Four Steps to Better Staff Training

An organisation that doesn’t carry out regular staff training can be missing out on the opportunity to help its staff do a better job. But running meaningless training without an identified goal and plan can be just as bad. Here are four steps to help you improve your staff training sessions.

1. Plan sessions properly

Preparation is key to good training, so you need to spend time to work out who needs training, what training is required and exactly what that training is going to accomplish for the organisation. Remember at all times that it is essential that the training should address a specific need within the business so that you will be able to see the benefits and ensure that the training is not simply wasted working time. The means that one of the most fundamental aspects of the training is to explain at the beginning exactly what attendees are going to learn and how they can put their new knowledge into practice.

Staff training

2. Put dedicated funding and resources into training

Many businesses expect internal departments to deal with employee training without actually providing any extra budget or resources. It’s common for companies to believe that there is no need to spend money on training as it can all be handled in-house. But giving a team a budget for training can dramatically improve the effectiveness of sessions. Investing in technologies such as audience response systems, which have the potential for multiple uses within the business, can make all the difference.

3. Team managers need to take ownership

It can often be a great idea to bring in professional trainers from outside the outside the business to run the sessions. But managers should not lose sight of the fact that these sessions should be attempting to impart knowledge that is relevant to the success of the company. That means that managers need to take ownership of the training sessions to ensure that the right details are being conveyed. Also, remember that a great deal of information can be transferred within the team itself, so allow some time for people within the session to discuss ideas and provide opinions.

4. Have follow-up sessions

It’s vital that any learning from the training is reinforced with follow-up sessions. It can be all too easy to forget what has been learned in a session, so it is important to have reminders and refreshers to help staff get the most out of the training.

How Q&A Can Make or Break Your Presentation

Many people who speak at a conference dread the Q&A session after their presentation. For some, it’s the prospect of answering difficult questions on the spot, while others fear that someone will take issue with the content of their talk. But there’s no need to be worried about the Q&A – in fact, getting questions from the audience is actually a real compliment as it shows that they were engaged with your subject matter.

When you understand that almost any question you receive in a Q&A will be a positive, it shows that this session can be a very valuable time in the presentation. So use it to your advantage! Here’s how:

Reinforce your message at Q&A

The Q&A session is a great time to reinforce the message you’re putting out. When someone asks you a question it gives you license not only to reply but also to continue talking. Making a point for a second time will make it last longer in the mind of your audience as well as giving another opportunity for late comers to hear it.

Business woman lecturing at Conference.

Expand points

One of the problems that many conference speakers come up against is the time limit on their presentation. It’s not always possible to fit in all the details that you had planned when you’re up against a strict time deadline. The Q&A session can give you a vital opportunity to expand on some of your points and add in valuable information. Think about common questions you might receive and find ways to work in some of your additional material.

Explain anything unclear

When you’ve been working on your presentation for a long time, it can be easy to forget that this will be the first time that your audience has heard it. That means that you need to explain each point clearly. Sometimes it is the case that a presenter can be ambiguous or skip over a key issue. The Q&A session here can actually be very important as it gives the audience the chance to let you know, so that you can clarify.

Address specific examples

Perhaps the most valuable aspect of the Q&A from an audience perspective is that it gives them the opportunity to apply the things you have talked about to their real life examples. This can be important for you too as it can help to make certain point clearer.

How to Get the Most Out of a Conference

A conference can be a fantastic place to network with people in your industry as well as a chance to gain insight and ideas on a variety of different topics. But sometimes you can go away from a conference feeling that you haven’t really gained anything. There’s no use wasting your time on a flat experience, so here are four ways to get the most out of a conference that you are attending.

Audience at the conference hall.Smart networking

Many people think that networking isn’t their thing. How do you awkwardly approach and then keep up a dialogue with strangers? The truth is it’s actually relatively easy to be an introverted person when networking – you just do exactly what you do normally: listen. Ask questions to the people you meet and let them do the talking. Ultimately you are looking to forge strong relationships with people and sometimes the best way to do this is to allow them to take the lead.

