Very often, once a training program has been designed and delivered, everyone goes on to the next assignment. But the design for almost any learning program should include what to do afterward to make sure the learning sticks.
Plan for the Final Stages
Here are some reasons to make follow up part of your program:
- Misunderstandings. Not too long ago everyone in a class missed a particular test item. The training was over, so the instructor visited the learners’ offices and worked directly with them to correct the misunderstanding.
- Errors. After the training, if your learners make mistakes related to something they should have learned, then this is an obvious time to follow up.
- Forgetting. Time goes by, and everyone forgets, at least a little. And many times we don’t realize how much we’ve forgotten. Refreshers can help.
- Confidence. Without enough practice, some learners will not feel ready to use their new skills. You can provide additional practice in follow-up sessions.
- Changes. What was true last week may change next week. New rules, regulations, policies, or other changes may require a short “tune-up” to help your learners adapt to something new.
- Transfer. If your learners are having issues using their new skills, you can figure out what is getting in their way. Once you’ve identified the barrier(s), you can work to remove them or work with someone who can.
There are many good reasons to make following up part of the learning program. Instead of thinking of a single event or a set of classes (instructor-led, self-study, or online) as all there is, build in a schedule for follow up activities to make you’re your learners will transfer what they’ve learned to the workplace.