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Posted by on Oct 3, 2017

Getting the Most Out of Your Training

Getting the Most Out of Your Training

Confident young manager raising hand at workshop

As an organization that focuses on unleashing the potential of individuals, teams, and organizations, Management Concepts is continually striving to help students and client organizations get the most out its training courses, coaching engagements, leadership development programs, and other workforce initiatives. In past blogs, we’ve shared information about how to evaluate training, dispelling myths, and how to make training stick.

Thinking about how to make training “stick,” there are things you can do before, during, and after training to get the most out of a learning opportunity. In fact, on some of our course evaluations, we ask students to tell us if they met with their supervisor prior to training and if they are going to meet with their supervisor after training. These items provide us with insights into how organizations are preparing and supporting the employees they send for professional development.

So, what does our data tell us? Based on over 2,000 evaluations from this quarter, here are the average ratings for these on-the-job support items.

Note the scale: 1=Strongly Disagree, 2=Disagree, 3=Neither Agree nor Disagree, 4=Agree, 5=Strongly Agree.

 

Evaluation Item

Average Rating on a 5 point scale

  • My supervisor and I set expectations for this learning prior to attending this training.

3.7

  • After training, my supervisor and I will discuss how I will use the learning on my job.

3.7

  • I will be provided adequate resources (time, money, equipment) to successfully apply this training on my job.

4.0

Overall on the Job Support Score

3.8

 

The numbers indicate that some students are talking to their supervisor and others are not, so there is room for improvement when it comes to providing students with on-the-job support. How can organizations help improve these averages, and more importantly, how can organizations reinforce, encourage, and reward performance of critical behaviors on the job?

  1. Reinforce the Training
  • One of the easiest ways to reinforce the training starts before the employee steps foot inside the classroom – the employee/supervisor discussion. An employee and supervisor should meet to set expectations for the training. This discussion could even take place when the employee is seeking approval for taking a class. Taking a few minutes to review the learning objectives together and identify the knowledge and skills the employee is trying to advance will help to ensure the employee knows what he/she should focus on during the training.
  • Then, after training, the employee and supervisor should meet again to find out what was learned and how the employee can apply it to his/her work. As you may expect, our data also tells us that if you met with your supervisor before training, you are likely to follow up with them after training.
  • Another follow-up activity to reinforce the training is for the employee to conduct a “lunch and learn” or “teach back” session with their coworkers. This is an opportunity to share some highlights or key takeaways from training.
  • Finally, after training, there may be opportunities for employees to engage with others who took the same class on Management Concepts Student Central portal. They can communicate and share how they are applying what was learned, hold each other accountable for using their new skills, and even keep in touch about other skills they want to develop. It’s a great way to network with others!

 

  1. Encourage on the job behaviors
  • There are numerous ways supervisors can encourage the transfer of training to on the job behaviors. First, supervisors can provide opportunities for employees to practice what they learned on the job. Give them assignments that require the newly gained skills. Using those skills are essential to ensuring training “sticks”.
  • Employees can use or create job aids, reminders, and checklists. Tools and templates are provided in many Management Concepts courses that students can use back on the job. Take advantage of these resources and use them!
  • Consider providing opportunities for coaching or mentoring. Even if your organization doesn’t have formal coaching or mentoring programs, employees can gain a lot from others who are more experienced. Consider pairing people up for mentoring discussion or coaching on specific skills.

 

  1. Reward performance
  • Finally, once skills are successfully transferred to the job, consider recognizing the employee. If the skill was part of the employee’s Individual Development Plan (IDP), then be sure the employee marks it off the list.
  • Other forms of recognition may be an email to the employee’s team about his/her accomplishments or even just taking the time to say, “Well done”! Even what may be considered a small gesture can go a long way to reward performance.
  • Other rewards include sending an employee out to demonstrate their new skills, for example, participating on a cross-agency team or a special project. It can be a great reward to provide employees with opportunities to use their new skills to solve real problems, and encourage them to continue learning from others.

 

Learn more about our high-impact training – designed to help you develop the skills, knowledge, and capabilities you need to be successful.

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