How do you know if your employees are going to learn and, more importantly, retain what you teach them? It’s never an easy question to answer. I’ve done it for 32 years so I know first hand that it’s not easy. However, over the years I have learned a few things that help me keep security officers engaged during a live training session. Here are some tips that you can apply to your program that will help you achieve the same results.
Anyone can teach a security officer training class. I would say even a chimp can teach a class of employees something and possibly be more effective than some of the consultants/trainers I’ve listened to.
The first step to a successful security guard training program is finding a great instructor and materials list. Without those tools, you can’t train anyone on anything.
It doesn’t matter if you utilize videos, books, manuals, handbooks, powerpoint presentations, or cartoon characters. If your instructor is as interesting as a cow patty it simply won’t work. But I have also seen people who could read the phone book and keep you interested like a Stephen King novel.
It’s about the instructor not necessarily the material. The best instructors will find ways to keep their audience involved in what is being taught.
Taking Action: Do your best to find a security training instructor that is personable, engaging, and excited about the class they’re teaching.
Having your officers simply watch videos for 8 hours straight is boring and won’t end up producing the desired results. If the goal is to improve the level of service an officer can offer to your client in the field, sitting them in a room with a video and a handbook isn’t the most effective solution.
Now I’m not saying you have to exclude videos all together. But they should be used as a supplement to the instructor, not a replacement.
Videos, handbooks, posters, and the like can be very effective in training. The unfortunate part is that they are overused to such a degree that most officers don’t pay attention to them after the first few hours, whether they know the material or not. This can often lead to poorly trained officers, and poor retention of your contracts.
Taking Action: Use training materials like videos, handbooks, and powerpoints as a tool to complement the instructor’s efforts. Make sure that the tools you decide to use help you achieve the desired outcome. Don’t simply use video because everyone else is.