Extending the Impact of Training

June 23, 2015

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. 


You Are What You Think You Are

October 31, 2014
I am a trainer. I take pride in developing employees and providing them with the tools to reach their highest potential. I find success when my participants are successful. With that said, one of the most frustrating aspects of being a trainer is when you interact with an “Imjusta” employee; as in Imjusta teller, Imjusta loan processor, Imjusta mail clerk. Sometimes you meet their cousin, the “Imnota” employee, as in Imnota sales person.

Henry Ford said “whether you think you can or ...
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Learning How to Change From the Apple

September 7, 2014

This week, Apple is expected to display a brand new iPhone. Industry experts predict the phone will be in high demand, possibly selling over 6 million phones within the first three days. Leading up to the launch, iPhone sales have accounted for over half of Apple’s revenue for the first six months of 2014. Combined with iPads, iPods, iTunes downloads, and accessories, 87% of Apple’s revenue was attributed to a product that wasn’t a Mac. It wasn’t always this way.


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The Sales Coach

July 11, 2014

Does your job involve sales?

In my 25 year career I’ve worked for a number of financial institutions, ranging from a small community credit union to one of the nation’s largest commercial banks, and I’ve held positions that have encompassed all aspects of the sales process, from selling directly to customers to managing, recruiting, and training others to sell.

If there’s anything I’ve learned it’s that selling is an integral part of everyone’s job. I’ve encountered many people ...

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© 2015 Mike Patterson Partner in Learning, LLC