Let’s face it, training often gets a ‘bum rap’. Some of the negative messages are: “I don’t need training, I can work this out for myself”, “we’ve paid a lot of money for this and there’s nothing left in the budget” or “I haven’t got time” – We’ve heard them all before, but why is training important?
Paul Daniels, Acutest’s Lead Trainer, explains…
There are several different training objectives that need to be considered but they can be summarised in one word – ‘buy-in’ – because without the participants’ ‘buy-in’ then success is less likely.
Personnel are more likely to ‘buy in’ to the adoption of a new product if they have a level of understanding and confidence: an understanding of the reason for the new product and the benefits that can accrue for both themselves and the company; a basic understanding of how to use the product works and, importantly, a confidence to use the product to achieve the stated objectives.
Training saves time and money. Let’s look at the steps involved in using any piece of test equipment.
Read the instruction manual. This is a BIG problem as most of us don’t like reading instruction manuals and yet we can all learn something new – try reading the rules of Monopoly (or any other board game) and you will be a better player for that! Joking aside, this process may involve getting an understanding of various bits of terminology so alongside the instruction manual you may need a reference book. You will need to read the whole manual as important information is sometimes tucked away on p90! Some manuals cover multiple models within the range so filtering out information relevant to a specific model may be time-consuming. A training course will be able to reduce the manual to ‘bite size’ chunks or deliver the information in non-technical terms, interspersing the training with tips/shortcuts/trade secrets and also practical exercises – there is nothing like ‘hands-on’ participation to provide a change in tempo or engagement.
In the case of a tailored Thermal Imaging fault-finding course: In fault-finding applications it is best to know what to look for, and to know you have a chance of finding a fault. A a training course can include practical exercises reproducing or mimicing typical faults. Practical exercises offer the opportunity to ensure the correct use of the equipment and analysis of the measurements leading to a correct diagnosis.
Training in a group can throw up some interesting dynamics – peer support, early adopters, possibly a resistance to change. Everyone receives the same information in order to gain the same level of expertise. Training is equally useful whether the equipment is used ‘out of the box’ or whether some adjustment of the factory settings is needed, leading to an enhanced performance of the equipment. Group discussions can lead to consideration of the equipment for other applications or using the equipment in conjunction with existing equipment, therefore increasing the benefit of purchase.
A training course is the ideal opportunity to put a project into context – an issue has been identified and following an evaluation period a solution has been identified that, upon implementation, will give benefits x, y & z. There is a planned and co-ordinated deployment rather than a case of giving out the equipment and simply telling them to ‘get on with it’.
Training courses should be informative and interesting, possibly fun and delivered by skilled communicators. Often people come to our training courses with a ‘not sure about this’ attitude and come away with a ‘yes, I can’ attitude.
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