Management Training – The Dirty Little Secrets

Jack Prot

I am often asked if training really works. The answer is yes and no! Here’s why.

  1. Sometimes, unless a training is made mandatory, those who need it the most will choose not to attend!
  2. 75% of the learning goes on after the employee comes back to the job. Said another way–employees will forget most of what they learned unless it is reinforced on the job after they come back from training.
  3. Too often people are sent off to training in the hopes that they will get “fixed” when in fact if the training doesn’t incorporate good adult learning principles and isn’t seen as relevant from the trainee’s point of view, it will fail.
  4. Employees are sometimes sent to training for specific skills when the real problem is attitude…ahem…I mean lack of professional behavior problems.

So what can you as a manager do to help ensure that the training you spend your money on will be effective? Have a conference with the employee before he is sent to training or with your group if they are attending and do these things. (This is assuming you have been speaking to your employees and you know what they think their training needs are. In short you have done at least a cursory training needs assessment.)

  1. Tell them why you think this will be valuable, what you hope to change or reinforce, and what you expect them to do with the training after the fact.
  2. Ask them what they hope to get out of the training. Write those things down.
  3. When you and the group come back from the training, gather them together and ask what they did and did not like about the training, what they got out of the training and what they will do differently,
  4. Meet again in one week and
  • Quickly review the principles that were covered
  • Ask each person how they are applying the principles they learned, and whether or not they work in that person’s own particular job.
  • Brainstorm with the person or the group on how they could make it work, what would have to change for it to work or to be more effective.

You can modify these for individuals who are sent to training. Without this reinforcement you will be losing 75% of the value of the training. But you will get your money and time’s worth if you continue the learning on the job.

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