Published: March 16, 2011 | Comments
Continuing my series, Make Training Count: 10 Tips to Increase ROI, here is my fourth tip:
Make sure post-reinforcement also happens. Training can facilitate learning new skills, knowledge…and, like anything in life, without practice and reinforcement, it won’t stick.
Learning doesn’t stop when the training session is over. So the question becomes, “How will we ensure that the participants apply what they have learned?” Again, this involves a partnership between the training function and managers.
Trainer’s responsibility: Partner with managers and/or supervisors to promote the transfer of learning from the training room to the workplace. Some of the key questions you can work with them to discuss and decide might include:
- How will they (managers/supervisors/coaches) support and reinforce what was taught in the program?
- What concrete actions can they take to strengthen the new behaviors?
- Are there any conflicting programs/processes and metrics that might impede successful use of the new skills?
Manager’s responsibility: Right after training, it would be ideal to have the manager meet with employees to discuss what they’ve learned, whether it met their expectations, and how they can apply what they’ve learned. If is appropriate, ask participants to share their experiences and key learning points in a team meeting.
Also critical to success is continued reinforcement of the skills, knowledge and key learning from the training. This can be done in individual coaching sessions, team meetings, etc.
And, finally, onto question #3 from above – are there any conflicting programs/processes and metrics that might impede successful use of the new skills? This particular question is perhaps most often the greatest impediment to the transfer of learning. For example, let’s the employees are trained on how to cross-sell/up-sell, which will in most cases increase average handling time (all things being equal). The training will most likely be deemed a failure if the representatives are measured on their average handle time and are penalized if it increases. And while this conflict should come up during a needs assessment and would be cause for training not being the right solution, right now, if it does not, there can be disappointment, questions and ultimately lack of ROI for reasons beyond the training session.
Click here to view my fifth tip: Provide Refresher Training As Needed.