Lack of implementation. It’s a major impediment to getting the return on investment you want from training.
Have you heard about the studies that show up to 90% of what is covered in training is not retained after 4 weeks (also known as the Forgetting Curve first identified by Hermann Ebbinghaus in 1885). Or that during learning sessions our brains can only retain the last 30-seconds of information (referring to our short-term memory capacity).¹
Ultimately, managers and sales leaders have the responsibility of creating a system that will encourage the adoption of the new behaviours, skills and techniques that are introduced as part of a training program.
If you’re working with a good training provider they can help you to create those reinforcement systems within your organisation. But the week-to-week responsibility for progress can only rest with the team leader or manager.
Create a learning support system
Fortunately it’s not that difficult to create a support system that will get your team focused and motivated to adopt the new behaviours proposed from training.
The unspoken catch is that it takes time and effort on behalf of the manager.
The reality is your team will respond more to what you do, than to what you say or write in an email. That is why it’s critical for managers to be seen “with” the team supporting and “living” the new behaviours or techniques.
The Ex4 method
One way for managers and sales leaders to do this is by using the Ex4 method (that is, E by 4):
- Communication: clearly explain what each learner is expected to do, this can start before the training is delivered.
- Report what has been done: let the team know what, when and how they will be reporting on the changes encountered as a result of applying the new techniques or behaviours.
- Clarify the impact: that is anticipated within the organisation, setting an expectation for the desired scope of change.
- Provide individual support and/or coaching: enabling the learner to access resources and get help to achieve continual progress.
- Allow time to put new techniques into place: this is especially important when billable hours or utilisation rates are the usual focus within the organisation; examples include scheduling time to prepare for presentations (when learning new presentation skills), or time to research a prospect and develop a question strategy (when learning new sales skills).
- Recognise progress: provide timely and specific feedback to individuals, identifying milestones or significant checkpoints.
- Make the process fun: learning and achieving better outcomes should be enjoyable, so look for ways to have some fun along the way.
- Emphasise the positives: during times of change people may wish for “the old ways” so it’s important to keep everyone focused on the positives of the desired changes.
- Make it rewarding: people are motivated by autonomy, mastery, and purpose², not just money, so consider how you can reward learners to maintain their Professional Development and commitment for progress.
- Monitor outcomes: create a system for measuring changes as a result of the training program, which may include qualitative measures (such as the effectiveness of using a new behaviour) rather than purely quantitative measures (such as sales revenue achieved).
- Link performance, feedback and consequences: you need to have a reputation for following through; if the team does not perceive there is any consequence for inaction they will be less likely to take action and push through the initial uncomfortable stages of change.
- Make it real for individuals and the team: seek ways to demonstrate the real impact of the changes (and the consequences of not taking action), and remind the team why it is necessary.
If you would like to explore how to apply the Ex4 method to your organisation and develop a meaningful implementation program for your next sales, presentation skills or management training program, get in touch and together we’ll look at your options.
1. In fact findings from many studies show the amount of forgetting varies tremendously from 0% to 95%. The amount forgotten is due to a variety of factors such as: the learners prior knowledge; how motivated the learners were; how relevant the material was; how the material was presented; whether the learners applied the material during training (the context), and more. For an interesting overview read this report and this article.
2. “Drive: the surprising truth about what motivates us” by Daniel Pink. Watch the video.
Main image credit: GotCredit