How to maximise your training investment.

So, you’ve sent your team to training. Here are 4 things you can do to make it sticky.

You’ve invested in training. Good call!

Studies show that companies with structured training enjoy a 24% higher profit margin.

But if you are reading this article you probably don’t need convincing when it comes to the value of training. You probably won’t be surprised to hear that companies with regular training programs are 68% more likely to retain staff for more than three years. Or that 40% of staff who receive no structured training, or poor training, will leave within the first year.

Those are some pretty compelling stats. But once you’ve sent your team to training, how can you make sure that the training sticks? What steps can you take to ensure your team are applying the learned skills and strategies? How can you harness your team’s newfound knowledge and inspiration to drive behavioural change and deliver results?

Don’t leave it up to chance. Here’s how you can provide support, accountability and encouragement ‘post training’ to maximise results.

Here are 4 things you can do ‘post training’ to maximise your training investment:

Before I get to number one, I’m going to rewind and assume you did your homework before sending your team to a training workshop. I’m going to assume you did a little research to ensure the training would be engaging, relevant, fun and appropriate for your team’s demographic. Also crucially important is that the training environment, the tone of delivery and the vibe reflect the energy and enthusiasm you wish to instil in your team.

Okay here we go…

1. Show genuine interest – ask what they have learned.

Sounds simple right?

But let’s be honest. As business owners, directors or managers, there is a damn good chance we are crazy busy, dealing with multiple crisis, and various other pressing priorities. So perhaps we ask, “how was training?”. To which the response might be “good”, hopefully “fantastic”, or even, “mind-blowingly awesome!”.

While those responses are all good news, and certainly better than the alternatives: “irrelevant”, “a waste of time” and “bat sh!t boring”…. Here are some examples of more valuable, thought provoking questions that will allow your team to search the recesses of their brains for more considered answers:

  • What did you find resonated with you most?
  • What do you plan to put into action?
  • How do you plan to use that in your current role?
  • What do you think you will do differently after attending training?
  • Is there anything that you plan to share with your team/colleagues/associates?

Don’t over complicate things. This only needs to be a five minute conversation, not an hour long, formal debrief.

But here’s what’s important:

Do be present.

Do listen.

Do ask follow up questions.

But please remember, it’s not the Spanish Inquisition.

Don’t fire off all the above questions at once. They’ll feel like they’re being interrogated, and instead of supporting the training, you will instead simply suck all the joy and enthusiasm from their newfound learnings.

2. Keep the conversation going.

If you sent your managers to training, use the weekly management meeting to revisit their learnings. Ask them to report on one thing they have implemented, changed, shared or done differently throughout the week. If it was the line staff who attended training, use your regular Walk ‘n Talks or daily team briefings to continue the conversation.

If you don’t have regular Walk ‘n Talks or team briefings, start now! Like now.

Ask someone who attended training to share one small insight in briefing or run a pop quiz for the team to promote retention. If you sent a few team members to training, encourage them to catch up as a group to de-brief and discuss how and what they plan to implement. Peer support is a great way to keep new learnings fresh and top of mind.

No matter how powerful, insightful and inspiring the training session is, it’s a change in behaviour that will lead to results.

3. Encourage and recognise progress, not just results.

Progress leads to results.

Owners, directors and managers tend to be pretty good at encouraging and rewarding results, perhaps not so great at recognising and rewarding progress.

If we want to leverage training to achieve the results we are seeking, we need to be on the look out for signs of progress.

These signs might be a little harder to see. We might need to look a little harder and a little deeper. You might identify small shifts in behaviour, or see a new process emerge, perhaps a new routine, a new outlook or even a new vocabulary.

Look for signs of progress: verbally recognise it, appreciate it, encourage more of it, until those signs of progress become results.

4. Award accountability, compel action.

Scientists have discovered that learnings are not cemented until the information is retrieved from the brain and actually put into practice. That, apparently, is when the magic happens. So, the more you can inspire trainees to use their learnings in their day to day role, and compel them to apply what they have learned on the job, the more bang for your buck you are getting on your training investment.

Ask them to come up with an action plan for how they intend to use their new strategies, skills or knowledge.

Don’t just assume they will implement. Don’t leave it to chance. Task them with teaching others their learnings.  Make them accountable, make their supervisors or managers accountable.

The companies we work with that implement post training accountability and follow up, are the ones that consistently get the best results.

As the late, great Zig Ziglar said, motivation doesn’t last, but neither does bathing – that’s why it’s recommended daily.

Regular catch-ups that encourage reflection on learnings will maximise results ‘post-training’ and keep the momentum flowing.

Follow up, encourage and keep the conversation going.


VPTD conducts Holistic Hospitality Training with a focus on developing the person, as well as the skills necessary, to excel in the hospitality industry. We believe engaging your team is the key to great service, staff retention, job fulfillment and profits.

For more information, or to discuss the training options available for your team click here or email or phone for a chat on +61 0410 793 491.

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