5 Ways To Reinforce Training
July 13, 2015 Leave a comment
When we train our employees we get a more productive workforce and we are able to offer customers better service.
In my article called ‘How To Reinforce Employee Training‘ I explore the reasons behind reinforcing employee training. I point out that professional development training is more than a training session it is an investment that should begin with a 5-step process. I also discuss how ‘Showing Relevance‘ is a key part of every professional development training.
And now this post is dedicated to the 5 ways to Reinforce Training; work that needs to be done post-training to maximize the organizations investment in all professional development training and knowledge transfer.
Lets look at some habits highly effective executives use to reinforce training / knowledge transfer:
1. Provide One-on-One Coaching
One of the most effective ways to transfer knowledge is to coach employees as they incorporate new skills into their workspace. Here are 3 ways:
- Observe participants in their workspaces before & after professional development & career training:
- Measure and share the GAP between their behavior and the expected behaviour (its quite easy). Discuss what needs improvement staying positive during discussions and reward positive behaviour / attitudes. If you think it may be a difficult discussion – here is an article on Difficult Conversations that should help.
- Meet With Participants:
- Discuss what was learned and how it can be applied on-the-job. Make employees part of the implementation curve by asking how they can incorporate these new initiatives. Ask what you can do to help them succeed with their new skills.
- Reward Desired Behaviour:
- When you observe employees using skills and information from training, praise them for their behavior. Take advantage of routine supervisory meetings to reinforce expected behaviors and proper use of training on the job.
A variation on One-on-One Coaching is to create Self-Coaching teams where employees have a mandate to meet and support each other.
2. Share Success Stories (in One-on-One or Group Meetings)
During your internal communication and/or team meetings. Share success stories – or better yet have participants speak of their own successes / challenges / lessons they’ve learned as they’ve been practicing these new behaviours. This gives you the opportunity to once again review why the training was provided – objectives and benefit of the investment for the employees, clients and company.
3. Provide Training Handouts
Training handouts are certainly the most popular ways to reinforce training. Training handouts give participants quick reference guides that outline best practices employees can refer to. For example, during my email etiquette training courses I often point out what pages I’d like participates to rip out (or photocopy), and tape to their office walls.
4. Set A Good Example
Employees always follow a leaders example. If their leader isn’t using the best practices – why should they? It also makes it difficult for a leader to correct employee behaviour if they don’t set an example.
Leaders need to talk the talk… and walk the walk.
5. Provide A Post-Training Review (in One-on-One or Group Meetings)
At your next group meeting following a training session, take a few minutes to review:
- The objectives of the training
- Ask employees to present key concepts they learned during the training.
- Talk about how their newly acquired skills and knowledge are improving their ability to do their job.
- Discuss any problems in transferring skills and knowledge from the training session to the job.
- Share success stories (see above)
Why Is Training Important?
Employee training and development is an underused and underdeveloped method of:
- Customer Retention
- Employee Morale
- Employee Retention
- Increased Productivity
Getting consistent behaviour isn’t difficult. It just needs the willingness to reinforce the behaviour you want.
Still not sold that consistent behaviour isn’t difficult?
Example: Starbucks provides a very consistent, largely great customer service experience in over 21 thousand stores… with a very diverse workforce. Quality, consistency and predictability of experience are key drivers at Starbucks. To hit their objective new employees complete at least 24 hours of training in their first 2-4 weeks. That’s a serious investment. But that’s not all, store employees routinely (and I mean as often as daily), evaluate, reward and correct each others behaviours. The lesson here is that behaviour that gets recognized and rewarded gets repeated.
On-the-job learning, training and re-training are essential to long-term personal and professional success. Leadership development is a perfect example; who studies Leadership at school? Virtually nobody.
Professional development & career training keeps employees up-to-date and informed, and is critical not only for many job functions, but to maintain a cohesive, motivated, high-performing staff.
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- How To Deal With Difficult People
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Bruce Mayhew is founder and President of Bruce Mayhew Consulting a Professional Development firm that excels at quickly and easily tailoring programs to meet the unique needs of our clients and their employees. In addition to being an effective professional development trainer, Bruce is a popular conference speaker, writer and has been featured on major TV, Radio and Newspaper networks ranging from CTV to Global to The Globe & Mail.
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Bruce Mayhew Consulting facilitates courses including Email Etiquette, Managing Difficult Conversations, Mindfulness, Time Management and more.
Give us a call at 416 617 0462. We’ll listen.
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Find answers to your Professional Development questions / needs at brucemayhewconsulting.com.
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