In part one of this two-part series about training adult workers in the construction industry, the Fort Lauderdale construction attorneys at Cotney Construction Law discussed the training-related needs of adult workers. Now, we will discuss important characteristics of adult learners that can help you provide your workers with the most beneficial training possible.
Characteristics of Adult Workers
Your adult workers require specialized training that carefully considers their needs. Before you start training your adult workers, consider the following:
- Adults are voluntary learners who need to perceive value in the training you prescribe. Typically, they learn more thoroughly when they decide that training is necessary.
- Adults absorb important information deftly, but nuanced information may be less digestible. When training is clearly relevant, adult workers are able to quickly adopt new principles and lessons that can be put to use on the project site. If they believe the information you’re disseminating is important, they will be more likely to take training seriously.
- Adults already possess a lot of knowledge and life experience. Trainers must acknowledge this while teaching them new things. Adult workers don’t like to be “talked at.” They prefer to join the conversation and like when they are given the opportunity to share their personal experiences in the context of a training session.
- Adult workers want to be treated with respect. They will not be receptive to an instructor who belittles them or discounts their ideas and concerns.
- Adults retain more information when they are allowed to participate in the learning process. Lecturing is not an effective strategy for training adult workers.
- Adults take in new knowledge more effectively when they understand the purpose of training. Utilize “route maps” and outline clear objectives so adult workers can visualize how each piece of information is building on the previous lesson.
- Adults prefer when information is taught, repeated, and reinforced. Don’t be afraid to repeat important points more than once. This not only helps adult workers understand the most important points in a training session, it helps them master this new knowledge while developing the skills and attitudes needed to take training from concept to action.
3 Types of Learning Exchanges
Generally, adult learners benefit from information presented in multiple ways. They can become bored or distracted when an instructor only utilizes a single teaching technique. There are three types of learning exchanges to consider using when training adult workers:
- Participant-to-Participant: adult learners share their personal experiences related to a training topic.
- Participant-to-Facilitator:instructors can learn from adult workers who have years of experience in their industry. Sometimes, specialized knowledge can be disseminated to other learners by letting certain participants share their experiences.
- Facilitator-to-Facilitator: instructors need to keep training sessions structured by guiding discussions, inspiring participation, and outlining important issues.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.