“But I told them how to do it.”—Telling someone how to so something is the first step. You must be clear in your explanation. Explaining the procedure step by step is essential. To ensure they understood correctly, ask them to repeat the steps. But if all you do is shout out instructions from your office door don’t count on them getting it right. Complex and detailed instructions require more than a casual description which leads to the next step.
“Okay, so I’ll teach them how to do it.”—Teaching involves interacting, questions and answers, clarification. It gives an employee a thorough analysis of the job procedures. Yet even the best teacher may not be able to get the employee to perform to the acceptable standards. They still don’t have a good understanding or an image in their mind for what they are expected to do.
“Alright, alright, I’ll show you how to do it.”—Demonstrating is especially effective for people who are visual learners. Describe the process all day long and they will look at you with a vacant stare. Take five minutes to demonstrate it and a light goes on. But once you walk away are they ready to perform that task on their own? Are you confident they can perform a critical task without you standing over their shoulder? Before you can comfortably release them to perform on their own, take the last step.
“Here, you try it now and I’ll watch.”—Practice completes the cycle. Give them the opportunity to try it in a controlled environment. As you stand next to them you can coach them if they deviate from the instructions. You will be able to see first hand what parts of the process present the most difficulties. It also gives you the opportunity to explain the consequences of eliminating critical steps in the process. Letting them try it while you watch allows them to get the feel of it with their own hands. Now their confidence will soar and you can be comfortable that the job will be done properly.
Tell em’, teach em’ demonstrate and let them practice. Now the communication and training process is complete.