It’s a common misconception that just because someone has been trained, that they will be able to use the knowledge and skills learned during their training. But this is not true!
For your training to be effective, your learners must be ready and willing to change their behaviors. You must also reinforce knowledge and skills after training has ended to keep them from falling victim to the Forgetting Curve.
When designing your post-training reinforcement program, you need to pay attention to the five major reinforcement gaps to get the desired behavior changes. These gaps include:
When we are crafting training reinforcement programs for clients, we often see that they were only able to successfully close two of the five reinforcement gaps: Knowledge and Skills.
Knowledge Gap - This is the first and most obvious gap that must be closed. Is the information given to your learner sufficient enough that they can begin to change their behaviors? It’s important that you provide your learners with enough information that they are able to close the knowledge gap. The knowledge gap is the easiest all of five gaps to close and it most often happens during classroom training.
Skills Gap - Similar to the knowledge gap, closing the skills gap is relatively easy. Most often it happens during classroom training. Ask yourself this: Do my learners know how to do the skills they are being asked to do? Is my reinforcement focused on the skills taught during training?
Reinforcement Gaps That Are Not Often Closed
The next three reinforcement gaps are very often not closed. These gaps include: motivation, environment, and communication.
Motivation Gap - Are you gaining insight into what drives your learners? Stop and think about motivational moments during and after training. It’s important that you’re presenting the right information at the right time. Sending the right information at the wrong time will not help you get your desired behavior changes and can sometimes decrease your learners’ motivation to change.
Environment Gap - Are you giving your learners enough time and support to be successful at their job? It’s important that you are creating opportunities for your learners. Provide them with support in their environment, helping them reach their training goals faster.
Communication Gap - Do you have directions or processes in place for your learners? Make sure that you are accurately communicating training goals and opening up communication. Processes, timelines, or directions should be in place so that all learners understand what the ultimate goal is and how to change their behaviors accordingly.
Interested in learning more about reinforcement gaps? Download The Science Behind Mindmarker eBook to learn more about the Mindmarker methodology.