The riddle many training departments are facing—and are increasingly frustrated by—is how to get all that excitement and energy from the training to carry on in the field long after the event itself.

What we often see is that there’s a lot of focus and attention on the implementation. Maybe it’s being rolled out at a national sales meeting or other high-profile event with plenty of promotional build-up to generate enthusiasm and interest.

The training team works hard to make sure the material is aligned with the organization’s goals and needs and that it’s tailored to the kinds of day-to-day retail issues and scenarios that are relevant to the participants. Leaders introduce the training and explain why it’s important (in the ideal situation). And people leave feeling great about the experience and excited to try out their new skills and behaviors.

So what happens next?

In fact, what happens next is critical. For the training to get results, there needs to be a pivot from a training focus to a leadership and accountability focus.

Senior leaders in the field have to take ownership once the training has been implemented.

No training department is big enough to drive daily accountability in the store. That’s the boss’s job. For the training team, it’s about making sure field operations is ready to step up to this role.

If leaders are asking for results and measurement, the metrics that count are going to be the ones that play out in the business, not whether or not the training implementation has taken place.

What really matters is: are people using the skills and behaviors every day? Are we talking about it conference calls? Do we see it happening on store visits?

Are your leaders stepping up?

Let us know what you think! Share in the comments or tweet us @mohrretail.


About Michael Patrick

Michael held positions in retail management, merchandising, and human resources before joining MOHR Retail’s predecessor in 1986. In 1990 he purchased the retail division of that firm to form today’s MOHR Retail. Michael holds true to his retail roots by delivering learning that changes behavior—providing both immediate and lasting business impact. In addition to facilitating MOHR Retail training programs, he offers executive-level coaching in one-on-one sessions dealing with critical strategic issues such as succession strategies and executive team development. The author of “The New Negotiation Mindset: Guarantee A Bigger Slice,” Michael is a longstanding member of NRF as well as ISA: The Association of Learning Providers. He has a B.A. from San Diego State University, completed Master’s level work at Arizona State University, and lives with his family in New Jersey.