as asking your agency head or executive director to send out the notification that the training will be happening and setting expectations that people attend. Sometimes this can be a daunting ask—after all, big bosses are pretty busy—but you can help by offering to write up the training announcement for them.
Know Your Audience
Tailor examples and language as you are able to because concepts often make more sense when you are speaking the same language as your audience. Breaking down a concept like records management principles to a class works so much better when the examples you have are examples the audience is used to seeing. For instance, if you have ever attended our Introduction to Records Management for Local Governments class, you might have completed a hands-on exercise where we practice identifying and classifying records found in Local Schedule GR. These are the records common to local governments, things that are familiar and recognizable.
Develop Goals and Objectives
Don’t jump in and start creating training without setting some goals and objectives for attendees. What are the most important points for them to take away from the training? Knowing what those points are will drive the development of your content. Focus on the goals and let the training evolve from those.
Have Resources to Reference
For example, in my former position, I trained every new employee on using SharePoint Online and we had a repository of one-page training aids that explained all the concepts we covered in the training sessions. Similarly, when we hold RIM workshops at TSLAC and across the state, our handouts include an appendix in the back with resources that we reference in the workshop, plus some guidance for further learning. When people know where to go for information, it cuts down on frustration.
Get Feedback Post-Training and Measure Success
How can you ensure that your training was successful? Solicit some feedback from your attendees! Yes, this can be intimidating, but it’s also the only way you will be able to ascertain whether you met your goals and what you can do to improve training in the future. What went well? What was unclear or confusing? Knowing where your strengths and weaknesses are will help you refine and advance your training.
Contact Others for Help
Maybe you attended a training that had really great organization or concepts that resonated strongly with you. Reach out to the trainer and ask if they would be willing to share some of their materials and tips. For example, here at TSLAC, we can provide the slides you may have seen when you take our trainings which you can use to create your own in-house trainings. Why reinvent the wheel?
Help Them See the Big Picture
We know that records management can be seen as a rather dry topic to some folks outside the field, and as such, sometimes they can struggle to understand why we can so much about why proper training and procedures matter. Help trainees to see the value in what they are doing with respect to records. Maybe they’re removing staples so that things can be scanned more easily, but what they’re actually doing is making important information more accessible.
Now that we’ve shared some of our favorite training tips, share yours in the comments below! What’s worked for you? What has not?
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