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Annie Ward


Editor, HR Zone

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How much time do you need to learn?


How much time do you need to learn? Can we quantify it? Is there such a thing as rapid learning? And as the credit crunch bites is there more pressure to deliver short, sharp training sessions? I'd love to hear your views. Simply post your thoughts in the box below.

Best Regards,

Annie Hayes

2 Responses

  1. Lots of low cost/high impact training activities

    The workplace is itself a great source of training and learning opportunities. The canny manager will exploit this, developing staff without necessarily spending any money.

    Peter Honey’s book on “101 ways to develop your people, without really trying” is a great source of ideas on how to do this, and I would commend this book to readers.


  2. Target Outcomes
    Hi Annie,

    I believe that you can learn quickly, and sometimes, long training sessions are counter-productive as people can be overwhelmed. Clearly, this depends on the topic,a nd what you expect people to be able to do after the learning!

    Using accelerated learning principles help people to learn quickly, as does using different learning methods that appeal to all of the senses. Of course, such session will appeal to activists and pragmatists in particular.

    I am finding that in my role as a training designer, more and more people are looking to deliver 2-4 hour sessions, or even move to a self-directed/work-based approach.

    Personally, I think that these approaches can have great results as long as the learning is targeted. If you try and cover a whole topic (e.g. managing change) in 2 hours, you will do nothing more than raise awareness. Instead, select one thing that people will be able to do (e.g. deliver bad news effectively), and focus on that. Lots of short sessions that can be mixed and matched to create a personal development programme, helps to minimise disruption to the business, and keeps delegates motivated.

    Generally, I am a fan, although I do think that longer sessions are still incredibly valuable, and allow delegates time to reflect, and see their knowledge/skill improve over the session. One final point, if you are using an external trainer, short sessions are not necessarily the most cost-effective, as you will still (generally) have to pay for a day of their time, even if they only run one or two sessions

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Annie Ward

Editor, HR Zone

Read more from Annie Ward

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