Wednesday, 31 December 2008

How to embed learning...

I came across an interesting article in the Wall Street Journal (even though I live in England...isn't the web cool!) called 'Lessons Learned - The key to effective training isn't necessarily what happens in the classroom. It's what you do afterward.'

It is a great article about how you really embed learning in an organisation following a training course. This is something that I think it is really important to focus on and I always ask myself the following questions when putting in place a training programme:

1) What are the outcomes that we want to achieve (think/know/do)?
2) How will we know if we have achieved these outcomes?

Big questions......but not always easy to answer.

The WSJ article provides some interesting tips on helping with this:
  • Ask the delegates to put an action plan down on paper. The act of writing it down can really help people think about it more deeply and also makes them more likely to take action.
  • Measure results. If delegates know they are going to be observed and measured following a training course, then they tend to do something about it.
  • Help from peers. Get people together in peer groups following a training session. Share experiences and you will find that people benefit from the support and encourgement.
  • Supportive superiors. An actively involved  boss greatly increases the odds that an employee will apply what they have learned back in the work place
  • Access to experts. Research shows that employees who participate in follow-up meetings with instructors after training are more likely to apply new skills and knowledge on the job.
The article provides some real life examples that support these points and has a practical tone to it - something that I like! If you have any other tips then I would be interested to hear from you.


Robyn McMaster said...

Not only do we need change, but transformation as well. You list excellent steps to begin the process.

Chris Morgan said...

Yes, transformation also. Of course people have to want to do both and often the big challenge is helping people understand why they need to change....