I've been doing some good work on the training stuff that I've been doing, with some excellent feedback on my progress and what I'm doing for the training material.
However, I've done both a good thing and a bad thing today.
Bad first: I'm not going to be travelling around the country any more. Travelling around and training staff was part of the job description, which is now no longer happening.
Shock-horror!? Not quite.
Now the good: I'm not travelling the country any more because I've found a better way of doing the training, which has been accepted with excitement by all concerned and I received the comment, "Well done – that's thinking outside the box."
So now to detail my new plan. My training was going to involve travelling around the country and do a number of training sessions at each branch. Unfortunately, it was only going to be a presentation, as my initial desire of having it interactive were discarded when I learnt that the resources of a 'classroom' would not be available, and it would have to simply be a 'training presentation' rather than hands-on training.
A problem with this, that I began to see after discussing this training with some of the technicians here at Friday night drinks last week, is that there are going to be people who either aren't interested in turning up for it, or are going to be away sick, or away doing other work.
Not to mention those people who aren't going to remember everything they're seeing in the presentation simply because it's not hands-on. No interactivity = boredom.
I realised that there might be a lot of people that I wouldn't be training, and the whole thing about this project is to train EVERYONE.
So how could I guarantee effective training of everyone? Tough question.
I didn't think about it over the weekend (once my work day finishes, so does my thoughts and worries about work), but it's been on my mind today. Then I got an idea that was inspired by a 'presentation tips' website I was looking through. The tip I was reading was talking about how to practice a presentation, by recording your voice in line with the presentation, and then sitting back and watching the presentation while listening to your voiceover and seeing how you could improve it. I thought that was a good idea.
And then – 'POW!' A brainwave!
I realised that I didn't need to actually be at the other branches in order for my presentation to be there! I could put the presentation (with voiceover) onto CD and send it out to all Computerland staff.
How to get them all to listen to it, and for us to know that everyone has received and gone through this training method?
First, have a set of headphones or earplugs with each CD, and have it free for them to keep. This allows them to listen to the CD (*and watch it) without interfering with anyone else's work. So there's that objection closed.
Secondly, have the last bit of the presentation point them to a web site that takes them through playing with the functionality of what the training is all about.
Finally, end it with a short quiz that tests them on their knowledge. When they press SUBMIT, it sends the results of the quiz, along with their details, to the authorised person who then signs off their name on the list of Computerland staff.
After a week or so, we follow up with all those who haven't done it, and remind them that it needs to be done, and keep on following up those who haven't signed off on the training.
My bosses loved the idea when I talked to them about it this afternoon, because it helps ensure everyone gets trained, and it saves the company money because they're not paying airfares and travel costs, etc.
Brownie points for me! (I'm doing the best I can to make sure they want to keep me, you see. It's all part of my plan to make sure I don't go back to the helpdesk…)
So the bad news is that I don't get to travel around the country. But the good news is that I can provide a better training experience that gets to all staff, and I look good in the eyes of the managers.
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