Dr. Jim Voorhees is ITI's Founder and CEO. With a Ph.D. in human factors and experience training and building simulators at NASA, he brings a wealth of understanding of what it takes to train people for high-consequence jobs in high-stress environments.
Attention Span is the Reason Quality Matters in Training
There’s an old saying (it actually goes back to the 12th Century), “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink”. It was true then and it’s true now. Just because you've put a truck driver in front of a computer and had them log into a training program doesn’t mean that he or she will now be trained.
The training you want your driver to take needs to engage them from the jump. Our training friends at the Allen Corporation like to say that the average human has an initial attention span of 8-12 seconds, slightly less than a goldfish. That may be a bit harsh, but it is true that you have very little time to really engage your driver in an on-line training program.
For Training Retention, What They See and Hear Matters
Training programs vary as to information presented, format of presentation and certainly the amount of interest that the training generates for a driver. Looking at a talking head, someone writing on a white board in the opening frame, simply showing old B-Roll, or talking about 25-year-old material is a sure way to lose your driver’s interest. You have to show what you're talking about. Training should also incorporate specific narration and visual displays.
Narration and visual content together are 35% more effective in retention than either modality alone. The quality of training, as well as the immersion that the driver feels in the learning process, is the key to them retaining the information that is being presented. Don’t waste your company’s money on non-narrated training or a series of clip-art slides with a voice over.
It's not just our advice. We talked to several large fleets for our paper about "How to Compare Online Training." If you don't want to listen to us, you should probably listen to your peers.
Actually Look at the Training Content Yourself
Your driver’s time is one of the most important assets in your company, and you shouldn’t be wasting it with low impact, outdated training. At ITI we know that time is money, particularly in the transportation industry. We’ll never waste your driver’s training time with boring, outdated, sub-standard training.
Our recommendation is to never buy training that you haven’t first seen yourself.
Take a full lesson from one from our competitors. Really look at it. Listen to it. If you find yourself looking at your phone or wishing the lesson was over while watching, imagine what your driver thinks when they have to take it. Then sit down with a PRO-TREAD course and you will see the difference right away.
Whenever we're at a conference, you'll always see our training up on a large screen. Have you ever wondered why you never see our competitors' products on theirs?
At ITI, all of our PRO-TREAD lessons are designed by trainers who have advanced degrees in adult learning, who also hold active CDLs, and who've worked at sophisticated fleets who understand the importance of a well-trained work force. They work with countless clients creating custom fleet training that fits the needs and specific challenges of their fleet.
Quality counts and driver engagement counts. Don’t settle for less than the best. You want the best from your drivers – and they deserve the best training.
Better to Spend 20 Minutes on Good Training
Than 5 Minutes on Bad Training
At ITI, we believe that quality training takes time - not a lot, but certainly more than 5 minutes. We also realize that training has to be done at times when the driver is “available” and not rushing to finish training so they can get on with what they see as their “real job”.
Therein lies the rub. Most safety professionals know that taking operational time away from a driver to do training creates unrest – in both the operations area and from most drivers.
To that end, ITI created the excellent Sentix™ mobile app that runs on more than 12,500 supported Apple iOS or Android phones or tablets – so training is just a tap away. Drivers can take courses on their own schedule, such as while waiting for a shipment to load or in a hotel room at the end of their day. Our goal is to make it as easy as possible to maximize your driver’s time to train.
If you're serious about training, you owe it to yourself, your co-workers, and the motoring public to take a serious look at your training and ours.