Ever been on a training course of some kind, loved it, learned lots – yet can’t remember it later?
You’re not alone.
If the emphasis is mostly on the event itself, along with a focus on your immediate reaction to it, identifying the impact afterwards will be a challenge. Ideally, the difference that your sponsors want to see – in behaviour, team performance, greater efficiency, for example – is articulated before the event along with clear steps to make learning stick afterwards. Sadly, what’s ideal isn’t always common practice. But all is not lost: here are 7 ways to make your learning stick.
1. Assess learning back at the job
In an ideal world, training participants would complete an assessment before the event and again some time afterwards. But we know it’s often not an ideal world… Another way to assess learning effectiveness and help the learning stick after the event is for people to assess each other. For example, following a presentation skills course you could observe a fellow member of your cohort and give them feedback. They can reciprocate by doing the same for you.
2. Build assets
Set yourself a challenge to create resources to help your colleagues with their work, based on the topic of the training. For example – depending on the topic – you could create a checklist that will help people follow-up appropriately after a meeting or a ‘guide to preparing your presentation’.
3. Form an alumni group
This can work well for participants from different parts of the organisation or different countries. If you’re part of a senior cohort, an alumni group is a smart way to network and support each other. Even better, if everyone shares their commitments to apply the learning after the training, you can hold each other accountable at forthcoming group meet-ups.
4. Share knowledge
Offer to create a lunch & learn or short in-house training session based on your learning. You can share insights, tips and advice, whilst building your profile in the workplace.
5. Discuss with a mentor and/or buddy
If you have a mentoring scheme, see if you can be paired with a mentor to encourage you to apply the learning back at the job. Having access to a more experienced colleague, with whom you can discuss your trials and triumphs in applying the learning, will keep you motivated to persevere through any setbacks. You can buddy up with a colleague on the course and encourage each other.
6. Write something useful
After the training, offer to write a piece for the company blog or newsletter. Set out the challenges and rewards of the training and share the insights and ideas you’ve gained from your experience.
7. Pitch for prizes
Gather your fellow participants to ‘pitch’ your individual learning ROI – for yourselves and for your employer. Ask the leadership team if they could form a judging panel. The competition amongst your fellow participants will spur everyone to present themselves well and your managers will be more likely to support people applying their new learning back at the job.
If you need help with evaluating the effectiveness of your training, please get in touch.
You may find this post useful: ‘Stages of learning – what to watch out for’
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