August 30, 2010

Tips for Supporting Training Initiatives

One of your employees approaches you and asks if they can attend this upcoming training workshop.

Your training department announces they have just launched a new course they believe will help your employees maximize their productivity.

The other day your boss dropped by to suggest you take advantage of the end of year budget surplus to send your team through some training classes.

You are excited at the different offerings. You support providing relevant training for both ongoing productivity and career advancement. You are motivated to help your team stay on top of their game.

Just one concern. How do you ensure your people will be able to apply the lessons learned?

Recently a colleague called to discuss this very topic. We talked through some ideas for working with our team both prior to and after they attend training.

Here are some of the ideas we discussed.

Before the class

When thinking about sending your employee to a training class, here are some things to do to help them prepare for the class.

1) Review your business strategy and check to make sure this class is in alignment with your objectives.

2) Review the agenda for the class so you have an understanding of what will be covered.

3) Sit down with your employee and discuss both of your expectations for the class.

4) Talk with your employee about what they will do once they have returned from the class. This may include sharing what they learned with their teammates.

These ideas should prepare your person for the class.

After the class

Next you need to prepare for how you will help coach them once they have returned and are back to work.

Here are some ideas for later.

1) Set up a time to meet with your employee once they have returned. Your goal is to see if they a) learned something and b) felt the class was useful to them.

2) If relevant, have your person discuss their learning at one of your upcoming team meetings.

3) Again if relevant, have them teach someone else on your team what they learned. Teaching someone else is one of the best ways to cement the learning.

4) Ask your employee to put together an action plan for how and when they will incorporate the lessons into their daily activities.

5) Think through a coaching plan for how you will help them apply their learning. Work with your training team if you need help putting together a coaching kit. The kit should contain items such as:
  • Questions you can ask relating to each section of the agenda.
  • Scenarios with role play exercises you can use to practice with your employee.
  • Topics for discussion at a team meeting.

Providing training for your employees serves both a productivity and a employee morale purpose. I hope these tips will help you help them apply what they’ve learned. Feel free to share any additional tips you might have in the comments

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