Maintaining buildings and other properties in excellent condition is becoming more difficult each year. In the past, you might have succeeded by locking up the doors and heading home for the night. That approach will no longer work.
Why Does Training Matter for Facilities Management?
Terrorism, hacking, crime and liability worries are pushing facilities professionals to new heights. How will your staff understand these issues? For consistent results, use a department wide training program.
The Value of a Balanced Learning Approach: 70-20-10
When you read the word “training,” what comes to mind?
If you are like most people, you think back to college or high school. The traditional model involving sitting in a classroom for hours while a lecturer speaks.
If you had a particularly negative experience in school, you might view training as a waste of time. No wonder many people avoid training in the workplace.
Keep those preconceptions in mind as you design a facilities management training program. There is no need to pull all staff from their jobs and put them in a classroom for days at a time. Instead, use a learning methodology that utilizes a variety of learning methods.
For example, you could use classroom training for new hires and less structured training for other staff. How do you know the right blend of training activities?
The good news is that you do not have to guess when it comes to training. Instead, use the 70-20-10 model developed with adult learners in mind. Created by Morgan McCall, Michael M. Lombardo and Robert A. Eichinger at the Center for Creative Leadership, this model is based on the practices used by successful managers.
This blended training concept combines several learning methods to equip people with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed:
- Hands-on Learning (70%). This learning category covers what one learns from direct experience and trial and error in the workplace. Typically, this type of learning is unstructured. That means that some employees will learn a great deal while others will make limited gains. In facilities management, hands-on learning might include the best way to manage a particularly difficult parking garage.
- Learning From Others (20%). The next learning category recognizes the social nature of training and learning. For instance, if your company has a “buddy system” for new hires, that is an example of learning from others in action. As an alternative, coaching from managers would also be an example of learning from others. In facilities management, learning from others may include watching how a manager prioritizes repair requests.
- Formal Learning (10%). This final learning category includes classroom courses, online courses, books and other modes of traditional learning. Facilities management eforms have a strong role to play in connecting this learning to practical realities.
In the rest of this article, we will focus on the last element of the model. To a degree, an organization’s customized eforms reflect its learning over time.
Improved Training With Facilities Management Eforms
“Tell me and I will forget. Show me and I will remember. Involve me and I will understand.” - Chinese proverb
How do you guide your facilities management workforce to success? Equipping them with training materials and programs is an essential part of the program. Eforms help to improve learning by gathering feedback on each interaction. As a result, your facilities management training program will steadily improve over time.
Use digital forms to gather the following types of information about your employees and your training program.
- Learning Needs: Use this form as part of your annual professional development training. Include lists of certifications and courses offered by professional organizations such as the International Facility Management Association.
- Training Evaluation: After your staff attend a training session, ask them to complete an eform evaluation. Based on that information, you can make better decisions on how to improve future versions of that course. See the Cornell Medicine training evaluation form for an example.
- Technical Training Needs: Keeping pace with changing technology in facilities management is tough. Use an eform to find out what technical matters require further development in your workforce.
- Mid-Course Evaluation: In some online courses, students are asked to provide comments about their learning experience at various points during the program. This type of form is particularly helpful to instructor-led courses because instructors can adjust their style on the fly.
- Onboarding Training: Effectively engaging new hires through training matters. If a new hire acquires skills and knowledge at a good pace, they are likely to feel more engaged and skilled. Asking new hires to periodically fill in digital forms about their onboarding experience helps managers better understand their learning progress.
All of the data you collect with your forms will help to make your training program effective and your facilities management operations running smoothly.