Learning is inextricably linked to the developmental needs of training participants. Unless they can see the purpose of their involvement, they won’t be able to integrate new information with what they already know. When the purpose of the training is clear and participants can connect that purpose with their own development, personally and professionally, they are on the way to cognitive learning.

Turning those thoughts into action at work is the critical factor as it means that your staff are applying what they’ve learnt where it matters most.

Learning happens with doing

To promote learning through action, in and outside the training room, it’s important to provide an environment that allows learners to wrestle with problems in groups. Today’s workplace values consultation and collaboration – teams can’t work without cooperation and communication. Real world problems aren’t solved in isolation and, therefore, training activities should aim to develop valuable workplace behaviours and attitudes, not just new knowledge.

Why does one participant light up in the training room and show enthusiasm for change in the workplace, while another seems to daydream the experience away?

Making it meaningful

In moving away from imparting strict categories of information in training we move towards promoting learning that can be applied in variable and meaningful ways. Getting feedback throughout the learning process – in the training room and beyond – helps to continuously build new knowledge in a continuous loop; integrating new and meaningful experiences with what the employee already knows.

Make the learning stick and ensure its applied in the workplace by enabling training participants and their managers to actively engage in the change process. Merge your training offering into organisational strategy and access the real potential of your people.

A return on training investment

In this way, training and development can be provided as an integrated strategy at an affordable cost. You can prompt behaviour change by broadening engagement opportunities and involving your staff in their own development. Invest in your people by aligning workforce development to your operational strategy and ensure that the opportunities you offer your people are engaging and meaningful.

Talented recruits and long term employees have expectations of their own. Generally they join organisations that share their values and promise career development, including on and off the job experiences. Be sure that you are meeting their needs and benefiting from their experience and their aspirations.

Be confident that the opportunities you offer are highly relevant to your current and emerging workforce, and that you have the strategies in place to optimise their potential and deliver great client outcomes.