Have you ever found yourself explaining a subject in depth to someone who is willing to listen? Or a topic where you find yourself flowing with knowledge so easily regardless of if the other person is awake or not? I’ve been training software for the better part of three and a half years now and it has mainly consisted of adults that are older than me. It has also included philosophy majors, college students, new grandparents, and people in the brink of retirement. I’ve even trained a dad and his two sons (just last week!) and some students three or four weeks (not in a row; then they wouldn’t learn anything).
Even if they love what they do and they’ve been doing it for twenty years, the particular week that I am training them might not be their favorite. They might not like the fact that they had to travel or that they had to share a class with other students from different fields.
I once had a student who’s newborn daughter had accidentally swallowed a coin prompting him to dismiss himself early from my class, understandably, to monitor her progress.
A training week is never a perfect training week. The ideal mold is rarely carried out as outlined in the syllabus. In this sense, a trainer really must juggle, for example, touching on missed subjects at a future date, which requires schedule adjustments. Sometimes, material needs to be delivered in a different method since, as most of us know, there are auditory, tactile, and kinesthetic learners.
The reality of customers having different knowledge bases has never been clearer in the gear world. Even if they had or currently have a CMM, the gear metrology methodologies that I now teach is (most times) a new realm which sometimes translates to a steep learning curve. To remedy this, I recently created a “care package” of sorts that I uploaded to my Google Drive folder that is full of the best gear introductory material.
This includes information about gear geometries, software manuals, machine commands, and stylus information, including our aftermarket salesperson’s contact information to get the best Renishaw styli prices anywhere! I simply enter the student’s e-mail address and they can download all this information at their convenience for future use.
Customers should also understand the differences between training their employees on-site or at the manufacturer’s facility. On-site has its benefits since the customer is working with their new machine and with any of their parts. However, one of the downsides is that the students are usually pulled aside because there is always another task that needs to be taken care of at the moment. It’s a constant juggle!
I understand the gears never stop turning at the company, but my advice is that the student, and thus, the company, will benefit most when the student has their undivided, uninterrupted attention in the class. Especially since 1) They purchased their machine for a reason and 2) the aforementioned obstacles will inevitably creep in throughout the training week. If not, training at the manufacturer’s facility offers a different setting that is tailored for optimal teaching conditions. Additionally, I have been able to accommodate students from only one company every time in my training classes at Wenzel.
Overall, training has its challenges, but what classroom doesn’t? I get to explore new places, meet new people from all walks of life with interesting (read – “sometimes a head-scratcher!”) projects. I’m always ready for my next adventure. To join me, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.