This post was originally published by Nicole Schneider on lessonly.com.
The purpose of training and development at an organization is to teach valuable skills to employees and to encourage them to continue strengthening those skills overtime to bring their performance to the next level.
Increased employee retention and performance are just a couple of the many benefits of training. Something with such a powerful impact should be handled with care and deserves a second look before it’s shipped out to your teammates. That’s why reviews play a crucial role in polishing your content and emphasizing the importance of training at your company. Let’s take a look at three reasons why reviewing your training is essential:
1. It eliminates errors.
Have you ever noticed a typo while reading a book? If minor errors are able to sneak through many rounds of book edits, there’s a good chance your training course is also susceptible. While it can be easy to downplay their impact, it’s unlikely these mistakes are going unnoticed.
Eliminating spelling and grammar errors is a small, but mighty benefit of a training review because they reduce unnecessary distractions that take away from your content. Even the greatest writers aren’t perfect, and the best way to eliminate or at least minimize those pesky mistakes is to review your training and development programs.
Tip: When reviewing the content, it can help to read it out loud.
Here are some questions for your editor to consider:
- Are there any spelling or grammar mistakes?
- Are there any words you don’t recognize? Do they fit or should they be replaced?
- When you read the training out loud, were there parts that you stumbled over? Why?
2. It offers another perspective.
Our individual perspective, although valuable, has its limitations. Getting a second opinion on your work is a handy way to identify your blind spots and fill in the gaps.
Let’s say you’re building an onboarding training course for beginners. Here are some questions you might ask yourself:
- Is the training applicable to their daily tasks?
- Does it provide an appropriate amount of information for their level of expertise?
- What else could be added to enhance the training?
- What other types of training might be beneficial to add on?
While you might be able to answer some of these questions on your own, chances are a pair of fresh eyes will be able to provide a new take. This can be particularly helpful when you want to incorporate all learning styles. While we may try to include different elements in our training, it’s normally easier to present information in a way that makes sense to us. Reviewers can help you identify opportunities to connect with folks that learn in a different way.
For example, if you’re a visual learner, you might include lots of text, graphs, and images to get your point across. If your reviewer is a kinesthetic learner, they may be able to find spots for practice, experimenting, or other activities. If your reviewer is an auditory learner, they might find good places for recordings so the learner doesn’t have to read as much or questions with a spoken response option so the learner doesn’t have to write their answer. In the end, you will increase the benefits of training for individuals on your team because the more learning styles you include, the more people will connect with the content.
3. It provides clarity.
One of the disadvantages of training is how time consuming it can become for your audience. This 2015 study by Microsoft suggests that the average human attention span in 2000 was 12 seconds. In 2013, just 13 years later, that number dropped to 8 seconds. As a result, ensuring the clarity and brevity of your course is essential, which means your training needs to present the main points quickly and clearly. Reviews are a great way to ensure the objectives of training are easy to identify and understand.
Here are some questions your editor might consider:
- Is the language simple and to the point?
- Is the purpose of training given enough emphasis?
- Is enough context included? Or too much?
- Where can needless words be omitted?
- Are the emphatic words placed at the end of the sentence?
A few parting suggestions
Now that you know some of the benefits of reviewing your training, where do you start? Consider trying these three levels of reviews:
Level 1: Self-review – Take a chance to re-read the information yourself. It can help to do this a few hours later or, if you can afford to wait, the next morning after a good night’s sleep.
Level 2: Peer Review – Allow a colleague to review the information. This can work as a filter for your training by way of the editor’s questions and suggestions.
Level 3: Focus Group – Ask a small group of people to read your work and then meet to discuss. While this is the most involved of the three levels, it can be helpful for providing different perspectives that will enhance your work and allow it to connect with everyone in your audience.
Hope you enjoyed this post and have a few new training review tools in your tool belt.