We’ve been talking about training and development on the blog this month. (Check out The #1 Employee Training Mistake Businesses Make and 5 Training Tips from Companies with Awesome Employee Development Programs.) While we’re on the topic, I thought we should also address learning styles!
Most workplaces offer some form of employee training. Training formats can range from getting hands-on experience to reading user manuals to watching online videos. Some people learn best by performing a task, while others learn by studying a process. It’s so important to take different learning styles into consideration when developing a training program. Just as your company is made up of a diverse group of people, your people have a diverse range of learning styles.
I recently asked my team about their personal learning styles. Check out a few of their answers below, and then leave a comment on our Facebook page to share how you learn best! As you read each answer, ask yourself: “Is our current training program adaptable to this learning style? If not, what can we do to improve?”
I learn best…
“..when I understand the impact of the subject matter on our overall business, team, and bottom line. I prefer to understand the effectiveness and efficiencies of something and then the practical applications of why it is important. I'm always open for learning something new!” – Beth F, Market Manager, Las Vegas, NV
“…when I am interested in a new project, skill, or goal, and I can dig in, try it myself, and learn it from the ground up. I am also very visual and love watching a video or example first.” – Rachel S, HR Director, Cincinnati, OH
“…through visualization. Let me know what the goal is so I can ask questions and view it from all aspects. Once I understand what I am seeing, it is just repetition from there on out.” – Haley K, Pay/Bill Coordinator, West Monroe, LA
“…when I can watch the process I am learning, take notes, and dissect the information. This sets me up for learning hands-on which is usually my next step in the learning process.” – William M, Performance Supervisor, Liberty, MO
“…through hearing stories and real life applications about a subject. I would much rather hear a story about how something has impacted someone’s life or business versus a bulleted PowerPoint presentation. There is power in storytelling.” – Sherry D, VP National Account Management, Cincinnati, OH
“…when I'm surrounded by people who bring talents to the table I may not have. That drives me to want to be a part of an organization or team that welcomes the strengths and contributions of each team member.” – Michael M, VP Sales Call Center Solutions, Wesley Chapel, FL
“…when I can make mistakes and find the solution on my own!” – Jamie S, Account Executive, Jonesboro, AR
“…when I am able to work hands-on and at my own pace so that I can develop my own flow.” – Hilda H, Account Manager, Lathrop, CA
“…when I can read it, talk about it, and learn by doing it.” – Karen W, VP Strategic Services, Cincinnati, OH
There certainly is no right or wrong answer to this question – and the answers sure do vary! I encourage you to ask your team about their learning styles to make sure that you’re setting them up for success. And then don’t forget to hop over to our Facebook page to share how you learn best, along with any tips you may have! I look forward to reading your responses!