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Put training into practice

By Giulia De Cesare, Senior Trainer at Plain Words Ltd

It can be frustrating to send a member of your staff for training then finding that they are still doing things the same way they always did.

Six point plan for putting training into practice

Here is our six point plan to help bring back new ideas from training and put them into practice.

Managers and staff should be aware that improvements are expected

The critical component of all of these suggestions is that managers and their staff both remain aware that improvements are expected and looked for.

1. Set expectations with your staff

Delegates need to know that their management has expectations from the course that the delegates will need to meet on their return.

Set expectations by discussing the course content. Ask delegates to choose some key areas from the course outline that they are interested in learning about, to report back on and share with colleagues.

2. Make allowances

Be aware that someone trying to implement new ways of working may be a little slower at first as they try out new approaches and routines.

Expecting a delegate to return after a day out, to pick up where they left off and to make up the time they missed is not only unfair but guarantees that new ideas will be forgotten.

3. Encourage implementation of new ideas

A short session to discuss the contents shows the delegate that their employer didn't just send them on a course so they could tick the box to say they've had the training.

Ask for some new ideas that came from the course and where the delegate thinks they can use them. A good starting point is discussing the Personal Implementation Plan offered on all our courses. This can be built into personal development or appraisals.

4. Share ideas with colleagues

Decide which ideas will benefit others in your organisation as well as you. Ask trainees to present a couple of key learning points at your next team meeting.

Put some of these into practice yourself and tell people how you used them.

5. Set longer term goals and follow up

Consider informal follow-up sessions at reasonable intervals after the training. This helps both managers and training course delegates focus on improvements resulting from training.

Small, regular goals keep course content in mind and help overcome the tendency to revert to doing things in the old familiar way.

6. Choose a training provider who offers post-course support

Commitment from managers and delegates can be greatly improved if they feel that they are being supported by the training provider after the course.

Plain Words offers on-going coaching via email or in person, with a dedicated mentor helping each delegate to implement what they have learnt.

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