Staff training is an essential part of the nursing home experience, if only for the added opportunity to gain further education and new knowledge. Like nursing home insurance, it is also useful for keeping the facility in business, as it helps keep staff on the cutting edge of the latest development in the industry.
But as anyone that has sat through a training session knows, it can be difficult to maintain focus and attention over an extended period. No matter how engaging the subject matter or how interested the audience is, staying attentive over several hours of instruction can be a challenge. And if the session goes on for long enough, one or more trainees will inevitably drift off and possibly even fall asleep!
But it doesn’t have to be that way. There are ways by which trainers and lecturers can keep their audience tuned in throughout a training session. Here are some tips you can share with your clients:
1. Maintain a relaxed atmosphere
Maintaining a relaxed atmosphere might seem counterintuitive if the goal is to try and keep listeners focused and alert. But keeping the mood light and casual could actually prevent audiences from drifting off and keep them attentive.
An atmosphere that is perceived to be friendly and non-threatening often encourages audience members to participate in discussions more actively. This usually means a lower chance of them losing focus.
2. Change up the routine
Training sessions can get stagnant over time, particularly if the mode of instruction remains the same day after day. Mixing things up is a great way to maintain interest and might even enhance learning and improve retention.
How so? Adults actually absorb information in three different ways:
- Visually. This involves following a diagram or illustrated guide or watching another person do a specific task.
- Actively. This involves directly handling tools or equipment or performing some other manual action.
- Verbally. This involves listening to someone provide direction or information.
Most training programs have a resource person in front providing information or instruction verbally, which tends to be boring. Sessions can be spiced up considerably by incorporating visual aids such as charts and diagrams and allowing attendees to handle equipment physically.
3. Consider skipping pre-tests
Pre-tests usually serve little purpose other than to add another layer of complexity to a training session. Instead of presenting a hurdle to learning right off the bat, it might be better to do away with the pre-test entirely in favor of a preliminary discussion about the main topic.
For instance, your client could ask the trainees what they already know about the particular subject or ask if they need clarification. This allows them to participate in an active discussion immediately instead of getting bored right from the start.
4. Encourage self-studying
Encouraging trainees to learn on their own can be an effective way to maintain interest. Many adult learners appreciate having some degree of control over the learning process instead of having everything spoon-fed to them. For example, training materials could be distributed to the trainees in advance so they could ask more specific questions during the training program.
5. Ask the audience questions
Training doesn’t have to be a one-way learning process. Asking the audience questions about the subject can be an effective way to encourage discussion and dive into the topic deeper. It also helps pinpoint specific areas of interest or relevance, which allows trainees to get more value from the program.
6. Provide incentives for learning
Trainees are more likely to maintain interest and pay attention if they feel that the training program provides tangible benefits. For example, trainers can remind audiences of the career advantages they can gain by going through training. Programs could also be set up so that trainees that complete them can enjoy additional on-the-job perks.
7. Take occasional breaks
Trainers should allow sufficient time for attendees to take coffee or snack breaks or simply get up and move around. Participatory activities can also be scheduled to help attendees maintain focus and remain alert.
In any meeting or training program, there is always a possibility of losing the audience at some point. Despite best efforts, listeners will zone out occasionally and stop paying attention.
But there are ways to minimize these situations and keep audiences tuned in long enough to get the message. With the tips outlined above, trainers could hopefully overcome these challenges and have a rewarding and productive staff training session.
About Caitlin Morgan
Caitlin Morgan specializes in insuring assisted living facilities and nursing homes and can assist you in providing insurance and risk management services for this niche market. Give us a call to learn more about our programs at (877) 226-1027.