If you would like your employees to value their training, consider giving them the chance to direct their personal and professional development. For instance, the Arts Council sent out a training request form asking staff to outline how the training would benefit them personally, how they would use the skills, knowledge and confidence in their work, how the skills, knowledge and confidence would be beneficial to the team and how they would disseminate the knowledge they gained from the training.
This was effective in making people focus on practical steps to improve their work, was measurable in later reviews with managers, and made the training valuable as employees valued the training.
Charities need to understand the value of informal in-house learning. Employees and managers find it difficult to see informal learning as continuing professional development and only see it as so when it is part of a certain arrangement like mentoring. Quite often, informal learning is overlooked or not specified on reviews or appraisals. This might be one way that managers help their staff get the most out of learning opportunities. Just ask people what they have learned from their workmate recently.
Charity and organisation meetups can be a cost-effective training method
I used to work for tiny organisations and I would make good use of informal networking to get that sort of peer support (often a small group of employees from different organisations meeting in the pub from time to time) to share and discuss problems, questions and advice. Technologies such as Skype can help overcome barriers to meeting face-to-face.
It Is Good for Trainees to Take Time to Reflect on What They Have Learned
As such, it is good for organisations to ensure that they make time for trainees to reflect on what they have learned. Apart from making time and space for CPD, employers and employees should also focus on preparation in advance and on dissemination later on. We are testing out a new feedback form in our Media trust workshops. The form asks delegates to identify actions points at the end of their session and we will remind them of after a short period. This adds value and keeps learning fresh. Charities need to have space in regular staff meetings for people to feedback what they learned.
Training one person can be cost-effective and reinforce the training for the trainee if you can afford to send only one person or have enough time to send one person on the course, there are some useful things to consider. You can ask the person you want to send on the training course to give feedback to their workmates after their training.
For instance, the person could share the ‘golden nuggets’ that he or she took from the training and also any top learning points or templates. Apart from sharing what he or she learned with their workmates, the person who attends a training course will review and reinforce their learning hence making it impactful. You can also contact the training provider and find out whether they can come to your office and train a certain group of your employees. This can help you save a lot of money.
Reactive learning can enable smaller charities to effectively train their employees without having to spend a lot of money. Our research has shown that smaller organisations need cheaper, broad-ranging, bite-size and accessible training that they can access whenever they need training. This is what we refer to as ‘just in time’ learning while others call it ‘reactive learning’.
We have tried to respond to this through KnowHow’s StudyZone, a user-led video training platform offering quick, accessible online training on issues suggested by our community. We have come to realise that trainers are willing to offer free courses to meet this huge but neglected market of small organisations.
Geographically isolated organisations and those located far away from trainers can benefit from webinars. Using webinars, such as those offered by MJ Plumridge, or webcasting may be one of the best ways to bring a trainer in-house. And the good thing is that webinars or webcasting can help an organisation and the trainer save both time and money as the trainer will not have to travel to and from the training venue.