This is the third of three blogs on how managers can help make training “stick” after the team returns to the reality of everyday 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:
- 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.
- 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).
- Have them describe why it’s important to them, the organization and team. How does it fit with their work context and career goals?
- Have them describe tactics/actions that they think will achieve the goal, and what timeframe is realistic for starting and completing the initiative.
- Ask what support and resources they need. Do they need a “partner” who might support them and help hold them accountable?
- 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.