Workshop Follow Up: Accountability and Support
Since the goal of training is to help people improve their practices at work, and since people learn primarily from doing, workshop follow up is a crucial part of the learning.There are many important ways to follow up from a workshop. Everyone has a stake in improved performance so engage everyone you can in supporting transfer of training:
- the participants themselves
- their managers (the managers of the workshop participants)
- the organization (HR, OD, T&D)
- your consultants or facilitators
This blog will share a simple and powerful process that can be used by management teams that have gone through training or by HR leaders who want to hold groups of leaders accountable for applying what they are learning.
To make this as easy as possible for you to use, I have set this up in a quasi-memo format, including logistics, agenda and instructions.
Please find attached a simple workshop follow up process that is brief, easy to facilitate and effective. The potential value of applying the ideas, skills and tools presented in the workshop is enormous and this shortcut follow up process is perhaps the easiest way to get started and begin reaping the benefits of the workshop.
Frequency: Run this shortcut debriefing format monthly or bi-monthly for 12-18 months after a major development program.
Time commitment: 60-80 minute meeting (for 12 participants).
Call a meeting:
Call a meeting for workshop participants (in groups of about 12), including a clear and concrete agenda (see generic agenda below).
Please come prepared to make a 4 minutes presentation on something you have applied from the workshop (an idea, skill, or tool). Everyone who attended the workshop will be expected to present. Your presentation should address these four questions (all within 4 minutes):
i. What did you apply, and why (what did you hope to achieve)?
ii. What worked best / what went well?
iii. What challenges did you face?
iv. What impact have your efforts had (so far)?
Each person will only have 4 minutes to present (we will use an egg timer / stop watch) so please come prepared to share your most important information first and to be brief and concise. This will be good communication practice for all of us.
There will be no discussion after the individual presentations. After everyone has presented, we will open the floor to questions of clarification, comments, suggestions and open discussion about the challenges we are facing, which tools we like best and how we can get even more out of them for our business. The purpose is not to criticize but to learn from each other and explore new possibilities for action.
Objectives & Benefits:
Running this debrief several times (we will meet bi-monthly for 12-18 months) will help us build a stronger culture of continuous learning and improvement. There is more than enough material in the workshop to sustain this effort for 12-18 months. As we move forward, people can report on their efforts at any level, e.g., new ideas and tools they are trying, or how they are tweaking their best practices.
Let’s all keep in the mind the purpose and many crucial benefits of this kind of follow up:
- enhancing mutual accountability for applying what we have learned;
- assessing the impact of the program (who did what and with what impact);
- coaching on the implementation phase (in contrast to coaching on the learning of new ideas and tools which occurs in the workshop itself);
- giving participants an opportunity to coach & debrief each other, discuss common challenges and share insights, lessons and best practices; and
- giving our organization an opportunity to continue mining the workshop content for improvement ideas and supporting people in implementing them.
This shortcut follow up process is relatively easy to facilitate, does not take a lot of time, can spark many important & valuable discussions and of course, will help you generate the five powerful benefits listed above.
As you go through this process, be proactive in identifying participants who are attempting ambitious improvements, as they might benefit from some confidential support or more formal coaching on those big projects.
I will share several variations and complimentary ideas regarding workshop follow up in the near future.
Give us a call. Advanture can help you take your team or organization’s leadership practices and development processes up to the next level for enhanced business performance. Performance by design!
Blog series on workshop follow up:
- Accountability and Support (post workshop group debriefing)
- For Direct Managers of Workshop Participants
- What Workshop Participants Can Do
- Engaging Executives in Supporting Leadership Development
- What the Organization Can Do (HR & OD)
Advanture helps organizations align culture with strategy, bring core values to life, and improve leadership practices for enhanced business performance. Performance by design!
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