Getting the basics right in automotive training

As automotive learning technology providers, at Redware we are always looking forward; to the future of the industry and new technologies to help your organisation reach its future goals. However, it’s also important to stop and consider the needs of learners right now. If we as organisations are not providing the training learners need in the format they want to receive it, we will struggle to engage them with training now or in future, no matter how many engaging features and best-practices we incorporate.

To use an example from the sporting world, rugby teams in any league always start by getting the basics right before building up to the more complicated moves, and the same principle applies in probably any sport. This means spending time on drills and applying the training in a controlled environment to ensure it is fully embedded before progressing onto the match – where training is applied in a real-world environment and its impact is measured in the final score.

For most of your learners, the basics involve the training they’re already used to consuming, including face-to-face classroom courses and eLearning. Drills are the basics; the unglamorous, often repetitive activities that need to be done right every time. This could include compliance training, where completion goals need to be met for every course or the business is at risk. But learners also identify many training courses that will help them perform better for themselves, and the same principles of learning still apply. Consider whether your training programmes are meeting their needs in the areas people are looking for, and how your strategy encourages learners both to find new training and to apply it in their work.

GMD People have conducted a survey of line managers within automotive retail, and the results can tell us a lot about learners’ expectations, including their preferred delivery methods. When respondents were asked about the activities they have used in the last 12 months to help them deal with a new or unfamiliar situation, 74% requested to go on a course or workshop, and 72% contacted a business mentor or coach.

Formal, face-to-face learning therefore still plays a vital role in most employees’ self-directed personal development goals. Using internal online resources, including the Learning Management System, comes in sixth position, with 51% of respondents searching for learning via this channel, behind both social media and reading a book. No matter what technology we encourage learners to engage with, they will clearly still choose the methods they find work best for them.

Incorporating new technologies into the flow of learning is a fantastic opportunity, and can have great results, as long as the basics are in place first and you are supporting your learners. For example, one of the key points highlighted by the GMD People survey is that despite managers looking to formal training courses to fill knowledge gaps, only 18% refer to previous workshop notes, suggesting that if training is not internalised quickly after a training event, the knowledge is lost. This doesn’t mean that Learning & Development teams should encourage learners to move away from formal training courses, but should instead use modern training methods to support and reinforce the learning that occurs through this training. Try a blended learning approach by incorporating eLearning alongside these courses, either before the training to provide the theory behind the practical elements, or afterwards to help embed the learning through repetition or tasks to embed the training in the flow of work.

To get better results from your learning strategy, it’s important to ensure learners are fully engaged with your training, meaning evolution is often better than revolution. Traditional training methods are still just as relevant for your learners today, which means they should continue to hold relevance for L&D teams as well. Using new training delivery methods and supporting technologies can deliver significant benefits to your learners and your business, but it pays to remember how your learners prefer to manage their own training. By providing the training learners are looking for, we can increase the number of people who turn to our internal resources as their first port of call for learning. Meet the expectations of your learners through the training they are identifying their own needs for and get the basics right to lay the foundations for your future L&D strategy.

 

Explore how learning technology can help automotive retail organisations improve customer experience and deliver a range of results from their training in Gear Up For the Future of Automotive Retail.

Topics: Automotive Skills, Learning Strategy

 

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