Magazine article Training & Development

Make Training Stick like Glue

Magazine article Training & Development

Make Training Stick like Glue

Article excerpt

Executives and managers often wonder of training, "Will there be return-on-investment? Will people who attend the program actually use the tools to strengthen the organization? Will this training stick?"

Good questions, difficult answers. How do you make training stick?

Make it a PRIORITY That is an acronym that represents the critical principles in leading a learning organization. It doesn't matter whether you're the CEO of a major corporation or an after-school basketball coach. The foundation and principles of making training stick are the same:

Plan

Research

Inform and communicate expectations

Objectively observe

Role model

Inspire, instill, internalize

Test techniques

Yes attitude!

Planning is the first step. Its purpose is to eliminate rework--to do the right things correctly the first time. As you plan, consider these questions:

* What are the desired outcomes and key results? How will they help you and your staff move closer to the organization's stated goals?

* Who are the people involved? What are their requirements? Are they realistic? Is some negotiation needed?

* What's the organizational structure? Do employees report to more than one person? If so, how will you share responsibility for making training stick? Are leaders' expectations, methods, and measurements compatible? If not, how will you handle that?

* What steps will you follow? What's the timeframe for each step? How will you measure effectiveness?

* Can you do this on your own, or will you need outside assistance? In other words, do you have process capability?

Research takes two forms: One pertains to what you already know about your people; the other requires you to find out what others have done. That includes best practices, successes, and failures.

* What have you tried in the past that was successful? Unsuccessful?

* What sparks your employees? What actions, behaviors, or environmental factors motivate them? Demotivate them?

* Are your people motivation seekers or maintenance seekers?

* What are other organizations doing that would fit your organization? Where can you get that information?

Inform and communicate expectations. People won't know what you want unless you communicate your expectations clearly. That can take several forms: spoken, written, or behavioral. All three modes must send a consistent message. For example, if you ask people to be on time for meetings, it hurts your credibility when you're late.

Even if people have worked with you for a long time, it's not their job to figure Out what you want, especially when it comes to their development.

* Tell people specifically what you're doing. Explain your reasons and the outcomes you expect.

* Include staff in the process. Ask for their input, then use it. Refine and finalize your plan together.

* Set short- and long-term goals. Clearly define them and the milestones.

If your organization changes its direction, necessitating that your staff alter their goals, let them know as soon as possible.

Objectively observe. You'll base your observations on the measurements and outcomes you determined during the planning stage.

* How will observations be conducted? Can you do it, or will the process take someone else?

* What exactly will you observe? Are you looking for the process or for the end result?

* How often will observations occur?

* How will you provide feedback on the observations? Also, let employees give you constructive feedback, and act on it. …

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