Making it stick: how to implement management practices that will last beyond the training session

Improving employee results goes beyond training sessions

Picture this: you’ve hired a consulting company to help deliver some important training to your employees. The training is a success, attendees are excited about the new knowledge they’ve gained, your staff has bought into everything the trainer is saying, and they’re fired up and ready to make a real difference in their work lives. For a while, motivation is through the roof. And then slowly, over the course of months, weeks, or even days everything goes back to status quo. 

Sound familiar? 

It’s a common scenario. Organizations are always concerned about efficiency, and never more so than in the last two years, when many have been forced to pivot and make more happen with less. Training has been one way organizations try to improve the efficiency of how managers and supervisors do their jobs, whether through learning a better way to interact with employees or unlocking more self-knowledge to enable more effective leadership. 

The question remains: how do you get the training to really stick? How can you ensure that the transformation is real, sustainable, and universal? Change is always hard. Add in a busy calendar, pressure to maintain current performance without disruption, the usual hesitation and resistance to change and it’s easy to see why many backslide into familiar behaviours. 

Define the strategy

Without a holistic strategy for change, it’s going to be next to impossible to bridge the distance between where your practices are and where you want them to be. 

At Mensana, our work begins by engaging with key decision makers and leadership. Buy-in from key personnel is important, because a widespread shift in behaviour is an issue of company culture as much as individual employee behaviour. Leadership must advocate for this cultural change and ‘walk the talk’ for the greatest chance of success.

We work alongside your leaders to identify the desired behaviours that you want your managers and supervisors to exhibit. We collaborate with you to help define the strategy and establish what success will look like. Once this is done, we identify the processes and methods that need to change, as well as the specific actions that need to occur to make that a reality. We then break the rollout down into manageable steps. 

Create and maintain muscle memory

Once the actions and steps are defined, our goal is to make sure the new actions are repeated until they are automatic. But one training session isn’t going to be enough to make that happen. A ‘set it and forget it’ approach will only lead to confusion, resistance, and frustration as the training is inconsistently adopted across your organization. 

Certain things cannot be taught in a classroom; they require active practice to become ingrained behaviours. Consider: a talented soccer player might be able to easily learn the rules of basketball in a classroom, but to actively overcome the reflexes of a soccer player—the instinct to kick the ball instead of catch it—requires practice, practice, adjustment and more practice. Eventually, the new knowledge and skills become muscle memory. The fastest way to achieve this is with a coach who understands the game and continually reinforces practice, learning, and excellence. 

Mensana is that coach. We will work alongside you and continue to reinforce the new way forward until it has become automatic, ingrained: muscle memory. We tie changes in process and behaviour to positive results to illustrate tangible benefits to the new ‘way of life’ at your organization. Seeing the positive impact of helps get people excited about improvement, and can have them looking forward to the next step in the evolution. And as your momentum improves, so too will your results.

Feeling overwhelmed at the idea of tackling such big change? Mensana is here to guide you through building a program that will do all these things. We’ll work alongside you to understand your goals, your challenges, and your organizational processes, and we’ll help you define what key metrics to measure to gauge your success. You don’t have to do it alone. Give us a call — we’re here to help.