“It’s obvious!” Well, no, it’s not. At least that’s what most of us in the training world have found. The old saying, “One man’s ‘Duh’ is another man’s ‘Huh?’” comes to mind when considering general housekeeping rules for classroom training.
There are many different environments, constraints, and target audiences, but here’s a list of what I usually cover in my sessions:
Training session hours are normally stated in advance; however, if it is a multi-day course I will mention the start, break, and expected completion times at the beginning of each day.
Dress code for participants is often mentioned before the start of a course, but it’s a good idea to revisit this on the first day of training. I invite the learners to dress comfortably and to let me know if it is too hot or too cold in the training room.
The location of the restrooms should be identified at the beginning of the course.
4. Emergency Exits
The emergency exits are a need-to-know item and should be mentioned at the beginning of the course.
5. Cell Phones
The use of cell phones is a challenge for trainers; however, this is the perfect opportunity to set reasonable guidelines for the use of mobile devices in general.
6. Group Dynamics
Group dynamics are important to any facilitator. The value of individual participation and expertise can be stressed by asking the participants to address the group as they ask or answer questions.
Supplies and materials aid in the participants learning. This is an opportunity to explain the course manual and other tools or resources available in the classroom.
The topic of lunch is always a question as participants may want to make plans. Cover where to eat, the time of the lunch break, and the length of the break during housekeeping, as well as the location of coffee and snacks. I invite my learners to refill their coffee cups as often as they like. Caffeine and sugar are my friends in the classroom!
9. After Hours
Availability after hours allows you to invite participants to discuss unique questions or areas that need clarification. It’s an open and sincere invitation to have one-on-one conversations about areas of interest.
Questions are definitely encouraged. I don’t want people to wait to ask them—it’s important to address questions as they arise.
If you address housekeeping issues at the beginning of the course, it will make your learners more comfortable and allow them to concentrate on content. What’s in your top 10? I’d love to hear from you!