Magazine article Mortgage Banking

Trickle Training and Echo Training

Magazine article Mortgage Banking

Trickle Training and Echo Training

Article excerpt

IT WOULD BE NICE IF, WHEN PEOPLE NEEDed a skill set, you could send them to training, they would acquire the skill set and that would be the end of it.

Sometimes it does work that way--especially with mechanical skill sets. A soldier is expected to remember how to disassemble his or her rifle 20 years after basic training. Conceptual skills tend to be more ambiguous, or contain more branching decision points, so it is harder to instill a full skill set in one dose of training.

In these cases there are two types of follow-up training that may be very useful, depending on the situation.

The first I call "trickle training." By this, I mean a small but steady stream of additional or reinforcing bits of training that the participant receives regularly over a long period of time.

Example one: Selling is such a complex activity that no participant can hope to approach proficiency in one training event, even if it is several weeks long. I suggest that the best way to supplement a new hire sales training course is with small, digestible bits of follow-on training that all graduates of the base course receive automatically. Sales newsletters (internal or external) are a great way to do this, and so are the periodic selling skills teleconferences or Webinars that a lot of companies hold. The key is that the training should be focused, practical, simple and short. A one-page sheet (or 10-minute phone call) on how to ask for referrals is perfect.

Example two: Telephones aren't telephones anymore; they are communication systems. A typical business telephone these days will perform 100 functions, of which someone showed you 70 when you got your phone. You needed 10 to get through the first day, and those were the only ones you can actually remember a year later. A savvy training department will e-mail your telephone system users a brief message once or twice a month with instructions for performing useful, but less commonly used, transactions, like setting an out of office message or hosting a conference call. …

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