Tailor Team Training

February 2023 |

Knowing your team’s learning styles will help you develop more effective training.

Which type of learner are you? How about your team members? The answers will help you develop effective training in your practice, says Julie Nash, a practice management consultant and owner of Practice Moxie.

Some people prefer to learn by doing (kinesthetic), some learn by observing or responding to visual cues (visual), and others learn primarily by listening (auditory).

Although directions are typically given verbally, very few people are auditory learners, says Nash. In fact, most learners need a combination of visual, auditory and kinesthetic methods to maximize their learning experience. “You can tailor one-on-one training individually once you know someone’s learning style,” says Nash. “But you have to use all of the styles in group training.”

To meet all types of learner needs in a veterinary hospital environment:

Find out your team’s learning styles using the Barsch Learning Styles Inventory or the VARK Questionnaire (both widely available online).

  • Use these tools during orientation and begin an intentional dialogue about training in your hospital.
  • Avoid giving only verbal instructions! Always provide a visual or written reference for any protocol or step-by-step procedure.
  • In every 20 minutes of learning, use all three modes.
  • Incorporate a variety of learning methods such as video-based learning, self-study, demonstrations, role-playing and games.