Learn, Apply, Reinforce

“Reinforcement is a series of well-balanced push and pull communication moments strategically designed, delivered and timed to drive business impact and lasting behavior change.” – Mindmaker, training reinforcement organization

Reinforcement encourages the establishment of a good repetitive pattern. And following training, as we’ve learned, repetitiveness and the review of new skills help us combat that natural forgetting curve and prompts us to apply and retain the lessons.

When implementing reinforcement, it’s important to build awareness around it and help employees understand why the training and new learning is valuable. It’s also important to show employees how to fine-tune their new skills, and apply them in their roles by layering it into their daily tasks.

To ensure that reinforcement, and ultimately the training, is a cross-company success, organizations must:

1) Identify Training Goals

Rather than implement yet another company-initiated training program, first decide why this training is important. What skills do stakeholders want to see executed differently? Why are they even asking for this training? Once this is determined, design the training to fit the learning goals.

2) Outline the Reinforcement Strategy

Another critical step to identify before you begin training is how participants will practice the learning back on the job. How will they be supported and coached to achieve success? As leaders, we need to always inspect what we expect of our employees.  Gaining stakeholder engagement in the learning transfer process will ensure support in the process and that skills are actually implemented and behavior is changed.

3) Measure Training Goals

Zone in on the impact you’d like to see in your organization after training. Since you have determined this before training even begins, you will have identified pain-points and know what to measure after the program ends. Be sure to identify the benchmark you are starting at regarding these measures. This will enable you to compare the starting level with the graduate level.

4) Assess Skill Application
Upon training completion, consider if the program catered to your organization’s goals. Did employees receive the necessary skills required? Did they absorb the new learning? Do they know how to apply it in their roles? This can be identified by observing behaviors, measured results, or improvements in targeted areas.

Above all, organizations must motivate their employees to use and upkeep the skills and lessons learned in training. This is greatly influenced by leadership involvement which must support employee transition to drive real culture change.