Do you measure the success of your training?
Have you defined what that “success” will look like?
Can you measure it in terms of behaviours, attitudes, knowledge, or other positive changes within the business?
Do you ensure that you get the best return in investment (ROI) from your training, in terms of finance but more importantly in terms of the outcomes or results of that training?

At vivoHR we focus on the outcomes of training so that everything we do in planning development activities starts with the end goal in mind.  This approach is congruent with current thinking on the transfer of learning to the workplace and we have been influenced by the research paper ‘Transfer of Training’ by Mary Broad and John Newstrom.

It’s all about  ‘Making Learning Stick’ and ‘Investing In Doing Things Right’– and we are talking time and effort here rather than money.

Three key learning influencers were investigated:

– the learner
– the trainer
– the learner’s manager

At three key time intervals

– before training
– during training
– after training

The results found that the top four influencers for ‘making learning stick’ are the actions of:

– the manager prior to training
– the trainer prior to training
– the manager after training
– the trainer during training

But how many businesses really invest time before and after training or coaching with staff?

Below are just a few strategies [and there are many more] that can be employed before, during and after training that should help you make learning stick in your organisation.

Strategies To Use Prior To Training

– Ensure that managers and learners are fully involved in Training Needs Assessments
– Talk through the objectives and course content with managers and outline the role of the learners’ manager in supporting the transfer of learning back to work
– Ensure that managers are meeting with learners to discuss the training, set objectives and identify desired changes as a result of attending

Strategies To Use During Training

– Ensure that trainers tie workshop content directly to learners’ jobs and the bigger organisational picture
– Work more on the application and ‘how-to’ instead of theory
– Allow time for action planning throughout the workshop

Strategies To Use After Training

– Encourage managers to observe behaviour changes of learners back in the workplace and to give positive feedback to the learners
– Ask managers to hold a post workshop briefing
– Help managers calculate the return on investment they should realise if the learners implement their new learning

Adopt a business wide approach that encourages managers to use a coaching style with their team, which enhances the impact of the workshops and will include the whole team in reviewing the way they work together, being aware of people’s potential and linking learning to practical improvements.

We have devised a model of training evaluation that incorporates these critical success factors and encourages a coaching management style.  It is empowering, inclusive and demonstrates best practice in getting maximum return on investment from your training budget.  We’ll be sharing that with you in our article next month.

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