Bad training doesn’t improve with age. It doesn’t fix itself. It has to work right from the start.
So “soaking in” isn't descriptive. What really happens should be called “flailing around.” When training doesn't work, your best students end up trying to figure it out, on their own time, maybe with a friend. But only your best do that.
And “reinforcement” is only accurate if the initial training hit the mark. When it does, you can build on it and train to higher expertise. That's true reinforcement.
But when the training is bad, it's not “reinforcement” at all. It's actually “rescue and repair.” And that means the customer pays to train the basics again, months later, long after all the promised benefits and ROI on the actual training sessions were supposed to appear.
I told Gordon he could expect to hear all of these excuses and explanations for bad training and that he should never believe them.
When training doesn't work, your best students end up trying to figure it out, on their own time, maybe with a friend. But only your best do that.
Again, all of this excusing and explaining and flailing and rescuing and repairing happens for only one reason: the training session didn't work. Inexcusable.
“Ok,” he said, “What do you think about this training? Do you have a hunch?”
“Yes, I do. And it's more than a hunch,” I said. “Here's a prediction. Based on what I saw, you'll have great adoption rates. Student evals are going to be high, and they're great predictors of adoption. We'll have them compiled by noon tomorrow.”
Gordon and I had lunch together the next day. The scores were very high, as predicted, and I was about to tell him, when he said, “I know. My managers told me in the hallway yesterday after the wrap-up. They looked at the evals while they were collecting them. Every room was about the same as ours.”
Two weeks later our final adoption percentage came in. It was high and solid for all sessions – in the low to mid-nineties. I called to say congratulations. He said, “You, too.”
Gordon is now both a friend and a believer.
Again, the purpose of training is to change what people do.
And if the behavior doesn't change, the training didn't work.
At Eagle, that's what we believe.