How trainers can use social media
On my usual trawl through my Twitter stream, I came across a Tweet by Cammy Bean sharing a great interview she had with Jane Bozarth.
The interview lasts about an hour but it flew by. The interview is primarily to promote Jane’s new book “ Social Media for Trainers: techniques for enhancing and extending learning”. I was so impressed with how this could really help classroom trainers who are keen to start introducing social media into their programmes but are wondering exactly how to do it, that I went straight to Amazon to buy a copy. Unfortunately, it isn’t out yet here in the UK but I’ve put my order in so I can review it in a future post.
From the interview though, one key point was close to my heart:
Jane says that “it’s niaive and vain for us (trainers) to think that what really made a difference in an employee’s success or failure is the three weeks spent in a classroom with us…. What really makes or breaks an employee’s success in an organisation and up to whether they stay with you has a lot to do with what goes on in that workplace and we need to find a way to be more present there” She also mentioned that if trainers intend to be viable for another 20 years – we’d better.
I have often been disappointed in my past life as an IT trainer, that I couldn’t be there to support my learners after they left the 3 hours, sessions. They were mine for 3 hours (sometimes 6 if they decided to enrol on a doubler) and there was an awful lot crammed in to try and remember. I knew most of them wouldn’t even touch the applications for ages. Yes, we sent them away with user manuals and the number of the helpdesk, but I really wanted to do more. There was just no scope for that. The trainers had to be out there, delivering 4 out of 5 days.
Life is slightly different for me now. Delivering training for an external training provider, we rarely have the opportunity to be able to offer support to our learners in the work place. This time the learners are mine for days at a time with even more for them to try and remember. There isn’t any formal support offered when they’re back in the workplace but I just can’t stop there – I offer my Twitter address, Facebook page, e-mail and telephone and am always happy to answer any questions or talk round a problem. This is where social media is a valuable asset. And even better if we can get to talk to each other too and share ideas. If I can do this for people coming from all sorts of companies, just think how much more valuable social media can be within one organisation to provide workplace support.
We need to look beyond training and more to learning by providing more performance support to help people when they need us most.