What is your plan to drive continuous change and improvement after training? Arguably, what happens after a training event, program or major initiative is as important as the content of the training itself.
We have seen organizations of every kind, some with a firm commitment to organizational change, and others (unfortunately) that have been less driven. Invariably, the companies in which senior leaders envision cultural changes to create brighter futures realize much great impact and return on their training dollars. Here are four tactics to make training stick with your people so it creates lasting change.
1. LEADERSHIP INVOLVEMENT: Leaders from first-level supervisors up to those who occupy the C-suite can make training more effective by understanding the content and emphasis of the coursework and talking about it whenever possible. As managers walk around, they should be asking questions about the training, reinforcing the messages, and most importantly, catching people doing something right. Positive reinforcement from a supervisor that is earned for implementing new behaviors will have a lasting effect.
2. REPETITION: It has been said that repetition is the mother of learning. Mother or father, repetition works. This can be accomplished with ongoing reinforcement training, check-ins with employees to review the action items from training and the execution of the new skills, and written materials like newsletters, job aids and online refreshers.
3. COACHING: If managers make a habit of asking newly trained employees about how they are integrating their new skills into their routines, it will send the message that the training effort is important and change is expected. Try questions like this: How can you use your new skills to improve your results in this area? What are the things you learned in the training that you could use to do your job better? Allow trainees to think and integrate new skills into their work.
4. WATCH THE SCOREBOARD: What change are you trying to create? How will you know that you have been successful? If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it, so create a tool to track effectiveness in the targeted and trained areas. For example, if you are training to improve customer service, measure customer satisfaction. If you train employees to suggest additional products and services, survey customers to see if they are doing it or use mystery shoppers. With some creativity, every training initiative can be evaluated for its effectiveness. Finally, celebrate success. When the numbers move, make a big deal of it! Everyone must know that the training has produced results.
Consistent execution of these steps will send the message to everyone that training is important and behavioral changes are expected. Monitor what happens, reinforce positive behaviors, and celebrate victories. Training with solid follow-up will be far more productive and profitable for any organization.
Learning Dynamics can consult with your company to assess performance gaps and training needs and offer after-training services to maximize success. Talk with one of our Consultants today for information on how we can help you with a custom solution to accelerate change and improve results at your company.