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Our ‘training recipes’: learning from the learner

May 23, 2024
Terry Hatfield recently started his practice of Job Instruction to further improve his on-the-job training skills. One of his early practice sessions was teaching Ashlie Hauf (HR, recruiting) the construction industry skill of tying rebar. His ‘recipe’ (Job Instruction Breakdown in our world) was more robust after his practice. READ MORE please to learn why and how this happened.

There are three ‘quality points’ for effective and efficient skills training – a good plan (training timetable in the TWI world), a good ‘recipe’ (JIB – Job Instruction Breakdown) and good delivery of the 4 step routine. The more robust the JIB, the easier the delivery of the 4-step routine.

There is a double-edged sword. We encourage not too much time being spent on making the JIB perfect. There’s only one way to find out, try it out. We suggest aiming for about 70% right then practice delivery with someone who knows the work, then adjust. That will get it to around 90% ‘OK’. Then test it out with someone who doesn’t know the work.

This was where Terry was at as, in one of the Story Construction planning trailers, he got everything ready and arranged the work area in order to train Ashlie in tying rebar. Ashlie, being a HR professional, had never tied rebar!

The primary outcome of the practice was Ashlie was able to tie rebar and explain the important steps, key points and reasons for the key points. But when Ashlie was practicing (Step 3 of the delivery routine) her third time and explaining the key points as she did so, an interesting thing happened.

The JIB had an important step of ‘Cross wires’. One of the key points Terry had written was ‘Right hand toward wire holder, left hand toward right side’. When Ashlie stated the key point as she did the task she said ‘… in opposite directions’. That’s how Ashlie (the learner) saw the ‘how’. (Key Points are the critical ‘how’ of an important step.)

After Terry finished Step 4 of the Job Instruction routine we discussed several aspects of the practice, the above being the main one. Through discussion Terry adjusted the key point to simply ‘Opposite directions’. It couldn’t really be anything else that went in ‘opposite directions’ – that’s all the learner needs to hear to help them validate what they’re seeing.

What I really love, as it tells the full story of ‘learning by doing’ for JIB development, is Terry’s draft JIB after his practice delivery and our coaching discussion. (Please click here to view.) It’s not fancy, it’s not typed up, it was good enough to test (before all the notes added), it now contains Terry’s learnings from delivery. Look at the note in purple for Important Step 2, Key Point 1. Terry learned from Ashlie that that key point was superfluous, it was overstated!

I know for sure that Terry’s next delivery will be even better and the learning by his next learner will be even more efficient. The revised JIB is now ‘98% good’, but only through practice …

Thanks heaps Terry and Ashlie for so willingly illustrating ‘learning and improvement by doing’.