Over the past several months, I've been working on launching some back-end tools for our online application process for the HR department allowing them to better manage applicants during the hiring process. One of the final steps is the training of the 15 users of the new system.
I have done my best to communicate everything to everyone through email, instant message and web conference training sessions. My training sessions have included a conference call with screen sharing software so that everyone can see exactly where to go and what to do. But what I've learned from this whole process is that no matter how many times something is repeated in a large training group, someone will miss it, especially when you have to train remotely.
If you are not careful a group 'training-session' strategy like this can end up as one big ruse to cut corners. While it has it’s place, for me, the training had become merely an effort to compartmentalize; to get it all done quickly and off my plate so I could move onto the next priority.
In this instance, it became clear after following-up with the involved parties, that some one-on-one time was needed to go over their concerns and road blocks. While time consuming, it is the ultimate way to get EVERYONE trained proficiently. No matter how well you plan the group training, unless the trainee is engaged and active in their own learning, you should expect hurdles.
These days, I take into consideration whether or not training will be effective in a group setting or if I have to employ the one-on-one approach. I take into consideration the difficulty of the task(s) and the trainee group's experience with the material I will be presenting. More often than not I end up having to use both training techniques.
When an individual is the sole object of your attention, the training will be more effective. To use a football analogy, group training may be efficient in getting you to the red zone, but follow-up, review and individual focus is the effective way to get you across the goal line.