How Do You Reinforce What Was Learned?


We’ve just sent several of our managers to training.  How can I reinforce that training, now that they are back on the job, to make sure it sticks?


You’re smart to be proactive. Too often, we hear, “I sent my employee/manager to training, and I don’t see that their behavior has changed at all.” Unfortunately, many organizations leave it completely on the employee to incorporate what they have learned, with no support from their manager or the company. According to a survey done by Training magazine, training expenditures in 2018 were $87.6 billion.  This was actually a decline of 6.4 percent, but still a significant amount of money. Companies spent an average of $986 per learner.  It only makes sense to want to see some return on that investment.

Yes, the employee needs to take ownership to incorporate training in their day to day, however, the manager and the company need to support these efforts.  Some things to consider that can help keep what was learned top of mind:

  • Using what communication tools are available (meeting, intranet, email newsletter, etc.) and have the employee share with peers what was learned, including a couple specific takeaways.
  • If a group of employees were trained, conduct a regular roundtable or brown bag lunch to share how they have applied the concepts incorporating what was learned or brainstorm solutions to a challenge that has come up.
  • Share relevant articles to reinforce what was learned and build on what was discussed to keep top of mind.
  • The manager can incorporate concepts learned into coaching of the employee.

Oftentimes, we feel that since the employee had the training, they should know how to do it. Training isn’t a miracle cure. A key for training to “stick” is to reinforce it on a regular basis until it becomes rote.  With the significant amount of money spent on training, follow up and reinforcement are critical to seeing the return we want.

Is training your employees a goal this year? Get your Training and Development program off to the right start by asking Strategic HR to help. We have the expertise to conduct a Needs Assessment and/or to recommend training options for your staff. Visit our Training & Development page to learn how we can help you implement a successful training program.