In part four we started the process for developing your PowerPoint’s for your new starter induction. In part five we want to continue helping you design your induction material by focusing on the training notes and other support materials.
Trainer Notes / Trainer guide / Facilitation notes
How you write your trainer notes / trainer guide / facilitation notes, whatever you call them is really down to you. More importantly, the purpose of your notes are to define the content to be covered by the trainer, explain the detail of what should be said by them, the way in can be delivered and how the key message needs to be delivered.
Good trainer notes should enable any experienced trainer to be able to pick them up, read through and have a pretty good understanding of what is to be covered and how the content & subjects are to be explained and what the key messages are. Of course, I would always suggest running a train the trainer for all trainers who need to deliver your induction. This helps any trainer understand the context and style of the course, while relating to and understanding the culture, brand, tone of voice and values within the delivery style.
How you create & write your trainer notes is up to you. We have always used a simple template when we create them and below are examples of what trainer notes can include.
We use word docs for our trainer notes, as it’s the easiest and most recognised of office tools. We create it in Landscape mode (just our preference). It is really what works for you and the trainers who will deliver it, however pages on Mac will do the same job.
Page 1 – Header page – has the main course title clearly across the front.
Page 2 – Here we cover who owns responsibility, states the business owner/sponsor, course designer, version control number and date changes last made and sign off completed. In the footer will normally be the course title again, the version control number and page number.
Page 3 – A breakdown of the different version numbers. Starting with the first launch version and a brief explanation of the changes made in each of the new versions. This allows you to track changes and ensures trainers are only delivering the latest version. This helps if compliance & regulation are an important part of your business and content changes & amendments need to be tracked.
Page 4 – A breakdown/ overview of the course showing timings and subjects, a simple one page explanation of the subjects covered and timings for the day.
Page 5/6 – Workshop aims/ objectives/outcomes; here the trainer will detail the overall aim of the training being delivered and the learning objectives/outcomes from attending this workshop. Also any particular equipment the trainer needs to deliver the workshop for example: pens, paper, flip pens, flip paper, scissors, glue sticks, post-it notes, training laptops or computers.
You can also detail here if they need to print/prepare hand-outs or activities for the day.
Details about any pre-prepared flip charts that should be completed before the start of the workshop and what page within the trainer notes that it refers to.
Page 7 onwards – the content to be covered over that day. We create four sections across the page (as shown), one for timings, one for the detail & content, one for referencing PowerPoint’s or the use of flip chart or an activity. And the last section is for any resources being used. This format allows the trainer to follow the flow of the course, understand the content & detail for each section and shows what the trainer should be doing, saying or getting the group to participate in and what resources they may need.
Of course, these are examples to give you a better understanding of the layout, style, ideas on how to keep control of the content and materials being trained. Many trainers will have their own preferred style, layout and software to write their notes. Our aim here was to help those who needed a starting point. The most important part will be the content that goes into these notes that enables the trainer to deliver the information, message and experience that every new starter should enjoy from your induction
Making it fun and relevant
Some may call this the fun stuff! Hopefully if done correctly, activities and exercises can be fun. However the key is to make them fun AND relevant to the content you are covering. In my opinion, fun activities without a purpose or relevance are a wasted opportunity and will dilute the experience you are trying to create and the learning you want them to take away.
Everyone learns using multiple senses; seeing, listening, saying & doing (Eyes, Ears, mouth and touch). Your Induction (or any training for that matter) should be mixed sensory in its style, methods & delivery.
The PP slides/hand-outs/knowledge tests serve those who like to read and see things. The trainer’s words help those who like to listen as do group discussions to share knowledge and hear others’ experiences. Role-plays/activities/exercises to participate and learn through doing, participation and getting feedback from others benefit those who prefer to be ‘hands-on’.
There are lots of free resources online that will help you with activities & exercises for your induction, www.businessballs.com is an established free site (there are others), that will give you relevant and fun activities to use. You may need to tweak them for your induction but they are all ready to use. There are also lots of books to help you e.g. ‘Games trainers play’ part of the McGraw-Hill Training Series of books available through select bookstores.
Quizzes and knowledge tests are useful to understand what information has been retained by the group and can be a source of fun. You can create the knowledge test yourself, maybe focusing on questions about the products & services or success the company has had. However what can be fun if you have enough people is to get each group to come up with five questions as a team to ask the other groups from the key facts or knowledge from the day. You can award points or sweets as prizes when questions are answered correctly by other teams. All you need to do is facilitate the groups and ensure their questions & answers are specific, relevant and correct. It is always a fun way to consolidate the learning at the end of the day.
Important additional notes
When preparing and creating your new starter induction, you will need to consider the environment, content and resources for the following:
- Disabilities (The Equality Act 2010) – consideration for all your attendees that provisions have been made to ensure everyone can take part in the induction, from wheel chair access, to activities that everyone can participate in.
- How you test attendees – if there is a requirement for the job role to complete or pass a test (written/aural/practical). Consideration has to be taken for attendees with dyslexia, or attendees who are blind, partially sighted etc.
- Health & Safety – If your business involves additional risks e.g. manual handling, first aid, working at height, dangerous machinery/liquids/gas, high/low voltage etc. Our advice is to ensure you use professional certificated and accredited training organisations for anything that has a risk. If you are delivering this training regularly, it may pay for you to train up experienced staff to deliver this if that is a long term cost effective solution, however you need to factor in the on-going costs for keeping their certification and skills in line with the regulatory and compliance standards and laws.
Your Human Resources (HR) department can help you identify what is required, specific laws or policies and how best to meet the needs of everyone.
In Blog 6 we will continue working on the design of your induction material by focusing on making it easy for trainers to deliver the content that you put into your notes. For now, you can start to create your trainer notes template and start to add subject headers and timings to them.
If you’re thinking about putting a new starter induction together and need support and resources to get it done, why not get in touch today and talk to us about your ideas.