Effective training methods for aggregate employees

By |  March 6, 2018

Photo: iStock.com/michaeljung

At the AGG1 Academy, Jerad Heitzler, a product specialist and manager of the foundations department at Martin Engineering, led an education session on training employees at aggregate operations, where he highlighted effective training methods supported by research.

Leading up to AGG1, Heitzler, who specializes in training programs for aggregate operations, conducted a survey that determined which training practices work best for employees at aggregate operations. Through that survey, Heitzler found that interactive workshops were preferred by these employees.

Out of four possible options from the survey, 60 percent of participants preferred interactive workshops; 20 percent preferred hands-on training; 13 percent preferred lecture-style training; and 3 percent preferred online/self-paced training. Online/self-paced learning is a growing trend, but it is the least preferred method from aggregate employees, Heitzler adds.

Later in the presentation, Heitzler highlighted a study conducted at the University of Chicago that measured the effectiveness of one-on-one/coaching training. The study found this style, combined with an interactive element, was most effective for adults. Two major pros to this style are its effectiveness in having the learner master a subject, as well as establish a long-term commitment to the company, Heitzler says. Although this method has shown to be most effective, a major drawback is the high cost.

“There could be zero cost in your budget,” Heitzler says. “But that does not mean this does not cost something.”

Heitzler offered the example of having a 20-year veteran explain to a new employee how to operate a piece of equipment. This type of training could slow down work flow and result in decreased production.

According to the Association for Talent Development, 29 percent of businesses in the U.S. use some sort of formal coaching method in their training. Additionally, 62 percent of participants said it was the most effective training.

Heitzler concluded his presentation by explaining his “Four E’s” of training: entertain, education, engage and effect.

Trainees should be entertained, educated and engaged throughout the training process, which should then have a positive effect on the company, Heitzler says.

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About the Author:

Joe McCarthy is a former Associate Editor of Pit and Quarry Magazine.

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