Training programs need a foolproof way of testing knowledge.

Medical schools rely on the see one, do one and teach one method. This is a robust, effective and efficient way to transfer and verify the knowledge of a medical student. Companies should use the same approach for training their employees. This method encourages collaboration, provides an orderly way for knowledge to be passed from senior to junior team members and reinforces continuous development of employees and the processes they support.

As a process engineer, my job was leading incremental change in the wake of a challenging circumstance

The significant challenge I faced was coming up with a solution to be sustained by hourly personnel with minimal oversight. There were other challenges waiting for solutions and I was under pressure to meet the expectation that the problem would be solved within an 8 hour shift (if not within the hour).

My success depended on getting other people to tell me what had happened. The same people had to buy into the solution. It was likely that they might have caused the problem. It was highly likely they knew more details than they realized. They had to believe that I was there to get them back on track as soon as possible.

For best results, I used the see one, do one, teach one method.

Together we worked out a solution. I showed the hourly employees what to do and asked them to repeat it. While I was still observing, the lead would perform the task for his or her team mates. I asked the team mates to repeat the same task for the lead. Knowledge of the problem and its solution passed from person to person and from shift to shift.

When I walked away to go work another problem, I was confident the hourly personnel knew what to do and would do it. I did audit the third shift to ensure they had been properly trained and followed up from time to time to double check. The see one, do one, teach one method worked flawlessly with rare exception. I did have to invest more time in observing the employees executing the solution but it was more than worth it.

The do one, see one, teach one training method links the entire team together to solve problems, improve performance and encourages clear, direct and effective communication.

Image source: