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Is Your Training An Event Or A Journey?

Last week I was doing some spring cleaning in my office and came across a box of materials I have accumulated over the years from training classes I’ve attended in my career. I had 21 participant guides from a variety of courses ranging from sales effectiveness, negotiation training, and leadership development. I know there were more someplace that got lost along the way.

As I browsed through the various materials, I was reminded of how fortunate I am that the companies I’ve worked for made an investment in my development and helped position me for success. Although some of the courses were better than others, all had great points that, when put to use, could make a real difference.

Unfortunately, they all lacked something that would have made the training stick.

What makes a good training great?

A predetermined set of “Continuous Improvement” Sessions to ensure the training sticks!

The common thread with all of the previous courses is.… once the training ends, the consultant moves on to their next engagement, the client is left trying to implement a new methodology on their own, the Whirlwind starts, and it's business as usual.

Studies show that without immediate reinforcement, learning retention drops dramatically. If we don't quickly reinforce the concepts learned during training, our time and the company's training investment are wasted. The data speaks for itself...Without reinforcement, the student will retain:

  • less than 60% of their learnings after the first day

  • 35% after day 2

  • 10% after day 7!

We’ve all been there. Monday rolls around, and we find ourselves back in the maze of countless e-mails, reacting to customer issues, attending internal meetings, etc. We go back to our old lives and our old habits and never get the full value of what we just learned. In other words, training courses are treated like one-time events rather than a journey.

To drive real change, it takes a village. In our view, these 3 things are the key ingredients needed to drive adoption and maximize your return on investment:

  1. From the top down, commitment to implement the right habits/change can’t be optional. Execution must start with a clear plan from senior leadership on what success looks like by defining in writing and socializing the key elements from training that must be put into practice (both culturally and operationally). Once the plan is public, it’s critical the entire leadership team provides coaching and tracks compliance.

  2. The learner must want to get better. Sounds obvious but many salespeople don’t have the desire to commit to the right habits for success. They say they do but their actions/inactions tell a different story. In any competition, effort matters as much if not more than talent. If the effort to get better doesn’t exist, it’s time to upgrade your team.

  3. The training consultant must stay engaged well beyond the initial training. They are the tip of the spear to lead post-training sessions that review key lessons from the course, discuss specific elearning modules and activities that apply learned concepts in real settings and coach the student to be more effective using newly learned skills

Butler Street helps its clients retain and apply the skills taught in training. Besides delivering a proven and simple set of skills designed for winning, they provide a comprehensive online learning program, and they stay engaged for 12 weeks after training through a Continuous Improvement Series to reinforce key learnings and their application.

The most important thing to remember throughout this journey is this... “Progressive improvement…is better than postponed perfection.” Getting a little better every day is everything. It takes 21 days to develop new habits and 66 days to turn them into muscle memory. To run a marathon, you have to start by getting off the couch.

To learn how Butler Street can help your organization drive adoption and architect a plan for sustained success, please reach out.


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