Are you getting the impact you want out of your training? I am not talking about Level 4 evaluations and ROI. I am talking about real impact. I am not talking about using the antiquated butt-in-seat metrics. I am talking about qualitative impact. I am not talking about cost per learner. I want to know if you are seeing impact in the form of a noticeable change in behavior of the learners.
Are the people that are leaving your training rooms coming away with something of real value? If they are taking time out of their day-to-day, what are they getting for it? I hope it is more than a free carb loaded breakfast and a deli lunch. Their needs to be sustainable impact. And what they are learning better be good. The training needs to be more than just interesting. If it is interesting, but not aligned to business goals, it as just a hobby. If it is boring, but aligned to business initiatives, then it is a chore.
Sustaining the impact of learning does not happen in one session, and it certainly does not happen in the classroom. Any efforts to change or modify behaviors starts in the classroom. Will it also end in the classroom? The moment people return to their work, they will revert to what they know unless measures are put into place to reinforce the learning.
I have been running studies on impact of learning and am seeing trends that show a 30 to 45 day impact on behaviors, but absent any follow up, the impact fades away by day 60. This is a problem, that needs to be solved for, and one that quite frankly does not take a lot of effort to remedy. Here are some ideas on how to sustain impact and momentum for learners stepping out of a class and back into work:
1. Have participants work with peer coaches
2. Create an online collaboration tool where people can share best practices
3. Use social media to send out quick hit ideas, information and tips of the day
4. Ask leaders to attend the learning and model the behaviors
5. Teach HR how to coach to the behaviors
6. Recognize those that are leading the way
7. Celebrate and share impact stories
This is not hard to do, but that does not mean that it is easy either. Take the time to identify the impact you are looking to make, and then get out there and build support that will sustain the change in behavior in participants. It takes time to set it up, but once in place … theses seven steps can carry your training efforts farther than you think.