Is Your Team Applying Its Training In The Workplace? If Not, Have You Asked WHY NOT?

 One of the best ways to ensure that employees apply what they learned in a training course is to conduct pre- and post-course interviews. These help teams prepare for the training and then apply what they’ve learned. So, why don’t companies see more widespread adoption of newly acquired skills?

It’s simple. Often, the critical follow- up component gets missed because we don’t take the time for formal meetings to discuss the training and how we as a team are going to apply what was learned.

A few years ago I worked with an emerging European car brand in Australia. After a brief meeting with the Managing Director he explained that what they needed was something simple.

His big issue was that although his dealers liked the trainings, nothing happened as a result. He needed a simple, memorable approach that would make it easy for the dealership owners to drive post-course learning.

What we came up with was the WHY NOT Principle. We took an easily memorable phrase and wrapped a set of logically-ordered questions around it to help drive post-course learning conversations that connect the teachings with the work environment. This structure eventually became a regular feature of multiple training events and the dealers got used to having the post-training conversations.

Here’s a look at the WHY NOT Principle:

W – What did you learn in the course?

H – How will you apply what you learned in your role?

Y – You may want some additional help. What can I do to help you apply what you learned?

N – Next steps. When will you start to apply what you learned, and what can I expect to see that’s ‘different’?

O – Observe and provide feedback; look for ‘the difference’.

T – Timeline. Put a date on the books for a progress check-in.

Brian Tobin is the European Curriculum Manager for Sales, Product and Management training at Raytheon Professional Services LLC (RPS). He is responsible for central development and deployment of leading-edge learning and development interventions for 26 countries’ Opel, Vauxhall and Chevrolet dealer networks under the guise of GM Academy Europe. With 15 years of experience in learning and a lifetime working in automotive dealer and manufacturer roles, Brian has delivered countless successful training and customer experience programmes worldwide.