5 Ways to Make Employee Training Leave a Lasting Impact

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After finding the right people and spending valuable time and money on their training, the expectation is that employees will perform at a high level. However, if the training does not stick, they will not be able to meet your expectations. Performance during the training process, does not always equate to real results when it comes to actually implementing learned knowledge. In these instances employees may need to be retrained, their mistakes corrected. This adds an even greater cost to the already sizable investment in employee training. To avoid these unnecessary expenses and to get employees working at their best you need to make sure that your employee training sticks.  Gartner analysts point out a basic understanding that training should provide: “Salespeople must understand their products, their company’s message, what problem or issues they solve and why they are better than the competition.” Here are 5 ways to make sure your employee training leaves a lasting impact. 1. Have Employees Use New Knowledge Right Away The longer employees wait to use what they learned in training, the more likely they will be to forget something important. Having employees implement new knowledge straight away helps to reinforce what they have learned so that the lessons do not fade away over time. This also gives them a chance to go over each aspect of the training and identify any issues they may be having. While the training is still fresh in their mind, it is a lot easier to resolve any problems than it would be at a later point. 2. Involve Your Employees in Training Decision-Making If your employees truly believe that what they are learning is important, then they are more likely to remember it. Involving them in the decision-making process is a great way to get them engaged in what they are learning. It also makes the employees feel valued so that they will produce better results. Microsoft CEO Satay Nadella is in the process of implementing a culture change: “Microsoft will increase investments for employee training and development, and will encourage the testing of new ideas and incubation of new projects. It will become easier for employees to change roles within the company.” 3. Follow-up on Your Training Another important strategy for making training stick is to follow-up and review implementation of new behaviors or knowledge at fixed intervals after the training session. This kind of regular enforcement will keep the ideas fresh in employees’ minds so that they never lose the knowledge they have acquired. It will also give them an incentive to focus on putting what they learned in training into practice, delivering the kind of results that you want from your employees training. 4. Have Employees Teach What They’ve Learned This is another tactic for reinforcing learned knowledge and preventing loss over time. Teaching a new concept is a great test of understanding and requires that employees master new concepts beyond the basic level. It’s also a great technique for getting employees actively involved in the training process. 5. Keep Your Training Session Short and Sweet One limitation of all human beings is our limited attention span. Having your employees sit through long sessions with high volumes of information will not produce the results you want. The human mind works best in short bursts of intense engagement, so teaching one concept in a short session will ensure that employees have a better understanding of that concept. Breaking up larger training sessions into smaller chunks will make training leave a lasting impact. Gartner Analysts warn of some of the dangers: “Low staff morale and high turnover not only impede successful system implementations but could cause delays and raise costs as a result.” Training takes a lot of time, money and effort, so you want to make sure that the lessons you teach stick. Following these tips, you’ll be able to reinforce your employees’ knowledge and prevent their learning from eroding over time. In order to get more information check our employee training plan template.  
Jason is the former Lead Author & Editor of TrainingStation Blog