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The Training Pendulum

Aug 25 • Functional Skills, Jamie Dixon Blog, Management and Leadership, Trainers Blogs • 3251 Views • No Comments on The Training Pendulum

Source: Evonne @ flickr

YOU MAY BE FAMILIAR WITH THE 70/20/10 MODEL. 70% of learning is on the job, 20% is from feedback, and 10% is from reading and attending courses, that is, training.

When training occurs, there tends to be a knock on effect too. But when the full 10% is achieved, and the back-to-the-job-transition phase is successful, training contributes to the other 20 and 70 percent.

I call this the training pendulum. A training course of several days, with no knock on effect will simply be that, a training course of several days. Trainees will learn things, but they will soon forget. The 10% drops significantly, and they have no new skills to take with them on to the job, bringing the 70 and 20 percent down as well.

Take the same course of several days, and then follow through. Bring these new skills back on to the job, remind the trainees what they are supposed to be practicing, reinforce it, incentivize it etc., and the training becomes the full 10 percent, and then contributes to the other 70 and 20 percent. So how do we continue the training pendulum?

Here are my recommendations:

      1. Reminders: What is the number one cause of wasted training? Trainees forgetting. A very simple solution is to remind them. Send them emails, stick things on the walls, give them tests to prepare for, hold discussions, complete self-evaluation forms and so on. Keep it fresh in their minds, make it impossible to forget.
      2. Pressure: Remember Cialdini’s principle of social proof; we make decisions on what is correct based on what we perceive the majority of people to be doing. So number one, Line Managers must care. If the Line Managers don’t show they care about what the trainees have learnt, the trainees will not be so inclined to care. Line Managers thus should be holding one on one meetings with the trainees, discussing how they are going to continue their personal development. If all the trainees perceive their Line Managers to care, then this should bring us quite nicely to Number Two. Peer pressure! If it is perceived that everyone around them is continuing their development, then they will also continue their development. So praise those that develop and keep on pushing them, encourage a healthy learning atmosphere.
      3. Carrots: What’s in it for them? Is it going to make their job easier? Is it going to increase their chances of sales success? Are they going to have their photo hung on the wall of fame? Are they going to get a promotion? Are they going to get higher pay? Make the consequences of positive development really positive, and constantly remind them, and the trainees will strive to develop.

I’m quite confident that with all these three factors being counted for, I’m able to provide the best training in China and allow for the smooth transition of the behaviour into the workplace.

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