A Healthy Obsession with Continuous Improvement
The Humach Training & Development department is obsessed with continuous improvement. This is evidenced by the passion around the ADDIE model of instructional design and the subject of our five-part series – Analyze, Design, Develop, Implement and Evaluate. In this installment, we shine light on what we do that’s truly different, and what you too can do to continuously improve training initiatives.
A typical training program goes through some sort of development phase, and then the training happens. The end.
Not with Humach. After we’ve gone through the first three phases of instructional design to ensure what agents need to know and what agents need to be able to do as a result of the training are embedded in the learning path, we implement. That’s when the training happens. But that’s not where it ends.
A step that’s often missed is evaluating whether or not the training was successful in accomplishing the learning goals it was designed to address. How do you know if the training program was successful? It’s simple. You ask.
Humach developed a two-part survey that is customized for every client training program. The first survey is administered immediately following the training prior to agents taking their very first call. The timing is strategic, as the goal is to capture exactly how learners are feeling in that moment. We seek to understand their confidence levels, attitude toward the training they’ve just experienced, and preparedness for the job they’re about to officially begin. We also look for their anonymous feedback on our Training Facilitators’ performance in the classroom, whether virtual or in-person.
“We go beyond the typical ‘smile sheet’,” says Dezaray Hammond, VP of Training and Development. “It’s not enough to ask about the comfort of the training room and if they enjoyed the training. Of course we hope learners had fun, but do they truly feel ready?”
Humach poses statements tied to learning goals such as “As a result of this training, I feel comfortable booking appointments” on a 4-point scale: Strongly Disagree, Disagree, Agree, Strongly Agree. “We don’t provide agents a ‘neutral’ option because it forces real feedback that we can use.” Says Dezaray. “If there’s any level of disagreement with this statement, we’ve got more work to do.”
The second survey is provided to agents two weeks post-training. The second survey is very similar to the first, as we ask the same questions such as “What would you have liked to see more of in training?” However, the framing is different. We ask agents to think about it like this – “Now that you have been doing the job for two weeks, look back at your training and tell us what you would have liked to see more of.”
The goal of this survey is to evaluate if there was something that agents discovered was a part of the job that they did not learn in training, but should have. Similarly, there may have been something that a lot of time was spent on in training, but agents didn’t end up needing it at all. This means that the time could have been spent better elsewhere.
These are the types of questions that help us continuously improve our training programs. We get to learn what kinds of activities learners are really benefiting from to where they actually feel ready to do the job. We also get to learn what types of activities are simply a waste of time. Even if they are fun.
It’s possible that when agents initially take the first survey immediately following training, they feel confident and ready, but when they actually take calls later there are some surprises. Surprises aren’t good for agents, and they’re not good for customers who are communicating with agents who are not sure how to handle the situation they are faced with.
We take this information back and improve the training.
Through this two-part survey process, new hire assessments, quality assurance, and our close collaboration with the operations team, we are able to uncover how effective the training really is. We may learn that while we may discuss a certain topic in training, it’s not sticking. This means we go back to the training and refresh or revamp the section. We find a new way to explain the concept, or a new activity to help learners do whatever the task is. Our surveys give us actionable insights.
“Our training and development department focuses on tying the academic side of how people learn together with the practical side – what works in a contact center environment,” says Kelly Uhlrich, Humach Chief Operating Officer. “They’re constantly researching new tools and strategies. It’s that obsession that makes training lively and effective.”
We live by the notion that no two training programs should ever be exactly the same. Of course this applies across projects as we customize everything we build for each client, but for even the same new hire training program for the same client, each time we deliver it is better than the last.
But wait, there’s more.
It’s not enough to take what we learn and enhance the training for the next cohort. We also take what we learn to create refresher trainings, bite-sized on-demand training videos, and other just-in-time resources for agents who provided the feedback. We implement what we’ve learned from the feedback immediately. This is how we can level up post-training and give agents exactly what they need to be successful. This ensures agent confidence levels around important skillsets, and a positive customer experience.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this five-part series on how Humach utilizes the ADDIE model of instructional design to create training programs that are truly different. You can see that we don’t create a training. We create an experience. This obsession leads to agent success and quality customer experiences.
For over 30 years, it’s been our mission to provide call center services that transform brands, support teams, and grow businesses. We’re here to answer all your questions and tell you about your options so that you can confidently decide if outsourcing is right for you. Ready to learn more? Contact the experts at Humach today!