Lessons Learned about Workplace Communications – Part IV – Training

Lesson #4 Training should be hyper focused

Looking back on my many many training sessions I’ve conducted, I could have always done a better job at this.

Many stakeholders want literally EVERYTHING to be within a training sessions. And sometimes I think we’ve trained our people to be spoon fed.

I remember mapping training back to the JIT methods vs JIC. I’ve written about it before and probably will continue to do so as it feels like we have work to do on this. Its the ability to provide enough content that our learners need JUST IN TIME to support the change and learn the skills, while providing the support they need to find additional resources and guidance after the fact or JUST IN CASE.

An example of this was when I took a Microsoft Word class a few years ago. Instead of walking through all of the buttons and clicks, the instructor took us through her top 10 favorites, and let us explore from there. Then she showed us her favorite resources for where to dig in deeper if we got stuck on something later on.

One way to do this hyper focused training is to build it based on use cases, or specific scenarios that the learners would experience. This is hard, because usually stakeholders want to include everyone and every scenario. Use cases are specific business processes that a learner would go through in with the tool, technology, change, etc. Once the business has decided where to focus, adding the training and technology should be the next step.

Another way I’ve hyper focused training is to drill into roles. Specific roles and walking through a day in the life. I’ve also loved shadowing the learners to understand when and how they have down time, where do the turn for help, and how do they get their questions answered. These help me structure and plan my training session, because I can understand what their day to day might look like. What do the front line people need that is the base compared to the what their managers and leaders need?

I worked on specific trainings for managers and then for leaders, that was different, because honestly, their “day in the life” looked different. What it looked like to teach and train managers was different than their employees. They still should know what their employees knew, or at least a general idea, but they needed to be proficient in other skills with the technology or change. Here’s a post about middle managers and ways they could use tools like Yammer.

Finally, when I talk about training I also always bring up executives. Their need for training is still there, especially when it comes to workplace communication and social technologies. We are asking executives to be open, social and transparent. Probably things they didn’t do to get to where they are today. So for some of the technologies we want them to use, and how we want them to use it (ie. without a ghost poster) feels different than what they might be doing today.  I’ve spent enough time training and coaching executives on this, but it is different than the general population. If you had good bones of a training outline, you can at least start from there, because many executives will start at a beginner level when it comes to technology and social. The approach, delivery and context will be different.

One executive I worked with wrote everything down on paper. I mean everything. And then had the admin type it for an email to send. Reality is most executives don’t look like Zuckerberg, but that’s ok. There’s still a huge opportunity for them to gain if they adopted these technologies. It might just look different than the executive sitting in Silicon Valley.


The lesson is that training is critical to the success, launch or change. But in my opinion, figuring out the right amount of information, ordering, sequencing and supporting resources is more of an art and a science and from your experiences.

Do you have any good examples of JIT learning vs JIC? I would love to learn from you!


2018-03-03T12:51:04-07:00 December 8th, 2016|training|Comments Off on Lessons Learned about Workplace Communications – Part IV – Training