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Gone are the days when Learning and Development focused solely on providing training and then testing the learners for their understanding of the content. Their role has grown and now they are responsible for influencing the behavior and performance of the employees. They need to justify how the investment in learning can positively and directly impact the business.
Employee behavior indicates the way in which your employees react to certain circumstances in the workplace. It’s not enough for them to know how to deal with a particular situation. You would want them to internalize it and apply it whenever faced with that particular situation. The Learning and Development department aims at creating training that will bring about this change in the learner behavior.
The “3 A’s” learning process shows us how learning is a method of alignment, assimilation, and application. When you complete all these steps, you can expect a positive change in the behavior of your learners.
The expectation should be set at the onset of the training program. When you ask your employees to attend a training session, you must be very clear about what you want them to focus on in the program. They must be clear about what they are expected to learn and report back, which behavioral change is required, and what kind of results they are expected to achieve. If you skip this step, you leave your employees to figure out what they should learn. The ideas that they take away may not be in sync with the organizational expectations. The learners may also feel as if the additional training is a nuisance if not given a clear expectation of what they are expected to achieve.
The learners need to assimilate the learning that resonates with them. If your employees are given an opportunity to apply what they are already aware of and then build on those skills, they will return to work with the knowledge on how to apply those skills when faced with a similar situation. When you expect a behavior change in your employees, it is imperative to focus on the learning style and relevant skills of the learners. That way, the learners will remember what is taught and translate it back to their job.
When the training is successful, it will create a behavior change where the learner will apply what they have learned. That is the end result that learning designers aim for. Most of the learning takes place in the application phase. This is where leadership support is required. When the top management encourages application, there will be less resistance to change.
A reinforcement plan is critical to ensure employee behavior changes after training. It involves providing content as a training follow-up. Spaced repetition of the content already taught helps learners to recall information and transfer it to their long-term memory. Without a spaced reinforcement plan, your employees will not remember most of the concepts taught. The information will be forgotten naturally.
You may want to use things like multiple choice questions, polls, thought questions, videos, job-aids, course assessments, and similar things as reinforcement tools. The idea is to help the learner absorb the information and think through the concepts before applying it. Manager involvement is important here. They should encourage their employees to apply the concepts learned and monitor results.
Training, on its own, cannot change employee behavior. It is important to have an engaging learning experience that will talk about expectations, along with a reinforcement plan after the training program.
At Designing Digitally, Inc., we create custom elearning specific to your training objectives. Our
courses ensure strong retention of information and provide innovative ways to change learner
behaviors. Let us help you to come up with the best solution to educate and engage your
If you need assistance developing a custom training solution for your team, book a free consultation with us today!
Related Articles: Online Learning - The Key to Successful Behavior Change and Elearning Gamification and Real-World Effects on Behavior