Does Your Training Stick?

by Sue Schnorr on October 18, 2009

When people talk about what’s important in real estate, treat it’s Location, no rx Location, Location. What’s the most important part of a training program? Reinforcement, Reinforcement, Reinforcement!

Too many training programs today are events. A “good” training program brings in great Kirkpatrick Level 1 evaluations (reactions; participants LIKED it) and Level 2 evaluations (learning: participants passed a test and ‘get it’). A “great” training program extends the learning beyond the classroom event and builds in a Level 3 evaluation (transfer of knowledge, skills or attitudes to the job.)

To maximize a participant’s investment of time in a structured learning program, the learning must be reinforced. Unless there is continued use, practice and feedback … aka REINFORCEMENT of the skills learned, the newly learned performance will fall off, or participants will forget the skills or knowledge. Neither behavior, nor performance on the job will change.

When learning is not extended or reinforced after a program, training is an event. Learning does take place, but it’s typically not transferred to the job. That concept turns some people into training cynics.

However, when learning is reinforced and continued after the program, the training becomes a solution that gets results! In short, it’s training that sticks.

Depending on many factors, including the objectives, subject matter and audience, there are many reinforcement options to use as part of your learning solution.  

Extended learning programs can be structured or informal.  They may take place on an individual basis, with a coach/mentor, or in a group. Many formats are available, from a simple pencil and paper self-study program or e-learning program, to face-to-face coaching sessions or synchronous group discussions to share best practices on tele-conferences or digital platforms.

There are more options available today than ever. Social media offers a rich collection of formats that are congruent with adult learning principles. Wikis, blogs and discussion forums are excellent ways to reinforce learning and ensure that knowledge and/or skills will be transferred to the job.

To make your training stick, add a reinforcement plan to your learning solution.  Only then, will performance improve and results (Kirkpatrick Level 4) can be seen and measured on the job.

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