The following blog post was written by guest blogger, Jason Silberman.
It’s a common problem of managers responsible for employee training and performance. After companies invest a huge amount of money to train both old and new employees, there is still a wide gap observed between an employee’s skill level at the end of training and the time when there’s full proficiency. This is sometimes due to training not being conducted effectively or strategically, yet even a well-planned and executed training session still leaves this same gap period. It’s a source of much frustration among both managers and employees alike.
Yet there are remedies to consider. So to help training managers and other team leaders cure these post-training blues, here are 5 valuable tips.
1. Request Post-Training Feedback
Immediately after the initial training sessions end, ask the learner to provide direct feedback. You should send out surveys and ask your employees to give a personal assessment of their satisfaction with the training. After several days in which they performing their daily tasks, ask them if they think that the training offered was relevant and applicable to their practical responsibilities. Communication here is very important.
2. Insist on Immediate Use of New Knowledge
Provide an avenue for your employees to apply the knowledge and skills they have learned immediately after the training is over. You may need to make arrangements for this even before the training commences. Immediate application will help employees to value the knowledge they have received, and it will also make that knowledge more difficult to forget. Thus, the new knowledge and skills acquired will stick faster and help them to quickly improve their performance at work. An added advantage of this approach is that it enables easier monitoring for managers, to assess where improvement is still needed.
3. Set up Continuous Performance Monitoring
Speaking of monitoring, after you have received direct feedback and you have arranged for immediate application of the knowledge and skills acquired during training, you need to closely and continuously monitor the development of your employees’ skills. This is because some results will only manifest in the long term. So you need to set up a system to help your employees grow continuously and monitor their progress.
Effective monitoring can be achieved with a variety of methods. For instance, you can get direct feedback from supervisors, team leaders or managers. You can even set up an objective performance assessment system that can give instant access to metrics and statistics for effective performance assessment. Some of the things you may need to evaluate include: percentage improvement in speed, the number of mistakes made, the number of times an employee called for assistance and the quantity of work accomplished within a set period of time.
4. Use Performance Support Aids
There are now several technology aids for effective skills development and continuous learning. Training managers can easily use these tools to bridge the gap between training and proficiency. They should make sure that their workers learn over the internet using online videos, social media sites, forums and blogs. In addition to these, performance support applications are invaluable. For example, online guidance tools enable users to receive just-in-time assistance at the moment of need, in order to perform complex online actions. Utilizing performance support aids within the flow of work will enable employees to quickly master the skills learned during the initial training session through continuous practice.
5. Lead by Example
Another vital post training tip is to ensure that all team leaders and managers provide examples for their team members and employees to follow. Virtually all employees look up to their superior officers and team leaders for guidance and inspiration when they are doing any task for the first time.
Jason Silberman is marketing director at WalkMe, an interactive online guidance system and engagement platform, which reduces training times and costs, while raising performance levels. He is the lead author and editor of Training Station, a blog devoted to news and ideas on training, learning and employee performance. Follow him at @tstationblog.