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(Training Binders Suck) John's New Laws of Learning: 1. Law of Blend

As we discussed last week, Training Binders suck. They're heavy and full of things people don’t need. They have no real direction for use, and most often, no real world relevance or application. They merely serve to check off a box that says the person got “trained”.

Unfortunately in many businesses, it’s the go-to for a new team member. Companies cling to the binder like I cling to the hope that I’ll one day have a 34" waist again. What needs to happen is that companies need to take a blended approach to learning, and clearly, I need to diet.

What does “blended approach” mean, John? Well, I’m glad you asked, valued Reader. A blended approach means using different methods and media to give a person a well-rounded learning experience that lets them succeed in the way they learn best. When I say “media” I don’t just mean videos or social media. Media is just a word that means a way in which to deliver information. It could be a course they take online or a small book. It could be a series of small videos or a checklist of things they have to do. It could be a scavenger hunt that shows they know where to get things in the office. So in a perfect world, your training would come from a real world trainer, coupled with small how-to videos or courses that break things down in easy to digest chunks, followed up with an actionable checklist or performance based assessment that shows they know how to do the work.

Now some people will say “That makes sense because Millennial’s don’t like to read long binders and training books." That’s true, but neither does Generation X, Baby Boomers, or Traditionalists! NO ONE has ever “wanted” or “liked” to read training binders. the history of ever...because they suck.

So when you are making your training programs, make them with the goal of having several routes for people to get to the same destination. Have e-learning courses that give them basic knowledge and a way to practice and test virtually. Also, have well prepared trainers who can give them real world experiences and knowledge and who can also coach real world behaviors. Make sure those trainers want to be there and are being utilized properly. Please, please, please promise me that you will never have a trainer that you are paying extra money to sit and read a training binder to a trainee. Seriously, I need you to say out loud, right now “I promise." Thank you. Now stop talking out loud while you are reading because you look like a nut. If you have to have videos, make them short. Think of a twitter attention span for videos. We’ll talk more about this in another law. Use social media to engage, reward and even publicize your training. That will come in future discussions as well.

If you utilize different media to create a blended approach, you allow that new team member to learn the way they learn best. Additionally you rest assured they are getting the information crucial to performing their job right away. Tune in next week when we talk about the Law of Repetition. In addition, tune in next week when we talk about the Law of Repetition. Also, tune in next week when we talk about the Law of Repetition.

OK, you get it. In the mean time, have a great day and make it count!

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