IGNITE! 2022 Presentation

July 29, 2022
Joseph Meinert

If you've poked around my site even a little, you know how important and how much of an impact my father had on my life. As I went to create this post, yet another memory of him came to mind. Whenever we'd be sitting at a restaurant and a waiter or waitress would bring out the wrong order, he'd say, "training" out loud after they had left. He wouldn't go on some long rant or explanation about how if the waiter had better training that they would not have made the mistake; it was just the inherent businessman inside him insisting on the importance of training your workforce.

A couple months ago, I was asked by Aspire to partake in one of their sessions at their annual IGNITE! conference that was held this July. The topic that I was asked to help with was Training Your Workforce. Along with Deanna Marshon and Jake Messer from Aspire, we developed and presented the presentation attached below. Obviously, this merely outlines our hour-long presentation and you don't get the full benefit of having been there, so here are some of the takeaways:

  1. Training is a skill. I learned a lot from my dad, but the truth is, he wasn't the best teacher. When he'd make a simple statement, like "training" or "better training", I knew what he meant. It's easy to see, however, how others would have heard the comment and let it go over their head. You need to recognize that training is a skill and like any skill, not everyone has it. If training is going to be important to a role you are hiring for, make sure you monitor for it. If it's something you hadn't thought about before, maybe start by looking for the extroverted type; they're going to be much more open to and successful at connecting with people when conducting these trainings.
  2. Use the "train the trainer" method. We don't have all the time in the world and we can't be in multiple places at once. Let's say you're rolling out a new process for a specific go-live date at three separate branches that requires an in-person touch. If there's any amount of time restriction, it's not going to be feasible for you to get around and get it done. Instead, we train three individuals who can then go to each location and conduct the training to the larger groups.
  3. Document your training. At HeartLand, we recognized early on the need to document our training. Early on, I started talking about the need for a sort of internal Wikipedia. I even mocked up a website for how it might look. Eventually, I found out others in the company were making plans to develop something similar. We teamed up and developed the HeartLand LMS (Learning Management System). This system houses all the company's training materials and drives accountability in learning. It's all managed and overseen by HeartLand's Director of Training & Development (she's a rockstar, by the way). Why do we do this? Like train the trainer, we don't have endless hours at our disposal. Would you rather spend one hour recording a training that can later be used over and over, OR would you like to do the training yourself over and over? Eliminating waste in a business is key and this is a good way to do it. Additionally, you want to make sure you're getting a consistent message into your workforce's minds. I myself have done the same trainings over and over and it's happened more than once where on the tenth time doing the training, I communicate an idea that was different than the first nine. I'm human. We make mistakes. But a documented lesson in video or PDF is like having something written in stone - there's not room for error.
  4. Have employees drive. Show and tell doesn't work for everyone. People learn in different ways and from what I have gathered, the best way is for them to do it themselves, so whether you're training on how to operate a skid steer or process a sale in Aspire, handing over the controls is what's going to get you results.

Learn more about Meinert Consulting Group here.