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Training Materials 101

Training Materials 101

Have you ever thought about how your organization trains new employees or provides ongoing training for existing employees? Good training materials are invaluable. They provide continuity and consistency when training new employees, rather than just relying on the hit or miss “see one, do one, teach one” method. Good training materials ensure that everyone receives the same information with nothing left to guess work. And, they provide employers a way to ensure they’ve given new employees the necessary information and skills needed to succeed at their job. For existing employees, up-to-date and thorough training materials are a good point of reference later.

How do I get started? Training materials are necessary for any program or activity that requires acquiring and retaining knowledge or skills. EIG can help your organization create training materials that will meet your specific needs.

These questions may help you think about what your materials should include:

  1. What are the objectives of the training? What do people need to know/learn? Objectives should always drive the development of materials.
  2. How will the training materials be used? Will they be used for one-on-one training, group presentations, or in other ways?
  3. What sort of materials do we need? Some examples might be tri-folds, booklets, banners, posters, note pads.
  4. What visuals should be included? Visual elements should enhance and add to the message of the written text, not distract from it. Do you want graphics, photos, tables, graphs, or other visuals?
  5. How will you assess whether the objectives have been met? Has the individual learned what we wanted them to learn?

What’s next? Once you have a plan in place for what your organization needs, it’s time to consider layout and printing. Here are a few suggestions when you’re thinking about what you want the finished product to look like:

  1. User appeal. Trainees must want to use and refer to the materials you create! The best content is useless if the person holding it wants to throw it in the trash!
  2. Lots of white space. Don’t clutter the page with too much text. Consider setting important material apart with text boxes or different size and color of font.
  3. Pay attention to font type and font size. Complete sentences may not be needed – bullet points and short phrases are effective.
  4. Choose visuals carefully! Poor graphics or visuals make materials look “dated” quickly. But great images and graphics reinforce and may even be used in place of text.
  5. Focus on what your target group “needs to know;” then use additional space in the materials to add “good to know” and “nice to know” information.

EIG is here to help! One of our clients, Robert Winter from Front Line Leadership, has this to say about EIG’s expertise:

“It is rare to find a company that delivers at the level that the Evolve Impact Group does. I have worked with them this year on a number of marketing projects for two of my companies. The quality of their deliverables has been outstanding. Their knowledge, professionalism, and detailed communication provided the guidance I needed to make informed business decisions. Becky, Kevin, and their staff were always accessible if I had questions or concerns... I cannot emphasize enough the value their work has brought to us, and would be more than happy to visit with anyone thinking of using them.”

Contact us to help your organization be at the “top of the game” with training materials that inform, instruct, and motivate. Our offices are in the Bryan/College Station, Texas area, but we can serve you wherever you are.

Resources:

Association for Talent Development. 4 steps to writing effective training materials. https://www.td.org/newsletters/atd-links/4-steps-to-writing-effective-training-materials . Accessed 30 May 2018.

Malizia, M. No more yawning. Course developed under contract with the NN/LM South Central Region. 2014.

Stolovitch, HD and Keeps, EJ. Telling ain’t training. ASTD Press, 2002.

wikiHow. How to develop training materials. https://www.wikihow.com/Develop-Training-Materials . Accessed 30 May 2018.

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