10 Ways to Get Commitment from Your Training Participants

February 24, 2016

The closing of an active training session provides a sense of closure for the learners. It is a time to ensure that all expectations were met. 

However, many trainers fail to maximize the true potential of their closing time.

Read on for 10 tips to make your closing active in a way that elicits participant commitment.

Note: The following tips appear in Elaine Biech’s new book 101 More Ways to Make Training Active, as contributed by Kenneth Stein, Ed.D, CPLP, SPHR, Successful Endeavors. Jim and Wendy Kirkpatrick are also contributors to the book.

10 Options for Active Closings

1.  Action plan. Have participants develop an action plan that details how they will use what they learned when they return to their jobs.

2.  Paired commitment. Have participants make a commitment to action with someone else. Ask them to exchange contact information and to call or email each other in 10 days.

3.  Email progress. Establish an e-mail list where participants report their action progress to everyone in the group.

4.  Reward success. If you are an internal trainer or you plan to maintain a long relationship with participants, offer to send the participant a surprise when positive news is reported to you about his or her on-the-job behaviors as they relate to the training. You can purchase gifts from a dollar store and plan it into your budget or contract if necessary.

5.  My SMART objectives. Ask participants to write SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-bound) objectives for their action and share them with the rest of the group to generate ideas for others with less grasp of application.

6.  Partner planning. Allow learners to pair up with anyone of their choice to create plans and to support each other with ideas for how to continue using what they learned.

7.  Memo to me. Ask each participant to write a memo to him/herself identifying what will be completed within the month. Have participants seal the memo in an envelope and address it to themselves. Gather the sealed memos and mail them to participants in 30 days.

8.  Expert support. Have each participant create an action plan. Once it is finished, have them circulate it among other participants to gather email addresses of those who can provide them with expert support and answers as they implement their action plans.

9.  Read me a story. Identify a children’s book that helps to close out a topic. Oh, the Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss works for many. Sit in a circle and have participants take turns reading the book. Discuss the implications of the book and how it relates to how participants intend to apply what they have learned.

10. Dear Boss. Ask participants to write a letter to their bosses telling them what they learned and how they would like to implement what they learned. The letters are not actually sent, but they can serve as a good outline for what each learner may wish to discuss with his/her boss.
Join the Discussion

Do you currently use any of these tips? Which ones do you plan to start implementing immediately? Here are some ways to join the conversation:

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Additional Resources

Kirkpatrick Four Levels® Evaluation Certification Program – Bronze Level

Training on Trial

Powerful Post-Training Implementation: A Step-by-Step Case Example

Could You Be Replaced by an App? – Part 5

Easy Level 3

Does Your Training Prepare Participants for Performance?

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