When training does not turn out the way a company plans, leaders tend to blame the content of the training, and even the delivery method for the training. According to the senior vice president of Marketing and Strategy for Madison Performance Group, Mike Ryan, what is to blame is the lack of recognition and reinforcement employees receive. Since recognition and reinforcement are the answer, leaders in organizations need to learn how to use reinforcement to create effective training programs that achieve long-term goals.
Send Follow-up Emails
Employees attend training sessions and go into information overload. They leave the training sessions with what they believe is a firm handle on the subject matter. They return to their desks and the majority of what they learned is already down the drain. Sending follow-up emails to reinforce the training helps employees to retain and apply what they learned during the training sessions.
Focus each email on one key point from the training. Send out the emails periodically, such as once a week or once a month, after the training ends. The emails can also contain resources to help employees do their jobs. Use ways to link the information in the email to the topics covered in the training.
Put Training in Perspective
Additionally, putting the training in perspective helps to reinforce the training messages. Try to link the training as directly as possible to the role the employee plays in the organization. For example, if the training introduces a new process or procedure, provide the employee with specific examples on how they can alter their job duties to fit the new process and procedures.
Customizing training points takes the generality out of the training. It also helps employees to apply what they learned in training directly to their own jobs. Reinforcement of the training helps employees to understand how effective the training they received is to advancing them in their career with the company.
Set Individual Goals
Finally, employees should set individual goals with their supervisors or managers. The goals should pertain directly to the training session or sessions the employee just attended. Supervisors can then reward employees for each of the goals that they set and achieve. The key to setting training goals is to ensure the goals are attainable and realistic. Employee recognition of this type tends to work best as some sort of an employee recognition program.
An employee recognition program for training can assign points for each milestone an employee attains leading up to the goal. Employees can accumulate points. For example, a sales representative can earn points for reaching set milestones that lead to achieving the final goal. Once the employee achieves the goal, they can earn additional award points. They can then cash in these points for rewards, merchandise from a catalog or a gift card.
Training is only as effective and beneficial as the attendees deem it to be. Linking reinforcement and recognition to training sessions helps to create a more of an effective training for an organization and its employees.