Education and Training: How Much is Enough? (Part I)
All right, it’s time to come up with next year’s training and education (T&E) schedule. In putting the schedule together, you are trying to decide what to put on the schedule while also working to make the T&E as meaningful and useful as possible. When putting together T&E content, we need to understand that some of our content is required and identified for us and other content allows us to individualize the content as I will simply refer to for now as optional content.
This blog posting will speak to the required subset of T&E and my next blog will speak to the optional subset of T&E content.
It is not uncommon to have T&E that is mandated by regulations that apply to the organization. For example, there may be requirements that every member of the workforce is able to perform some type of function or task. In addition, there may be requirements that individuals with certain licenses or certifications must receive a prescribed amount of continuing education each year, often described in terms of hours or fractions of an hour. Therefore, this portion of the T&E schedule is already determined by these requirements. Similar to fixed costs on an income statement, required training will need to be included in your T&E schedule, whether or not you include any optional T&E.
Required with a Personal Touch
However, just because T&E is required doesn’t mean you can’t put a nice, positive spin on the content. One way to do this is by customizing or tailoring the training to your audience. For example, let’s say that you are required to communicate to the members of the workforce the availability of Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS). Currently you have stickers that are applied to phones that display the “800” number for people to call to request a particular MSDS. Rather than just state this on a training slide, take a picture of one of the phones with this “800” number sticker. Better yet, what about having a key administrator such as the CEO, CFO, or other person in the picture holding up the phone? Now you will get people’s attention as they can relate to the message, the person in the messaging, and if they see that someone in Administration was willing to pose for the picture, this can certainly be an endorsement of the importance of the T&E.
Similarly, there may be a need to provide periodic computer security awareness training to the workforce. Let’s assume that one of the training points is for people to use the “Windows + L” key sequence. Rather than describe this process, a short video of a member of the workforce actually using this method can be more engaging and can precisely demonstrate how to apply this recommended safeguard.
Therefore, required T&E does not have to mean boring or unengaging content. It simply means that it must be included. How we decide to present required T&E, the media options that we use, or how we script and present the content are options available to us. It is through these options that we can make the T&E content more meaningful and useful to our targeted audience.
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