In part five we continued the process for developing the training materials for your new starter induction. In part six we want to 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.
Content and context – it’s a bit like the Three bears
Writing content to go into you induction can be time-consuming or rushed to achieve a deadline. If you only write some brief notes, with bullet points on what to cover in each section, this will be fine for you, however will everyone else tasked with delivering it know what you mean and the outcomes you expect?
Write too much detail and then you can have the opposite affect of it being too strict and regimented and the trainer/s cannot allow their personality to come out in the delivery.
To get it just right, you need to know the outcomes for each section/subject that you write, often referred to as objectives. I prefer to write clear outcomes, but do whatever is easier for you. The purpose is to know what you want your new starter to be able to achieve at the end of your section, session or workshop. For example:
By the end of this series on how to create your new starter induction the reader will be able to:
- Plan out the core elements of what to include in their induction
- Create an overview of the induction plan
- Create a basic project plan that details the stages & steps required and the timescale to completion.
- Identify the expected set up cost for creating the induction and on going costs for year 1 and submit budget expectations.
- Create a template for their induction materials
I was told early in my training career to write your outcomes (or objectives) before you start writing your workshop content & detail – it makes sense this way. The reason is, by creating your outcome, you now have a purpose to what you write and a goal to achieve. It ensures that you have a clear outcome at the end and what you are delivering in the training is adding value to the attendees and means they will be able to do, show, explain, describe, demonstrate, know and/or understand something.
If you are writing a subject or section of content, you only really want up to three clear outcomes as a rule, any more and there is too much for the attendee to take in, remembering this is for a section of the workshop, not the full induction. Some of your outcomes may be very similar across different subjects, For a typical one day induction you might have a total of seven subjects/sections, which gives you about 20 outcomes. You then take 4-6 of the most important outcomes and merge several into one that you expect the group to take away from the entire induction. Use these as the core induction outcomes for that one day workshop.
We have our outcomes written for each section or subject to be covered, you know what you want each section to achieve and what you want them to know and understand by the end of the day. So let’s get writing.
In Blog 5 we created our template for writing notes, now we need to make it easy for any trainer to read the trainer/facilitation notes and understand so that:
- The delivering trainer knows what they need to say, explain or show during the workshop .
- The group knows what the trainer is saying and it makes sense.
There are certain words (Sub Headings) we use in trainer notes to help any trainer interpret what is required next. However when delivering training, the less you leave the group attempting to remember, the more successful the session. Let me explain the words we use here and why:
- Explain / Describe – we put this at the start of an explanation about something. This might be to give context or understanding on a subject. The trainer notes will be written in full to explain what needs to be put across; the trainer can say it in their own words as long as the outcome of the explanation is the same.
- Example – This may be an example of how to do something, say something or work something out. The trainer can use the example or can use their own example as long as the outcome is the same. NOTE: if a company has a certain way of doing things, it is worthwhile making this clear so that the trainer can follow the given example.
- State – The trainer should state the words that are written in the notes, it may be worthwhile having the slide up with it on or a hand-out. This is used for info or detail that cannot be changed e.g. compliance statements that have to be said verbatim to customers every time they sell this product or service.
- Ask – It’s important to engage your audience when training and the best way is to pose questions to your group for their ideas and responses to generate discussion and share opinions. As a prompt for the trainer, we put the word ASK in bold then write the question. This helps the trainer in two ways: Firstly, it enables the group to be involved and stops you doing all the talking. Secondly, it allows the trainer to take a breath and do a cheeky check of the notes if required.
- Trainer Note/Reference – I usually change the colour of the text to red so the trainer can easily see these reference points. This may be additional info or detail for the trainer to know before they deliver. It can be to add context or background that ensures the trainer understands why something is said or done this way. These may also be italics or in bold so the trainer knows not to read it out as it’s for their reference only.
- Activity / exercise – I tend to change the colour of the text to blue for these so I know where they come in the trainer notes (it also helps to break up the writing). The trainer will detail what the activity is, how to set it up, what resources they need, the timescale to complete it and the summary of what has been learnt from the activity.
- Hand-Out / Workbook – this is a prompt for the trainer to hand out something. I will normally give the ‘hand-out’ a code or reference if you have several during the day. Or with workbooks, I will state the page reference so the group knows which page to turn to for that section. This saves you time flicking through your workbook trying to find the page while delivering the induction.
- Slide 1 / PP 1 – A reminder for the trainer to know when the slide is to be used and which slide they should be on.
These words are just prompts (Sub Headings) that go before the content of the training session. We put them in bold so they are easy to see for any trainer and break up the content & writing in the trainer notes. The use of different coloured text can be useful. If using coloured text, it makes sense to put a key at the start of the notes to help the trainer e.g.
- RED Text – Trainer notes/references – for the trainer to understand, does not need to be read out, just understood when delivering the content.
- BLUE Text – An activity or exercise for the trainer to run, all instructions on how to run the activity will be included in that section
- Yellow highlighted text – Must be read out verbatim by the trainer as this is a compliance statement, or the words are not to be changed.
How you set this up for your trainer notes is completely up to you. We know it works and helps anyone who is tasked with delivering the material.
We now have our trainer/facilitation note template, a system to highlight sections (Sub Headings) and a colour code key. All you have to do is add the content for your induction. This is for you and your team to complete, and may take days/weeks depending on how long your induction is, what content needs writing, what skills and knowledge within the team to complete this, the amount of skills, products, services, knowledge a new starter is expected to know by the end of the induction and resources available to you to complete this.
In part 7 we will look at preparing your delivery (Training) team, finalising your induction material and getting ready to run your first induction. We will make a little assumption here, and assume you have gone and written your induction material after reading this and the last five blogs in time for our final blog in this series.
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.