Fall, 1998


How to Reinforce What Your Employees Learn in Training

"The only companies that grow are those that expect their people to grow—and spend time, money, and understanding to help them do it." Joe L. Griffith

Do you ever feel like your employees go to training, learn some new skills and new ideas and then it’s just a roll of the dice whether the learning will actually stick? After all, your employees filled out their workbooks, did all the practice, the role plays, the exercises...they should come back knowing everything there is to know about that subject or skill, right?

The reality is that the more you’re involved in the process before, during, and after the training—the more seriously the employee will take the training and the GREATER THE ODDS are that they will transfer what they’ve learned into their job. The learning keeps going long after your employees have left the classroom or finished the video, CBT, or self-study manual. That’s why the time and effort you spend following up with your employees after training will be one of the most important keys to ensuring that they retain and utilize what they learned.

Get Employees Focused and Committed to Using Their New Skills Even Before Training

*Actively participate in determining of training needs.

*Actively participate in the design of the training.

*Select trainees according to established criteria for that training and the need for that skill.

*Participate in advance briefing of managers and supervisors on training.

*Participate in some training with employees.

*Arrange conferences between former trainees and those about to be trained to discuss how to transfer classroom skills to the job.

*Have employee complete a Learning Plan for performance after training.

*Conduct a pre-training meeting to discuss objectives.

*Take a pre-training survey to determine current skills/knowledge.

*Show your excitement about them going—what they’ll be able to do when they finish training.

*Schedule their workload so they can focus on learning instead of worrying about what’s not getting done on the pile when they return.

*Make sure they use their new skills immediately.

*Plan evaluation method after training (observer checklist, post test, etc.).

*Publish a training newsletter (ex. "Plotting our Progress").

*Hold reminder/booster sessions (at regular staff meeting and/or special sessions).

*Use the Supervisory Followup Booklet (given to each supervisor whose employees learned in a particular training—it lists all skills learned, behaviors they should see, and what they can do to reinforce the learning if they don’t see the behavior).

*Give constructive and immediate verbal feedback on performance.

*Plan and communicate rewards and incentives (on-the-spot and/or before the training).

*Schedule meeting with trainee back on the job to plan use.

*Provide trainee with checklists and worksheets for use on the job.

*Have trainee share training experience and learning with co-workers on the job.

*Involve trainee in work-related decisions based on new learning.

*Request reports from trainee on use of new skills and knowledge on the job.

Excerpts from a seminar Training Systems designed and facilitated for a client to prepare managers to reinforce all the training the company does. Call if you’d like to do this with your managers!



Every year, Training Systems’ Designers and Facilitators from all over the country get together for a day of learning (in an attempt to not be like the shoemaker’s children!).

Training Designers:

*Practiced designing a type of visual aide (job aid, handout, overhead, PowerPoint).

*Using the same objective, each designed learning using several different methods from the Training Systems’ Learning Methods list. *This allowed us all to see how the same learning objective can be met with many different activities and broadened our scope of methods to use.


*Watched and critiqued videos of facilitators using Training Systems’ Facilitation Eval Sheets.

*Used improv to improve our ability to use humor, play off what the learners say, and answer questions.

*The next day was strictly fun and frolic at the Training Systems’ Carnival with each Associate and their family running a booth or doing an act!

Call for a copy of Training Systems’ Learning Methods or Training Systems’ Facilitation Eval.


Rayanne has years of experience designing multimedia programs, interactive training for network administrators, and self-paced "quick" training for many types of skills. She’s coordinated teams of instructional designers, graphic artists, programmers and publication professionals, and is an expert on Microsoft Certified Training principles. Rayanne also designs and develops textbooks and supplemental material on subjects like communication skills, business math, consumer lending, accounting fundamentals, basic bookkeeping, and detecting and preventing check fraud. She believes that training needs to be highly interactive, focused on learner gratification, easy to use and understand, have precise objectives, and be fun!

