Effective Training and Development “Tell, Show, Do”

Written by
Waleed Mazen

To help your team achieve the expectations that the organisation and you have of them, it is important that they have the required knowledge and skills to perform. Training and development are important, but there’s a tremendous effectiveness gap in most skills training.

Training employees to do their jobs is one of the key responsibilities of managers and supervisors. Most line managers understand the need for good training. The main issue is the method of instructing.

You need to have a closer look at your training and development methods and ask: ‘Is our training viable, effective, and complete?’

Two very common ineffective methods of instructing and training that managers and supervisors do:

  1. Showing alone: Give instructions to the trainee by showing them how to do the job only.
  2. Telling alone: Give instructions to the trainee by telling them how to do the job only.

Following a simplified version of the ‘TWI’ Training Within Industry “Tell, Show, Do” will elevate employees skills and safety while introducing process stability and job satisfaction.

What is Training Within Industry ‘TWI’?

Is a dynamic and proven method of hands-on training, learning, and coaching for supervisors, team leaders, and workers.                   ‘TWI Institute’

“Tell, Show, Do” is a 3 step instructional method that incorporates a variety of ways to create effective, engaging learning experiences that guarantees mastering the task or job.

Before starting the “Tell, Show, Do” you need to get ready to instruct. The 4 steps to do that are:

  1. Make a timetable for training.
  2. Break down the job.
  3. Have everything ready.
  4. Have the workplace properly arranged.

The steps to carry out an effective method of instructing is to follow “Tell, Show, Do”.

The starting point is to prepare the employee by making sure he/she are at ease, get the employee interested in learning the job, and find out the employee already knows about it.

Once the setup, employee and environment are ready the first step is to ‘Tell’ learners what they need to know and why it’s important. This is done by instructing verbally one step at a time and highlighting key points in a clear, complete, and patient manner. What is important to cover in this step:

  • What are the steps.
  • How to do them.
  • Why? (benefits)
  • Ask questions.

The second step is ‘Show’ learners how to do the task. This demonstrates the steps and models behaviors so learners can see the task in action. Again, follow the same approach in the first step by illustrating one step at a time and highlighting key points in a clear, complete, and patient manner. What is important to cover in this step:

  • Demonstrate the steps.
  • Repeat as necessary.
  • Ask questions.

The third step is to have learners ‘Do’ the task or apply their learning themselves. This grants learners the opportunity to practice what they learned in a controlled environment.  The focus here is on the learner, and it requires them to demonstrate their understanding and following the instructions to carry out the job correctly. What is important to cover in this step:

  • The learner does the job – correct any errors as they happen.
  • Learner describes what they’re going to do.
  • Repeat till learner demonstrates that they know.
  • Ask questions.

Once the three steps are complete it is essential that you put a follow-up plan. You need to designate to whom the learner will go to for help. As well as you need to check frequently and encourage questions.

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