Understanding The Internal Needs of Adult Learners

Understanding The Internal Needs of Adult Learners
Summary: Is Training actually training or is it something more? Today's workplace is ever evolving, morphing and adjusting to new technologies, analysis and competition! A vast majority of companies seek to better their positioning through customer engagement models which seek to ground themselves in way which better embrace customers.

The Internal Needs of Adult Learners

Customer satisfaction surveys and associated analytics point towards change!  Career progression models based on performance and certifications! All seeking the sweet spot of success! The happiness of the external customers! Yet as a Technical Facilitator, I spend the majority of my time with my internal customers, new hires, managers and co-labors! Change agents all! As facilitators, we are given a specific set of guidelines, such as time frames to deliver a set amount of curricula! Yet it's often only part of the solution, since there is always the human element which brings much of uncertainty!

We've become coaches, counselors and encouragers! In the words of the Timbuck 3 “The future's so bright, I gotta wear shades” attitude! As new high tech gadgets appear to be easier to use, supporting that technology isn’t necessarily as simple as pushing a button, resetting or restarting. New hires and migrants into the Tech field don't need to be bullied, or threatened with termination because they can’t follow a script, or run overtime on their Average Handling Time (AHT).

Through the use of behavioral analysis models and Computer Based Testing, employers seek to filter potential new hires capable of embracing core skill sets needed to accomplish key aspects of the job. These candidates, in my estimation, need a vision of the possible beyond the entry level positions they fill. We all need to have a pathway to the possible. Far too often employers are settling for virtual training, breakout rooms, which lead to less interpersonal interaction. Tactile product demonstrations, along with foundational knowledge of transport, operability and virtual mockups, give substance to our training. Yet there is far more to building a better mousetrap than changing the cheese used in the trap.

Simply stated; a new position brings a rekindling of Hope! Maslowe’s Hierarchy of Need’s tenet of Esteem is broken down into the sub tenets of self esteem, confidence, achievement, respect for others and respect by others.  Some 60 years since it’s publishing, Dr. Maslowe’s study called Motivation and Personality, reflect much of today’s workplace and societal corporal foundations. Given the opportunity, all who would work, want to work. Each of us has goals, desires, and a vision for a better life for ourselves and our families. As Trainers/Facilitators we are oftentimes the first: mentors, subject matter experts (SME), supervisors, evaluators, friends and colleagues in the new workplace.

Several years ago I met a man who engaged me on the use of recycled computers! In his opinion, they would be of better used as planters for potted plants, flowers and such! And while he had valid points, their deployments were of real world value. For those who live in underserved communities, those who could not afford to purchase a new computer every time a new processor or increased Ram arrived on the scene. These systems were of real value. So are the dreams and hopes of the newly hired. Most are excited and fearful about the new adventure into the unknown, and welcome the opportunity. As Trainers and Facilitators we are endowed with the ability to open the door of the possible for the newly indoctrinated. To encourage, to support, to bring vision and hope!

God I love my job!