Corporate Training for Everybody
I know this is an odd title. Where do you even start with that? Training for what? For who? Everybody? Also, how big is your firm? 5 people? 10,000 people? A gazillion?
OK, we can dial back from that. Let’s take it from step 1. The duct button is the same duct button for everybody. The pipe button. Yep, that’s the same for everybody as well. I’ve spent years of my career stressing over the different scenarios that we as engineers, architects and designers encounter on a daily basis. It doesn’t matter. The tools are the same. Do you see that hammer in your hand? Hit that nail until it is all the way in the wood. Could be a roof, a framing job… finish carpentry? A hammer’s a hammer and a nail is a nail. Yeah, yeah there are different kinds of hammers and different kinds of nails so stop distracting me from the point here. We can teach everybody how to swing a hammer.
There’s a few different ways to go here. Over the years I have done every delivery method that exists. I’ve even tried interpretative dance. That won’t be on the following list.
I’ll start with my favorite. Recording videos. Talk about bang for your buck. The problem here is learning how to do it. It seems hard but it really isn’t. The first step is to get yourself either a headset with a mic, or a table based mic. I like the Yeti Blue USB mic the best shown here. You can get them at Best Buy and I think even Walmart has them. Or just order the thing off Amazon.
For recording software, I like Camtasia, but it’s around 300 bucks. When I record for LinkedIn, they have me using Bandicam. I don’t like it as much as Camtasia, but it’s around 50 bucks. Camtasia has editing capabilities whereas with Bandicam, you need Bandicut…which is an additional 50 bucks. Either way, when I’m recording I just go through the entire video. Ehen you screw up, just pause and keep going. Finish the video and edit out the umms, coughs, and in my case, the occasional profanity.
Once you get a nice collection of short videos (I don’t like exceeding the 5 minute threshold) it really pays off. Most firms have an internal SharePoint type system where you can post them, or just send links to network locations.
This never used to be my second go-to but in 2021, this is the gig. This one can be tough. Click training via Zoom, when you can’t see everybody’s computer screen takes patience. My advice is, record it when you are doing it. Then with your handy new video editing software, you can edit out the areas where you are saying “Click the Door button…nope it’s up…up…nope too far up… to the right now…too far…down…got it”!
In-person classroom style
Is this even a thing anymore? To be honest, I said recording was my favorite. This is my favorite. It’s just still the best method. I know it’s a burden. People sometimes need to travel, you need the equipment, projectors or whatever, but you just can’t replace the live interaction. I know the debate is out there where working from home is the best. I disagree here. Sitting down as a group asking great questions, and actually preparing a class can’t be beat. It’s annoying and time consuming, but the reward is actually getting a great learning experience. Plus it gets you out of the basement, and wondering what the heck that think is in your neighbor’s trash this morning. Oh, record it! Then edit the recording with your fancy new software.
Step-By-Step Written Instruction
Yes, this is effective as well. Talk about time consuming though. Having written a book, I’ve become weary of it just because it’s hard to not take a screenshot for every little thing. It takes hours to get good comprehensive instructions laid out only to change it when the software manufacturer decides to change their logo to something ridiculous that has no meaning to anyone outside of the small group that voted on it.
Meh… I don’t know here. Again, do we do that anymore? Autodesk doesn’t, and I personally feel AU just turned into an internal marketing campaign where the keynote basically says they’re not going to address any issues or incompatibilities but hey, look at the newest underdeveloped software we just acquired. But hey. If you can get something out of sign up. It’s not like to takes really any time or cost.
Who do we train?
Like I said, everyone.
When I am pulling training together I first think about onboarding training. This is so important. So many times I have missed onboarding someone only to have them “trained” by their cubemate. That’s a real hit or miss situation. At least have a plan in place, and make sure they know who to reach out to. Oh hey videos work great for this!
My focus is here. These are the teammates who are in the trenches. These are the people who will eventually… possibly be training you. If not training you, then telling you where the training may be lacking or stuff they see people consistently doing “wrong”. I’m not saying this training needs to be ultra-high-end, but it should be consistent. I like to work through a topic then record it!
“As someone who doesn’t know Revit” …Ever hear that from a PM? I do; I hear it all the time. These folks need training too. When you see somebody not being able to print their own sheets, there’s an opportunity for training. It’s the easiest training you can do, but it can be extremely effective to have a project manager at least know what it takes for some of the BIM processes.