Seven steps for effective hands-on training

When it comes to getting new employees up to speed – or training existing employees in a new skill – one of the most effective ways is via hands-on training. As the name would suggest, hands-on training means using your hands and bodies to perform tasks, but the following are seven steps that can be taken to enhance the process and ensure that the training is effective.

1 – Demonstrate.Show learners how to perform the procedure, technique, or task. Be sure to explain what you are doing, as well as to pause to demonstrate steps as needed.

2 – Have learners describe what you did.Ask them to tell you in their own words what they have just seen – it is only when a person is asked to ‘teach’ that they can truly demonstrate their mastery of the topic.

3 – Ask and answer questions.Ask learners questions about your demonstration to ensure they have understood the key points. Then, provide an opportunity for learners to ask any remaining questions and answer accordingly.

4 – Have learners perform with guidance.Give each learner the chance to actually perform the procedure, technique, or task. However, you should be close by to monitor and offer guidance as needed.

5 – Provide feedback. During the first trial run – and for subsequent runs as needed – provide praise and correct errors. Ensure learners who make mistakes understand what they did wrong and how they can prevent it from happening again.

6 – Give them the chance to practice.Once you feel confident that learners have the right idea, let them practice under supervision until they can repeatedly perform the task without errors.

7 – Monitor back on the job to ensure learning is effective. Check that trainees have learned everything they need to know and are performing the procedure, technique, or task properly once in the real-world setting. Again, provide guidance as needed and check in periodically to offer praise.