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10 tips to make your training stick

You want to know that you are not wasting time and money on training that doesn’t work. There are simple things you can do that improve the individual learning experience within your business.

Your people don’t want a boring lesson or course, they want a learning experience. In the same way as we obsess about a customer experience, or a user experience we need to embrace our learners with a customer mindset with specific needs. Someone at the end of the first year of their career will be at a very different place to someone working for 5 years.

We need to think about what experience will engage them the most and encourage them to put what they have learned into practice, where the most valuable lessonare learned.

Here are 10 tips you can follow to develop better quality learningexperinces for your teams and to help the training stick.

Tips to improve the learner experience

1. Explain how to learn – Spend time at the start of any learning programme explaining the process of learning and emphasise the value and need to practice and ‘do’.

2. Clarity of purpose – Help each person know why these skills are essential for them to learn right now both for themselves and for your organisation.

3. Personal control – We are all different and learn in different ways. Give people the freedom to learn at their own pace and personalise their learning journey.

4. Access from anywhere – Make sure your people can quickly access their learning resources on a laptop or a phone so they can use them when they need them.

5. Short, sharp, clear lessons that turn into action – Breaking learning down into manageable chunks, all with a bias to action helps people learn, reflect and move to ‘doing’. A whole day’s workshop may sound like it is saving time, but we are not programmed to remember everything over such a long period of time. Shorter and sharper over a longer period of time may be far more effective.

6. Help to practice – Make sure each course has tools and checklists to help it be put into action. Introducing practice activities to complete, for example in the following week to bring lessons to life. Think real play rather than role play.

7. Create communities – Don’t let your learners be alone. Creating small communities of people at a similar stage and encouraging discussions and peer coaching encourages both practice and support and helps individuals make themselves accountable for their action plan. We find that once someone has said their action plan out loud to their peers they are much more likely to try new things out.

8. Help when they need it – Make it easy for people to get support as they implement their learning. Where do they go when they have a question after the course? Who do they reach out for support? Help your people to know how to get help as if they are unsure how to do something most will defer trying.

9. Manager follow up after a training course automatically improves accountability and enhances the learning experience. Checking progress in One-to-Ones, offering feedback, coaching and support when needed improves and extends the learning experience. Focus for a period of 12 weeks can see a step-change in an individual’s learning progress, especially in the area of soft skills like communication, influence, and time management. Digital nudges can act as quick and effective reminders to keep the person’s learning front of mind for One-to-Ones.

10. Leadership encouragement and endorsement reinforces the importance of both the role of overall learning and the importance of specific key skills in achieving the organisation’s vision and goals. When your people see these skill-sets valued and role modelled by their leadership you will see faster uptake.

Businesses that will flourish in our post COVID world are ones that create a learning culture and deliver learning experiences that are truly valued by their employees. They will empower and improve because they will help their people, especially the younger ones, learn new skills faster.

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