“What can I do to make the impact of training last longer?”
This was a question asked of me recently by a department manager. His organization had conducted numerous training sessions for a major sales initiative. Employees were excited after leaving class, and sales numbers spiked. The results didn’t last, and within a few months employees performance returned to where it was prior to training.
This is a problem faced all too often with businesses everywhere; employees leave training motivated and excited to perform at their best. Performance increases for a short period of time, only to decrease back to to pre-training levels. The problem has little to do with what happened inside the classroom during training, and more to do with what didn’t happen when employees returned to their jobs. After awhile, the excitement and motivation from training starts to fade away. Zig Ziglar said it best “Motivation, like bathing, doesn’t last. That’s why I recommend both be done daily.”
During the recent recession, as businesses were struggling, one of the first things to get cut from a budget is training. Now we have seen recovery, businesses are started to invest in their employees again by providing training to boost performance. Training needs to be dynamic, and evolving. It can’t be one and done. Oftentimes, managers have employees attend a session or bring a facilitator in-house without providing coaching and reinforcement after training ends. Unfortunately, that’s just like throwing the training budget out the window.
This reminds me of when my wife and I took our dog Kimba to dog training. Class was an hour a week for eight weeks. During our first session, our trainer told us the class was as much for us as it was for Kimba. Eight hours of training spread evenly over two months would be a waste of time and money if we didn’t practice and reinforce what was learned when we got home. If Kimba was trained to not jump on people, the training wouldn’t stick if we allowed him to jump on every guest who walked through the front door. This is about 80 pound of German Shepherd jumping on you, by the way.
When I get a call from an organization about training, I always want to know the company’s expectations. I ask what employees have been and will be doing prior to the session(s) and what will happen after they leave the classroom. Together, we work on a game plan on how to reinforce what is learned and extend the impact of the session.
Posted by Michael Patterson. Posted In : Training