Update on Lee Nelson: Lee is our 2nd Facilitator able to administer Myers-Briggs Type Indicator7


Recruit, Inspire & Retain readers asked us to tell about the variety of organizations with whom we recently worked:

~Training Department of State Child Welfare Division: develop training materials & facilitator’s guide for Personnel & Labor Relations.

Seminar Company: facilitate training on how to deal with difficult employee behaviors.

~International Conference on Workplace Learning: design & facilitate session on making OJT successful.

~State Industrial Training Coordinators: design & facilitate training on how to measure return on training investment.

~HR Division of Local Manufacturing Association: design & facilitate training on problem solving tools.

~Multiple Site Local Car Wash Company: facilitate recruitment plan.

~International Facility Managers Association: facilitate strategic planning session.

~Large Residential Rehab Agency: design & facilitate training on interviewing.

~Small Training Company: facilitate training on mentoring.

~International Car Wash Trade Association: advise members on human resource concerns.

~Local Personnel Association: design & facilitate time management training.



Finding, keeping and inspiring the best employees was the top business concern of executives who responded to a recent poll. It even edged out improving customer service! Companies link their success with the quality of their employees. How some companies recruit, inspire, and retain:

#One company uses a Scavenger Hunt to get new hires to know where everything is and how procedures work quickly and completely.

#Thirty U.S. companies offer on-site elementary schools for their employees’ children.

#Another company invites their employees’ parents to an Open House, including lunch, displays of employee work, a tour of the firm, and a presentation of a typical project.

#Another created a bonus directly linked to improved cash flow and on-time delivery, causing a substantial improvement in their on-time delivery rate.

#Yet others send prospective hires business cards before the candidates even accept an offer, give all new employees a T-shirt signed by the other employees, give a $75 gift certificate for a pair of running shoes as a reminder to put themselves in the customers’ shoes.

#Employees at a large medical practice management company said they felt most rewarded when their supervisors gave them a reward on the spot. The supervisors and managers were concerned about their ability to come up with "on-the-spot" rewards that fit the employee. Training Systems developed a booklet with a picture, sentence description, phone number and cost of 40 different rewards that employees mentioned and then worked with them to learn how to give rewards "on-the-spot".



*In 1997, people spent $800 million on paper-based schedule planners .

*On-site classrooms are the most often used method to train employees on new software, followed by individual training on the user’s own desktop, printed manuals, and off-site classroom training. Web-based training is the newest and fastest-growing method.

*68% of American workers believe they are better off than their parents.

*In the U.S., 82% of workers say they have the opportunity to do what they do best every day, 84% say they have the opportunity to learn and grow on the job, and 72% are satisfied with their job, AND feel respected, counted on, communicated with, and cared for, as well!

*The cost of bad entry-level hires is $5-7K—20 times higher than 20 years ago.

*At least 20 million people in America’s current workforce have worked at McDonalds.

*An average of six weeks is spent every year by people ransacking their desks looking for misplaced items.


Pop quiz??

Question: What’s new when I call Training Systems?

Answer: QUOTE OF THE WEEK! Each week, you’ll hear a new inspirational quote, taken from one of our famous posters used during training. This week’s quote...well, call 800-469-3560 and find out!


September 13-16

1998 ICSA Annual Conference & Solutions Fair, Seattle/"How to Train Customers", facilitated by Carolyn B. Thompson. Call 800-360-4272 for details.

September 17&18

The Gathering of Games Conference of Open-Book Practitioners, St. Louis, MO, call 800-386-2752 for reservations.

September 28-30

Performance Measurements for Training Conference, San Francisco, CA/"Training ROI" by Carolyn B. Thompson. Call 800-882-8684 for information.

October 5-6

The Collection and Use of Data in Workers’ Compensation & Disability Management Conference, Atlanta, GA, call 212-952-1800 for details.

October 5-9

National Customer Service Week

October 14-16

ASTD Technical & Skills Training Conference & Exposition, Dallas, TX, 703-683-8100 for details.


Make A Difference Day

November 22-28

National Game & Puzzle Week

December 5-9

National Staff Development Council Conference

Washington, DC, Call Shirley Havens at 513-523-6029 for details.