Home Mail

Training Officer Tip Archive

Add Coaching to Extend the Life-Cycle of Training Initiatives

At the end of the day, isn't the desired result of training to change the behaviors and skills of your employees for the better?

A well-planned and well-executed training program should get you the results you want from your training dollars, such as: 1) A more skilled and knowledgeable workforce 2) Increased motivation to serve your organization to the best of one's ability 3) Improved teamwork among employees who have shared a common, enlightening training experience, and 4) Employees who are better prepared to meet the future challenges of a changing business landscape.

Additionally, good training makes it easier for the "seasoned" employees (i.e. the older crowd who is eligible for retirement in the next few years) to leave the workforce with little or no apprehension about who's minding the proverbial shop.

As Training Officers and training decision makers, you may be thinking, "Sure that sounds good on paper, but it never seems to work just that way! There must be another piece to the puzzle that ties it all together to help my boss and me sleep better at night." Well, there is another piece to the puzzle, and it's not a new technology or a complex idea. It's just another way of looking at what's in front of us. It's called Integrated Coaching.

What is Integrated Coaching?

Integrated Coaching is simply the intelligent melding of training with coaching to positively impact the learning experience over the long-term. Coaching, sometimes called Executive Coaching but not to be confused with Counseling, is a one-on-one or small group approach to improving performance and helping employees manage, lead and cooperate with others more effectively. And it can enhance one's life skills as well. On its own, it has immense merit - many of today's top executives look to their coaches to assist them with making them, and consequently their organizations more effective. It's a proven tool that when employed properly, can pay massive dividends. But when combined with training, it can result in a performance windfall.

Why does it work?

One noted deficiency of using training as a stand-alone performance improvement solution is that some participants "forget" what they learn at trainings after they return to their normal routines at work. Many people do not have the discipline to reinforce for themselves what they learn at training programs. They need someone else to help reinforce their new knowledge and skills for them until what they've learned becomes habitual.

So, who is going to help reinforce the new knowledge and skills for the participants until it becomes a habit in their daily work lives? Managers? That's unlikely, unless managers attend the same training sessions as their subordinates. Co-workers? Unlikely and unfortunate also, mostly because the peers of the participants are looking out for themselves and working hard to retain and use their skills for their own advancement.

If you want knowledge and skills learned in training programs to be reinforced without spending money on follow-up training, you should consider having a Coach work with the participants for a set period of time after the training is completed. It goes like this: When you purchase the training program, carefully define for the instructor what practical skills and ideas you want the participants to make habitual when they return to their offices. Schedule time for the instructor (or a coach who is familiar with the training) to conduct two to five follow-up coaching sessions with each participant. Run the training. Conduct the coaching sessions over the subsequent three to six months. Then, watch the intended knowledge and skills emanate from the participants as though they've been habits all their lives.

Integrated Coaching is that simple, and it can be packaged economically to ensure the success of your training investment. If you start thinking about ways like this to extend the learning life-cycle in your organization, your effectiveness is bound to increase.

Forward to a friend
Copyright © 2008
Home   |   About Us   |   Services   |   Tips & News   |   Information Request