Quick Tip #2: Do You Fly Blind After Training?
Imagine an F16 fighter plane primed and ready to be flown by a well-trained pilot. The plane speeds down the runway, climbs quickly into the sky, and as it begins its first turn, the pilot shuts down the radar and radio. He is now “flying blind.” Who would do that? Unfortunately, scores of training professionals “fly blind” in a similar fashion after delivering training programs.
Typical training professionals design, develop and deliver nice training programs. They conduct Levels 1 and 2 evaluation to make sure that participants learned something and enjoyed the program, and then they move on to the next program. They don’t have their radar on or their radios tuned in to what is happening on the job (Level 3 Behavior) or to what results are being accomplished (Level 4 Results). They are, in effect, “flying blind” because they have no idea as to whether or not their training created any organizational impact.
Many factors after training can (and do) impact on-the-job performance, such as the work environment, conflicting priorities, presence of tools and aids, reinforcement and rewards. Without monitoring these factors and providing positive interventions to counter barriers to application, you put the accomplishment of results at great risk.
For mission-critical programs, make sure your radar and radio are turned on and fully functioning after training. Monitor not just the performance of the critical behaviors, but also the required driver package that you designed along with the training program. Regularly measure leading indicators to ensure that positive progress towards the desired result is being made.
Regular monitoring after training will expose barriers to implementation. If and when barriers are identified, work with supervisors and stakeholders to identify root causes and implement appropriate interventions. Building a monitoring and communication plan into the post-training time period will ensure that you never fly blind again.
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