When interviewed, learners expressed positive opinions on training and seemed appreciative to be provided choices and interesting opportunities.
Today, the ideal training offer is characterized by its diversity and richness. However, access to training alone does not ensure success.
The training process is complex, and some steps in the learning journey are crucial. It is clear that training content and quality remain a priority. But just as important are the actions taken before, during and after a training program is introduced. These are moments which must not be overlooked if the process is to be a genuine success.
Design and presentation – creating learner buy-in
The learning journey must be approached in a holistic way and be linked to the learner’s professional role or personal development.
What are the main risks at the key stages in the learning journey?
What to consider before the training
This stage is a sensitive one, and if not done correctly can generate frustration and even demotivate.
The risks that could be encountered during this stage:
- The difficulty in practically expressing a need, especially when a soft skill connects to personal feeling or subjective attitude. This stage requires meaningful discussion before engaging the learner in a process. You reduce the risk if you can ensure the learner’s motivation and to confirm the appropriateness of the training before it’s begun.
- Lack of clarity and involvement before embarking on the training
- Usually because of overly formalized and directive internal systems, which leave learners with little scope for choice and feeling limited. These limits are more keenly felt in France and Germany.
- Overly fragmented systems could also be a cause, lacking necessary support and vision to guide learners in their choices. This is a particularly common complaint from learners in the USA.
- Risks become even more pertinent with regard to digital learning, for those wishing to choose a training course independently via one or more portals. Learners can often find themselves lost when solutions are neither prioritized nor clearly structured.
- Feelings of doubt or a need to be convinced regarding the quality and value of training, in the absence of references and opinions.
Your priority during the training
Here the overriding priority is to maintain a constant and sufficient level of motivation and enthusiasm to avoid incompletion of the course and prevent the risk of learning fatigue.
Follow-up after the training
Here the main risk is tied to a lack of follow-up. The consequence of this will be a failure to transform newly acquired knowledge into operational competence.
This highlights the need for:
- A rapid consolidation of post-training reinforcement and the implementation of revision sessions to ensure learning acquisition
- Peer exchange via social communities to share points of view on content, and even dissemination to teams to promote knowledge sharing
- An objective assessment of progress and change through observation (e.g. has the atmosphere in my team improved?) and genuine indicator measures (e.g. what is my success rate as a percentage now?). This is especially important in the case of soft skills, which are usually difficult to measure in and of themselves.
“It is not enough to learn new skills; the real test is when you put them into practice and check how good you are. You also have to revise them and re-immerse yourself in the learning process.”
(Female, 40 ans, Manager, UK)
Why should the learning journey have a clear path and destination?
A successful training course means the successful completion of a process in which each step counts and contributes towards the end results. This shifts the emphasis back to the need to identify the learner’s deep-seated motivations and to provide individualized support, all within a context that focuses on career management and personal development. The training must be designed from the start as a complete system and be supported by those in direct contact with the learner (managers and colleagues). If its goal is to maintain employee motivation, it must also be able to remain attractive in terms of its quality and training content.