Skill House Learning - Partner Solutions

Identifying Pain Points for Partner Solutions

Small talk before, during, or after a meeting can give you insight into client needs that your partner organizations can address.

“Is there an app for that?” The secretary asked.

“We need to find a way to send an alert to all staff members, like the AMBER Alerts that you have on your phone,” said a manager.

I asked the manager if her company had an intranet. She replied no.

A light went on in my head. Here is a problem for which someone, maybe someone I know, can provide a solution.

This happened right before a meeting that I had with a management team at a client company. We were waiting for a conference room and had a few moments to chat prior to heading in to discuss the training program.

At this Los Angeles area company on this particular day, there was a fire drill. The pain point in this case pertained to company-wide communication, getting all staff members on the same page so that the fire drill would be effective and smoothly run.

A solution to this problem, as the manager suggested, is a way to push content to all user cell phones, notifying all staff in regards to the fire drill.

Paying attention to these moments before, during, and after meetings can provide insight into real situations that your client is facing. These may be situations for which you or a partner organization could provide a solution.

The key here is to keep track of what is talked about during the down time when conversation is casual. It may be more fruitful that you expect.

Here at Skill House Learning, we partner with a variety of organizations to provide solutions to client needs. Contact us for more information on how we can work together.


Training-ESL-Skill House Learning

Making Training Programs Effective

Alignment-Training-Programs-ESL for ManufacturingA key to making training programs effective is having alignment between what is taught during the training session and what the trainees do at work.

Training must connect with the daily tasks of the employees.

What does this look like?

Let’s observe a scenario. Stacey and John work at a chemical manufacturing company in the customer service department. Both have difficulty writing emails using proper formatting, grammar, spelling, and providing sufficient detail. Additionally, Stacey has a strong accent and has difficulty being understood by customers over the phone.

The purpose of this training is to:

  1. increase Stacey’s ability to communicate professionally over the phone
  2. further develop Stacey and John’s writing ability for emails and business documents.

Stacey and John’s daily tasks include taking orders over the phone, acknowledging purchase orders via email, dealing with returned product, and providing the customer with quotes. 

In this scenario, the material for Stacey and John’s program would come directly from the daily tasks. The challenge of training, and the key to making it work, is to provide continuity between what is going on during training and the daily tasks of the employees.

Training-Effective-ESL for BusinessA possible training solution could look like this:

After meeting with management, it was collectively decided that training binders would be used during the sessions. The training binders would contain checklists for how to complete the daily tasks of phone orders, acknowledging purchase orders, RMAs, and quotes. In additional to the checklists, the binders would also include samples of emails written by the manager for reference.

This training binder would facilitate continuity between the training sessions and the work of the employees. It would be used for learning and it would also be used for the completion of the daily tasks.

This sort of alignment between training and on-the-job tasks is an important step to creating a superior learning program that will ultimately help a business to reduce costs, increase profits, and gain an edge against the competition.

For more information about our ESL for Business programs at Skill House Learning, have a look here:

We specialize in working with manufacturing companies. More information regarding our ESL for Manufacturing can be found here:


Designing-learning-programs-ESL for Manufacturing

Factory Learning Programs

I was once invited to tour a factory where I came across a situation. A quality control manager at a precision instrument manufacturing facility designed an exam to test factory employee knowledge of an assembly process. He showed me the exam he had created. It was a fine exam, one that would work well with native English speaking employees who went through the American school system. The exam tested the ability of employees to assemble part of a scientific measurement device. The test included a matching section with a diagram. Many people would interpret it as an easy to understand test that the employees should have no problem acing. However, this was not the case. Less than 10% of forty factory employees passed the test.

A problem with the learning process at a factory

Prior to the exam, the employees of the factory received a lecture on the material to be tested. What was being done to check for understanding of the employees? Did the employees understand the material being presented? The way to improve this process is through formative assessment of the material. In a formative assessment, the trainer checks for employee understanding during the learning process. For instance, if a training session is to be 60 minutes, there can be 2-6 formative assessments that check for understanding. The best way to teach material is to break it down into small, manageable units of learning. This is called chunking. In this case, it could be 10 minutes chunks of content.

Training-ESL for Manufacturing-Factory

A problem with factory test design

There are many different ways to write an exam. Multiple choice, matching, short answer, fill-in-the-blank to name a few. The key with writing an effective exam is to make the exam match the learning abilities and needs of the employees. The exam should be able to test whether the employee knows the material, not whether he or she knows how to take an exam. The way to fix this is to show a sample exam with the style of questions and test whether the employee is able to complete the exam. If the employee is able to complete the sample exam successfully, let’s say in the range of 80%-90%, then you are ready to use that style of testing during the training.

For more information about our ESL for Business programs at Skill House Learning, have a look here: