Campus reps need multiple types of training to be successful, including instructional, role-playing, and continuing education. Consider involving your past campus reps in the training process – who better to train someone than an individual who has already held the job? It’s also important to have follow-up training throughout the semester. All people, but especially busy college students, can only remember a few things at a time. Below are six steps to a successful campus rep training program.
- Assume your reps have never worked before.
The problem is students don’t have a built up resume. They can’t answer experience based questions in the interview or provide you with evidence of being uniquely qualified to fulfill the task at hand. Thinking like this will help to ensure your training program covers everything it needs to.
2. Allow past campus reps to participate
Create a community where past campus reps share their experience. There are a few immediate benefits to this. People trust people like themselves. Training can be more effective when it comes from someone who has done the job before. You want to ensure both ends are shared – what worked and didn’t work.
3. Roleplay with your campus reps
Putting up a PowerPoint slide and talking for hours is a recipe to put your new campus reps to sleep. Sure, there is a role for PowerPoint slides, but introduce a mixture of activities that includes role playing. What activities will they be doing? Roleplay those situations. For example, let’s say you are training campus reps how to hand out samples. You can practice this in a classroom setting or you can take this a step further and make the roleplay more real. Set up a time for your new campus reps to hand out samples during your company’s lunch hour to your team members.
4. Keep the conversation going
Training doesn’t stop with a single phone call or weekend event. Companies that have successful campus reps incorporate recurring phone calls or web conferences where students can share what worked and what didn’t work. They also use this as a time to thank campus reps, which encourages them to share more.
5. Don’t overload training with too much information
Train on what is most important short term. Use the ongoing meetings to continue the training with short term objectives. Science backs up this point. According to a post from Psychology Today, most adults have an attention span of 20 minutes, and attention spans are only getting shorter with the advent of more on-demand technology, like smartphones. Keep each training session to one topic or idea and remember, no longer than 20 minutes of intensive training at a time.
The same post states that the adult brain can only process about seven pieces of information at a time in short-term memory – and only for about 20 seconds! Your training team needs to come up with creative ways to reinforce what the students should be learning. Repetition is a helpful tool. Be sure to cover important information more than once and in different ways throughout the session.
Ascribing meaning to tasks and ideas can also be a helpful learning tool. Sometimes it can be challenging to remember or understand a task that you’ve never done because you have no frame of reference for it. Show your campus reps how their tasks fit into a bigger picture.
Finally, when designing a training session, keep in mind that people tend to remember what comes first and last more than what they hear or read in the middle. A good tip is to start training with a summary of the ideas you expect to cover in that session and then reinforce everything your trainees should have learned with a summary of the ideas at the end.
6. Invest in them
Break up the training by including social gatherings for campus reps to get to know each other. Give out swag that they can go home and brag to their friends about. Top-performing companies will often feature student ambassadors on their websites to further showcase the importance of the student ambassadors to the company. This is a great way to show that your company is directly involved and invested in their success.Take these six tips to ensure success in your campus rep training. Campus Commandos offers training outlines you can buy and team members are available to assist in different areas of training.