One of the key points which comes out from a lot of research about learning (and from my own experience) is that people’s attitude towards what they are meant to learn makes a huge difference to how well they learn it.
If people are in a positive state of mind, if they are:
and if they can see the personal benefits of learning, then they will learn far more easily. For a start, they will pay more attention, which is a crucial first step towards learning and remembering anything.
On the other hand, if they turn up for a training course feeling:
and doubtful about the purpose of being there, they will be less likely to listen, learn and remember.
And yet, that’s exactly how many people feel when they come to a training session.
Because their organisations have put virtually no effort into getting them into a positive state. Organisations often spend huge amounts of money providing training for people but put virtually no time or effort into getting them into a state where they can make the most of that training.
It doesn’t take a lot to get people in a more receptive state of mind about training. You just have to make it clear what the training is going to cover and how the learner (not the organisation) will benefit from it.
You have to answer any questions they might have about it, including some of the basic logistics (what time will it finish, will there be lunch provided, etc.).
You can also build up positive expectations by sending out colourful and attractive materials, information about the trainers (including photos), some pictures (or videos) of people from previous courses engaged in activities, perhaps some testimonials about how good the training was.
And you can start to build a connection with the learners by sending them short questionnaires to find out what they want to learn and then responding to these.
Instead of this, most organisations still just send out basic Joining Instructions and sometimes a list of the topics and objectives.
Do the steps I’ve suggested involve more work for the people organising and delivering the training? Yes, a little. But how much work goes into designing and organising training events in the first place?