Category Archives for "Leadership"

Apr 22

How to train employees to learn more skills

By PE Admin | Leadership , Posts , Productivity

Employees learn skills in stages

As we learn new skills we will go through 4 stages. Each stage has two measures

  • Awareness The level of conscious thought on a topic or skills
  • Ability The level that something can be done.

The Awareness to Ability learning process demonstrates how each employee goes through the different stages from being first aware to forming habits.

Adapted from “Four Stages for Learning Any New Skill”, Noel Burch from Gordon Training International (1970)

Stage 1 - Unaware & Unable

During this stage, an individual lacks the awareness of the needed skills, knowledge and capacity to do a certain task

Imagine that you are responsible for teaching a group of trainees how to use a new computer programme for processing customer complaints.   Before seeing the programme in action the employee/s are unaware of its capabilities or how it works.

Stage 2 - Aware & Unable

During this stage the induvial becomes aware of their lack of knowledge and skill.

After attending a training session employees become aware of the computer programme and its features and functions. They become aware of it but do not know how to use it

Stage 3 - Aware & Able

Through practice they start to develop and retain the needed knowledge and skills, however progress is slow. You know when people are going through this stage as they are constantly talking to themselves as they complete the task.

After a week they have had a chance to practice using the new software and each of the employees is able to use some of the basic functions, however, progress is slow these take time and effort to do. In this phase the progress is generally slow

Stage 4 - Unaware & Able

After a period of time and repeated use the individual can is able to complete the task without conscious thought, tasks are done quickly. It is at this stage that habits are starting to form (both good and bad) as each employee finds ways to do their job easily

It is now 7 weeks after the training, and the employees have been using the software daily, each employee is becoming both very competent and confident using the computer programme. They are able to use the general features of the programme with minimal thought, completing tasks with ease, almost as though they are on auto pilot

How to apply

When training employees it is important to be aware which stage each of your employee is at so that you can adapt your training to support their development needs. All training needs to move from a teaching style (telling and directing) for employees new to the knowledge and skills where they need to learn each of the steps and stages to a more coaching style (asking and guiding) when they are competent at doing the task but need to build their confidence or willingness to implement their training on the job.

When training you teams you need to ensure that each employees learning is focused on their current stage of ability; this means tailoring your delivery to suit their progress and development. Teach when you need to, but also give them a chance to practice and figure it out for themselves. Offer support and guidance in a timely manner, being sure to give constructive feedback to praise good behaviours and correct negative ones.

Jan 07

AAMT – The 4 step formula to create SMART goals and objectives

By PE Admin | Leadership , Posts , Productivity

Are you looking for a simple & effective way to write SMART goals and objectives that improve performance?

What is SMART

If you don’t already know; SMART is an acronym that stands for

  • Specific
  • Measurable 
  • Achievable
  • Realistic/ Relevant
  • Timed

Or something similar to that.......

SMART has been around for a couple of decades; and is a very useful model to use when creating goals and objectives to boost performance for both employees and your business.

The main problem with SMART is that it can get a little confusing, because we all have different ideas on what SMART means.

But don’t worry!!!! The reality is it doesn’t matter which version you use as long as your consistent.

What is the difference between an objective and a goal

A goal is the desired outcome you want to achieve, or the end destination. Think of it as being the x on a treasure map you know where the treasure is buried. Your goal is a long-term target ranging from a month to years.  

Goals and objectives

​Some examples of goals may include:

- I want to become a manager

- I want to become the best sales person

- I want to become a princess

Now these are goals however they are not very clear or compelling and don’t really inspire you to act.

Objectives are the steps or the tasks you need to achieve in order to reach your goal. Each objective should help to create a logical path that can be done either in sequence or done at the same time to aid your progress.

For the goal to “Become the best sales person”,  examples of objectives could be:

  • Increase sales,
  •  find more customers,
  • get customer feedback after each sale

Again these are objectives, but unfortunately like the goals they are not specific as they do not provide very clear instructions of what to do. They are not measurable as they don’t identify when you have been successful, and they do not promote urgency as they don’t have a deadline.

So how do you write SMART?

The solution to writing SMART goals and objectives is to write them using our simple 4 part formula we call AAMT.    AAMT is an acronym for

  • TIME
AAMT formula


is a verb or a doing word and it describes the direction you want to move in from your current position, and this will be either in a

  • forward direction and you can use words like create, increase, build, grow, roll out, complete, develop and sell, or
  • in an away direction where you may use words like Reduce, decrease, resolve or stop

Activity identifies the single task that needs to be. When deciding on the task you need to be very specific. For example:

  • if you want to increase sales you need to identify sales in what area or product

Measure is the desired performance outcome that we are aiming for, and can be described in terms of output like volume, weight, number, score and time.

  • You can use a single measure like “40 widgets” or use a combination of measures like “40 widgets in 10 minutes”

Time refers to the deadline that it needs to be achieved by. This could range from hours to months and even years.

  • Experience has shown us objectives need to be bite sized and should be achievable within a few days to a few months.  Otherwise they get too overwhelming, lose their importance or just forgotten.

The AAMT formula is flexible

One of the key things about using the AAMT formula is that it is flexible, and this means you can change the order of the four indicators to suit your own style of writing or to help make your goals and objectives more meaningful.

Let’s see how to use it

We can re-write the goal “To become the best sales person” as:

AAMT Goals

Using AAMT We can also re-write each of the objectives.

Objective 1 - "Increase sales" can be written as

AAMT Objectives 1

Objective 2 - " To find more customers", can be written as

AAMT Objectives 2

Objective 3 - "Get customer feedback after each sale" can be written as

As you can see the goal and objectives have been written using the 4 elements of the AAMT formula, making them SMART.  Now they not only make more sense but also allow both you and others to understand exactly what you are doing.

So there we have the 4 step AAMT formula for writing simple and effective SMART goals and objectives that work.

Do you like what you have read?  Let me know your thoughts.