Learning & Development

‘Lean’ Into More Effective Training

Just as “Lean” has helped cut waste in manufacturing and other industries, it can help training departments reduce waste and make training more effective, says Todd Hudson. In today’s Advisor, Hudson shows how to apply “Lean” principles to your training program.

The basic concept of Lean in the corporate learning context is that “people should get the information they need exactly when they need it,” says Hudson, head maverick at the Maverick Institute (www.maverickinstitute.com), which—to his knowledge—is the only firm that applies Lean principles to learning.

“The focus on Lean training is knowledge retention. It’s not the amount of training you do,” he says. “It’s what people take away from the training that matters.”

“Classroom training looks really efficient and effective” when you consider that you’re training 20 people simultaneously, but Hudson says that, after 1 month, learners retain only about 20 percent of what they learn in classroom training.

Although skills like public speaking, collaboration, and teamwork are best taught in a group setting, Hudson says that about 80 percent of training should be individualized and customized based on particular needs.


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Rather than lumping several related topics into the same training session, for example, Lean training is more effective because it addresses an identified need—in small chunks, without a delay of weeks or months, and often one-on-one, he says. Subject-matter experts providing the training can take into account the individual employee’s previous knowledge and job experience and tailor the training to his or her needs.

Applying Lean principles to training lowers costs and increases training’s efficiency and effectiveness. “People are going to be spending less time in training activities that don’t deliver results,” Hudson says, adding that employees also will retain more, apply what they learned, and improve performance.

Top performers don’t sit through classroom training that covers information they already know, Hudson says, noting that lower-performing workers benefit, too, because their training is designed to address their individual needs.

Short training sessions can have maximum effect by focusing on one critical topic. But sometimes, shorter training can be hard, because it can be tough to narrow down training material into short packets. But we’ve put together a resource that gives you targeted training in small bites.

What, no time for training? We’ve solved that with easy-to-manage program that lets you train in discrete, 10-minute chunks. A program that’s easy for you to deliver and that requires little time from busy schedules. (Also, if you’re like most companies in these tight budget days, you will like that it is reasonable in cost.)

When we asked our editors for a system that trains in a minimum amount of time with maximum effect, they came back with BLR’s unique 10-Minute HR Trainer.


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As its name implies, this product trains managers and supervisors in critical HR skills in as little as 10 minutes for each topic. 10-Minute HR Trainer offers these features:

Trains in 50 key HR topics under all major employment laws, including manager and supervisor responsibilities, and how to legally carry out managerial actions from hiring to termination. (See a complete list of topics below.)

Uses the same teaching sequence master teachers use. Every training unit includes an overview, bullet points on key lessons, a quiz, and a handout to reinforce the lesson later.

Completely prewritten and self-contained. Each unit comes as a set of reproducible documents. Just make copies or turn them into overheads, and you’re done. (Take a look at a sample lesson below.)

Updated continually. As laws change, your training needs to do so as well. 10-Minute HR Trainer provides new lessons and updated information every 90 days, along with a monthly Training Forum newsletter, for as long as you are in the program.

Works fast. Each session is so focused that there’s not a second’s waste of time. Your managers are in and out almost before they can look at the clock, yet they remember small details even months later.

Evaluate It at No Cost for 30 Days

We’ve arranged to make 10-Minute HR Trainer available to our readers for a 30-day, in-office, no-cost trial. Review it at your own pace and try some lessons with your colleagues. If it’s not for you, return it at our expense. Click here and we’ll set you up with 10-Minute HR Trainer.

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10 Minute HR Training For Managers and Supervisors?

Nobody’s got the time for HR training, but everybody’s got the need. Do your supervisors have the skills and training to handle complex HR legal issues in their everyday dealings with employees? If not, an inadvertent mistake on hiring, termination, interviewing, FMLA, sexual harassment, or the Americans with Disabilities Act could turn into an embarrassing, expensive legal nightmare.

BLR’s 10-Minute HR Trainer™ is the easy way to deliver valuable human resource management training meetings in as little as 10 minutes. It includes everything you need for training- meeting outlines, handouts, quizzes, etc. Put it to work in your organization and stop worrying!

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10 Minute HR Trainer:

Trains in 50 key HR topics, including manager and supervisor responsibilities under all the major employment laws, and how best to carry out managerial actions from hiring to legal termination.

Uses the same teaching sequence master teachers use. Every lesson includes an overview, bullet-pointed key lessons, an immediate quiz to test understanding, and a handout to reinforce the learning later.

Completely prewritten and self-contained. Each unit is set up as a group of reproducibles. Just make copies of the materials or turn them into overheads, and you’re done. No research; no writing; no other preparation needed.

Teaches in as little as 10 minutes. The program gets its name from the fact that each lesson is so concisely written and so focused on the key information needed that there’s not a second’s waste of time. Your managers are in and out almost before they can look at their watches, the door, their watches, the door …

Banish classroom boredom! Train your line managers with BLR’s 10-Minute HR Trainer. Try it free.

Start Your Free Trial Today!