What to do when the training is done – Individual follow up

coaching-conversation-300x200This is the third of three blogs on how managers can help make training “stick” after the team returns to the reality of every day work. In this entry we focus on following up with individuals who attended the training.

Teams are collections of individuals, and they will not reach high performance unless the individuals do. Your team members’ plans for personal improvement can feed into a formal, structured process such as a personal development plan or performance review, or a less formal growth opportunity. Regardless, your active interest in your team members’ growth will multiply the chances of successful change. Here are some tips for a coaching conversation:

  1. Create a personal check-in/coaching time with each team member within 2 weeks of the training. This is a time to review what they personally learned from the training and identify how they intend to apply it.
  2. Have the person identify one or two key things they’d like to act on; these could lead to developmental goals (i.e., more learning) or behavioural goals (changing how they act in certain situations).
  3. Have them describe why it’s important to them, the organization and team. How does it fit with their work context and career goals?
  4. Have them describe tactics/actions that they think will achieve the goal, and what timeframe is realistic for starting and completing the initiative.
  5. Ask what support and resources they need. Do they need a “partner” who might support them and help hold them accountable?
  6. Schedule a follow up meeting for 2-4 weeks later. Have additional check-ins as needed.

 

Individual coaching conversations encourage the application of learning and heighten an individual’s perceptions of accountability to the team. They also show your interest in their well-being as people and as employees.

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What to do when the training is done – The Team follow up

tent-pole-e1416408591616-300x198This is the second of three blogs on how managers can help make training “stick” after the team returns to the reality of every day work. In this entry we focus on following up with the entire team.

Well-run group challenges on a training day can get people feeling and working like a true team. Engagement, collaboration and synergy are high. If you want to anchor that team “feeling” in the workplace, deliberately connect with them as a team in the weeks following the workshop. You say that you already have weekly or bi-weekly meetings that include tactical discussions and progress reports? Perfect. Now add elements that focus on team culture and you will all reap the benefits. Here are some ideas:

  1. Review highlights of the training at the first team meeting after the session. Ideally this will be within a week. Ask people to bring their “Key Insights” and “Tool” cards and share one of their take-aways with the team.
  2. Set aside a dedicated meeting to review your team action plan or your group ‘norms’ as soon as possible.
  3. Set yourself a task to periodically review and revise the action plan and norms with the team. Are you doing what you said you’d do? Is it working?
  4. Develop a schedule to focus on one aspect of the training for 10-15 minutes at each of your upcoming team meetings. Involve others and make it fun.
  5. Provide regular team “forming” activities. These can be short icebreakers at the beginning of meetings where people share about themselves, informal pot-luck lunches, team celebrations or professionally-run team building events.

It takes hard work and commitment from everyone, especially the leader, to create a high performance team culture. And the rewards are great.

In the next blog we will look at things you can do to follow up as you work one-on one with people.

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How to Keep the Fire Going – What to do when the training is done

match-213x300Most participants of team training sessions get completely fired up to act upon valuable insights from their training day. As trainers, we find this very gratifying since action is a key part of learning. But we know that people can quickly lose their energy when they return to the office to face their bulging inboxes, urgent demands and the seductive lure of convention. No matter how good we are as “fire-starters”, we need people to feed the flame of self-improvement in the weeks following the training event. The job of keeping the fire going typically falls to the team manager and Human Resources department.

In an effort to help make training “stick”, Summit has created a training follow-up guide for managers. We send this document to each team leader after the training program to help them support their staff members and teams on their journey to high performance.

The goal is to keep the learning ‘top of mind’, and to ensure that action plans become, well, actions.

In the next two blogs we will share some of our suggestions for training follow up regarding team and individual action plans.

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