Why is it important to focus training on critical thinking?
Introducing an emphasis on critical thinking is valuable to every workplace because stronger critical thinking at every level of the organization improves risk management, communication, collaborative action, fiscal management, innovation and the achievement of company goals.
How to implement a critical thinking training program
Many large organizations wish to implement a pilot program prior to rolling out a new training program for large numbers of employees. There are two primary strategies for piloting the integration of employee thinking skills improvement into professional development programs. Some organizations prefer to create their own training materials and do in-house training; others prefer to integrate a specialized training program into their human resource programs.
Set Goals and Benchmarks
New training programs should include gathering data about the value and degree of thinking in your workplace.
Integrating assessment into the launch of a new employee development program is an opportunity to demonstrate the benefits of employee assessment while evaluating the effectiveness of the program. Assessing before the training begins establishes a benchmark for current thinking skills: Assessing post training objectively documents the impact of the training.
By adding assessment to your training program to help groups of employees improve their skills to support effective job performance, you will be adding real time personal feedback about how well they are learning.
- As with any development program, the training must fit the level of employee and their job responsibilities. The INSIGHT suite provides four levels of assessment. Test instruments are calibrated specifically for all employees of business, health, law, science and engineering, defense and education specializations.
- For example INSIGHT Business Professional measures 10 business mindset attributesneeded at work and 5 essential thinking skills for business professionals.
Focus your professional development training on relevant employee tasks that involve problem identification and the related decision about whether to manage the problem or to report it to the appropriate supervisor. These are the type of situations that must be analyzed accurately and decisions that must be made well by all employees in the group.
- Option One: If you wish to create your own training content, here’s a sample training module outline employing case discussion, employee assessment, and debrief.
- Option Two: If you would prefer to integrate a comprehensive employee thinking package into your human resources processes,INSIGHT Development Program integrates proven instructional modules that guide individuals toward the continued improvement of their reasoning using workplace examples, together with a valid assessment of thinking mindset attributes and reasoning skills. Scenarios, examples and reflective mental exercises in these modules center on the workplace, but these skills and attributes apply to problems and decisions in all aspects of life. Designed to be used as independent study by employees, it can also be incorporated into existing training programs.
Reinforce the plan
Conclude training by asking each employee to look at their personal assessment individual report to see where they might work to improve their critical thinking skills and mindset. Providing personal assessment diagnostics can encourage better understanding of their specific strengths and weaknesses in these core skills.
Use pre and post training metrics to evaluate the impact of your pilot program. Metrics on the group reports as well as individual reports can also help determine whether there are any individuals in the group that require more intensive training to be reliable decision makers.
A well designed program launch provides important information to validate the training for additional groups:
- Objective data should document improvement in the thinking skills and mindset of participants, verifying the effectiveness of the training.
- HR will have verified that the assessments can be administered smoothly.
- Questions about support will have been answered.
- The company will benefit from the improved skills that these initial participants will now apply to their work and problem-solving.
Insight Assessment has a proven track record for targeted assessment, effective skill building, and retention of knowledge over time. Insight Assessment provides a high quality validated thinking development program, exceptional targeted test instruments, the most effective resources to improve thinking, the most accessible interfaces and the most relevant and actionable metrics so that our customers can achieve their development and assessment goals.
If you are considering a new initiative to improve employee thinking, call us at 650-697-5628. Insight Assessment staff are prepared to assist in the planning of development and assessment programs. We are happy to provide a variety of support materials; we also invite clients to preview our products.