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What Is Functional Skills Training? Less Than 100 Words

Functional skills training aims to develop competencies essential for completing specific job-related tasks, focusing on teaching by practicing. 

Examples of functional skills are, but are not limited to: 

  • How to replace machinery parts
  • How to organize warehouse items
  • How to perform safety protocols

Any modality can be used for functional skills training, but the goal should be to give the learner the ability to practice newly-acquired skills with real-time feedback.

Ready to learn more about Functional Skills Training? Let’s dive into why it’s essential, alongside some examples. 

What Are Functional Skills?

Functional skills refer to the competencies necessary to complete your role’s daily tasks and can vary between roles and organizations. Since these skills are typically more technical in nature, functional skills training aims to ensure that learners are completing job tasks correctly; however that is defined (safely, efficiently, timely, etc.).

Examples of functional skills are, but are not limited to: 

  • How to replace machinery parts
  • How to organize warehouse items
  • How to perform safety protocols

How To Train For Functional Skills

While training an employee for their role’s functional skills seems easy, there are many ways to approach functional skills training depending on your organization, budget, and time. The key to functional skills training is to provide instruction supplemented with the ability to practice those skills and receive feedback.

This section will explain how you can train one skill with different learning modalities if you hire a new employee to stack pallets in your warehouse. There are a few ways you can get this employee trained safely and efficiently:

  • Job Shadowing: Pair the new hire with a tenured employee to close any skills gap between the two employees. The new hire will observe the functional skills that the tenured employee uses when stacking pallets, and after an extended period of time, the tenured employee will ask the new hire to complete those same stacking skills. The tenured employee will provide real-time feedback while the new hire is practicing, which provides an opportunity for new hires to mentally ponder and physically practice these new skills – resulting in the retention of that information. 
  • eLearning: Design eLearning modules to walk your employee through the process and theories behind how to stack pallets properly. These modules provide information for learners, followed by multiple-choice questionnaires that learners have to select the correct answer.  
  • Video Learning: Record tenured employees properly stacking pallets and have your new hire watch the recording. New hires should watch these videos to gain an understanding of what their job tasks look like, as well as how to complete warehouse stockings.  
  • Full VR: Allow your new employee to practice stacking pallets within a virtual reality space. Provide new hires a virtual reality headset, and place them into a fully-simulated virtual space that allows learners to physically practice pallet stacking skills without causing any issues or mistakes in the real world. 

You don’t have to use these modalities separately – you can combine them through blended learning. This comprehensive training approach combines traditional and digital learning to create a training program that works for every learner. 

Through blended learning, training is more convenient for new hires; appealing to multiple modalities increases engagement by accommodating multiple learning styles; combining modalities is an efficient use of time and money. 

Ready To Learn More? 

We hope that you have a thorough understanding of functional skills and what functional training in the workplace looks like. If you have any questions, please schedule a meeting with us, and we will be happy to answer all of your questions!

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