Employee training is an excellent way to each workers new skills or help them enhance their current knowledge. There are many effective methods of delivering this training, such as in the classroom, through a webcast, or through a self-paced, computer-based program. Although the methods may be different, the basics of writing a good program are the same and the process follows the same steps.
Decide on the goals and outcomes of your training program. In order to write an effective employee training program, you must know exactly what you want it to accomplish. These will be your learning objectives. What should employees know or be able to do at the end of the program? How will they demonstrate their new knowledge or skill?
Decide how the program will be delivered to employees. Will they attend a training session in a classroom? Will it be delivered online? If so, will it be via webcast or a self-paced program?
Create a list of the specific steps that employees must go through to complete each of the learning objectives. If you do not have the proper knowledge to do this, work with subject matter experts (SMEs).
Write the training program based on the information you have gathered. Rather than just presenting information, you must include frequent reinforcement activities. This is especially important if you are creating a computer-based employee training program, but classroom courses also need to keep the trainees engaged. For computer-based training, there should be one interactive screen for every two to three static ones. In the classroom, there should be interactivity every 15 to 20 minutes.
Have your SMEs review the program. If you did not use SMEs, get a group of alpha testers who are familiar with the material. Have them sit through the classroom course or take the computer-based program. They should limit their feedback to the course's factual accuracy.
Make any necessary changes based on the SME input, then beta test the program with a group of beta testers drawn from the pool of employees at whom the training is aimed. They will provide information on the accuracy and interest level of the course.
If necessary, make additional changes based on the beta tester feedback. If the changes are not extensive, your employee training program is now ready. If they are major, beta test the program again before releasing it for use with employees.
Often SMEs will want to give feedback on the effectiveness of the course material rather than its accuracy. Make sure that they understand that they are limited to fact-checking. Because they are already experts in the material, their perceptions of the course quality and interest can be much different than the perception of a trainee with no prior knowledge of the subject.
Based in Kissimmee, Fla., Barb Nefer is a freelance writer with over 20 years of experience. She is a mental health counselor, finance coach and travel agency owner. Her work has appeared in such magazines as "The Writer" and "Grit" and she authored the book, "So You Want to Be a Counselor."