Your company is growing and you just hired some additional accounting staff to help with the higher volumes. While the new hires have experience with accounting software they don’t know your specific software program at all. Do you go with hands-on training? Which method will you choose to get them trained and productive as quickly as possible?
Today we have many different options when it comes to training delivery method including:
- Online self-paced, pre-recorded training
- Web Seminars Training (Webinars)
- Instructor-led live Seminars / Lectures
- On-The-Job training, training done by someone that just held that position.
- Hands-on training
While each method has its own advantages and disadvantages, at our firm we still believe that, when it comes to learning accounting software, hands-on training is the most effective way to learn.
Hands-on training accelerates learning
Many of us have attended lectures in our university days. Many of us have also spent countless hours reading texts and carrying out assignments to learn concepts in our education.
However, when it comes down to learning skills, not theory, processes instead of philosophy, listening to someone tell you about is simply not effective.
Adults learn experientially. As Deb Peterson explains in her article on Experimental Learning, adults learn better when they experience what they’re learning. Hands-on training is focussed on that very premise – learn then try on your own.
Hands-on learning or experiential learning is one of few learning methods that can have a dramatic impact on the participant’s mindset. Learning new software is like riding a bike, cannot be learned by reading about it.
Most clients send staff to us because they want their new employees to learn the software quickly so they can return to work with increased efficiency. Our hands-on approach suits this requirement.
Hands-on training provides a safe learning environment
Simulations used in hands-on training sessions, based on real life scenarios will reflect several challenges with the software the student may face when returning to the job. Mistakes happen during the course of learning, and using simulations with non-production data is like taking kids to a playground, and getting them to have fun, try new things and learn, in a safe controlled environment.
Hands-on training links theory and practice
Hands-on training will include fundament theory but by moving beyond theory to the realm of “learning by doing,’ the trainee gets a first-hand experience of practicing what has been taught. This plays a crucial role in retaining concepts and ideas.
Hands-on training increases engagement levels
Hands-on learning brings into play not only student–instructor interaction but also peer-to-peer interaction. This focus on collaboration and learning from each other benefits the attendee as it increases engagement.
Hands-on training delivers exceptional Return on Investment
Experiential learning is personal and effective in nature, influencing both feelings and emotions as well as enhancing knowledge and skills. It goes beyond classroom learning and ensures that there is high level of retention, thereby delivering exceptional ROI over a traditional learning program.
Caron’s Approach to Sage 300 Training
For the reasons explained above, I rejected other, less-effective learning models and designed the Sage 300 and Sage CRM learning programs at Caron Business Solutions around hands-on-learning. It was the obvious choice for our clients.
References: What is experiential Learning – Deb Peterson, Continuing Education Expert (http://adulted.about.com/od/glossary/g/experiential.htm)