When implemented correctly, perceptual thinking allows individuals to maximise the amount of information they retain to improve productivity and performance in the workplace. By testing various processes, the most effective way in which an individual learns can be identified.
Manufacturing workplace training programmes, in particular, can benefit from perceptual thinking, as the manufacturing sector requires consistent learning to keep up-to-date with industry developments to improve the manufacturing skills that ultimately help to achieve operational excellence. Introducing perceptual thinking methods can save manufacturing businesses time and money, as the entire workforce will be able to learn in ways that are suited to them.
Perceptual thinking and contextual cues
Retaining the manufacturing skills required to succeed in a specific role is a top priority in maximising the impact of any workplace training programme. Perceptual thinking works to improve the retention of information by reinstating the original learning environment. Essentially, if an individual is familiar with the surroundings in which they learnt specific skills, reproducing these surroundings will make it easier for the individual to remember the skills in the future.
Creating contextual cues in the workplace that mirror the original learning environment will also aid the embedment of learning by allowing employees to draw on their experiences and skills learnt throughout a manufacturing workplace training programme and apply them in their day-to-day operations.
Testing employees soon and often
Merely being able to recall information learnt during manufacturing workplace training does not necessarily mean that an employee will be able to retain the information long term. Perceptual thinking allows for a more active approach by creating cues designed to test employees on the skills learnt and how accurately they can be applied in the workplace.
By testing employees on specific manufacturing skills and structuring these tests to be challenging but accomplishable, employees become more motivated to learn and retain the skills needed to pass the tests and improve operations.
Perceptual thinking and interleaving
Presenting employees with relevant information in the same order while using the same methods is likely to hinder learning. Interleaving works by providing information to individuals in different orders, so when it comes to applying the skills learnt in the workplace, employees will be able to draw on the information in any situation.
Allowing employees to develop their skills through several learning methods in different orders also enables business leaders to ascertain the practices that are most productive for individuals. In doing this, they are able to structure future manufacturing workplace training programmes to improve productivity.
When utilised correctly, perceptual thinking can be a critical tool in creating engaging and insightful manufacturing workplace training programmes. For more information on our approach in workplace training, read our blog on how perceptual thinking can be integrated to benefit experiential learning programmes.