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Best Training Practices
Will Kenny
3927 York Ave N
Robbinsdale, MN 55422

Got a Bribe Budget?

even little bribes can boost your pre- and post-event participation

(reprinted from The Training Tipsheet)

I write regularly, here and elsewhere, about the need to put a thicker "bun" around training events. No matter how effective your training session may be, its impact can be enhanced considerably if you have some contact with participants before and after the event. Some kind of follow up advice and assigned activity, in particular, can greatly help with application of what is learned, and feedback acquired from participants and their supervisors after they have had a chance to apply the training is much more valuable than the usual end-of-seminar questionnaire.

Of course, when participants return from the classroom (virtual or real) to their desks, there are many demands on their attention (mostly pulling them back into the old habits training was supposed to change, by the way). Getting them to interact with the training function after the event is over can be very challenging.

The best solution is committed management, supervisors who insist that their people do the follow up work that produces the best results. Good luck with that.

So try bribes.

Let's go back to the evaluation, the simplest form of follow-up. Most of the time this is limited to some kind of survey at the end of the event, and that's just a sort of popularity contest. You can't tell if they really learned anything until they take that learning back to their jobs, so asking them more questions a month or six weeks later will give you a much better idea of the returns on the training effort.

But you may have trouble getting them to respond to those later surveys. So offer them something.

After all, I am sure you have been to a coffee shop or other store and been offered a receipt with a link to a survey. One chain I know gives you a coupon, when you complete the survey, that gets you a dollar off your next drink.

If they can bribe people to respond after the experience, why can't you?

Send out surveys and offer a small gift card to the local coffee shop or some other similar benefit. Or provide optional follow up assignments that help participants apply learning, and give them something for it -- movie tickets, a magazine subscription.

It doesn't have to be anything big, but it will get their attention and increase responsiveness among your participants. And the return, in terms of better information from them and better training application by them, is enormous when compared to the cost of a few small bribes.

Retailers know they have to compete to get your attention after you leave the shop. And so do you. Borrow their methods and enhance training impact in your company.

© 2012 Best Training Practices -- Will Kenny

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