Training Adult Learners


In the convenience store business, there will always be a wide age range among your employees — from high school students to retirees and ages in between. But one thing is true about all of them: they are all adult learners. There are identifiable traits unique to adult learners, and you should know those traits to teach effectively.

Adult learners want to know why you’re asking them to learn what you’re trying to teach them. Many adult learners will look at a training situation and decide for themselves whether or not they need to know the information being presented. They’ve already made the distinction between need-to-know and nice-to-know. If you are trying to teach an adult learner something he or she finds useless, you are almost guaranteeing failure.

Let adult learners know why information is need-to-know. If you get them on your side from the start by explaining the reasons behind your thinking, your job will be easier.

Involve adult learners in the learning process from a content and context perspective. No one knows better than they do about their own learning styles. If you ask their opinion about how they would like to cover certain training topics, you create buy-in to your program and give them ownership over their own training.

New hires expect their trainers to be experts at what they’re teaching. They will be quick to spot gaps between the standards and procedures you are asking of them and the standards and performance levels of your trainers. Just make sure your trainers can do everything you are asking your trainees to do.

Figure out if your trainees can multi-task, or if they need to focus on one bite of information at a time. This is one of those opportunities to tailor your program. The content needs to be the same, but the methods can differ.

Most adult learners want to immediately apply what they’ve just been taught, either in a simulated situation or a real one. If new knowledge and skills aren’t used quickly, they lose their impact. Adults do better as hands-on learners.

Adults learn more quickly when they can build on knowledge and skills they already have. This is yet another reason for you to have an idea of what a new hire brings to the job.

Adults like the training environments found in fun, trusting, and positive-energy workplaces. Make certain that consistent feedback is a large part of the training design for each day and that positive rewards immediately follow positive performances.

Never use operational shortcomings as excuses for skimping on training. If obstacles prevent the training from occurring, remove them or reschedule the training.

Convenience Store Training

The right training prepares your employees for the challenges they face on the job. Our convenience store training programs teach the skills your employees need to succeed.

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