Company president just hired new technical consultant to work with all the laboratories. 

 I am "Technical Support", I do the online training on our software, handle customer service and admin for our online system, along with other taks such as video editing marketing materials (I don't do programming). 

President has me training this employee 1 on 1 in person for a full day, a little different than the hundreds of ONLINE over the web training I've done with employees and customers. How do I make a great impression in person? 

  • Plan on creating a binder for her with screenshots that include area for taking notes
  • Planning on bringing my laptop in so she can use my larger monitor to walk through the system with me in real time
  • List of features the system is capable 
  • List of benefits that users derive from using the system
  •  Giving her a bag of Texas shaped tortilla chips with dip to make her feel welcome on her visit, along with some Texas doo-dads! 

What more can I do to not only teach her about the system, but also to wow her, make her feel comfortable, and make a strong first impression? My customer service with clients is excellent and over the top, but because I don't put that same polish into my interactions with coworkers and management, I missed out on my 2nd promotion which was given to someone else instead. Suggestions appreciated, thank you.

mrreliable's picture

 I've been called upon to condense the training period into one day. Under normal circumstances our first training session is actually the last part of our evaluation procedure where we pay applicants to come in and work for a week then make our decision about who to hire.

The first time I was asked to teach someone as much as I could in one day I wasn't very successful. I tried to cram too much into the time available. I probably sounded like an auctioneer, and the poor guy's eyes glazed over pretty early into our session.

As with any teaching endeavor, remember that most people have a short attention span. I've seen studies that show retention of attendees at eight-hour professional seminars have high retention rates for information presented within the first hour of the seminar, then the retention rate drops like a rock. You'll likely be better off, as will your student, if you scale back the volume of information you want them to retain. Less information remembered is better than more information forgotten.

Keep the segments short, the shorter the better. Mix it up. Mix in activities that require you to get up and walk around every hour. Leave some time for the person to work on their own for short periods to let them take a breath, a bit of alone time. Try to work in something that will resemble actual production once the person is in the position. Switch roles if you can and have a session where the person teaches you something.

People starting an unfamiliar job or task naturally feel overwhelmed at first. Bite-sized pieces of information will be much easier for the person to handle.