At Vector Solutions, we offer online training and other performance-improvement software solutions for the facilities maintenance industry. Our online courses for facilities maintenance include libraries on topics such as building automation, carpentry and hardware, cooling, electrical, emergency power, energy management, fire systems and sprinklers, HVAC, heating, hydronic systems, motors, plumbing, preventive maintenance, refrigeration, water treatment, and work management order--plus we have additional courses on electrical maintenance and mechanical maintenance to offer as well.
But in addition to making products like an LMS and elearning courses, we also try to share hints, tips, and resources you can use to improve the training program for your facilities maintenance training program.
In this article, we'll offer some helpful training and performance resources that you can use, perhaps along with our elearning courses, to improve the training you deliver to maintenance techs for key training purposes such as onboarding, upskilling, safety and other compliance training, and more.
Below we'll list and link you to resources you can use to jump-start your current training program.
If you're a trainer or in L&D, it pays to know about human performance improvement (HPI). HPI is a method of solving workplace performance problems (or seizing opportunities for improvement) that can include but is not limited to training. HPI includes a strong emphasis on what's known as the "front-end analysis," in which you define the problem, identify its causes, and determine which performance-improving intervention(s) might help solve the problem. That intervention MIGHT be training, or it might be something entirely different, or maybe it will be a combination of things including training.
We'll pulled together the following resources you can use to learn more about HPI:
Plus you might want to download the problem-solving flowchart, below, an HPI classic by Mager & Pipe:
It's easy to get lulled into thinking of workplace performance problems in a silo. But the reality is our workplaces are systems of interconnected elements that influence one another--sometimes in ways we don't even notice and have never anticipated. That's why it pays to be a systems thinker and use systems thinking approaches to consider workplace performance problems and solutions.
Want to learn even more about systems thinking? Check out the article below:
Training can really help performance solutions, but sometimes it's better to skip the training and just create a job aid that workers can consult at the workplace right where and when they need it to perform a job task more effectively. As you're working on your training program, don't forget the power of job aids, including the ability your workers now have to use mobile devices to access things like PDFs, videos, and more.
We've got a few additional articles about job aids for you below:
If you're going to design training, it's a good idea to know how people learn, first. One common model of learning is the information processing model, which includes our sensory memory, working memory, a process known as encoding, our long-term memory, things called schemas, and later retrieval of stored information.
If you'd like to learn more about how we process information as part of learning, check out the articles below:
Most fields have designed repeated, formulaic methods for getting things done. That's true in L&D and instructional design when it comes to designing and developing training as well.
The ADDIE instructional design model is the most commonly used model for designing, developing, and delivering training. ADDIE stands for analyze, design, develop, implement, and evaluate, and it's a good model to be aware of if you're involved in training.
Here's more about ADDIE for you:
We've also got an ADDIE infographic for you to download, below.
A core part of ADDIE or any training design method involves creating learning objectives. A learning objective is what the learners must be able to do when the training is complete. If you don't create learning objectives before you design and develop your training, your training is much less likely to be effective in terms of teaching workers to perform necessary job tasks.
Once you've written learning objectives, you'll align the other parts of your training program to match. For example, you'll create assessments/tests that learners will complete after the training to see if they can satisfy those learning objectives. And you'll create training content/materials/activities intended to help learners perform those learning objectives.
You'll find the resources below helpful for learning more about creating learning objectives:
We've also created a downloadable guide to learning objectives for you, below.
Learning researchers, thankfully, have performed many studies (and meta-studies) and crunched lots of data to discover what training practices really improve learning and performance and which don't. This is what we call evidence-based training practices.
Evidence-based training practices include but are not limited to:
Additionally, that research has highlighted something known as "learning myths." A learning myth is something many people BELIEVE assists in learning and training even though evidence shows it does not or even though there's no evidence it does. Probably the most commonly held learning myth is the set of associated beliefs that all people have a unique learning style (often expressed as kinesthetic, visual, and auditory), that we can easily identify that learning style, that we can design training to match people's unique learning styles, and that doing so will lead to improved training outcomes. Research has shown that this is not true.
Learn more about this fascinating field here:
One of the evidence-based training practices we just mentioned is blended learning, in which you use multiple different training delivery methods. Data shows that blends that include online and face-to-face training, for example, are more effective than purely online or purely face-to-face training.
We've got a full downloadable guide to blended learning for you below.
Want some "rubber-hitting-the-road" insight into building a maintenance technician training program, including using online training as part of the program? If so, check out the case study, recorded, on-demand webinar below, which discusses our customer CBRE's experiences working with Vector Solutions to develop a training program that improved their hiring, onboarding, retention, and career progression paths.
In the webinar below, we talk with our partners at the University of Tennessee's Reliability & Maintainability Center (UT-RMC) about creating a culture of organizational learning and continuous improvement to help improve reliability and maintainability.
We partner with facilities maintenance professionals and organizations like yours to provide training to your maintenance staff. We do so with a learning management system (LMS) and elearning courses on facilities maintenance and facilities management topics (as well as other topics including mechanical maintenance, electrical maintenance, safety and health, continuous improvement, and much more).
To help you learn about the tech and terms associated with online training, including things like SCORM and xAPI, learning management systems, elearning authoring tools, and much more, we've developed the guide to online facilities maintenance training, below. Download it now if you'd like to learn more.
Grab a chair and some coffee or water and listen to this recorded webinar in which we demonstrate our facilities maintenance training solutions, including our LMS, elearning courses on facilities maintenance, electrical maintenance, mechanical maintenance, safety and health, and much more.
We hope you found or will find some of these resources helpful as you try to improve the facilities maintenance training you provide to maintenance technicians at your work and we invite you to share your own comments, tips, and experiences below (or shout out with any questions, too!).
Of course, we'd love to partner with your organization to provide job training to the workforce at your organization. Give us a shout when you're ready to talk!