I was talking to my daughter yesterday. She was trying to decide what to wear. Deciding on a dress, she asked me what I thought.
"You look beautiful, but don't you have PE today?" I asked
"So what? This is my cutest dress!" She said in a huff walking away.
Well, I must admit it was a cute dress, but I am not sure how well it would have worked running laps, doing jumping jacks and climbing a rope. It wasn't appropriate.
When planning for a Workforce Timekeeper training program, we need to remember the importance of appropriateness.
One feature of the Training Zen philosophy is the use of appropriate learning events and materials. Basically, does the book match the class? Case in point; do you realize that when you purchase Workforce Central you receive a set of user, system administrator and installation manuals? You never see them because they are loaded in the software. You never see them because they aren't used in any training class you may take from Kronos. Why? They aren't appropriate for that event.
I am working with a customer that employs their own technical trainer. That trainer is very smart, patient and helpful with his employees. I bring this up because we decided a two hour class would work best for managers in his organization. Why only two hours? Well, this organization is upgrading from an older version of Workforce Timekeeper. The primary areas managers focus in are the timecard and Workforce Genies. The purpose of the training was to introduce some of the new functions in the timecard (there weren't many) and to apply more focus on scheduling. The key to this training was the materials. In the case of the timecard, a job aid worked best. There was no need for a full blown manual that incorporated practice and guided exercises. These managers need to see the new features and try them out once or twice.
Scheduling was a different issue entirely. We wanted to focus on WHY scheduling is so important and convince managers that scheduling is simple to do, and that it provides them with a lot of good information in the mean time. A job aid would work, however that job aid had to focus on motivation, so rather than build a job aid showing steps and expected results, we build a job aid showing the tasks most beneficial to managers, and show them how those benefits applied to them.
So, do I suggest a job aid for a two hour course? Normally, no, but in this case, with a set of three to five job aids incorporating motivation as well as basic demonstration of tasks this customer is building what is appropriate. Here are some basic tips to deciding on what is appropriate:
Know your goals now and in the future - What are you trying to get across right now? Will there be more in the future? Knowing where you are going will have a significant effect on what you build now
Know what you need in your materials - You don't need exercises in materials designed for a 20 minute live on-the-job training session. You may need to incorporate motivation into your materials. Know what you have to have in your training materials.
Know the length of your training events - Though not always true, the longer your training events, the more detailed your materials should be. Where a job aid will work for a training even of 15 to 20 minutes, you shouldn't consider building 12 job aids for a four hour course. You should consider materials the provide more depth of instruction.
Regardless of what you are trying to convey in your training, the appropriate materials are vital to success. The wrong type of materials will make your training session more frustrating for both you and the learner. Don't make that mistake.
Good luck in your Kronos training implementation!