How to make sure your training efforts translate into better performance.

Position:Employee Training

Just because you send your employees to training courses doesn't automatically mean they'll be smarter and ready to double their productivity. But if HR or supervisors show interest in the knowledge they've gained, employees may try harder to put new tools to work.

The best training does not occur in a vacuum. Participants must connect what they learn in a classroom with their daily work activities.

Playing an active role in employees' ongoing learning process can help once the formal training ends. Here's how:

  1. Test the students. People remember more of what they're taught if they know they'll be evaluated on what they retain. This doesn't mean you have to give a written exam, although some managers may prefer this approach.

    A less formal technique is to have your staff explain what they learned and how it applies to their jobs.

    Pose fact-finding questions to gauge how much they benefited from the training. This can be either in the form of a verbal chat or an email summary.

    Warn employees ahead of time that you'll be requesting this debriefing as a way to assess their ability to pay attention and remember what they learn.

  2. Use public commitments. At your next staff meeting, go around the room and have each employee commit to applying at least one learning point from their training session to their job. Ask them to propose a timetable or present a quantitative goal to which...

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