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HR Talk: How to create an effective training environment

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Training can be an interesting event for employees if the trainer works hard to ensure a conducive training environment for all in attendance.

This week I will focus on the critical areas that need attention to ensure a sound training environment.

An enabling training environment. Trainers who create a warm and accepting atmosphere will likely promote desire for learning on the part of the learners.

This strategy will be successful all groups of learners. Interesting visual aids, such as colourful handouts, posters, or power point presentations, motivate learners by capturing their attention and curiosity to learn.

Positive reinforcement — Positive reinforcement includes opportunities and receiving praise from the trainer. The trainer determines an incentive that is likely to motivate a trainee at a particular time.

Generally, in a learning situation, self-motivation without rewards will not succeed. Learners must find satisfaction in learning based on the understanding that the goals are useful to them or, less commonly, based on the pure enjoyment of exploring new things.

Internal motivation — Most trainees have little capacity for internal motivation and must be guided and reinforced constantly. The use of incentives is based on the principle that learning occurs more effectively when the leaner experiences feelings of satisfaction.

Learning is most effective when an individual is ready to learn — Sometimes the learner’s desire to learn comes with time, and the trainer’s role is to encourage its development. If a desired change in behaviour is urgent, the trainer may need to offer direct assistance to the learner so as to ensure that the desired behaviour occurs.

If a trainee is not ready to learn, he or she may not be able to move with the trainer and therefore must be closely monitored during the training session.

Motivation is enhanced by the way in which the training material is organised — It must be clear to the trainer that the best organised training material makes information meaningful to the learner.

One method of organising the material includes relating new tasks to those already known. Other ways to relay meaning are to determine whether the persons being taught understands the final outcome desired so that they are able to relate issues to what they already know.

Since learning requires changes in beliefs and behaviour, it normally produces a degree of anxiety — This is useful in motivating learners.

However, it must be borne in mind that severe anxiety is damaging in some way. A high degree of stress is normally evident in some training situations. If anxiety is severe, the individual’s perception of what is going on around them is limited.

As a trainer, you must be able to identify anxiety and understand its effect on learning. The other role of the trainer is to avoid causing severe anxiety in learners by setting ambiguous of unrealistic goals for them.

Assist learners in setting goals and providing informative feedback regarding progress toward achieving the goals — Setting a goal demonstrates an intention to achieve and activates learning from one day to the next. It also directs the learner’s activities toward the goal and offers an opportunity to experience success.

In conclusion, it must be clear that an enormous gap exists between knowing that learners must be motivated and identifying the specific motivational components.

Therefore, trainers must focus on learning patterns of motivation for an individual or group, without closing their eyes to the fact that errors are unavoidable.

Paul Nyausaru is training & development practitioner. You can contact him on email pnyausaru@yahoo.co.uk, pnyausaru@gmail.com
Views contained in this article are personal

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