Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - 59

SECRETS OF SOURCING
DOUG HARWARD

6 KEYS TO
UNDERSTANDING YOUR
LEARNERS' ENVIRONMENT

It's simple to say that understanding
a learner's needs is the key to
successfully designing and delivering
effective training solutions. As training
professionals, we often get caught up in
focusing our energy on creating engaging
content and losing focus on how to
facilitate behavior change. While content
can be entertaining and memorable, if
it falls short of truly changing behavior
based on the needs of the business, then
the time spent in training is wasted.
From where I sit, designing great
content is not just about understanding
the learner, we must also understand
the environment in which the learner
works and learns. Therefore, I'd like to
recommend six keys to understanding
a learner's overall environment, which
will allow you to consider the broader
learning experience.
1. UNDERSTAND WHAT LEARNERS DO
Designing training for a specific role
requires fully understanding the job of
each learner. Breaking down a job into
elements or tasks is fundamental to
truly understanding a job and eventually
teaching a learner how to proficiently
complete the job. Understanding the
tasks and the time it takes to complete
each task proficiently is a true deep dive
in understanding a job done well.
2. UNDERSTAND WHY A JOB SHOULD
BE DONE A CERTAIN WAY
Understanding why a job should be
done a particular way provides incentive
and motivation for employees to do the
little things needed to be successful.

Communicating the benefits to the
organization and the employee is critical
to helping learners understand the
purpose behind each required task. If the
meaning of our job is only to complete
mundane tasks, then job satisfaction will
be low with little motivation to do more
than is necessary.

IF TRAINING FALLS
SHORT OF CHANGING
BEHAVIOR BASED
ON THE NEEDS OF
THE BUSINESS, THEN
THE TIME SPENT IN
TRAINING IS WASTED.
3. UNDERSTAND THE RISKS OF DOING
A JOB INCORRECTLY
Doing a job incorrectly will always have
consequences. The risks of failure may
be as simple as negative feedback from
a client or it could be as serious as risk
of life or bodily harm. Regardless of
the magnitude, helping the learner
understand the consequences of failure
will help them to be conscientious about
performing each task correctly. Of course,
teaching how to respond to a crisis is
critical, but preventing it from occurring
is what the training is all about.
4. UNDERSTAND WHAT MOTIVATES
LEARNERS
Success in a profession, just like success
in life, is defined differently for every
individual. Every employee has their own
motivational triggers. Understanding
what motivates our learners can help
us more effectively design learning

experiences and add elements that may
improve employee performance.
5. UNDERSTAND WHAT HINDERS
LEARNERS FROM DOING THE JOB
CORRECTLY
Oftentimes, jobs are not properly designed
and do not provide the necessary
information or tools to successfully
perform the job. These hinderances
can prevent high-level success on the
job. When designing training, training
professionals have a responsibility to the
business to communicate any of these
hinderances to those responsible for
the job design to prevent failure, risks
or economic impact. We must teach
employees to recognize these hinderances
and communicate when they need more
resources to perform a job.
6. UNDERSTAND THE PROCESS OF
HOW A LEARNER SHOULD MASTER A
JOB
Every job has a preferred process for
a learner to become proficient. The
process for learning how to play a
piano is different from the process
of learning the skills to be a nursing
assistant. Therefore, designing a learning
system for each job should be specific
to the tasks, job motivations, risks and
hinderances associated with that role.
It takes understanding how to integrate
classroom, on-the-job, on-demand, and
social learning experiences into one
learning system to get the learner to
proficiency as quickly as possible.
Doug Harward is CEO of Training Industry,
Inc. and a former learning leader in the hightech industry. Email Doug.

T RAIN IN G I N DU STR Y M AGAZ INE - UNDERSTANDING YOUR LEARNERS 20 1 9 I WWW. T RAI NINGINDU S T RY . C OM/ MAGAZ I NE

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https://www.trainingindustry.com/magazine

Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019

Understanding the Learner
Table of Contents
Helping People Flourish Through Great Leadership
Smart Learning Design: How Brain Science Can Impact Learning Design
Meet Today's Learner
Indoctrinate, Embrace and Measure!
The Importance of Diversity of Thought
Training Myths That Won't Go Away
What Does Personality Have to Do With It Anyway?
Back to Psychology Basics: How to Keep Your Learners Engaged
Becoming an Effective Learner in the Age of Digital Evolution
4 Keys to Making Content More Consumable for the Just-in-Time Learner
The Four Dimensions of Character Fitness and How They Grow Leadership Agility
The Human Factor
Accountability in Teams: Changing Perceptions and Moving Toward Implementation
Deloitte's Journey to Gamifying Onboarding for New Analysts
Creating an Amazing Learning Experience: Training and Gaining Soft Skills
Create Effective Adaptive Learning For Your Learners
6 Keys to Understanding Your Learners' Environment
Creating a Continuous Learning Culture
Emerald Group Acquisitions Create a Portfolio of Learning Businesses
Company News
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - Cover1
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - Cover2
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - Understanding the Learner
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - Table of Contents
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - 5
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - 6
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - 7
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - 8
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - Helping People Flourish Through Great Leadership
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - 10
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - Smart Learning Design: How Brain Science Can Impact Learning Design
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - 12
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - Meet Today's Learner
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - 14
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - Indoctrinate, Embrace and Measure!
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - The Importance of Diversity of Thought
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - 17
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - 18
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - 19
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - Training Myths That Won't Go Away
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - 21
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - 22
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - 23
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - What Does Personality Have to Do With It Anyway?
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - 25
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - 26
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - 27
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - Back to Psychology Basics: How to Keep Your Learners Engaged
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - 29
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - 30
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - 31
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - Becoming an Effective Learner in the Age of Digital Evolution
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - 33
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - 34
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - 35
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - 4 Keys to Making Content More Consumable for the Just-in-Time Learner
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - 37
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - 38
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - The Four Dimensions of Character Fitness and How They Grow Leadership Agility
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - 40
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - 41
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - The Human Factor
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - 43
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - 44
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - 45
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - Accountability in Teams: Changing Perceptions and Moving Toward Implementation
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - 47
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - 48
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - 49
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - Deloitte's Journey to Gamifying Onboarding for New Analysts
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - 51
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - Creating an Amazing Learning Experience: Training and Gaining Soft Skills
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - 53
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - 54
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - 55
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - 56
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - Create Effective Adaptive Learning For Your Learners
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - 58
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - 6 Keys to Understanding Your Learners' Environment
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - 60
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - Creating a Continuous Learning Culture
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - Emerald Group Acquisitions Create a Portfolio of Learning Businesses
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - Company News
Training Industry Magazine - May/June 2019 - Cover4
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