Level 3 Lessons from an Unlikely Source – Part 3

September 11, 2013

Lesson #3: Mission-critical programs require a post-training support plan

Birds need to learn to fly quickly to catch food, avoid predators, and thus survive. Fortunately, most of our training is not quite so mission critical. In some cases, though, it is. For example, health care and military training could save or cost lives depending upon how well it works. How confident are you that every one of your training graduates will be able to perform to standard?

The nest full of swallows at the Kirkpatrick house provided a great example of mission-critical training: learn to fly, or you won’t survive. When faced with these stakes, it would be ridiculous to think that one flying lesson would be sufficient. It is sad how often, though, Jim and Wendy speak with organizations that have invested all of their training resources in one program and then expected it to “work.”

Fortunately, the swallows, probably due to instinct, stayed around their young for a few days to make sure that the flying lessons had worked. Even after successful skill demonstration, they remained nearby, swooping in occasionally to make sure that everything was going okay. They didn’t just disappear after training. After all, flying is required for survival.

Your Level 3 Plan After Training

For your mission-critical initiatives, how do you plan to keep in touch with training graduates to support them after training? Do you make a practice of building post-program support at the same time you are building your program?

Follow the example of the swallows and make sure that important training programs include processes and systems that monitor, reinforce, encourage and reward performance of the new behaviors on the job. These required drivers are necessary to achieve the level of performance you need to be successful.  

Additional Resources

Kirkpatrick Four Levels® Evaluation Certification Program

Transferring Learning to Behavior

Getting to Kirkpatrick Levels 3 and 4 (recorded webinar)

Meaningful Training Evaluation: It Isn’t so Complicated (recorded webinar)

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