Wednesday, April 18, 2012

How to keep the training "evergreen"

One of the biggest challenges in training is moving the new ideas and concepts from sensory memory into short-term memory and, ultimately, into long-term memory. This process is also known as keeping it "evergreen".

It's not easy, but it can be done with effective followup techniques. Here are some ideas you can implement to get the most value from your training dollars and reinforce the ideas I've shared with your staff. Even if I haven't been fortunate enough to work directly with your staff, you can still make use of these tools to help develop yourself and your I.T. staff.
  • Review Key Points:  Review at regular staff meetings. Hearing these ideas repeated by the boss reinforces your commitment to the process.
  • Show a Video:  I have several videos available on my YouTube channel and you're welcome to show these videos at staff meetings. Most of them are fairly short, they're all "to-the-point" and can help reinforce concepts from previous training sessions. Here is my latest video on YouTube, an excerpt from a presentation I gave at the 2012 Cascadia IT Conference in Seattle titled "Why Customer Service is Important to IT" (More are coming, so stay tuned!)
  • Post a List:  Post a bulleted list of objectives in break rooms and on employee bulletin boards. I've even seen some companies post such lists in restrooms. I'm working on preparing such a list in a poster form. I'll let you know as soon as it's ready.
  • Give a Test:  I recently prepared a brief exam based on my book The Compassionate Geek: Mastering Customer Service for IT Professionals. I'll be glad to send you a copy, along with the answer key. Just drop me an email.
The point is to not allow the training to be a one-time event.  Repetition helps move the information into long-term memory.  Find ways to keep the key points in front of your staff and you'll help them remember it and implement it.  Call or email if I can be of service.