Training is Done, Now What?
Even before a learning event is complete, it’s critical for managers to have an implementation plan in place to reinforce the knowledge and skills taught. Without a plan, managers may find themselves providing the same training over and over assuming it “didn’t take” the first time.
Was the learning event a poor choice? Was the facilitator ineffective? Or was the lack of management engagement, reinforcement, and accountability the real issue?
You Can’t Train Your Way to Results
Managers, avoid becoming the missing link in the enablement and accountability chain. Take thoughtful and decisive action, such as:
- Develop a reinforcement plan prior to the learning event – many programs have built-in manager coaching and cultural adoption plans. Take advantage of them and use them.
- Actively participate in training – your passive participation communicates a lack of endorsement for the program and its value to your team.
- Seek feedback from the program facilitator about your employees attendance, participation, and progress.
- Solicit feedback from your participants regarding the program value, content relevance, and other lessons learned.
- Observe the use of skills taught in the field in front of customers.
- Mention the program’s concepts and skills often to keep it top of mind and as a reminder that you take it seriously.
- Conduct concept and skill refresher sessions – have employees present as well.
The manager maintains; the leader develops.Warren Bennis, “On Becoming a Leader”
The most important product of a manager’s effort is a high performance team. Take responsibility for your employees development by being an active participant before, during, and after improvement initiatives. If you achieve your goals through the effort of others, as most people managers do, then you have an obligation to hold yourself accountable for their development and hold employees accountable for results.