In November we released a new podcast episode called “Training Staff: Introduction” to get you through your Monday. If you’d like to listen, you can go to our podcast page or use your preferred podcast app and search “Chirping with ABA Owls”, we’re on iTunes, Podbean and other platforms.
In the off chance you would rather read than listen, this post will summarise the episode.
Training staff is an extensive topic, and we will be covering it throughout 2022 – but for now, we are simply introducing it.
Real Life Scenarios
It’s fair to say that we’ve all had moments when we felt that we didn’t know what we were doing – life is essentially having these moments happening constantly – JOY! And this rings true when starting a new job, we lose track of what is up or down, what we should be doing, etc.
Being appropriately trained is critical – luckily, ABA can help.
We go into more detail in the podcast episode, but here are two scenarios we’ve gone through.
First Scenario: not trained on how to differentiate stimuli. When working in a jewelry shop and asked to find a particular bracelet, Carla was unable to do it as the drawings in the box were nearly identical even though the bracelets inside were distinct.
Second Scenario: Not enough training to master skill. Lauren needed 2 weeks to be able to efficiently and accurately book and change patient appointments. She was shown how to use the booking system once, asked to demonstrate if she had understood it, and that was it. Various mistakes were made which were most likely corrected by her superior.
First off, we want to make clear what we mean when we use the term “training”. Training is teaching AND reinforcing responses in order to shape behaviour into various actions that will likely happen in the future.
However, we have to account for the fact that many times, people leave out the reinforcement part of training. Even though sitting in school and being taught math (e.g. multiplication) is considered receiving training, without the skills being reinforced, there’s a high probability of that skill becoming faulty. Other forms of training include being shown how to use a booking system or even being taught how to speak.
When we search “training staff”, there are many resources shown: websites, articles, courses, etc.
A particular website we visited: edge point learning.com”, contains an article that summarises 10 different types of employee training.
Their 10 types are listed as follows: Instructor-led training; eLearning; Simulation employee training; Hands-on training; Coaching or mentoring; Lectures; Group discussion and activities; Role-playing; Management-specific activities; Case studies or other required reading.
Imagine a circle divided into 10 slices and that each slice represents a different kind of training. What seems to happen quite often, is that only a couple of slices are used. So, trainers, managers, and other people in the “trainer” position, will choose a few ways of training someone, but will neglect other forms of training. The training circle will be incomplete, and so will that person’s ability to perform her job.
Common terms used are “slow learner”, “fast learner”, “natural learner”, etc. These terms can cause certain expectations from people, whether high or low, and these expectations can be detrimental towards training. For example, if someone is labeled a “natural learner” they might not receive needed training as they are expected to be able to learn the skills by themselves. This can lead to a defective skill repertoire, where the employee commits unnecessary mistakes.
Training is a very rich and vast area and we do want to acknowledge that it is an enormous topic to cover.
People trained in OBM (Organisational Behaviour Management) do cover this area quite extensively and if you are interested, you can always listen to The Behaviour Business podcast or The business of behavior podcast.
We thought we would mention some different types of ways we use prompting in training, what they are and an example of their use.
Verbal prompts – verbal prompt involves telling the trainee the answer, giving a verbal cue, such as, the beginning sound of the answer, and/or giving the direction more than once. For example, telling a staff member “tell him to put his hands down” when dealing with challenging behaviour.
Gesture/point prompts – a point, hand gesture, or head nod to encourage participation normally prompted by a natural cue. If we think back to the jewelry shop example, you can point to the drawer where the correct bracelet is.
Visual prompts – is a picture or cue that the trainee sees which provides information about the correct answer. This can involve a visual schedule, video, photograph, drawing, flashing a card with the right answer, etc. When Lauren started her new job, it would’ve probably been helpful to have a sequence of pictures of what steps she should take in order to make patient bookings.
Modeling prompts – this type of prompt involves the teacher/trainer demonstrating the skill first and then asking the trainee to repeat it. Example: showing a new member of staff how to search items in the product inventory system.
Fading prompts – Prompt fading is the process of systematically reducing and removing prompts that have been paired with an instruction/action, allowing the trainee to independently respond correctly.
As mentioned at the beginning, this topic is quite extensive, and we will be delving into it slowly.
We hope you join us and find it informative and helpful.
Thank you for reading,
Carla and Lauren