Monthly Archives: February 2014

Maximize Training ROI: 4 Follow Up Steps

train follow up celebrateWhat 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.



Coaching is not Another Word for Managing

What comes to mind when you hear the word “coach”? Do you think of the guy at the sideline, pacing, watching and calling plays? Is this just the word your company uses for managers? Does it mean anything at all?

Leaders who coach, and those who coach for a living, have a different idea about coaching, coaches and clients/coachees. A clear definition of coaching, as opposed to managing, mentoring, training or counseling, is a good place to start. There are plenty of definitions, but this one will work:

Coaching is a process through which a coach inspires a client to achieve performance excellence by encouraging critical thinking about options, commitment to action, and by creating an environment of accountability and recognition.

One of the most important and difficult lessons for a coach in a business environment (as opposed to an athletic coach) to learn is this: The coach does not give advice or tell the client what to do. Instead, the coach does a few things well and consistently.

First, the coach asks open-ended questions to get the client to consider alternative courses of action. An effective coach will get the client to think and consider options that she may have not already considered. The coach draws ideas out of the client, allowing the client to decide her next steps for herself. Here is an example: What other options have you considered to deal with this issue?

Second, the coach encourages action and helps the client clarify his goals. Specific, time-bound goals are the meat and potatoes of the coaching relationship. Great ideas must convert to action and accomplishments.

Third, the coach provides recognition for goals achieved and accountability for less-than-full effort. Challenging questions addressing failures to act are part of the conversation.

In the end, the client will rise to better performance by making and following through on commitments to action. The coach will stand aside and watch, letting the client succeed and realize the rewards of her effort. There is plenty of satisfaction in coaching, but the coach telling the client what to do to be successful is not part of the deal. Instead, the coach helps the client become a more successful person with the skills to continue learning, growing and excelling.


Learning Dynamics can help your organization thrive by incorporating coaching practices that create a culture of accountability and success. Contact us to find out how Coaching for Results can help your company win.