Workshops are an excellent way to teach employees new skills or to help them learn new tasks. In order to be effective, a training workshop must be planned carefully and developed to ensure the subject matter is covered thoroughly and reinforced in a way that will allow employees to use it on the job. Effective development will take some time initially, but following the proper steps helps ensure that the workshop will be an effective training experience.
Identify the specific goals of the training workshop. These will be your learning objectives. Determine what employees should have learned at the end of the training, and what skills they should have developed.
List the steps it will take to achieve each of the identified goals. These steps will form the core material for the training workshop. If needed, consult subject matter experts to help you identify these steps. Break the goals down to their most basic level, as you will need to gear the training workshop material to employees who may have little or no knowledge of the skills you want them to acquire.
Develop the workshop material. You most likely will need the help of your subject matter experts for this step. They can give you the technical information, which you can translate into easy-to-understand lessons.
Decide how the material will be presented at the workshop. Material may be presented through lectures, or via group activities and other methods. Determine what supplementary materials you'll need to provide and how to assess what your clients have learned at the end of the session.
Finalize the workshop presentations, and prepare a schedule. Include enough breaks to keep the employees from getting restless and uncomfortable. It's best to schedule a break at least once an hour so people can go use the restrooms, respond to work messages or attend to personal business.
Run a test session of the workshop, using employees with similar backgrounds to those who will be attending the actual event. At the end of the test workshop, thoroughly debrief the participants and incorporate their feedback into the final version.
After you run the workshop, conduct an evaluation. Gather feedback from the employees on what they liked best and the areas that could be improved. Incorporate their feedback into future presentations of the training material or in development of other training workshops.
When you are deciding on how the training material will be presented, work in opportunities for interaction, discussion and group activities. In a training workshop, you'll quickly lose the employees' attention if you rely too heavily on lectures. The workers will stay attentive and the material will be reinforced if you draw them in with active participation.
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