How to get the most out of training

John has just returned to the office from a two-day training course and he’s itching to start putting into practice some of the new skills he’s learnt. Things initially go really well - his manager can see that he is far more motivated than before his training and he is full of ideas on how things can be improved.

Fast-forward a month or two and things seem to have gone back to how they were - John is no longer coming forward with ideas and his motivation again seems to have gone out the window.

So what happened?

There are a number of reasons that training might not be thoroughly carried through to the workplace, such as:

A lack of support

Sometimes organisations are set in their ways and are not very welcoming of new techniques and methods. In this case, it can be discouraging for a learner who believes they might know a better/more efficient/newer way of doing things but can’t implement these changes due to inflexible procedures.

No expectation of change

If companies are training purely for the sake of checking a box on a page, there will likely be no follow up with the learner to see what he or she took away from the training, how they are going to implement what they have learnt, or how they wish to use their new skills. In this instance, while learners might initially be more motivated, this motivation will quickly subside.

It’s sometimes easier not to change

As with all things in life, you have to practice before you can be good at something. New ways of doing things, while ultimately time-saving or more efficient, take time to learn and get right. It becomes all too easy when things start to get busy to slip back into old habits and ways of doing things.

So what can we do about it?

The bottom line is that sending a staff member to a training workshop or hosting an in-house course is not enough - you need to ensure that the skills learnt by the employee are effectively carried through into the workplace.

The first step is to find out from the employee what they learnt from their training, what they found useful and think could be implemented, and what they don’t think will work in the organisation. Once this has been established you can both agree on the changes that should be effected based on what they’ve learnt.

This can be accomplished through the use of a tool like Staff Training’s post workshop Online KPI Check (read more about this tool here), or through structured interviews or questionnaires with employees after they’ve attended training.

What is important to remember is that bringing real change into the workplace requires a concerted effort with as much support and guidance provided to learners throughout the process as possible.

Staff Training is a South African soft skills training provider. Contact us at 0861 996 660 or drop us an email.