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How to Plan Robotics Training Exercises Your Team Will Love

Alex Owen-Hill
by Alex Owen-Hill on May 24, 2018 7:00:00 AM

Do your business's goals align with the goals of your employees? Robotics training is one way to make sure they do.

Robotics training can benefit both you and your employees. It allows your business to accomplish its goals while developing new skills and expertise among team members. 

Employees will appreciate training if they can see how it helps them achieve their long-term goals. They may not see the benefit of a training session if they perceive that it serves the company but not them personally. This can make the training less effective because, in learning, you get out what you put in.

To maximize the results of training, get your team on board right from the start of your move to in-house robotics expertise (see our post on how to get your key stakeholders on board). 

 

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Continual learning is essential for both employers and employees.

 

Another benefit of training: employee retention 

One way to get individual team members on board is to demonstrate how training contributes to their long-term career goals. Continual professional development is fast becoming a vital element of modern businesses. These days, it's a big risk to neglect to provide training.

A recent Fortune article says modern employees, especially millennials, will "immediately start searching" for new jobs if they can't move up in their current position. Continuing education is one of the best ways to retain employees. It's also a great way to develop your business capabilities.

 

Training vs. learning

Training and learning are two sides of the same concept, but from two different perspectives: the business's and the employees'.

From your perspective, you want to provide training in a way that will bring you closer to your business goals. 

From your employee's perspective, they want training that aligns with their own goals. The two perspectives can only be reconciled if there is some sort of dialogue between you and them. Ultimately, it is the employees who will undergo the training and it's up to them to truly commit to it. It is only with their collaboration that you can ensure effective learning.

Robotics skills are increasingly valuable, so your team is likely to see the advantage of robotics training for their professional development. Individual Learning Plans are a great way to highlight this value to the whole team and align your business goals with employees' personal goals.

 

Bridge perspectives with learning plans

An Individual Learning Plan (aka Individual Development Plan, Personal Development Plan, Training Log, etc.) is a document to log ongoing learning. At its most basic, it provides a record of training received. However, it is most useful when it prompts the trainee to reflect on what they learned and consider it within the larger scope of their ongoing professional development.

Your business's robotics goals probably involve operational performance indicators, such as throughput, order fulfillment, product quality, etc. Your employees' goals are likely to be related to their ambitions, such as learning new skills, assuming more responsibility, or increasing their chances of promotion. The scope of these goals is quite different, but the Learning Plan can act as a bridge between them.

Learning Plans are most effective when you make them a key part of your in-house robotics training program. Instead of just distributing Learning Plans and expecting trainees to fill them out, work together with your team to align your business goals with their personal goals.

 

A simple way to create effective training programs

Here at Robotiq, we want to make it as easy as possible for you to start training your own team of in-house robotics experts.

That's why we've created a series of eBooks to help you out. We've taken key business skills and applied them to robotics. 

The result is a clear, straightforward process you can apply to your own business right away.

Together these eBooks guide you through the whole process of developing a robotics team, from assessing your business needs, to implementing your training program, to measuring the effectiveness of the program.

 

1. Design your learning program

If you haven't already, you should definitely check out our in-house robotics expertise modules. They guide you step-by-step through the whole process of implementing a successful robotics training program, starting with why you need in-house robotics expertise, and then covering how to assess the robotics needs of your business, how to get the team on board, and how to build an effective training program.

 

2. Introduce Individual Learning Plans

Module 7 is an Individual Learning Plan that you can distribute directly to your team members.

It builds on the work you've done in previous modules, so get the most out of it, you should already have gained your key stakeholders' support and begun designing your robotics training plan.

The Learning Plan guides trainees through the process of:

  • Rating their starting level of robotics expertise based on key robotics skills, such as programming, critical thinking, and control system analysis.
  • Identifying their own learning goals and how these relate to robotics knowledge.
  • Reflecting on the training they've received. This helps solidify their learning, and you can use this information to improve future training sessions.
  • Identifying specific ideas for improving the business's robotic processes.
  • Reflecting on their overall robotics learning.

Ideally, your team should complete the Learning Plan in collaboration with other members of the team, such as key stakeholders. To be most effective, it should not be a case of filling out the form and then immediately forgetting about it. Instead, it should be a dynamic document that is updated regularly.

 

What are the robotics training goals of your business? How are you getting on with the modules? Tell us in the comments below or join the discussion on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook or the DoF professional robotics community.

 

Get Module 7!

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Alex Owen-Hill
Written by Alex Owen-Hill
Alex Owen-Hill is a freelance writer and public speaker who blogs about a large range of topics, including science, presentation skills at CreateClarifyArticulate.com, storytelling and (of course) robotics. He completed a PhD in Telerobotics from Universidad Politecnica de Madrid as part of the PURESAFE project, in collaboration with CERN. As a recovering academic, he maintains a firm foot in the robotics world by blogging about industrial robotics.
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