Make Training “Stick”

As managers, we all want one thing: our team to “get it.”  In order for our teams to be successful, we have to set them up for success.  But, miss Management Musings, how do we do that?

Great question!  Read on for a few tips and tricks on ways to help make training topics or processes a more permanent part of your teams every day work.

Assess

Assessing a team or member’s abilities is the first step in creating effective training.  If you start somewhere way over their head, nothing will stick because they don’t have the appropriate groundwork to build on.  Conversely, if you start way below where they are, they’ve tuned out long before you get to anything that will be helpful or necessary for them to learn.

How do I assess where my team or a member is on the scale?

  • Review work
  • Provide assessment sheets
  • Talk with the team/member
    • This is a huge one.  Regular one on ones should occur, providing time for team members to alert you to roadblocks and for you to discuss ongoing areas for improvement.

Plan

Plan trainings ahead of time.  It’s SO easy for us to let our team trainings fall to the bottom of the work pile.  DON’T LET THIS HAPPEN.  Effective training requires attention.  We’ve all heard the “you get in what you get out” adage.  So planning means both planning enough time to be prepared, and planning the actual training itself.

What should I consider when planning?

  • Am I creating interaction with myself and the team?
  • Am I allowing enough activities to ensure the team gets hands on experience?
  • Am I planning for breaks to let people check on work and/or absorb for a minute?
  • Am I making the information relevant to the team?
  • Am I creating documentation for reference and consistency?

Perform

Perform in this sense isn’t just a term interchangeable with “complete” the training.  When providing training, you really should be performing.  You’ve assessed and planned so that you have a very specific set of information to provide.  You should be doing so in an engaging way.  Capturing and holding attention is key to helping training last past the hour where the team sits in front of you.

How do I “perform” during my training?

  • Keep the session high energy
  • Interact with the team
  • Force answers by waiting, waiting, waiting
  • Provide real-life examples
  • Sprinkle in stories, where applicable
  • Follow the “Learn, See, Do” approach to ensure hands on experience is occurring
  • Again, keep things high energy

You can even monitor the success of your training in the same ways you assessed training needs in the first place.  Reviewing work, creating an assessment, or discussing regularly with the team are ways to keep your finger on the pulse of how your team is doing.

What tips or tricks do you use when training teams?  I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments below!

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