by Alex Krulikowski

Good training will provide your employees with skills they can use to improve performance on the job; but whether or not the improvements occur is dependent upon the job environment.

Do any of these statements sound familiar?

  • “The training didn’t work.” 
  • “The training was a waste of time; our employees still don’t make good drawings.” 
  • “We had GD&T training before, but nothing has changed.”
  • “Good training should result in performance improvement.”
  • “What’s wrong with these guys? We trained them and they still make mistakes.” 
  • “We learned about GD&T, but we still like to use the old methods because our plants and suppliers won’t understand.”
  • “We had GD&T training, but we don’t have time to apply the symbols so we use the old methods.”

If you’re a manager who’s heard any of these comments, this article will be of interest to you. It provides you with six strategies for inspiring on-the-job performance from training.

The six performance improvement strategies work toward achieving four goals. They will help you to:

  1. Demonstrate the importance of the skills being learned in the training
  2. Establish expectations for performance improvement from the training
  3. Maintain the skills obtained from the training
  4. Create a supportive environment for the training

Implementing these strategies only takes about two hours a month. This small investment maximizes the ROI of the training event, results in improved performance on the job, and contributes to achieving business objectives.

The strategies fall into three categories: before the training is purchased, before the training occurs, and after the training is completed.

Good training offers your employees skills they can use to improve performance on the job; but whether or not the improvements occur is dependent upon the job environment. If an employee is criticized, or told to “do it the old way,” the employee will soon abandon what was learned in the training and do what makes his or her life a little brighter at work.

Measure your GD&T skills level

Before the training is purchased.

Strategy 1: Understand the relationship between the course goals and the company business objectives.
The training should support the business objectives of your organization. Check to see that the course goals and objectives relate to your business objectives.

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Strategy 2: Understand how the course goals and objectives relate to employee job duties that support your business objectives.
This information will help you to communicate to the employee why the training is important, how it relates to the job, and where you expect to see improved performance as a result of the training. If you need recommendations about the course content and what skills students will be able to perform after the course, contact the training provider.

Strategy 3: Plan and budget for follow-up activities and additional support for developing and maintaining new skills.
Recognize from the start that skills need to be supported or the transfer to the job will be minimal. This involves creating a supportive environment, supplying job aids, offering on-the-job coaching opportunities, and giving proper feedback.

transfer-learning_Strategies_For_Training
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Approximately one week before training occurs.

Strategy 4: Conduct a one-hour meeting with employees from your department to discuss the importance of the training and how it relates to their jobs.

  1. Start by finding out why each employee feels the training will help in his or her job. What will they specifically learn that will help them in their job?
  2. Discuss the importance of the training they are about to attend. Explain what improvements or benefits are expected as a result of the training. Be realistic with your expectations. If you need recommendations about the course content and what the students will be able to do, contact the training provider.
  3. Describe the type of course and verify that the employees agree they need this training. Some individuals may state that they “know GD&T” or they have “used GD&T before.” Don’t assume they have a proper understanding. Have them take a pre-test if they want to skip the training.
  4. Pass out a copy of the course agenda, and ask each employee to identify which areas will help the most.
  5. Pass out the course textbook, and ask the employees to look it over in preparation for the class.
  6. Discuss specific GD&T problems or questions from their jobs that they should ask about in class. If you are aware of any examples, ask the group to find out the answers.
  7. Pass out the personal training guide and have each employee fill in the appropriate sections. Explain that after the class is over, the completed personal training guides will become an input for their performance review.
  8. Remind them that you will have a follow up meeting after the training to discuss how to apply the skills to their jobs.

 

After the training has been completed.

Strategy 5: (Within one week after the training) Conduct a one-hour meeting with employees to discuss how they will use the training, your expectations, and what they need from you to support the training.

  1. Ask the group what they learned from the training. Review the seminar evaluation results with the employees.
  2. Ask how they will change what they do on their jobs as a result of the training.
  3. Ask each employee how they intend to use the GD&T information on their jobs.
  4. Ask your employees how you can support the use and growth of the new skills. Make a list and obtain the items needed by your employees. Some common tools to enhance performance are documentation, organizational structure, processes, standards, job aids and online reference databases.
  5. Request that all employees take the skills survey (or another internal test) to measure their skill levels.
  6. Collect the personal training guides and review with each employee what performance goals are going to be added to his/her performance evaluation.
  7. Ensure that you consistently create an environment where the workers’ world gets a little brighter when they use GD&T correctly and a little dimmer when they don’t.

Strategy 6: (At approximately 3, 6, & 12 months after the training) Conduct one-hour meetings with the employees to discuss how they are using GD&T in their jobs. Provide feedback.

  1. Prior to each meeting, collect work examples and consult an expert source to determine their level of correctness. If the results are poor, supply assistance (i.e. GD&T applications mentoring).
  2. Discuss the work examples of GD&T applications in the meeting.
  3. Ask the employees how you can support the use and growth of the new GD&T skills.
  4. Ask the employees if they have any specific problems or roadblocks related to GD&T.
  5. Again, ensure that you consistently create an environment where the workers’ world gets a little brighter when they use GD&T correctly and a little dimmer when they don’t.

eti_performance_improvement_Strategies_for_Training

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A closing thought…
If you have an employee who uses GD&T, you need to understand the topic to be able to effectively evaluate his/her performance. Show your support and gain the knowledge needed for a proper evaluation. Attend the training.

Where are your GD&T skills gaps? What about your employees? Take the skills survey to see your strengths and where you could use improvement.