What Makes Training Most Effective? Any Ideas?


Wow!  If I could answer that I won’t need to blog any longer!  Seriously though,  ANSI-ASSE Z490.1 “Criteria for Accepted Practices in Safety, Health, and Environmental Training”  provides a great road-map. 

When I first read this standard, I thought the information was too simplistic and lacked value.  I thought,  “Surely every good trainer knows about conducting a needs assessments, good educational design, content creation, choice of media and delivery techniques, training evaluation, and all that.”  With time I developed a much different view of ANSI-ASSE  Z490.1

The more I thought about training and its influence on behavior, or why it often doesn’t work very well, it became clear that most training is poorly designed.  Worse yet, the trainers don’t know what they don’t know!  The fact of the matter is that many of those who conduct safety training are not professional trainers, and don’t know about how to create and develop training that meets specific outcomes or behavioral objectives.

In a previous post I asked, “Is Safety Training The Solution?” and received many responses.  In fact it was the most active discussion on ASSE LinkedIn!  Most responses where about management and cultural mis-alignment with the training, or the need for a culture that values learning and accepts safety as an important ingredient for success.

Let’s continue the discussion, asking  “What you think makes training most effective?…….  Then, we will follow in a later post with the question of “HOW”.  Thanks for participating.

To start, one thing that I focus on with my clients is defining the business problem that we are trying to solve, the impact of this problem on the performance of the business, and how training will play a role.  Next we discuss and define the ideal outcomes or goals of the training, and how we will know when we have accomplished them.  From there we discuss the training content and ideas for delivery, and discuss this with the managers of the employees we will be helping to train.

What do you think makes training most effective?