Maximize your Return on Investment (ROI) from Training Events
by Kim Ratz
My goal is to help you create a training opportunity that will inspire people to want to do better and also motivate them to act by reviewing skills to help them respond better to times of conflict, change and challenge. Yet the REAL value of the training begins even before the workshop begins, before the opening song, before the speaker even arrives. These pre and post event suggestions can help you maximize your investment of peoples time and treasure, and most importantly: your ROI:
1. As you announce plans for the event, be thoughtful of how to convey reasons people will want to look forward to attending. Show purpose, value and enthusiasm. And don't be afraid to ask the speaker to help write a "teaser" article to get their attention and cause interest and intrigue in what will be covered and what they can experience and learn by attending. One client even had me record a 60 second message that they sent to all their staff. A good presenter should help you promote your event by highlighting reasons to attend and the value they'll receive!
2. Work closely with your speaker/presenter in planning like they're a member of your staff. Ask questions, share info, help them succeed. Ask presenters for ideas of other ways they can help the event succeed too! I work with lots of groups and see a variety of great activities, efforts and ideas.
At the event:
3. Invite each attendee to make a personal promise to themselves about a goal for personal/professional improvement, write it out and seal in an envelope addressed to themselves, to be collected and then sent back to each individual on a designated future date as a reminder and "perception check."
4. Ask people for feedback at the conclusion of the event, while it's still fresh in their mind. Ask what helped most, what didnt help, do they have remaining questions, suggestions for the future, etc. Ask people how they felt about the program and what they got out of it.
5. Remember that everyone heard the same thing at the same time ... Your group learned a shared vocabulary you can use to talk about your current and future challenges ... 2-3 days after the event, send out a brief e-mail summarizing the expectation(s) about why the training was held, what you hope they got out of it, what you heard they got out of it, invite other feedback, and reinforce the expectation that people will apply what they learned.
6. In the week or so after the program, look for one-on-one opportunities to talk with people about how they plan to use the information. This is especially important with people you really want to see work on this; find out what their plans are, what questions or needs they might have, and let them know you want to see them succeed. This is your opportunity to reinforce the expectation that they can and will improve, celebrate any improvements or successes by giving recognition, and discuss any specific plans you feel you need to with individuals as you go.
7. At your next staff meeting, spend a few minutes to reinforce the expectation of how the training program is to be applied, then ask for examples of efforts since the training to use the information. Celebrate successes and recognize efforts, discuss challenges being worked on, and keep peoples attention focused on the goal of systematic and continuous improvements.
8. Continue to ask the questions of recent uses of the skills or techniques, celebrate the successes and recognize peoples efforts, and support and help each other when challenges continue ... Make it an on-going way of communicating, and an opportunity for growth in how they use and share their skills.
9. If your group is spread out and doesn't work together on a daily basis, and/or - when only some people get to attend, share an article that summarizes the main points of the program and any specific decision, or other application to be discussed or acted on in the future. Pose some specific questions to help them think about how to use the information.
10. Act on any opportunity to reinforce the expectations and goals, and act on celebrating and communicating about successes when things go well to show people it's working.
You've invested important time and treasure resources to training and professional development, so follow through with these relatively simple and free efforts and you will maximize your return on this investment!
Feel free to contact me any time for a free discussion / consult on how to lead your group through a challenge and on to their next higher level of performance and results.