02.01.2012 Talent Management and Development No Comments

Making Learning Stick: Post 3 of 4

In this post, I’ll offer a few best practice ideas to incorporate into the design during training.

In addition to all the best practices for any effective meeting (arrive and return from breaks on time, come prepared, etc.), participation in practices and activities during the training session is a critical success factor in getting the most possible from a skill-building program. In a good training design, there will be numerous opportunities for participants to practice, or “try on,” the skills that they’ll be learning. Depending on the skill being learned, they’ll practice in a variety of group settings, and will be asked to give feedback to their partners. Being able to give effective feedback is an important skill and it provides support for their colleagues’ development; being able to receive feedback is a crucial part of the employee’s own development.

Another important expectation during the training is that participants will practice the skills they’ve learned between sessions, when appropriate. Practicing the skills and preparation for the next session will quicken a participant’s skill development, since, as with learning any new skill, repetition is necessary to become more comfortable with it and more natural at it.

Finally, planning for application after the workshop of what’s learned during it is crucial. Building in actions and benchmarks fosters accountability, and makes it easier to check progress.

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