Impact Learning Systems


Making Training Stick

When it comes to train­ing, every com­pany wants to get the best return on its invest­ment.  Why then do so many orga­ni­za­tions ignore the best prac­tices for get­ting the most out of their train­ing?  Some may sim­ply not know how to lever­age their ini­tial train­ing invest­ment; oth­ers may fall short in hold­ing the right peo­ple account­able for sus­tained results.

What­ever the rea­son, here are some key fac­tors to con­sider to get the most out of your train­ing initiatives:

Use the Right Model

The most effec­tive model for learn­ing reten­tion involves an allo­ca­tion of time and effort in which:

  • Prepa­ra­tion accounts for approx­i­mately 25 per­cent of the effort. Prepa­ra­tion includes cus­tomiz­ing the train­ing to make it spe­cific and rel­e­vant to the par­tic­i­pants, as well as mak­ing sure all par­tic­i­pants under­stand the objec­tives for the train­ing, the right way to access the pro­grams and how to uti­lize train­ing tools.
  • Train­ing accounts for approx­i­mately 25 per­cent of the effort. Whether the train­ing is done online or in the class­room, about a quar­ter of the effort and resources going into the train­ing ini­tia­tive should focus on how the con­tent is conveyed.
  • Follow-up accounts for approx­i­mately 50 per­cent of the effort. Follow-up includes coach­ing to the new skills, val­i­da­tion of knowl­edge trans­fer and learn­ing reten­tion, and recog­ni­tion of improve­ment and the cor­rect appli­ca­tion of the new skills.

Use the Right People

There are sev­eral roles in an orga­ni­za­tion who con­tribute to the suc­cess of a train­ing initiative:

  • Man­agers play an impor­tant role in prepar­ing for the train­ing. They help set the expec­ta­tion that the par­tic­i­pants will be learn­ing some­thing valu­able and inte­gral to the way they'll be expected to per­form their jobs.
  • Train­ers help make train­ing stick by explain­ing to the par­tic­i­pants how they'll ben­e­fit from the train­ing. They need to develop and imple­ment train­ing that has pur­pose, rel­e­vance, inter­ac­tiv­ity and holds the learn­ers' interest.
  • Super­vi­sors play a cru­cial post-implementation role of sup­port­ing the train­ing. They need to ensure that the new skills are being imple­mented and to model those skills them­selves. Through mon­i­tor­ing, coach­ing and rec­og­niz­ing the achieve­ments of their team mem­bers, they show that the com­pany places value on the new skills.

Com­bin­ing the right train­ing model and the peo­ple best-suited to guar­an­tee suc­cess at each phase of the ini­tia­tive can help make your train­ing as effec­tive as possible.

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  • Tara Fitz­Patrick

    Seth, as a soft­ware trainer, I appre­ci­ate this post. For the most part, I see that the folks who coor­di­nate the train­ing are moti­vated. In addi­tion to being moti­vated, atten­dees need to be able to ded­i­cate time away from their daily respon­si­bil­i­ties to be ensure that they can focus on new con­tent and it's instruc­tion. While this is very dif­fi­cult to do, it ensures that they've been present through the entirety of the curriculum.

  • Seth Brick­ner

    Thanks for the reply Tara! You point to an impor­tant oppor­tu­nity for rein­forc­ing train­ing: man­agers and super­vi­sors should work together on a sched­ule that frees employ­ees to par­tic­i­pate in train­ing while still to pro­vid­ing ade­quate coverage.

  • Randi Busse

    Great post Seth. Train­ing is a small part of the process. The fol­low up and rein­force­ment of the behav­iors is crit­i­cal in order to see long last­ing results. If the man­age­ment team isn't sup­port­ive of the train­ing ini­tia­tive, the behav­ior changes will be reflec­tive of that.

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