Many organizations place considerable time and effort into arranging specific training programs in hopes that the touch point of a single workshop will fix a multitude of sins in a convenient 2 or 3 hour time block.
They have the best of intentions of course, and are definitely taking an important first step in infusing their workforce with important new ideas and techniques. However, where they’re falling short is in the followthrough. There’s much to do after a training program is complete.
It’s my philosophy that any single workshop is like receiving a bag full of seeds with a sometimes unrealistic organizational expectation placed upon participants that they will have both the desire and full knowledge to then go forward and generate a thriving garden.
This place of generative growth post workshop can only be true with ongoing support from leadership, available resources, and an investment into the development of intrinsic interests to keep the awareness and lessons alive.
So how can organizations continue to foster post-workshop learning and development in their employees? Below are just a few tips to maximize the training programs you’re already investing in:
1) Team Meetings
Our very busy schedules often demand we maximize meeting times to typically focus only on the tasks at hand. I’ve found, however, that when teams are willing to take 10 minutes to carve out time for what I affectionately call a “Culture Corner” or “Communication Corner” the results can yield high returns.
This culture-enhancing team-building time can be used to examine such topics as conflict resolution, inclusion, communication style preferences, creating and defining group agreements, and trust building. Activities, scenarios, and reflection exercises can be used to deepen an understanding of a particular workshop topic, and of one another. The benefits include higher amounts of trust, productivity, transparence, inclusivity, communication, and employee engagement, to name just a few.
2) 1-on-1 Meetings
During these more personal encounters, action plans for implementation of workshop material can be co-created with an employee. This allows for ongoing accountability around the newly learned material, and the ability to offer support for their growth along the way as necessary.
When deep behavior change is needed in an individual, it’s nearly impossible to inspire lasting positive changes from a single workshop. Not to mention, participants will come to believe the behavior changes requested via the training program are not important. If that person’s not accountable to change, why should they be?
Ongoing coaching offers the guidance and accountability needed to mitigate uncivil and harmful behaviors that can adversely impact your workforce and organization.
Certain individuals may have carried particular ways of interacting with others that will take time to permanently undo, and this level of support and investment is a true gift from the organization in working towards the positive culture you are striving to develop.
4) Additional Training
It’s tricky to cover everything in depth in one short multi-topic presentation, and so I often recommend a scaffold approach to training – a series of workshops where each training goes deeper into particular topics of interest.
Another benefit to having multiple workshops, or even one workshop over the course of a couple days, is that people get to better practice and integrate the material they are learning in a supportive way. By having access to the facilitator on a follow-up occasion, participants can share stories of success and challenge, and also new pathways and approaches can be explored.
To sum it up, I encourage organizations to maximize their investment in training, and continue to support a growth mindset in their employees around any newly introduced material.
Given that the number one reason people are leaving organizations right now is a toxic workplace, know that we’re here to support you with courses, coaching, and ideas to help you keep the learning alive in your organization. We love reducing bad behavior and increasing retention! It’s our thing!
Toni Herndon and the Civility Partners Team