1) Prior to the learning intervention even happening a good line manager will have frequent discussions with their people about their development needs. Some of these may be formal but some will also be informal - chats on the phone, a quick catch up with a cup of tea etc. This means that the line manager is aware of the development needs and can help the employee recongise them........and to then take some action.
2) OK, so it is agreed that you need to undertake some sort of development activity. The role of the line manager here is to help the employee to be really clear what outcomes they are looking for following the development activity. Are you expecting some behaviour change, are you expecting to be able to undertake a new kind of role etc? This really helps to focus the employee on their needs and to both build on strengths as well as identifying any blind spots.
3) Even during the learning intervention (eg. if it is a 5 day programme) a good line manager will check in to see how things are going. What have they learned? Do they still have their outcomes in mind.
4) Following the learning intervention it is really important to sit down and have a discussion about what they learned. What are they now more aware of, what are they going to focus on. A good manager will encourage the employee to come up with the items themselves. Write it down as part of your development plan.
5) The following days and weeks are the most crucial to making the learning stick. It is so easy to fall back into your previous thinking or ways of working. A good manager will be regularly monitoring progress. A great manager will have agreed specific tasks and/or assignments that will force the employee to apply the new behaviours.
6) A continuous loop of feedback, review and action with the employee is then what is needed to really embed the learning. What development is needed next to build on this success, what assignments might now be appropriate?
Making learning stick is the responsibility of the learner. However, the manager can have a highly influential role in helping make this happen!