So, how’s that New Year’s resolution going? Don’t worry, no one’s here to judge you for skipping a few days at the gym, or for only having a few sentences of that award-winning screenplay committed to paper. Or maybe you resolved to devote more time to training and developing your employees (a decision we applaud, by the way).
These tasks, along with any number of ambitious tasks people are prone to starting this time of year, require a lot of time. More important, they require a lot of discipline. Discipline to go to the gym even though you’re tired and your couch is really comfortable. Discipline to keep hacking away at the keyboard even though you could just as easily waste time on Facebook instead.
More than a day, more than a week
In the case of workplace training, it takes the discipline to commit to more than just a day or a week’s worth of training. For workplace training to succeed, managers need to be willing and able to devote time to following up with employees.
That’s easier said than done. There are countless distractions and unforeseen hiccups that can cause follow-up to fall on the list of priorities. First it’s a new position that needs to be filled, then it’s overseeing a new project, then a big presentation for a potential new client. Before you know it, consistent follow-up of training is sitting right next to that unused gym membership.
Front of mind
So how do you make sure that training employees doesn’t become an afterthought? We can’t help you find the time, but we can help you make sure the time you do spend on follow-up counts. Take a look at what we call the Four R’s of Effective Follow-Up:
- Revisit: Soon after the training, great managers go back and inspect what they expect.
- Reinforce: Great managers catch people doing things right. They praise employees when they apply new skills correctly.
- Re-Teach: Managers who consistently get results take the time to retrain employees who aren’t applying skills correctly,
- Re-Focus: Great managers train and retrain to keep employees focused and energized. They also clearly communicate how the training will help the company reach its financial goals and help the employee reach his or her career goals.
Do these things and your Resolution (another R!) to train and develop your employees will become more than just another occupant of the Noble but Failed Ambitions file.
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