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What Can We Do To Make Training Stick?

(January 24, 2012)

Originally published on TrainingMag.com / Whats-New.

Training 2012 Conference & Expo speaker Carl Eidson answers the question, "What can we do to make training stick?"

I'm frequently asked this question by new contacts who are frustrated with a lack of behaviour change from sales, leadership or customer service training initiatives. I'd like to share the advice I give them, which is based on best practices from companies that get the optimal results from their learning transfer.

Three strategies to make training stick and increase performance:

  1. Have managers complete the same training as their direct reports (or at least get an executive overview of the skills being taught).
  2. Train managers in a specific approach to coaching that involves clarifying expectations, but at the same time listening carefully to input from their direct reports.
  3. Equip managers with a coaching tool that makes it easy to plan for and deliver an effective coaching conversation where the direct report is engaged and motivated to take action.

Research by one of my colleagues indicates that when this approach is taken, learning transfer is 42% higher than when managers are not involved in supporting learning.

What actions have you taken to make training stick? What role do you see managers taking when it comes to supporting new skills learnt in training? What advice do you have for making it easy to get managers involved in coaching skills learnt in training?

About the Author
Carl Eidson

Carl Eidson

Carl Eidson Ph. D., Vice President of Business Development, Wilson Learning Corporation. Dr. Eidson leads and coaches a virtual team of over 100 independent distributors stretching from Toronto to Buenos Aires. To influence and impact results remotely, he leverages innovative communication technologies and virtual leadership skills to create systems for sales-force development, marketing campaigns and client-centred promotional events. With a doctorate in Industrial and Organisational Psychology, he has co-authored articles on selecting top talent published in scholarly journals including Journal of Applied Psychology, Human Performance, International Journal of Selection and Assessment and Journal of Business and Psychology. Eidson is a frequent speaker on human performance improvement research and practices at professional conferences.

Read more by Carl Eidson