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How to Increase Your Training’s Impact

Posted by Alan Magnan on 5/12/14 4:00 AM
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Wrapping up a course seems like a no-brainer: you revisit the objectives, ask if there are any final questions, and hand out (or link to) the course evaluation form. What else could you possibly need to do? Here are four other activities that can increase the impact your training has on the job.


1. Help your learners prioritize the changes they intend to make

It can be daunting to implement several days’ worth of new skills back on the job. Trying to change too much too fast can lead to frustration and disappointment. Get learners to decide which ideas they will try first. Ask them to consider which ideas will produce the best results with the least effort or change.


2. Get them to write down the things they will implement

Give your learners a document with a significant name related to their goals. At Langevin we call ours an “Action Plan.” Other names I’ve seen include “Implementation Plan,” “Performance Contract,” Change Worksheet,” and “Job Improvement Sheet.” Ask them to write down the actions they will implement on the job as a result of the training. Get them to add specific details, name projects, write names of others who will be involved, list dates, etc. People are more likely to take action if they write their plan down.


3. Ask your learners to consider barriers that will prevent them from implementing their new skills

Change is rarely easily implemented. If your learners will be affected by other people, ask them to consider that issue. Instruct them to brainstorm all the barriers that could hamper the implementation of their new skills. This is best done as a group activity. The second part of the brainstorm, the organizing and prioritizing of ideas, can be done individually. Get them to write their conclusions in the document described in the previous paragraph.


4. Ask your learners to prepare a list of ideas for overcoming the barriers to skills transfer

If your learners have considered the barriers that may prevent them from using their skills, they can also explore ways to overcome those barriers. This is also suited to group work. Get learners to consider what actions might be needed to prevent those barriers from occurring in the first place. You can also ask them to think about what to do if the barriers materialize anyway. Ask learners to consider what they need to say or do, and whom they need to involve.


If the goal of training is to actually improve the way employees do their jobs, let’s make sure it wraps up with that end in mind. The course summary shouldn’t be so brief and unmemorable that it doesn’t contribute to the training’s success. These ideas can make those final minutes more practical and realistic. If you would like to learn more, check out our Instructional Techniques for New Instructors workshop. Showing that you’re concerned about what happens to learners outside your training can be the extra nudge that gets them to implement more of what they’ve learned.

Alan has been a course leader with Langevin since 1996. He studied business administration at Algonquin College of Applied Arts and Technology. Alan’s philosophy on training is that it can be fun, engaging, and active, but that’s just what’s on the surface. Training must also be practical, realistic, and applicable. Alan is a computer geek at heart and enjoys programming and gaming in his spare time. He’s also a great fan of the outdoors during the summer months, and when the winter moves in, you’ll find him reading, or recording and playing music.

Tags: instructional techniques, instructor-led training, tips-for-trainers

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