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What Can We Do To Make Training Stick?

By Carl Eidson, PhD

Originally published on / Whats-New.

Training 2012 Conference & Expo speaker Carl Eidson answers the question, “What can we do to make training stick?”

I’m frequently asked this question by new contacts who are frustrated with a lack of behavior change from sales, leadership, or customer service training initiatives. I’d like to share the advice I give them, which is based on best practices from companies that get the optimal results from their learning transfer.

Three strategies to make training stick and increase performance:

  1. Have managers complete the same training as their direct reports (or at least get an executive overview of the skills being taught).
  2. Train managers in a specific approach to coaching that involves clarifying expectations, but at the same time listening carefully to input from their direct reports.
  3. Equip managers with a coaching tool that makes it easy to plan for and deliver an effective coaching conversation where the direct report is engaged and motivated to take action.

Research by one of my colleagues indicates that when this approach is taken, learning transfer is 42% higher than when managers are not involved in supporting learning.

What actions have you taken to make training stick? What role do you see managers taking when it comes to supporting new skills learned in training? What advice do you have for making it easy to get managers involved in coaching skills learned in training?


Carl Eidson, PhD

Carl Eidson, PhD, is Vice President of Business Development for Wilson Learning. Dr. Eidson leads and coaches a virtual team of over 100 independent distributors stretching from Toronto to Bogotá and works extensively with clients. Dr. Eidson has coauthored articles on selecting top talent published in scholarly journals, including Journal of Applied Psychology, Human Performance, International Journal of Selection and Assessment, and Journal of Business and Psychology. He has also authored and coauthored articles on leadership, sales, virtual teams, and employee engagement in industry publications including CIO, Training magazine, and Sales Pro Magazine. Dr. Eidson is a frequent speaker at professional conferences on the topic of learning transfer and human performance improvement research and practices.