Scenario training with a lot of "need to know"

I have been struggling with a process that I need to train.  I was going to re-create a scenario but are they really the best way to train a process that has a lot of "Need to know" in order "to do". I have created a job aid for it and do have a scenario training built for it, but after learning about types of effective feedback from Cathy Moore's Blog, I figured it was time for an overhaul and it was a first attempt at this style of training so it a bit rough around the edges. So it involves front line customer service where inaccurate information can be detrimental.  

6 Replies
Dianne Gibson

I'd be interested in hearing about your approach in creating the scenarios? I'm struggling with just getting mgmt to go this route. Probably lucky because I would be cutting my teeth on doing it. I like the idea of a job aid, but think the "needs to know" need to be reinforced in the scenarios. This is even if they go down the right path - follow up with "why" this was the right path.  I'd take a look at the "needs to know" and drive down to those that really have the core value and use these in the scenario. Keep all the "needs to know" on the performance aid.

Curious to see the perspective of others.  Again, you are ahead of me - please share your experience on writing your first scenario training.

Bruce Graham

Hi,

If you have not already done so, it would be worthwhile checking whether "Need to know..." is the view of the "management", the "course requester" and / or the "coal face"/learners.

Very often there are subtle --> substantial differences in this which depend on position and perception.

A la Cathy - focusing on "need to do..." is often the most effective way to extract this.

Bruce

Frank Natt

EHS Trainer said:

I have been struggling with a process that I need to train.  I was going to re-create a scenario but are they really the best way to train a process that has a lot of "Need to know" in order "to do". I have created a job aid for it and do have a scenario training built for it, but after learning about types of effective feedback from Cathy Moore's Blog, I figured it was time for an overhaul and it was a first attempt at this style of training so it a bit rough around the edges. So it involves front line customer service where inaccurate information can be detrimental.  


Hi EHS Trainer,

I'm assuming by your name that you work in the Health and Safety field. I work in the Occupational Health and Safety sector as well. If I were to create a training module in Storyline that involved various processes, I would keep it simple yet dynamic by using one of four interactions.

These interactions in Storyline include: Tabs, Process Diagram, Sticky Notes and the FAQ Interactions. With the FAQ you might have to simply modify on the bottom, right where you see the word "Ask". 

Cathy Moore

I'm not sure I understand the question, but it sounds like the front line customer service are supposed to accurately answer a wide range of questions. Is this right? If so, do they have access to a job aid that has the correct answers, such as a knowledge base?

If you have an external resource like the knowledge base, you can leave the "need to know" details out of the course and design materials that require learners to answer typical questions accurately using the existing resource. If the learner fails to use the resource or otherwise gives inaccurate information, the feedback can show the consequence (e.g. in 1-2 sentences you describe how the caller follows the instructions and someone gets hurt) AND either:

- show exactly where in the knowledge base the information is, including whatever search term or path was used to get to it. OR

- suggest that the learner look in the knowledge base under the term "X" and try answering the question again.

I'd prefer the second option, making learners who miss a question look for the correct answer in the knowledge base, just like they're supposed to do on the job, but I don't know the details of your situation.

If there is no external reference or the existing one is a pain to use, you might suggest the creation of a new/better resource. 

If you're talking about a complex, many-step process, you might consider using "scaffolding" to efficiently help learners learn by doing. For example, if the process has 9 steps, you can have a fictional character go through steps 1-7 and have the learner complete 8 and 9 with help. The next time, the fictional character stops at step 4, say, and the learner completes 5-9. I'm talking very generically; if some of the steps are just busy work that no one screws up, you don't have to have the learner do them at all; just do those steps for them. Focus on the steps that people mess up, show the realistic consequence of messing up, and point to the job aid or other reference that will help them do it again.

EHS Trainer

Thank you all for the answers, I did not mean to be vague in my question just to the point. I work in animal health and the Scenario is a Lost and Found where a person comes to the shelter looking for there pet.

The "need to know" is understanding local bylaws and how Stray hold periods work depending on identification, what facility the animal would be in depending on time frames, different locations in the shelter depending on health.  Offering accurate information on how the pet owner can continue looking for there pet, Websites etc. (Which Bruce's point touches on as this is that "perception' as an employee can complete the lost and found and not offer anything more so the expectations of management are to offer the added info or be able to answer them if there asked)

My Job aid has is a FAQ with the standard questions staff need to ask the person, its really has everything they need but of course they don't use it, so I may need to look at a different approach.  I have been interviewing recent hires to try and find out what helped them the most, and why. So far empowering them with what to ask has been most beneficial.

I have been thinking of turning it into an "Activity" where I use index cards to set up the scenarios and each trainee takes a turn playing the Pet owner and staff member, this would take them out of the classroom and into the real work environment and keeping them on there toes by having the Pet owner cards tell them to do something or ask something that would challenge the employee. I typically hate 'role play" types of things when I learn so have been hesitant to try this.

Thank you all for taking time out of your busy schedules to help a newbie out its is greatly appreciated.

Bob S

Hi EHS,

Maybe this is the route you've already gone down... but have you considered changing the form-factor of your FAQ job aid a bit?

Maybe pick out the most 3-4 common "lost pet scenarios" and created laminated cards for each of them. For example...

  • "Pet Lost - Less than 24 hours" 
  • "Pet Lost - 24 - 48 hours"
  • etc

Each card should contain all of the key questions, steps to take, reference #s, escalation elements, and what-next, info the employee needs.

Then simply train the employee to ask 1-2 determining needs questions (can also be a card... "Start Here"), then pull out the matching reference card that has the info needed for the situation.

This kind of situational job aid can be WONDERFUL for part-time and volunteer workers. Of course your crusty veterans will soon outgrow them and just know the right info by wrote.... and that' ok too.

By the way... You might want to consider making these situational cards customer-facing. That way the employee can walk through the card steps and info with the distraught pet owner. Knowing there is a process and resources available as well as what comes next  can do a lot to calm fears. Just a thought.

Hope this helps,

Bob