Go it alone

If you attend a conference with a number of colleagues it can be tempting to spend much of the day with them, watching presentations together and even attempting to network together. This can actually be a mistake – trying to do anything in a large group just encourages you to talk to each other and can be too intimidating for other people to try to strike up a conversation with you. You’ll get more out of the day if you split up. You can spend time watching different speakers and engage in natural networking with others.

Get ideas for your own

Of course one of the key aspects of going to a conference is the opportunity to take a range of ideas away from it. One aspect of this that is sometimes overlooked is that the fact that you can get fantastic ideas and techniques for your own presentations. Your company may wish to be involved in a conference itself at some point down the line and this can be the perfect opportunity to take down notes on the best presentations you watch. This could be anything from the layout of a slideshow on PowerPoint or the use of technology like an audience response system.

Engage with speakers

There’s nothing that a conference speaker likes more than to have an audience that engages with their presentation. From your perspective this can also be a brilliant way to set up a great basis for networking later on. As you watch the presentation, think of questions to ask at the end so that you can begin a dialogue with the speaker. This can be an ideal way to get more knowledge or even develop unexpected business connections. Remember, speakers will always be flattered by the interest that you have shown in their talk and this can start your conversation out on a strong foot. It is a great idea to forge connections with respected experts too.

CLiKAPAD visit manufacturing plant

Manufacturing plant

CLiKAPAD recently visited the UK-based manufacturing plant where our keypads are created. Here we oversaw the whole manufacturing process. We think it is important to regularly check over the way that our handsets are created to ensure that every keypad we sell is perfect for our customers’ needs.

CLiKAPAD manufacturing devices

It is exciting to see our designs being brought to life. We feel that we get the best value for money by working with our expert UK-based manufacturer. We can rely on them for the exceptional quality of the devices that they provide. We also love to work with other British businesses – all of our software development is completed in the UK as well.

CLiKAPAD manufacturing

We are so sure of the quality of our hardware that we offer a 12 month parts and labour warranty on every piece that we sell.

Manufacturing process

How Can Audience Response Help with Risk Assessment?

Risk assessment is a critical task for many businesses. It is the duty of an employer to ensure that they adequately plan for any risk that could be encountered by their workers. An audience response system (ARS) will help you develop broader and more comprehensive risk assessments, as you are able to involve staff in the creation of the assessment and ensure that all of the bases are covered. Here’s how an ARS could help you with risk assessment.

Fast, accurate data gathering

Risk assessment presentation

Undoubtedly one of the most important resources when creating a risk assessment are your employees. They will have a great understanding of the areas where they are most at risk. Using an ARS, you can quickly and accurately gather data from all of your workers. During a workshop or assessment meeting you can set up questions and staff can respond on the handheld clicker devices.

Take a group approach to risk assessment

An ARS can not only be used to gather data on risk – it can also provide information on potential solutions too. Getting your whole team involved ensures that you are incorporating everyone’s opinions, knowledge and concerns. This allows you to find more effective ways to mitigate risk.

Rather than having to spend a significant amount of time gathering the information from each member of staff individually, you can get all the data simultaneously. This will save you a lot of time and effort as well as providing more accurate results. The results from each vote can be instantly displayed on screen driving discussion in your workshops.

Export your results to Excel and PowerPoint

You can also sync your ARS with Excel and PowerPoint. Exporting the raw data to Excel gives you the ability to instantly update your risk register with the gathered data. The graphs and heat maps generated by the ARS system can be incorporated into PowerPoint to allow you to give highly professional and attention-grabbing presentations.

A more effective plan of action

Being able to gather all the data at the same time ultimately means your risk assessments will be more effective – they will take more worries into account and provide a broader variety of ways to deal with those risks.

Whether you hire an ARS for a one-off risk assessment workshop or you purchase a system for regular assessments, it could be a huge benefit to your business.