Traditional training sessions where people are expected to learn by listening to someone talk have been shown to have woeful transfer rates. Cognitive psychology research shows that learning is most effective when it is built on what people already know, and so we respect and utilise the diverse experiences that our participants bring with them.
Our approach to learning can be summed up in three words: Engage. Participate. Activate.
Engage people in the learnings, let them participate in activities to practise new skills and behaviours, and support activation of these tools in the workplace.
However, it is the support participants receive on returning to their daily roles that really makes the difference in application rates. The more you separate learning from work, the less likely it is to stick. This is why we bring our programmes to you and often follow up group trainings with individual coaching sessions so that new skills and behaviours are supported during the time it takes to establish them. This on-site support is crucial, because we provide feedback during the activation process and help people recognise opportunities to practise new ways of doing things until these become engrained. We work with managers and team leaders to show them how to coach their team, so that learning continues long after our involvement ends, and becomes a part of the organisation’s culture.
As explained above, our approach is more effective and produces better results than traditional training methods, but we can’t claim that it is entirely new – it can actually be found in the ancient Chinese proverb: See and forget, hear and remember, do and understand.
We begin by engaging people – showing that what we are offering them is relevant to their daily lives and will benefit them personally as well as professionally. If people are being asked to step away from their regular roles and invest time and energy in development, they need to feel that spending their time with us is worthwhile. They are inevitably asking, “What’s in it for me?”
The next phase of learning is the participation stage. Our programmes show people alternative ways of thinking and new ways of doing and actually give them an opportunity to practise these new behaviours within a structured environment, which increases the likelihood of applying these learnings in the workplace. All activities are based on actual work scenarios, and participants are often solving work-related problems while they are learning.
Activation is the most crucial stage of any new learning, and often where traditional methods have fallen short. What is the point in sending someone on a course if they forget what they’ve learned the day they return? Activation begins during the training sessions by giving people opportunities to experience success with their new skill or behaviour before they return to the busyness of the workplace.