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Are Your Learners Using New Skills after Training Ends?

You and your organization are spending money on training. But are your trainees really using the new skills they learned in training, or do they immediately go back to business as usual?

Here are seven strategies that can help assure that they are:

  1. During training, explain what you will be monitoring afterwards. This sounds basic, but it can be effective. For example, if one of your goals is to have your salespeople follow up a minimum of four times before giving up on a sale, tell them they will be tracked on that. There is wisdom in the old saying, “What gets measured, gets done.”
  2. Schedule additional training sessions. This sounds pretty fundamental too, yet some companies seem to assume that once training is done, it’s done. The fact is, follow-up sessions can be highly effective in making sure that training “sticks.” Deliver follow-up content in online lessons or to mobile devices.
  3. Let trainees monitor and support each other. Try setting up weekly calls where trainees check in with each other to ask, “What have you tried so far . . . how is it working for you?” This can be more effective than having upper management look in.
  4. Follow training with coaching. Your trainer can take on a coaching role and work directly with trainees after training ends. Or executives within your organization can.
  5. Use technology to keep things percolating. You can send a daily tip or motivational message or video to trainees via text messages or email. We can help you integrate them seamlessly into your training program at very little cost.
  6. Shake up the way your trainees do their jobs. Instead of having each member of your sales staff make sales calls alone, for example, let them partner up and make sales calls in pairs. It can be a great way to make sure your trainees step out of their comfort zones and try new things.
  7. Consider adding incentives or awards. When a customer service rep successfully hits one of the benchmarks you set out in training, you can give her an award and share that news with all the other trainees. Used in the right way, awards can assure that more of your learners apply the lessons they learned in training.


Should You Use Social Media to Support Training?

We have been seeing more of this lately – trainees are so excited that they set up a Facebook page, a LinkedIn group or other social media presence to discuss their new skills. There is one additional consideration to keep in mind, however. Do you want your competitors, customers, clients and other company outsiders to look at those pages and learn all about your training? If that is a concern – and perhaps it should be – consider setting up groups that require interested people to apply for membership and get approved before joining.