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How to make training work


Having spent the last couple of weeks trying to convince you that training doesn’t work, this week it’s time to turn our attention to the things you can do to make sure that it does.  The good news, with which I teased you last week, is that there are some relatively simple things you can do to greatly improve the chances of seeing real, on-the-job application of the things delegates learn on workshops.

This diagram shows how training and development should work, at an organisational level.  It starts on the left, with the identification of a business need.  What is it that the company or team needs to achieve?  What is the goal the individual is working towards?  What, in other words, is the purpose of the training – what is it designed to achieve and how does this help the individual, the team or the company?

Moving into the middle box, in order to achieve this goal, the company, team or individual needs to start doing something – it’s only natural to assume that, in order to achieve goals you’ve never achieved before, someone somewhere needs to start doing something they’ve never done before.  What is that “something”?

This then drives the right-hand box; to do this “something”, what kind of training do people need.  This is when the training intervention can be put together – safe in the knowledge that the workshop (or whatever it is) is designed specifically to achieve business-relevant results.

The picture shows a shaded area around the behaviour box – this is the environment within which the delegates will be trying to apply what they’ve learned.  That environment can be destructive and unhelpful, as we’ve covered previously, or it can be supportive and helpful.  If you’re a manager, you can make all the difference.

Talk to your people before they go on the workshop.  Ask them questions like:

  • As a result of this training, what will you do differently?
  • When will I see you doing it?
  • What help do you need to put what you’ve learned into practice?

Keep in touch with them and use the trainer that you hire – any good trainer worth his or her salt with provide after-workshop support of some kind, so make sure you or the delegates make the most of it.  What goes on at work, the messages you give to the people who’ve been on training, the support you offer, the encouragement you give, will make all the difference.  And, of course, I’m honour bound to point out that if you want to make big changes – get inspired!

2 Responses

  1. Invisible Diagram

    Hello Steve001,

    I can’t see the diagram you mentionend, even after disabling the ad blocker. Is it missing or is it just me?



  2. The disappearing diagram


    Don’t worry, it’s not you – it seems to have disappeared!  I’ll see if I can make it reappear!

    Thanks for pointing it out


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