It makes sense to invest in training – employees are a company’s most valuable asset. Effective training programs can increase revenue, improve corporate culture, and establish processes that streamline productivity.
According to Trainingmag.com, 58 percent of organizations spend more than $1,000 per learner on training for senior leadership—compared to just 39 percent for high-potentials and 32 percent for mid-level management.
Why then, do so many businesses fail to implement the corporate training methods and practices covered during the workshops?
What can you do to make sure your corporate training investment is money well spent?
1. Follow up
Baruch College conducted a study several years ago to determine the effectiveness of training follow up. The results were astonishing.
In the study, two groups of employees from the same organization were given three days of training. After the training, the productivity of one group was evaluated, revealing an improvement of 22%.
The second group received eight weeks of follow up training, centered on specific skills covered in the training. At the end of the eight weeks, their productivity increased by 88%.
Your company may not be equipped to provide eight weeks of additional training after a workshop, but the fact remains: individuals who receive follow up show a marked improvement in retention and performance.
What type of follow up should you do to affect lasting change after corporate training within your organization?
2. Develop an Action Plan
To be effective, there should be a clearly defined purpose for the training.
Is it to improve sales techniques? Introduce new technology? Create a sense of teamwork?
Before the training, develop an objective that specifies what you wish to see as a result of the training. Inform your staff of the intended results, and have them write an action plan based on what they learned. Refer back to their action plan to evaluate their progress in that area.
3. Performance Evaluation
Individualized meetings with your team members gives you the opportunity to reinforce the training material and discuss their action plan to implement the new skill. These short meetings can be beneficial to clear up any misunderstandings, review the objectives and evaluate progress on their action plan. Schedule short meetings to keep them focused and productive.
4. Practice Sessions
One of the most effective ways to learn a new skill is to practice it. Studies indicate that even one episode of practice can improve performance by as much as 50% over people who simply review the material. Offer role playing opportunities, ask open-ended questions or use real world situations to allow team members to reinforce what they’ve learned.
5. Offer Feedback
Celebrate success and offer constructive criticism to help employees stay motivated as they work to implement new skills. Feedback can focus on both team improvement and individual achievements, and allow management to highlight the progress that has been made.
A quality feedback loop that provides consistent opportunity to practice, evaluate and adjust can be essential to maximizing the effectiveness of trainings.
Training can be an essential part of growth for your company. The key to successful trainings is using consistent, planned follow up to reinforce the material covered during training sessions.
All My Big Idea™ workshops have an optional follow-up module to reinforce the learning gained. Learn more here.
Michele Bailey is president and CEO of Blazing THE Agency and My Big Idea™. These two lines of business work congruently to support her clients’ success.