follow up
follow up

Follow Up

(FA-low Up)

liquid elements


What is Follow up?

The practice of ensuring learners have an opportunity to revisit what they have learned through post-training contact. This could include information sent by the trainer, conversations with a supervisor, peer learning groups, or communities of practice.

Other Common Names

Other common names for follow up include:

  • Post-training support
  • Learning boosts
  • Communities of practice

Key Properties

The element of follow up can be characterized by asking, “How will the learners be held accountable to put the investment that’s made in their professional development—in terms of time and money—into action?”

  • Follow up often includes post-training communication or assignments as well as transfer support of training from the training environment to the real world.
  • It can come in many forms, from action plans completed during a session then shared with a supervisor to post-training email reminders about key content to homework assignments that need to be submitted before receiving a certificate of completion.
follow up with learners

Insights from What's Your Formula that will Require Your Follow Up!

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Elements likely to bond with Follow Up

Follow up can help make sure they take some time out to recall their training amid everything else they have going on. Follow up is a sneaky-important element to effective training. While it’s tempting to think that a training program ends at the end of the final day of an instructor-led session or with the final screen of an e-learning program, that doesn’t quite do justice to an initiative you want people to remember and apply on the job. When you look at the rest of the periodic table, there are a number of elements that can be bonded with follow up to meet the needs of your organization:

supervisor supportSupervisor Support

An employee’s supervisor is the most important factor when it comes to predicting whether someone will apply new knowledge, skills, or abilities to the job. Ensuring supervisors are seen as stakeholders in any training design and providing checklists, action plans, or other tools to help them support their employees after a training program can make a big difference.

learning boostsLearning Boosts

Providing opportunities for learners to recall information after a training program has been completed through the strategic, timely distribution of short quiz questions or nuggets of information to supplement what was learned can help keep your content front-of-mind.


Whether you’ve provided an entire participant guide, standalone job aids, or action plans, giving participants something tangible to walk away with can help them return to your content in their time of need. Participants can mark key information in the documents, which will help them act independently and recall it long after a training program has been completed.

spaced learningSpaced Learning

Multipart courses that take place over a period of time offer a natural opportunity to check in on how prior content has been applied before moving on to new material.

change managementChange Management

Most learning and development initiatives revolve around some sort of change—change in behaviors, change in performance, change in culture—and no change comes about through a single event. Creating sustainable change requires effort, consistency, and follow up.

35 MicrolearningMicrolearning

Follow up doesn’t need to be complicated. Providing brief snippets of information, videos, or short e-learning modules as a way to supplement the content that was provided and keep the learning going can offer simple opportunities for learners to continue to grow and apply new skills.

goal settingGoal Setting

Giving learners an opportunity to set goals for themselves (ideally in conversation with their supervisor) in advance of participating in a learning program can be an extremely helpful strategy to ensure they understand why they’re participating and what they hope to get out of the course. Referencing these goals after a training program can make any follow up initiative more relevant.

Download the Element Sanity Check

Even if you haven’t yet purchased the book (what are you waiting for?!) you can get access to worksheets that will help guide you through the use of the elements of amazing learning experiences.