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How to Put Training into Practice

With the issue of skill gaps being reported in every industry, more employers are recruiting and promoting ‘best fit’ candidates and developing potential with training. It’s an effective strategy if the individuals put training into practice. However, if training is a tick box exercise, it’s worthless, so how do we ensure implementation?

Filling the Skills Gap with Training

Employers across the UK are struggling to recruit employees with the necessary competencies, experience and attitude for the role. In the Hays 2022 What Workers Want survey, 77% of employers had concerns about skill shortages.

To address this, 60% reported increasing training resources to upskill employees. In addition, 80% were willing to hire individuals with potential, rather than the ideal candidate. The alternative is to leave vacancies unfilled. These ‘best fit’ candidates need training and development opportunities to bring them up to speed.

As a professional trainer, mentor and coach, I have always focused on outcomes. There is no point in me delivering training or attendees joining me if they never apply what they learn. Training only becomes valuable when it is implemented.

In my experience, four critical factors are required if training is to be put into practice:

  1. The attitude of the individual – are they motivated to learn?
  2. Pre-training preparation – allowing training to be tailored and encouraging learner readiness
  3. Engaging training design & delivery – relevant, impactful and memorable sessions & resources
  4. Learning Transfer – time and management support to help delegates implement new skills
    Let’s explore these in greater depth.

Training Delegate Attitude

Our mindset is different if we are told to attend training, compared to if we are involved in the process and agreeing on training needs. Our attitude is positive if we understand the purpose and see what is in it for us and that makes us open to learning.

Help elevate delegate motivation by encouraging them to identify needs before and during training sessions. Equally, whilst there are organisational benefits to upskilling team members, individuals will be more motivated by personal gains. For this reason, it is useful to understand their priorities and ambitions.

What will completing and implementing training mean to them?

Pre-training Preparation

Pre-training preparation helps the trainer to tailor the course content and outcomes to meet the needs and expectations of the organisation and the delegates. It also promotes delegate readiness.

To encourage engagement, it is important that training is pitched at an appropriate level for the individuals. Too low and they will be dismissive, too high and they won’t feel confident about actively participating or applying the learning. A pre-course questionnaire might be used to inform this.

The course content also needs to relate to the organisation and the role. Collaboration between the organisation and trainer helps ensure that activities tie into the work environment.

All expectations should be explained to the delegates before the course. Will they be required to share key points of the learning with other staff or write a training report for their manager? Do they need to bring anything, prepare questions or complete pre-work in advance?

Training Design & Delivery

Professional trainers design courses using a variety of media and resources that all learning styles can connect with. Delivery is dynamic, positive and impactful, driving delegates to see the purpose and value of upskilling. There are opportunities for questions to be asked and answers given or solutions discussed.

Ideally, the content will be tailored around smart objectives and outcomes focused. It may incorporate a delegate commitment to self-identified actions following the course. Providing takeaway resources can provide a point of reference that delegates can revisit when specific scenarios occur.

Learning Transfer

Even when the training is fresh in delegates’ minds, transferring the learning into the workplace will not happen without adequate time and support. Delegates require the opportunity to put it into practice and to be encouraged. If they hit a barrier or setback, they need support and reassurance to try again or they will default to what is comfortable and familiar.

Individuals may need to be prompted to use their new skills and asked how they are getting on. Is there anything else that would help them to develop? This workplace support may come from peers, managers or a performance coach who holds them accountable, recognises progress and optimises their potential.

The success of training will only be as good as the success of the learning transfer, so it is critical that workplace support or follow-up is included in the training plan. This is a crucial, yet often overlooked, element that determines if the organisation receives good value for their investment.

Training to Develop Talent

Upskilling individuals can resolve skills gaps, but only if the individual is motivated and prepared, the training is relevant and engaging and there is ongoing support with implementation. With the four steps in place, training can make businesses rich in talent.

If leadership training and performance coaching could transform the capabilities of your team, get in touch to discuss your requirements at info@suegarner.co.uk or 07775 624724.

people sitting working together

Training & Development That Delivers Value

Is your industry struggling to fill vacancies, retain employees and have adequately skilled teams? These issues can be addressed through training and development. However, there