Making Your Training Work – For A Change

ROI of Training

Making Your Training Work – For A Change

Being the 10% – Making Your Training Matter

Have you or your employees ever left a training programme feeling all fired up and ready to implement all the new ideas? Have you also ever felt that after a few weeks or even days, the enthusiasm is just a distant memory?

It is estimated that between 80 and 90% of training fails in the longer term. You invested in training but didn’t see any real benefit afterward. Why is this and how do you become one of the 10% percent who can honestly say that their training was a success?

What you do before and after your training is as important as what happens at the event itself. There are a lot of ways to get the most out of your training programme, making it more than “just a thing we do”.


Getting Managers on Board

If your company values training for its employees, you’re making a good start. Often, however, managers think that when the training happens, the job is done. It isn’t.

To get the most out of training, management needs to be involved from the outset. Take it seriously. With a bit of effort, training won’t be a box-ticking exercise but can have a real impact.

Start by thinking about what exactly you want to achieve for your company. Think about what is appropriate and for who. You mightn’t be delivering the training but you’re a key part to its success. If you get involved in planning and supporting employees learning and development from the beginning, they are more likely to buy into the idea. In short, pre-training works.


Pre-training Tips

• Talk to your employees about their individual training needs and how you will all benefit.
• Let your employees know that they will be supported before, during and after the event.
• Get managers to have some input into the training content.
• Make sure the training fits the people. Don’t squander your resources.
• Get the right trainer.
• Tell people why the training is happening and what is expected of them.
• Show some enthusiasm. If you buy into this your staff may too.
• Keep in contact. Let your employees know this is an ongoing process.


During the Event

You’ve done the preparation. Your training is happening. What next? Turning up would be a good start. Often employee’s feel that training is something that managers seem remote from. Think about how managers will be involved. It may be opening the event and reinforcing the support for employee training. It may be attending a wrapping up session, where participants give feedback on their learning and how they can implement it in the workplace. Employees will need to know that managers are supporting the training, so showing that you’ll work together to achieve goals post-training, is a good idea. If it’s appropriate and if time allows, encourage managers to take part as participants themselves. Show people that this training matters.


Don’t Rest on Your Laurels – Implement the Training Goals

One of the reasons training often fails is that once it’s over, people see it as “job done”. Don’t rest on your laurels and assume that the objectives will just happen. Research and experience prove that they won’t unless you do something to make them happen. According to Dr Art Kohn, we forget almost 90% of what we learn in training, within one week. This need not be the case. Follow up immediately after training. Keeping in contact with employees about the new methods learned or goals set can make the difference.

Have a post-training meeting or event, where you review the training and how it’ll be implemented. Make this an ongoing process. Get managers on board from the beginning and keep them on board.


Check out our white paper on Increasing Manager Engagement for some solid advice on how to make training work in the long term. Harness the initial enthusiasm and keep the momentum going. Be in the 10%.

Richard McCarthy

Richard joined OMT in 1998 and is head of Consultancy Services following a 14 year international career in project management, financial control and various management development roles. Richard specialises in working with Senior and Middle Management, focusing on critical Organisational Development Initiatives such as Strategy Development & Implementation, Change Management, and the roll-out of extensive Management & Leadership Development Programmes and One to One Executive Coaching. His previous work across Europe and Africa has helped him understand the impact of organisational culture, and change on managers’ ability to deliver successful results. Richard enjoys the challenge he gets from his work, especially working with clients who face difficult strategic choices or need to develop new skills & behaviours. Richard believes the rewards are satisfying when you know you have made a meaningful contribution.

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