Knowledge transfer - the art of creating training ROI
There's an elusive element to many training programmes, and there has been for many, many years - Return On Investment. Actual change as a result of valuable training budget. Since Hermann Ebbinghaus published his Forgetting Curve back in 1885, there's been a nagging concern that training doesn't actually work. At Navanter, we take the adoption of new skills and behaviours into the workplace very seriously - if a training programme doesn't result in desired change, then it's a waste of time and money.
Blended learning to increase retention
Because we understand a stand-alone training course is rarely, if ever, effective, we focus not just on the content of training, but on a complete process to ensure that our customers' goals are met. This blended approach to learning means that employees are exposed to, and engaged in, learning again and again over a period of time to produce the desired results.
Before the training:
- Training Needs Analysis For all bespoke training programmes, we conduct a full Training Needs Analysis to determine the exact content, format, level and structure of your training programme. This TNA is a comprehensive assessment of your organisation's business strategy, objectives and shorter-term goals, aimed at creating exactly the right programme to achieve these goals.
- Manager & team leader interviews One of the most important elements of a successful training programme, is buy-in from the managers of training attendees. It is these managers who provide the post-training support and coaching to help attendees to apply their new skills in the workplace. By interviewing these managers before the training programme, we ensure their buy-in to the goals, their familiarity with what will take place, and their preparedness to assist the course attendees quickly after the learning event. An important aspect of these manager interviews, is that it's an chance to identify opportunities for participants to use their new skills quickly, supported by their line managers, thus increasing the impact of the training on their jobs.
- Attendee interviews In our experience, training course participants buy in to course content much more fully if they feel involved in its development. It's for this reason that we like to speak with all participants early in the course development process to get their input around any skills gaps, and help them to see the benefits early on so that they actually look forward to attending the training. Creating this sense of anticipation helps them to focus on the learning they want to get from a training course, meaning they are much more engaged and participative on the day, giving a better learning experience. These interviews are also an opportunity to point out individual business benefits (increased ability to hit targets or KPIs) and individual personal benefits (how it will help their careers) to increase enthusiasm for the programme.
- Pre-course assessments, assignments or tasks In the days leading up to the main training event, we like to set some sort of task appropriate to the topic and the group, to get them into the right mindset to attend training. This might be as simple as a quiz or an assessment, or it might be a task to do some initial research or structured thinking around the training topic. The result is that when people arrive in the training room or live web platform, they're already thinking about how to apply their learning in the workplace.
During the training:
- Executive intro In an ideal world, every training course invested in will be introduced by a senior manager or stakeholder to give a 5-minute pep-talk at the beginning. We appreciate that this might be a little daunting for some people, so we will work with that person to prepare them to open the training programme well. At minimum, we like an email to go to participants a day-or-two before the training to demonstrate buy-in from senior leaders, as well as signposting the company's strategy and showing how the training will contribute to that.
- Address all learning styles All Navanter training aligns itself to Honey & Mumford's work on learning styles. In summary, this states that people have different needs from a training programme, and the wrong style can hinder learning. For this reason, our training courses are a lively mix of different modalities and techniques, such as:
- simulated scenarios
- practical reflection exercises around people's own jobs
- opportunities to try things out in a safe environment
We have an industry-leading range of post-course reinforcement tools in our tool-kit to ensure that training isn't left on a shelf or a PC hard drive, but revisited again and again until the new behaviours become a part of the employees on the programme. The selected options depend on the training topic, attendees, and organisations being trained, and are blended from the following options:
- Action plans Post-course action commitments, usually developed individually at various points during the training day(s) to ensure a personalised timetable for trying and implementing new skills into people's jobs. These are a great coaching tool for managers to aid in follow-up.
- Manager coaching plans A pack of information and tools for managers and team leaders to be fully equipped to provide post-course support to their employees, including a content summary, suggested coaching questions, and ideas for exercises and games in team meetings to reinforce key concepts.
- Coaching from Navanter We can provide an experienced and qualified coaches to either provide in-person support on specific days, or to schedule post-course phone or video calls to work with individuals to implement their new talents.
- Structured social learning plans An oft-misunderstood term, social learning is about collaborating with others (either fellow course participants or others in the organisation with relevant knowledge) to observe, discuss, collaborate and try new things within a "social" support group of like-minded individuals. We can facilitate these conversations, provide suggested social learning plans, and help managers to provide the space for this valuable learning activity.
- Blended learning Navanter provides a number of options for blended learning, including:
- Our popular range of e-tips sent directly to participants' inboxes
- Custom videos recorded in a natural style to illustrate or reinforce key learning points
- Scheduled conference calls to facilitate personal success stories and inspire others to try new ideas
- Our brand new Navanter Graduate LinkedIn groups on key topics such as Leadership and Sales
We don't believe there's anyone else in our industry who goes to such steps, with such a range of options, to ensure the success of a training programme. To understand how a blended learning programme might look for you, why not get in touch today for an initial discussion?