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Training Day Follow-through

by Neil Phillips on February 25, 2010

Most companies do training days and then the content slips away into memories relatively quickly.  There are a variety of legitimate reasons for that to happen:

  • There is no money to extend the learning.
  • Participants come back excited and then run into everyone who wasn’t trained.  Pretty soon the inertia from the group kills the excitement.
  • We always do what we always did.  There are procedures and new things don’t fit.  Group-think and company structures resist change.

The American Society for Training & Development has some amazing research on the quality of the results that happen with follow-through.  According to the ASTD, the probability of completing a goal changes with follow-through.

  • 10% if you hear an idea.
  • 25% if you consciously decide to adopt it.
  • 40% if you decide when you will do it.
  • 50% if you plan how you will do it.
  • 65% if you commit to someone else you will do it.
  • 95% if you have a specific accountability appointment with the person to whom you committed.

Recently, Dana Phillips and I were doing a training day with a company and I thought that their follow-through plan was brilliant!  At the end of the day, the HR director passed out a sheet with all of the days topics on it.  At the top were a set of very simple instructions.

This section is for your supervisor to understand areas you want to improve. 

  1. Indicate at least three areas of awareness you will improve in your professional development.
  2. Give specific examples of how you will increase your effectiveness.

She collected the sheets along with the evaluation of the day.  The development sheets were being passed to the immediate supervisor of everyone in the room so that they could develop a specific plan of action.  This method is perfect for most companies.  It’s cheap, build the training into the company DNA, and overcomes group inertia.

What do you do for follow-through?  What do you recommend?

About the Author: Neil Phillips is a founding partner of Team Connections and Director of the DSWA Coach Excellence program.  Get more from Neil on his Direct Selling Notebook , the DSWA Coaching Center and Twitter.

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