10 Ways to Ensure Your Learning Translates into Action

Kat Bourgeois
Posted: April 28, 2014

More often than not, your business reason for requesting training involves performance enhancement in a role or task. Here’s how we design training that ensures learning translates into action:

  1. Ask lots of questions so you can understand the specific reasons behind a training request. You want to know what participants are expected to do differently on completing their training. Their responses will guide your entire training design effort.
  2. Work closely with the Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) your client provides. This is beneficial because not only are they top performers in their roles, but they also help you “keep it real”. SMEs have a detailed picture of desired performance and can review your work at every step of the design.
  3. Engage with your peers, managers and mentors in the learning process — before, during, and after the learning event. These influencers can model performance and provide support, periodic coaching, feedback, and track progress, enhancing not only the participants’ performance but their own leadership skills as well.
  4. Use a variety of methodologies and technologies to engage and challenge learners. Provide a variety of ways for facilitators and participants to interact in the classroom or in a virtual instructor-led training. Use simulations, system training environments, video clips, and even video scribing, enabling participants to learn, practice and assess progress on their own.
  5. Clarify performance expectations for participants early and often during the training. Make sure learners know that they are expected to use the training to enhance their performance and reinforce this objective through the dynamics of the learning event itself.
  6. Assess learning through “doing” activities. The best way to evaluate participants’ grasp of material is to witness them using it in a role task. Focus the training design on demonstration when necessary, but application whenever possible.
  7. Include plenty of practice. Test out periodically sending participants back to their desks to try on new behaviors followed by a group debrief. This technique can even be done in a virtual training environment!
  8. Double-check everything. Our master instructional designers, editors, and SMEs review every design to ensure the content and dynamics of the training will achieve the desired performance results. Before training is created, ask yourself these two questions:
    • Will it foster performance change?
    • Would another methodology, activity or technology work better?
  9. Provide post-learning support strategies for your clients to reinforce new behaviors. Remember, learning occurs over time and requires practice. Sometimes learners excel in the classroom but may falter “on the floor.” Clients who take advantage of your experience in this area, and develop a solid post-learning plan, are sure to see enhanced performance as a result.
  10. Most importantly, demonstrate your passion about performance — both the performance of the learners and your own performance as the consultant — when designing training to help your clients achieve their business results.

Tell us: How do you ensure your learners translate knowledge into action? Share in comments or tweet us your thoughts!

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