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high-quality service? One of the most powerful ways to assure that quality service is provided by all of your associates is through effective training. Training is an investment, not an expense. The


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quality of training your organization provides your employees should equal the quality of service you want to provide for your customers. When we analyze what a quality training program


actually involves, we need to examine the way trainees and long-term employees learn and retain informa- tion. In most cases, employees are adult learners and, as such, require an adult learning format.


Training Adults An adult learning format offers both interactive training and direct hands-on experience. To create an effective adult learning environment, you must be prepared, know your material, know the language, have effective public speaking skills, and understand how adults learn. Adult learners have different needs than child


learners. Your training will be more interesting, effec- tive, and better retained if you incorporate the unique learning needs of adults in your sessions. The most effective training sessions are adapted to promote active learning or an interactive learning environment with engaging and fun activities which convey the key concepts and allow immediate application. Adult learning occurs most effectively when partici-


pants are actively involved rather than passive or one- way recipients of information. Take the responsibility for effective learning. Engage emotional and intellec- tual based skills of learning. Utilize a variety of learn- ing methods. Assure a positive, safe, and comfortable learning environment. The trainer should facilitate or guide training, and not dictate it.


Creating a Positive Learning Environment To set the stage for your team’s learning experience, it is important to provide a well-lit, comfortable room with spacious seating and tables, and plenty of breaks and refreshments that allow attendees to interact. The trainer should have strong impression visual-aids and sound, a motivational and enthusiastic tone, and encourage feed- back by asking voluntary questions. Adults learn through motivated and meaningful training content with clear messages and hands-on activities.


6 PESTWORLD MARCH/APRIL 2011


ow would you honestly rate the service your technicians provide? How do you know that all of your customers receive consistently


Choosing Your Subject Training subjects for technicians are numerous and can involve an urgent, seasonal, or routine frequency. Subjects can include basic biology, using pesticides safely, plants, insects and insect orders, mammals, ro- dents, bats, birds, and reptiles. Integrated pest manage- ment (IPM), green techniques, and illusory parasitosis are excellent training subjects. In addition, training meetings can cover safety topics (especially PPE), service vehicles, and inspection forms. Your organiza- tion may choose to sponsor CPR, First-Aid, AED, and Universal Precautions certifications as well.


Designing Your Training Session When designing a training session, consider your audience, determine the resources needed, get the word out by invitation as soon as possible, and plan for the unexpected. Use interactive training techniques that include PowerPoint, videos, illustrations, discus- sions, case studies, role-playing, and post-session surveys. Relate personal experiences as well as conduct educational games and hands-on learning activities. Be sure to engage your audience, assure that material is relevant, maintain focus, and make your point. When using PowerPoint, use a variety of media and


have time for questions and discussion. Educational games can be computer-generated and involve a team concept with small prizes given to all teams for their participation. Hands-on learning can involve precertification


training, lecture with props, or a hands-on field course. You can instruct by using case studies of actual events as either a “do this” or “do not do this” experience. You can use role playing techniques to al- low participants to experience methods that are both effective and ineffective within a safe environment. Role playing also allows participants to learn from their peers, understand areas of best practice, and needs for improvement. Training does not have to be a somber experi-


ence. Allow it to be fun and encourage people to be comfortable. Provide colorful props to keep the hands busy while the brain is active. Provide treats to keep participants awake, focused, and engaged. Laughter is a good sign that everyone is enjoying the training experience. Training is an investment, not an expense. Well-


trained employees assure the future success and growth of your business!


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