There I was, head down, designing post-foundational training for a new hire program I recently worked on, when I looked up to see that it is almost Thanksgiving! What? How did that happen?
My mind wandered (just for a moment), and I found myself googling “Thanksgiving leftover recipes.” Because of my VERY large monitor, the article I found was now side by side with my design document on how to build an ongoing training effort to support the foundations established in new hire.
I had an “ah-ha” moment! I started to see a correlation between Thanksgiving dinner and the new hire program — the possible ways to bring performance support to the table, much in the way good leftovers keep your family and guests coming back to the table for more so you aren’t stuck with 20 pounds of leftovers.
I realized that the foundational training and support tools were a little like our favorite leftovers:
1. Job Aids
Sometimes, the original materials just have way too much food (that is, information). Job aids are like turkey sandwiches — quick, simple, and portable for those Thanksgiving football games.
2. Quick Reference Guides
These are like the beloved turkey hash — a bit bigger than the sandwich, but filled with all the right ingredients that make your learner come back for more.
3. Observation Checklists
Checklists are great to use for job shadowing or observing experienced employees. My aunt makes these wonderful turkey poppers, which made me think of how checklists can be used to “pop over” and observe.
4. Brown Bag Lunch-and-learns
Okay, this may be a little on the nose because — let’s face it — my husband and kids are going to be taking leftover turkey in their lunches for days. But lunch-and-learn sessions are a great opportunity for new learners to hear and share ideas and tips with others.
5. Community of Practice (COP)
This program is designed to let new employees work together to practice new, unique, or complex tasks and skills. Much like my grandma’s turkey noodle soup, all of the leftovers come together in a big pot and turn into yummy goodness!
6. Supplemental Short Videos
Let’s face it — some learning programs can be several weeks long. That’s a lot of information to absorb and retain. Some of the skills are soft skills that can be hard to remember. Creating short, easily accessible videos that demonstrate the modeled behavior can be invaluable — sort of like when you thought you’d never eat another bite at the dinner table…and yet, four hours later, you are sneaking into the kitchen for another slice of pumpkin pie.
A learning event, such as new hire, can be a lot like your Thanksgiving feast — full of amazing and wonderful morsels. However, when there is so much to partake, certain yummy tidbits can get lost or forgotten during the meal. With the right kind of “leftovers,” you can keep your learners coming back to the table to experience all that was wonderful and good about the main course, making the feeling of thankfulness last. Now, how many more weeks until Christmas?