While working with a corporate staff on leadership development, one of the managers asked what they should expect from follow-up training with their team.

We had just held the first meeting of a new class with entry level managers on leadership. The topic was one of my favorites, the need to manage projects but the importance of leading (influencing) people. At the end of the first session, each participant was asked to pick one action to embrace to help them become a better leader.

The Importance of Follow-Up Training

Use it or Lose It

The managers divided the group into two teams. We discussed how critical follow-up would be. Several studies conclude that without follow-up training people lose more than 70% of anything learned in as little time as 24 hours. However, with follow-up, those percentages reverse.

What Should Be Expected from Follow-up Training?

So, as I mentioned one of the team leaders asked what they should expect when they followed up individually with  team members. I told them, in the beginning, don’t expect much more than that each person remembers the action they committed to. The leader was disappointed with my answer. They smiled and laughed but said they were expecting more.

I explained that it was up to them as team leader to set the tone and lead the way through continued follow-up training. In the beginning, they shouldn’t be disappointed with modest gains, baby steps if you will, as long as they’re in the right direction. As time goes on if they continue to follow-up, lead, and help, they can expect more. However,  Rome wasn’t built in a day.

At the end of our conversation, the other team leader joined us. She’s led similar classes previously. Without her being aware of our earlier discussion, I asked what she expected from the first follow-up. She said she hoped they remembered what they committed to do. The other leader laughed, and explained we were discussing this, and how glad they were that they’d asked because they would’ve been disappointed.

Baby Steps

I learned this the hard way, by trial and error. So, the take-away for leaders who read this post is this, progress is progress. More often than not, it comes in small increments not giant leaps. So, don’t be disappointed, strive for more, and push to be better. But don’t be discouraged when the needle is pointed north regardless of the size of the compass. It’s up to you as a leader to show your team how to follow-up on improvement commitments and the more you do, the more they’ll improve.

How Can I Help You?

I like to help people and organizations, but I have three criteria I consider before taking an assignment. I believe in what the organization stands for, I know I can help, and it looks like fun. If you have any questions, Contact Me. 

So, does your business have a management training plan? Because, if not, many organizations, large and small, use my book, The New Manager’s Workbook a crash course in effective management, as the basis for their leadership development program. Check it out.

Photo by Scott Graham on Unsplash