Training is not an event, it is a process. While course facilitators can introduce and discuss concepts, managers and supervisors are uniquely positioned to extend learning beyond the classroom experience.

Leaders who follow up after their direct reports attend training drive retention, increase accountability, and show commitment to their team’s professional development. A few small actions go a long way.

Short Term

  • After each training program, plan to meet individually and discuss the training session and any reading assignments with your direct reports.
  • Ask questions: What did the course cover that you already knew? What was new? What surprised you?
  • Ask what questions you can answer, and while being careful not to hijack the conversation, offer examples when and where appropriate.
  • Focus on implementation: What actions do you plan to take as a result of what you learned from the course? What’s the benefit of trying a new approach? Are there any drawbacks?

Long Term

  • Each time a challenge related to the course arises, ask people to think back to their training to identify possible solutions for addressing the issue.
  • Ask what’s next: How are you going to continue your development?

Reinforcing and coaching team members will ensure you’ve done your part to realize a return on the investment you and your organization have made in people.