Training is the process of taking a learner from A to B so they learn a new skill – simple eh?! Well, training is a science and can be done well, terribly and everything in between. Training methodologies and the science behind designing training has and is being constantly developed. To ensure that we access the best training we possibly can for ourselves, our teams and our businesses, it’s important to understand what those in the industry are talking about so you can choose, and buy, wisely.
I’ve been in sessions with training professionals, where so many acronyms are used it sounds like a foreign language if you aren’t in the know…….so, I thought a whistle stop tour around the ‘lingo’ of training could be an interesting exercise.
The term learning styles means that we all learn differently. Technically, an individual’s learning style refers to the way they prefer to learn, which is usually the way they learn best. There are deemed to be five core learning styles;
Visual : You prefer using pictures and images. Words on a PowerPoint presentation would be better exchanged for images and colour.
Aural (auditory): You prefer using sound and music and are happy to sit and listen to the trainer without need to take lots of notes.
Verbal (linguistic): You prefer using words, both in speech and writing, so you probably love group discussions during training and learn well from debates with your peers.
Physical (kinaesthetic): You like to be active, you may learn best by ‘doing’ and putting the theory into practice
Logical (mathematical): You prefer using logic, reasoning and systems, linear training that provides flow charts and check lists might work best for this learning style
An additional consideration is that we tend to fall in to two categories,
1) Social (interpersonal): You prefer to learn in groups or with other people so a workshop where you break into groups and are given plenty of discussion time will work brilliantly and in contrast to a solitary learning style.
2) Solitary (intrapersonal): You prefer to work alone and use self-study. A distance learning or e-learning course might be an effective way for this style to learn effectively.
A good trainer will deliver content that aims to engage all these styles during the course of a session, a great trainer will try to identify styles before the session by asking learners to complete a learning styles questionnaire in advance so the content can be tailored accordingly.
A blended learning approach can be very effective within any training programme. There is a school of thought that with advances in technology our Selective sustained attention, (also known as focused attention, which is the level of attention that produces the consistent results on a task over time) is declining, although most healthy teenagers and adults are unable to sustain attention on one thing for more than about 20 minutes at a time. This is critical for trainers when designing content. Blended learning really helps here as well designed training should incorporate many different forms of delivery, for example:
Classroom Training that incorporates these points and more! Trainer lead, group work, individual work, practical sessions, class participation, peer learning. The environment is very important, is there natural daylight and fresh air!?
E-learning or online learning – reading background before training, follow up training, further research.
Independent Study time guided by the trainer/material skills developed during the classroom/workshop experience. This also incorporates ‘on the job’ training (great for those who are ‘Kinesthetic’ learners who learn best by doing!).
Accelerated Learning – what is this? How can the word usually associated with 0 – 60mph have any relevance to training?
Accelerated learning is sometimes marketed as:
Speeding up and enhancing learning
Shortening training time
Creating exceptional learning results
Some of the above are absolutely true of a well-designed ‘accelerated learning programme’, However, this should come with a health warning as often there are no short cuts. Accelerated learning can be a term used by providers trying to save money/time by creating larger courses reducing classroom time and even removing content. True accelerated learning will take many aspects of ‘blended learning’ into account i.e. provide training for individuals in a way that is most effective for them, by delivering training in a style that connects with their learning style and using a blend of different delivery methods i.e. can e-learning be added for modules where self-directed learning can work as effectively as a classroom session?
How Training is changing?
Training used to be far more ‘Conventional’ that covered essential work-related skills, techniques and knowledge. Training would be ‘chalk and talk’ with a trainer speaking for most of the time while trainees sat in rows, mopping their brows while they scribbled notes as fast as they could, in an airless room with strip-light artificial white lighting. The Training industry has been on a positive, progressive journey and although this type of training might still exist (and occasionally have its place), this sort of traditional ‘training’ is now hopefully in a minority of training experiences!
This journey has led to a realisation that the most effective way to develop people is quite different from conventional skills training, which it’s generally regarded quite negatively by employees/Franchisees. They’ll do it of course, but they won’t enjoy it much because it’s about work, not about themselves as people. The most effective way to develop people is instead to enable learning and personal development, with all that this implies.
So, from the outset and Induction Training for franchisees – the focus needs to be on enabling learning and development for people as individuals – which extends the range of development way outside traditional work skills and knowledge, and creates far more exciting, liberating, motivational opportunities – for people and for employers/ Franchisee’s/Franchisors. Emotion will always win over logic, so when training people, it’s key that the trainer outlines ‘what’s in it’ for the trainee, whether it be a course they need to attend for compliance or the start of an exciting personal journey.
Franchisors are facing intense pressure to change, to facilitate and encourage whole-person development and fulfilment, with the aim of speeding up the route to success for their Franchisees.
Bio of contributor:
Laura Harvey-Smith is Head of Training for the Franchising Centre and passionate about all things training and development. The Franchising Centre offers and one stop shop for training needs to all in the Franchise Industry, offering training audits, classroom based workshops and Masterclasses through to Coaching and Mentoring Programmes on everything from Business skills to personal and Professional Development.
