Insights that Flow Freely through What's Your Formula?
"Any training program participant should have a solid answer for the question: What’s in it for me? Creating an experience that is relevant and can help learners solve an immediate problem is a basic tenet of adult learning."
"Often when I offer a webinar, I’ll ask registrants to share something they hope to learn from the session. This is a very soft (informal) way to help with goal setting, which is an element that you can formally or informally incorporate into your training design."
"A common goal setting strategy is to provide an action plan for participants to complete at the end of a training program. During longer training programs that cover many concepts, I like to distribute the action plan at the beginning of the session and make sure there is time during content transitions for participants to capture action plan ideas (instead of making them wait until the end and hoping they remember some of the earlier concepts that were covered)."
Elements that Bond with Goal Setting
No matter how self-motivated your participants are, ultimately it is their supervisor who can hold them accountable, encourage them to follow through on their goals, or (in the absence of goals) can encourage them to focus their attention elsewhere. For a training program to be effective, you’ll want to find ways to avoid that last scenario. Identifying potential strategies by which you can help supervisors set goals with their direct reports as well as make them aware of the goals participants craft for themselves can make the difference between an interesting training program and an effective training program.
While action plans are an important element to many training programs, using a variety of follow up strategies to help remind participants of their goals and why your content was important can help encourage transfer to the real world.
Like many other elements, goal setting cannot be a casual afterthought. Offering ways to help learners identify areas for improvement and giving them structure for goal setting throughout a training program can ensure goals are meaningful and more likely to receive follow through.