What is Kronos Training Zen, and How Do You Achieve It?
Sep 10, 2009
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Training for your Kronos implementation is a unique challenge. What are your parameters for success? What tools can be used to ensure success, or more importantly, to prevent failure? It isn't enough to simply hold a training class and give participants a manual. Organizations today must strive to have employees become active learners in training, then confident users afterward. How can this goal be achieved? Let's start with the object of the training, the employee. Do you have a clear understanding of what tasks your employees undertake, and how the Kronos Workforce Central implementation will affect them? Some other questions to consider:
What type of course works best for your employees?
What time of day would ensure better attendance... and attention?
What materials would be most useful to employees both during and after training?
Can you take advantage of what your employees know already?
Think of your training plan as a bicycle. Your normal training plan is something like this beach cruiser. The chrome and shiny paint draw the eye. It has a comfortable seat, nice large tires, and long curved handle bars. This bike is perfect for that slow Sunday ride.
Now, think of Training Zen as a racing bike. Everything on this type of bicycle was built for efficiency. The seat and handle bars were designed for a rider to be bent over, creating less wind resistance. The tires are thin, making the least amount of contact with the road to minimize friction. Finally, the gears allow the rider to get the most momentum possible, regardless of the terrain or incline. This bike is an efficient machine; converting more of your energy into distance, and speed.
For some project teams the "beach cruiser," or standardized training program is enough. Because it is standardized, or "canned", it can be rolled out to a large number of learners with a limited amount of effort. It covers all of the required information, however, it may cover tasks not needed by learners, and won't provide employees with "real-world" exercises. Because it is a standardized program, it can't fully relate to what your employees do at work on a daily basis. Learners that cannot relate information to their jobs are less likely to be active participants in a learning event, and by extension, less likely to retain the information.
However, with Training Zen the training program is customized for each group of learners. We take into account their expertise, understand the work they do, and incorporate that level of detail into the training events and materials. Learners feel more in sync with this training program and are able to relate it to their "work-a-day" lives. Learners who can relate to the subject are more likely to take an active role in learning.
Often, project teams never fully realize the issues and concerns facing their employees. All of these variables must be ingrained into the training plan, and by extension, the course presentation and the deliverables provided. It is more than just "What do they need to know, and how can we present it?" Intensive analysis of the employees, their place in the organization, and the policies and procedures of that organization are absolutely required to ensure a successful training program. They also make up one of the cornerstones of Training Zen.
The idea of Training Zen as supported by Improvizations is represented in the logo on the left sidebar. The black and white image commonly referred to as the "Ying and Yang" represents separate individuals working as one to make a whole; the individual employee and the organization. Training Zen cannot be achieved unless the talents of the employee and the values of the organization can be incorporated into a training plan. One shouldn't be emphasized more than the other. This will ensure the training plan is successful. The Chinese symbol at the top of the icon represents Zen. Just as Zen emphasizes the most direct path to enlightenment, Training Zen focuses on the knowledge of the employee, as that direct path, and using that to gain the further knowledge. The lower Chinese symbol represents the number one. Using Training Zen, all employees must all understand the value of their efforts and how their role makes the organization successful. Three of the primary reasons for using a Training Zen philosophy in your implementation are provided here:
It seems that most training plans today don't achieve this balance between the employee and the organization. The Ying and Yang aren't in sync, working together for the whole. The knowledge and experience of the learners is then not used adequately. Often these great assets are offered up to the alter of convenience. The question can be asked, "Why spend the money and time to delve into the true needs of employees when we can buy a canned training offering that is easy to access, and administer?"
The simple response...because you can do better. It is possible to have both a high quality, task-based real world training program without spending a huge portion of your budget. It's an issue of changing perspective. Of looking at training as a long term commitment. To get more from your project, you have to give more of your talents, and the talents of your employees. That is how we can help. Review the Arguments for Customized Training white paper at the sidebar link and learn more about Training Zen, and how you can achieve it. Continue to review this blog, as it will be updated weekly with bits and pieces to help you achieve your Training Zen.