Here’s a true story: A Customer Service Manager was working on a major strategy directive to teach her team to upsell more effectively. She trained her staff rigorously. They all seemed to get the new upselling techniques they’d learned and were eager to try them out.
Three months later the CEO came calling and asked, “Why aren’t your people making any upsells?” To which the manager replied, “I don’t know. I TRAINED them.”
Somebody wasn’t doing her follow-up. Which means that all that training time was pretty much a waste. In situations like this one, when managers don’t follow up, employees generally revert right back to their old behaviors.
Unfortunately, poor follow-up is the norm, not the exception. An article in Training & Development magazine in January 2006 reported that the amount of time managers spend on the “three phases” of training breaks down as follows:
- Phase 1: Preparation — 10%
- Phase 2: The Training Event — 85%
- Phase 3: Follow Up — 5%.
That’s right. Managers spend just 5% of their time revisiting training concepts. The result: People forget most of what they learn. Learning doesn’t stick. Training dollars go straight down the drain. And performance suffers.
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