How to Develop Your Employees

A competency model is a framework for defining skills, knowledge, behaviors, and attitudes required for a job role. The analysis of these competencies define successful job performance. Competency assessments help form the basis for training programs.

Competency maps are a valuable tool used to define skills and knowledge requirements for specific jobs and assess employee competencies. The matrix can be used for specific job roles or job functions. It can also be used to define proficiency levels based on experience and career paths. Training resources can then be matched to these competencies to target training needs and opportunities.

Utilize your high achieving employees as resources and knowledge points. These highly competent members of the staff can share not only what they know, but how they learned it, creating a wealth of resources at no additional cost to you.

When you need training development, however, be sure to only work with a professional instructional designer and facilitator. These professionals have degrees in instructional design and are experts in how adults learn. The founder of TRLJ Media is a professional instructional designer with multiple graduate degrees in learning and technology and more than 20 years of experience in the field. You can trust TRLJ Media for quality services and effective products.

How to Increase Customer Knowledge

Your customers and clients need education too. If you want your consumer base to fully understand and utilize your products and services, you need to educate them about what you do, how to access it, and what opportunities that you have for them.

Consumer education is different than marketing, though it also helps market your products and services. Consumer education is about informing and instructing your consumers about what to do.

Consumer education materials might include web-based tutorials, instructional package inserts, pamphlets about what you offer, user manuals, or webinars. Do not be afraid to think outside the box when it comes to educating your clients and customers. A workbook might help your client or customer apply the skills and knowledge that you provide. An eLearning course might quiz your clients or customers about product and service knowledge so that you can make better recommendations.

Be careful not to assume that consumers will look at your gadget and understand its capabilities. Consumer education materials are a great enhancement to your marketing strategies. TRLJ Media is happy to help you reach a bigger consumer base through education.

Understanding the Instructional Design Process

There are many different methodologies for instructional design. You may have heard terms such as ADDIE, SAM, or Agile if you have already researched training development. What we will explain here is not the specifics of a methodology because we choose the best methodologies to match your specific situation. What we will discuss is generally what goes on behind the scenes when you ask for a training product to be developed.

The most important thing that an instructional designer does is assess. We talk with you and assess the general problem or concern. Sometimes during this assessment, we realize that training is not the solution. A good instructional designer will tell you if that is the case. Not only do we assess the problem, we assess the learner. We examine what they need to know, what they know, how they perform tasks, and how they will use the skills and knowledge that they need to acquire. We use this (along with other things) to determine what products and services to offer. The learner guides the product recommendation, so if you come to us and say, “I want a process manual”, we may disagree with you if it is not the right thing for the learner. We are not trying to up-sell you on services. A good instructional designer is guided by learner needs.

Another thing that we assess is the task. Instructional designers dig deep into the process, the system, or the subject to learn as much as they can about it. Since they have already assessed what the learner generally needs to know, now they go on a hunt to find what things might be missing or how the learner might make mistakes. A good instructional designer addresses all of these things. For example, if a user needs to use a new computer system, the instructional designer learns all about how to use it correctly for their task. They also learn how to NOT use it correctly, so they can warn the user about potential pitfalls and guide them back to the correct path.

The instructional designer also considers how training is going to take place. They ask questions like, “How many learners will there be?” “When does training need to take place?” “Will training occur all at once or will it need to be presented repeatedly over a long period of time?” “Are all of the learners in one place or are they spread out across the country or even the world?” This information, combined with the learner’s needs, will determine recommendations about products and delivery.

All of this takes place before the training products are even developed. The instructional designer will create a training road map with clear objectives. They will consider the sequence of presenting the information and the appropriate scope and depth. Once all of this is determined, they will conference with you about their recommendations and make sure that you are happy before product development begins.

The results are products that are specifically targeted to what your learners need. The products will be reviewed and tested and revised if necessary before they are presented to your staff or clients. If you are facilitating the training, a good instructional designer will meet with you to make sure that you understand the materials. They will present you with a plan to help transfer the new knowledge and skills to the applied setting. If you need facilitation, some instructional designers will also lead the training. Regardless, the instructional designer is there for you through the entire process to help you navigate the training process.

TRLJ Media has services for any stage of your training development program. We can help you develop a training program from scratch. We can assist on single projects. We can work contract on overflow or long term projects. We can step in and revise training developed by others. TRLJ Media provides both instructional design services and facilitation. Facilitation is offered in person for Indiana and surrounding states. Virtual facilitation is offered for distance training.  When you have training issues, TRLJ Media has your back.


How does Contract Training Development Work?

TRLJ Media is a contract training and development company. We work with individual clients, large corporations, and state and federal government agencies. Small companies enjoy the benefit of quality training resources without the overhead costs of in-house training employees. Large organizations enjoy the benefit of using training and development contractors for overflow or specialty projects. Contract instructional designers are there when you need them and only when you need them. TRLJ Media will work as both an independent primary contractor or as a sub-contractor if needed.

So how does working with a contract instructional designer work? It works like any other business agreement. Most instructional design work is performed remotely. TRLJ Media has a remote team of professionals spread across the United States. Occasionally, clients need onsite training development due to security issues. TRLJ Media will travel locally within the Indianapolis area for  daily onsite work and will travel around Indiana and surrounding states for meetings and facilitation work.

Communication is a critical part of training development. We will hold regular meetings with your project managers, subject matter experts, financial offices, and IT departments to ensure that everything is aligned. If you do not have an in-house project manager, TRLJ Media will assume that role and will coordinate the project as well.

Review and testing is another important aspect of the process. Most products go through two sets of revision. The first revision focuses on content. This review looks for gaps, redundancies, inaccuracies, or clarity issues. The second review cycle focuses on formatting, timing, and grammatical issues. The client will be expected to review and sign off at each step.

Clients can reduce costs by providing reference materials and providing access to in-house subject matter experts. Clients can also reduce costs by carefully reviewing scope documents and content when it is presented. Changes after stage sign off will require additional charges. Another area to reduce costs is by printing in-house. Printing and shipping costs can double the cost, not to mention that printed materials can become quickly outdated.

Through contracting, TRLJ Media can provide cost effective solutions with the flexibility that you need.  If you are ready to leverage our expertise, contact us today.

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