The actual delivery of training is often the easy bit it’s the preparation and developing of the courses that really take the time, so how disheartening when changes and you find yourself doing the same training over and over again with little effect. Research tells us that only 20 per cent of learners will actually change the way they work as a result of most training courses and the vast majority—70 per cent—will try out the new skills, but will quickly backslide into old habits.
Experiential training is more likely to stick and below we share some of our tips that we have used over the years which have been the most successful.
1.Tell them why
When people believe in the change, they are motivated to make it happen. We need to spend as much time and energy on engagement as we do on the program itself. Only when people believe that the personal benefits of making the change outweigh the pain of doing so will they commit to altering their behaviour.
2.Emotions are hard to forget
We know when we watch TV, a film or read a book if it makes us feel something then we will remember it. If you think back to when you have made most changes in your behaviour it will be because your emotions were raised. You can do this with video, games and exercises and using business actors. Create scenarios that people can identify with, for example an angry customer and a customer service person, participants with empathise with either of the characters, they will feel the frustration, anger or desperation without any risk to real customer relationship’s
When we are being told a story, we release oxytocin (the love hormone) this means we are more likely to trust what we are hearing. Also as many different parts of the brain are activated the information we are receiving is more memorable. We often tell stories with our actors, using consequential theatre to tell a story starting with the end and then working back to show the main points leading up to the drama, its very effective memorable and powerful
4. Practice, practice
This is the big one if we don’t use it we lose it. Learners need to have a chance to practice and make mistakes in the learning and when they get back into the work place. We can boost the power of training by teaching participants to spot opportunities to apply what they’ve learned and by giving them take-home tasks that are built into the workflow.
5. Involve them in their own learning
Adult learners accumulate knowledge most effectively when they are active in their own learning process. Design activities or assignments that encourage them to explore a subject matter on their own and learn from personal experience. Pose a question or problem and then ask them to arrive at a solution on their own, or place them in groups and have them collaborate in order to discuss the issue at length and benefit from one another’s experience and skill sets.
6. Make it fun
That doesn’t mean running embarrassing exercises or having fun for the sake of fun. If learners are challenged and have a sense of achievement then that is enjoyable. We all love games but they need to be relevant to the learning and don’t forget different learning styles like different types of learning, so its important to build in exercises that engage everyone. That said it is also good to encourage learners to go out of their comfort zone.
7. Encourage them to set goals
We are more committed to things we write down so it is important to end our training with a written expression of key goals and objectives. What specifically will they do differently? Another way to increase accountability and drive transfer is for learners to share intentions with other people and ask peers to help them stay on track. So often the end of a training intervention is the weakest part, it should end on a high point to make the learning stick.
There is a very big difference between training and learning, for me if its just training for the sake of it save your money, the 7 tips above will go along way to ensure your people learn