In this final post in our series about competency based job training, we will look at a few of the characteristics that help build a successful program.
Keep It in the Workplace
Since true competency can only be demonstrated in the context of the job, learning in the training program should occur in the workplace as much as possible. Learning in the environment of the job also helps ensure that the program is correctly targeted. It will become obvious fairly quickly if certain activities in the training program actually help get work done more quickly and efficiently or if they are just “busy work” that should be cut from the curriculum.
Allow Customization within the Overall Parameters
Because the goal is to provide a consistent standard of performance, every worker should be expected to gain all the competencies required for their job. However, there must be flexibility for customization in terms of the pace of learning. A modular, self-service program gives learners the ability to progress at their own pace. A typical module might include an overview and details about a given task, exercises, a quiz, and a performance evaluation.
One module may build on the next, but each should also be self-contained enough to be taken on its own. In this way, workers can prioritize areas where evaluation has shown an urgent need for improvement or skip modules if their competence in a particular area has already been demonstrated. When employees can participate more fully in creating and implementing the program in ways that make sense, they have a greater sense of accountability.
Always Include a Mentoring Aspect
Although self-service learning, self-evaluation, and automated reporting can be useful, the interpersonal aspect of the program is of critical importance. Learners must have regular contact with their supervisor or evaluator for review and follow up discussion to ensure the best outcome. This emphasis on feedback and ongoing communication will deliver a training program that is continuously improved. As employees become used to this feedback occurring on a regular basis and see their own progress, they become more confident and capable as a result.
Competency based training can include many of the tasks and responsibilities of a job. But safety is one topic that often deserves urgent attention due to the risks associated with poor competence in this area. For more information about incorporating competency training into your safety program, contact DKF Solutions today.