The training is over. The material has been covered, participants demonstrated their understanding of the material, and they even had some practice applying the material to their work. What happens next? This is a critical point in the learning process. Do participants actually go back to the job and use what they learned? If behavior change was the point of the training, did their behavior change as was intended?
After the training is when the participants do the hard work of actually using and deepening their understanding of what they learned. The learning doesn't stop when they leave the classroom. At the critical point when learners leave the classroom and are back to doing their jobs, trainers can do several things to help support their continued learning and application of knowledge.
The first thing a trainer needs to do is make sure that both the participants' supervisors and the quality auditors are up to date on what the training was about. They may have attended the training, but even so, providing them with a list of things to watch out for and to reinforce helps make it more likely that they will strengthen the points from the class. Make the list succinct while providing clear guidelines and examples. Strike a friendly tone rather than a commanding tone with them so that this is a partnership - a collaboration - for improved performance.
A job aid, if appropriate, is another good way to reinforce the learning after training is over, and supervisors and quality auditors should receive any job aids even if they didn't attend the training. Take a turn through the floor and ask people (during down moments, of course) who have the job aid displayed whether it is helping or not. Look for feedback from participants as a way of reinforcing their use of the job aid.
Some other ways to support learning after training include:
The most important thing a trainer can do before, during, and after training is to involve supervisors and quality auditors so that all of you are working together to reinforce the right behavior and to encourage high performance. Training, quality, and supervisors should all be working towards this goal. As trainers, be part of the team and make it easy for others to reinforce what you worked hard to present in training. And help participants hurdle the difficult task of applying learning back on the job.
Trainers: looking to develop your skills or refresh your abilities? Learn more about ICMI's Trainer Development Workshop.
A professional in the training arena for 30 years, Elaine has more than 15 years’ experience in the call center industry. She has both outsourced (domestically and internationally) call center services and worked in companies doing the outsourced call center work. The variety of business that she has experienced in the call center world includes financial services, transportation, government, healthcare, insurance, retail, and utility services, giving her a wide-ranging view of the industry. Currently, Elaine utilizes her call center and training experience at ICMI as Group Instructional Design Manager.
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