Mar 28, 2018
Retain What You Train
For the past two months, the majority of our industry has been engaged in “upkeep” to prepare for construction season 2018.
That upkeep includes training personnel, and there’s precious little time left to teach basic concepts and new technologies to workers before spring startup is upon us. To get more of those concepts and technologies to stay with workers after training sessions, you may want to try new teaching methods.
It’s no secret that different students learn in different ways and at different speeds. But a host of college prep sites and psychology studies show there are some common denominators for retaining what you learn. First, they suggest students—our workers—talk about what they’re learning, and talk about it right away.
An education blogger, Marianne Stenger, wrote for OpenColleges that “[d]iscussing what you’ve learned, whether immediately or a few days down the line, is important because it forces you to actively process the material…whenever possible, try to participate in group discussion where you’ll have the opportunity to go over the material you’ve learned, gain new perspectives and discuss any potential misunderstandings.”
Ameritech College of Healthcare has a list of methods that help college students retain info, and No.1 on the list was teaching the information to another person. By explaining a concept to someone else, you have to truly understand it yourself.
PsychoTactics.com stated “learners” retain about 90 percent of what they learn when they immediately turn around and teach it to someone else.
This is why we encourage companies to use the Asphalt Paving 101 online course in a group setting. Get everyone to talking.
Whatever program you use for your crew training, make sure there’s time for crewmembers to talk about it. Give crewmembers time to teach one another some aspect that they’re learning. Of course, the training director will want to monitor that to be sure everyone understands their material correctly, but this is a great way to build the team in more than concepts and techniques.
I’ve paraphrased the rest of the list of learning-retention methods from Ameritech College of Healthcare here:
- Learn/train during the time when you are most alert. This means you get in tune with the times of day when you’re at your best.
- Focus on one topic at a time. This means multi-tasking isn’t always the best option when trying to learn something new.
- Take time to learn bits and pieces, rather than rushing through reams of material.
- Write down notes. The tactile experience will help you kick different parts of your brain into gear. You can also read aloud or repeat a concept out loud—see method #1 above—to engage a different part of your brain.
- Personalize what you’re hearing/learning to make it more interesting to you and easier to remember.
This time of year is the perfect opportunity to get more ideas for quality production and paving into workers’ routines for the upcoming season. Make sure they can retain what you train.