This is a continuation from my previous blog, How Sticky is your Training? Part 1 I invite you to take a peek at that blog before diving into this one.

Sticky learning simply means learning that is retained after the training event and is therefore available for subsequent use. When your team completes a training experience, how do you ensure it’s sticky? How do they use, apply, and adopt what they just learned?

From Part 1 of the blog, we know: (1) content has to be relevant, (2) training should be delivered over time, (3) training should be provided in a variety of formats, and (4) learners should have a chance to unpack what they just learned.

But do you want to know the secret ingredient in the sticky recipe?

It’s empowering leaders/managers to keep it alive! Learners are more likely to successfully improve their skills long term when they have a manager who provides the right kind of support.

Shortly after training (think minutes, not hours or days), managers should help the learner unpack what they just learned. This can be as simple as asking the learner for a 1-minute essay on the main points covered, creating a personal action plan on how they will incorporate what they learned into their daily routines or holding a Q&A session with other participants.

Work with your organization’s leaders and managers to embed this new information within the organization, departments, and teams. This new information has to be a part of their routines if you want to see real behavior change.

Train your managers first and have them support the training program by attending the sessions with their teams. They have to adopt and model the behaviors you want to see. We are asking a lot of these managers! Make sure they have the right skillset by thinking through these questions:

  • Are your managers ready to coach and reinforce the new behaviors?
  • Are there expectations and inspections that managers will be doing as part of the follow up to training?
  • Do your managers know how to tactically assess behavior?
  • Do they know how to provide positive and constructive feedback?

Getting this part right is critical in how sticky your training will be. Support those managers so they can be effective with their teams!

Kathy Wachtel