Training + Coaching = Results


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Recently, I was asked the question, we have trained our employees and we aren’t seeing the results we want, what should we do?  The simple answer to this question is coach your employees.  Without coaching, training isn’t going to get us the results we want.  Let’s explore this a little bit more.

In most cases less than 20% of the skills learned and knowledge gained in training programs are actually transferred back to the work place and are still in use one year later. Research shows that when the new skills are not used within 30 days, 90% of the knowledge will be lost. All of that time and money that was spent on training will be wasted if the employees fail to apply the training immediately.

We have to realize that it takes a lot of effort for employees to use the new skills they learned in training.  This is because often times it is something new and they have to change the way they do things.  That change is uncomfortable. If the employee doesn’t practice and receive continual feedback from their coach we won’t get the results we are looking for. Without the support of the coach, the employee is likely to become frustrated and stop trying to apply the new skills.

Coaches can make a tremendous difference in the success that employees will have in transferring recently learned information back to their job. To increase the likelihood that the employees will use the skills we need to involve the coaches and have an understanding of their impact to the success of their employees.  Here is what coaches can do before, during and after the training to support the process.

What the coach can do BEFORE training. First of all, and most importantly clearly communicate the specific need for the training to the employees. Make sure they understand exactly why they are going to the training program and specify the particular skills that you want them to focus on.

In addition, tell the employee why the training is important to their job and to the team and how it will contribute to the achievement of their goals. In other words, let the employee know the relevance of the training and how it will relate to their current job. This prepares the employee to get the most out of the actual training session.

What the coach can do DURING training. Provide an atmosphere that allows the employees to fully concentrate on the learning process. Don’t schedule meetings during the training or interrupt them with messages.

Reassign the training participant’s workload. This way the employee will not be faced with an avalanche of work on their desk when they arrive back at work. Instead, they will be able to devote their attention to new and more productive ways of doing their job based on the information they learned in the training session.

What the coach can do AFTER training. Absolutely conduct a post-training debriefing. Allow the employee the opportunity to tell you and other co-workers what they learned and how they intend to apply it to the job. Through the debriefing the coach will learn what they should be coaching them on and where they need to focus their efforts in catching the employee doing “it” right.

Provide a lot of encouragement to the employees to try the new skills and give them every possible opportunity to practice the new skills. The learning is reinforced through practice and application, not by thinking about it.

If you are looking for results from employees we have to combine training and coaching.  Training by itself will not get you the results you are looking for.  Think about ways to incorporate these items in the development of a training program and how you can support the coaches and you will begin to see results.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Kelly Ketelboeter
Kelly is an experienced training professional with over 14 years of corporate classroom training both as an employee and consultant. She has managed and consulted over 75 clients nationwide and in Canada in the areas of customer service, relationship based selling and coaching/management.


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