Well, training features in franchising on both sides of the fence.
If you’re a franchisee or a prospective franchisee what should you look for and expect in terms of training from your franchisor/prospective franchisor?
If you’re currently researching a future in franchising and are engaging with franchisors what questions should you ask and what do you need to ensure will be available to you?
When you buy a Franchise, you are buying a business model. This will include several key ingredients, business system in the form of a manual, systems, processes and – the guidance on how to pull it all together and build a successful business. The guidance is where training comes in! Training is like an umbrella and covers a variety of different mediums and methods, these, the quality and delivery of them will make or break how quickly you get your business off the ground and start billing, and most importantly, how optimised your business is for long term, sustainable success.
So, what should you ask? Ask to meet the trainers or find out more about the trainers you will be working with. What are their credentials? Are they specialists in their field as theorists or are they practicing franchisees? A blend of both is good. What format will your training take? Is there an initial training programme or is it in field support/shadowing? How confident do you feel when talking to the franchisor about their training? Do you get the impression they are passionate about training and invest in professionals to deliver the training or does your gut tell you that training is something they do because they feel they ought to and therefore are offering a one-dimensional programme that is ‘one size fits all’?
What should you expect? A franchisor who respects the power of well-trained franchisees will offer a training programme that has evolved, that is being constantly updated and one that responds to individual needs of the franchisee. Depending on the business/industry it should be a blend of classroom training, explaining the manuals, systems and processes and include group sessions as well as individual sessions. Many franchisors are now including e-learning in their offering, this means you can refer to training as often as you need, when you need. Ask about what coaching and mentoring is offered and who delivers it? Will you be assigned a mentor? Classroom training is all well and good but support when putting the theory into practice will be crucial. You will be ‘up against it’ in many ways, out of your comfort zone operating a new business in a potentially new industry, and when you need guidance or support you need to know who you’ll be able to ask, and the time-frames for their support.
Another factor is what guidance and training will you be offered on running a business? You may or may not have been self-employed before so what do you need to know and what responsibilities will you have? Being self-employed means wearing many hats, you may now be your Head of Sales, Head of Recruitment, Bookkeeper and FD at the same time as operating the business and trying to make a good return on your investment.
Do you understand what training works best for you? How do you retain information best? What is your learning style? It might be worth taking some time to think about when you have been most engaged with learning a new skill/role. As a new franchisee, you will be under pressure so doing some honest analysis on your strengths and weaknesses and be clear on how you need to be set up to learn and retain information will be time well spent. A good franchisor will help you with this as should have a dedicated in house training specialist who will happily talk to you about this. A quick test is to look for an online VARK test, this stands for Visual, Auditory, Read/Write and Kinaesthetic. You will have a predominant style which will be your most natural way to learn. Understanding this will put you in control when working with the trainers who will be training you on the business model. For example, if you are a Kinaesthetic learner you will learn best by doing, therefore you will learn best when out in the field or in your office learning how to build and run our business on the job. This means when attending training, you might want to make this known to the trainer and work out how best to make the most of training, this might be to record certain sessions or make annotated notes that you can refer to when putting the training into practice.
It’s to everyone’s advantage to deliver a robust initial and ongoing development plan for new, and existing franchisees. Well trained franchisees are generally more engaged with the franchisor, more confident and more successful! More successful franchisees are generally happier and more profitable which is a good thing for the franchisee and franchisor so win win!
Bio of contributor:
Laura Harvey-Smith is Head of Training for the Franchising Centre and passionate about all things training and development. The Franchising Centre offers and one stop shop for training needs to all in the Franchise Industry, offering classroom based workshops and Masterclasses through to Coaching and Mentoring Programmes on everything from Business skills to personal and Professional Development.
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It’s here again! The 2017 Franchise Conference and Supplier Showcase takes place at the National Motorcycle Museum near Birmingham on Tuesday 3rd October (easy to get to, easy to park). Early bird tickets are reduced from £69 to £55 plus VAT, so book now.
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Brian Duckett Chairman,
The Franchising Centre
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I had been nominated for a very prestigious Business award – Yorkshire Choice Awards in Leeds. Held at Elland Road.
My name is Janine Burley (Hull) Director at My Baby Can Dance Ltd
I’m this years WINNER of
Business Woman of the Year 2017
What an amazing night at Yorkshire Choice Awards in Leeds on Saturday evening where 600 guests eagerly awaited the results.
What an honour to be nominated, and win whilst being from Hull ……. in the Year of “Hull City of Culture 2017”
I’m more than happy to share my interesting and inspirational story.
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You know, one of the things that always surprises business people when they take a closer look at franchising is the wide range of business types that operate as franchises. We often hear “I had no idea that was a franchise!”. Come and find out if your business could be franchised and what is involved at our Free Masterclass. It takes place in London on Wednesday 21st June 2017.
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