For a number of years but especially this past year, a training trend is growing; asking what happens after the classroom stuff is done. We have always talked about ‘training is the beginning of change not the end.’ But until recently, many of our clients were mostly interested in getting positive feedback on the session itself rather than the impact that it can have long after the lights are off and the participants are back at work.
Don’t get me wrong, we like getting positive feedback about how a session went and often do. In fact, we think of the session feedback as much more than just ‘smile sheets’ (a derogative term in our mind). In fact the feedback can show the level of confidence a person has in both the value they received and likelihood they’ll use it back on the job. That’a an important first step.
This week I was talking with a potential client about what their expectations were for some training they wanted to offer. When I asked what role the senior managers would or should play in the participants ongoing development, they both smiled. I knew that they understood how important that reinforcement behavior was. Unfortunately what came next didn’t give me much confidence that there would be much follow-up or reinforcement. I learned that senior managers were drowning in their own work and didn’t see follow up after training as their role, let alone important enough to take action on.