Repetition Repetition Repetition! Isn’t that what they taught us in school? Learn it, do it. Learn it in a different way and practice it over and over until you get it. Some where along the way though, as adult learns we seem to have lost that concept of repetition style learning.
Thousands and thousands of dollars are spent on training in organizations each year. Employees and teams are sent to off site training or a presenter is brought in. The team is energized and recharged. They love the ideas and get excited about how it might have positive implications for their organization, the atmosphere of their worksite and the work they do. There is usually a taste at the end of the training of applying it to your organization. Participants are involved in some brainstorming and potentially team discussions and then everyone is sent on their way.
Back at the worksite there is a bit of discussion about applying the newfound learning, but then the daily grind takes over and much of what could have been implemented or changed is lost. The one-off training was a big investment with little return. Employees get disheartened and wonder what the point of the training was.
As leaders it is our responsibility to look before we schedule training at what we plan to do with it over the long term. What is the outcome you are wanting from the training? What is the responsibility of the employee who is taking the training? What will they do with it? What is your role in helping them learn it, apply it and grow because of it as well as helping it be integrated into the workplace? What is the investment you are making? It is a worthwhile investment if you do it properly.
When looking at a new training concept, leaders should plan a period of a few months to have the training initially and then follow with continued learning and incorporating the concepts. The repetition, application of the learning and reinforcement will go a long way to having it have a positive impact on your team. Depending on your resources a possible training schedule could look something like this:
1 to 2 days - training with your trainer and your team
One week later – follow up with a two-hour team session led by you. Reinforce the learning. Practice the concepts. Get a sense of what the staff liked, how they are applying it and what they need more follow up on. Set an ongoing plan for implementation.
One month later - after consulting with the trainer based on the information you have of how the team is applying the information, have the trainer in again or conduct an on line session with them for a half day. Really hone in on what you want and applying the tools in your organization.
Two months later – Another 2-hour session led by you with the intent of once again re-energizing your team and their use of the new information. Celebrate successes. Identify challenges. Redesign the plan for ongoing implementation if needed.
3 months later – have an hour conference call with trainer. Celebrate how the team is doing. Reinforce learning. Take it up a notch. Where else can you grow and learn? Is there another state to the learning that you are ready to start?
Ongoing – use every chance you get to talk about the new skill or concept. One-to-one supervision meetings or staff meetings are a great place bring it up, talk about it and reinforce it.
With this kind of training schedule on the same topic, skill or tool, you will apply the learning techniques that worked so well in grade school that had you learn math facts, how to spell and all the capital cities! Now, though it may be more useful things you are learning and can have your team feeling valued and that there is momentum forward.
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