All training is about developing an individual so that they can learn and understand a new skill, as well as develop personally.  Any trainer wants their delegates to leave a course enthusiastic and enlightened with a new skill they can use to improve themselves, others and their businesses.  To ensure this happens, we as trainers need to not only design and deliver great training but also support learners to achieve their goals.

Most competent training providers spend hours designing the perfect course, structuring it so that all learning styles are accommodated and organising exercises so that delegates will be able to apply their learning, ask questions and put their new skills into practice.  Great trainers provide the means to engage and enthuse a learner. The problem is that once the course has finished, we effectively say ‘Now it’s up to you’.

With no post-training support available, most course content only has an impact for a couple of days and then it is forgotten.  As we know, in a classroom training event at least 70% of new knowledge won’t be retained long-term.  You may be inspired, meet other people, gain ideas to apply in your workplace, but you will not remember everything you were taught, and that you paid for.  The longer the training course, the truer this becomes.

What should we demand from our training providers?

The answer is proof of return on investment.  If you have paid a substantial sum for a course, should you not see a return on your money?  When we buy a new computer system or piece of software for our company, we always ask what the ROI is and we then measure its worth financially.  Why is training any different?  It is an investment, in cost and time. If 70% of what we learnt on a course is quickly forgotten, why don’t we then insist on better support from our training providers?  I have seen many companies where, after an event, the trainer walks away and there is no further contact between the delegate and the training company, let alone the training expert.  This must be wrong.  Can this be one of the reasons why training is seen as an additional expense rather than an investment?  Is this why it is one of the first items to be removed from a budget when times are hard?

So, what can we do about it?

One of the easiest ways is to look at post-course support.  If you are thinking of attending a classroom training event, these are the six things that you should ask your training provider:

Questions to ask training provider.

Learning a new skill can take time; we need to try it, reflect, be given feedback, try again and repeat until we master it.  The problem we have with traditional classroom learning is that we get one shot at it and then we are on our own.  With no post-training support, we are unlikely to master anything new.

Learning how YOU want to

Wouldn’t it be great to be able to take a course again and refresh our memory when we need to?   What most of us have always done when we need to remind ourselves of what we learnt is to look over the notes we took during a course but, if you are like me, this has never been a very helpful system.  Help is definitely at hand, however. Because it is impossible for us to keep attending class after class, the really progressive training companies now give you the same classroom course via eLearning. You can spend 10 minutes re-learning the sections you need to and then you can apply your skills with much greater confidence.  You effectively organise your own classroom session at a time and place that suits you.  You also then have the opportunity to communicate with your trainer for feedback and support and grow your skills further.

Successful learning needs great support

eLearning needs to be engaging and state-of-the-art, designed to deliver effective learning just like a classroom session.  Take a look at our webinar ‘The Good, the Bad and the Ugly’, to see what we mean by effective and ineffective eLearning.

Any training company that doesn’t provide the level of support I have talked about is not, in my opinion, really interested in passing on a great learning experience to their delegates.   For the last ten years, we have been providing post-classroom support to delegates and eLearning course access has proven to be the most effective way for them to experience life-changing learning.  We encourage anyone taking a course to ensure that their providers can offer the right level of support.  Training is an investment, not just of money but also of time, and the more support we are given, the more successful our learning and its application will be.

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