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When Employee Training Goes Wrong, and How to Make it Right

It's a common tale for anyone familiar with employee training interventions: Reps go to training, pass the tests then get out in the field and, well, they don't do very well. Or maybe they do really well for a couple of days then sort of forget what they learned and regress to pre-training levels.

Our friends over at Hickory wrote a great post about some of the pitfalls of the one-off training approach, and it got us thinking about the ways your business can avoid them and flourish.

#1 Front-Loaded Training Creates Struggles for Learners

When employee training is front-loaded, you aim the training firehose at your employees, hope they remember it all, then send them off to do their job. It is the rare employee indeed who can not only remember it all, but alter their behavior appropriately and consistently enough to use all of that information in their job. This is often the cause of the infamous "training bump," whereby learners' performance improves for a day or even a week until the memory of the training class starts to fade, and they fall back on the old habits you conducted the training to change.

Merlin Guides helps break this cycle because it's the employee training method that never abandons the learner. Wizards can be used in the training intervention itself as desired, but the same wizards are also there the next day in the real job, and the day after that, and the month after that. And when something changes, the wizard gets updated and little to no training is required at all. The new habit formed with Merlin guides is the habit of using the wizards.

#2 Training Covers Too Much Information

When a friend shows you how to do something, say, how to grill steak, how do they begin? Do they sit you down, tell you that after today's session you'll know how to choose a steak, how to pre-heat a grill, how to season a steak and how to determine a steak's temperature? Do they remind you that you've previously learned how to grill chicken? Do they have you review a set of steak-grilling policies approved by the Steak Grillers Association?Or, do they fire up the grill, toss on the steaks and talk you through it? Guess which approach most training follows? Guess which approach gets better results?

Merlin Guides isn't about stating objectives or providing extensive background information--Merlin Guides is about giving you the information you need, at the very moment you need it. Sure, it can also provide any additional information you deem appropriate, but more than that, it's simply a different, and better, approach to employee training in software and systems.

#3 Training Doesn't Reinforce Appropriately

How much time has your organization spent on "refresher" training or even full-on retraining? How often do your local managers spend time in their team meetings reviewing the proper way to do something in a system? Maybe you even have someone with the job of identifying the top issues with system use so that you can redo employee training?

Reinforcement is time-consuming and often difficult to implement consistently. With Merlin Guides, the wizards are not only the training, they're also the reinforcement. In fact, they reinforce the right way to do something every day, during every transaction. Once your learners begin to rely on their wizards, Merlin Guides are not just a refresher, they become the job.

Merlin Guides is Your Training Solution

Traditional employee training methods can still pack a punch in the right circumstances, but in today's world of decreased training time and increased expectations, Merlin Guides is the right solution for your systems training. Learn more.