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How to Use Reinforcement to Increase Your Training Impact

Looking for actionable tips on how to use reinforcement to improve training impact and increase results? We've outlined practical tips on how to build reinforcement objectives, how to measure knowledge retention, follow The 7 Principles of Reinforcement, close the common training reinforcement gaps and achieve the 3 phases of behavior change.  

1. Close the 5 Reinforcement Gaps

Knowledge gap: Is the information sufficient?

Skills gap: Knowing how to apply

Motivation gap: Level of motivation

Environment gap: Is there enough support and time to be successful?

Communication gap: Are there enough directions, procedures, process, etc.?

2. Master the 3 Phases for Results

To change behavior, your learners go through these three phases:

Awareness - WHY the learner needs to understand. And why new knowledge, skills and behavior change is needed.

Knowledge & Skills - After they understand why they have to do it, the question of HOW becomes important.

Behavior Change - Apply the new knowledge and skills in their daily work to create impact in the organization.

3. Provide a Perfect Push and Pull

If you want to maximize retention and drive behavior change, it's important to be very effective. A perfect balance between "push and pull" of training reinforcement is essential for success. Reinforcement is more then RE-training.

One of the most effective ways we've found to do this is to offer online and mobile training reinforcement so that your participants can reinforce learning with minimal impact on daily responsibilities. 

Plus, don't forget to integrate on-the-job interactions, as that's where 80% of workplace learning occurs.

4. Create Friction and Direction

To increase the impact of a reinforcement program the brains need to work. Avoid boring and predictable reinforcement. Ask yourself all the time: “how much guidance does a learner need?” And try to minimize this.

Here are a few tips on how to do this effectively: 

- Don’t just tell participants to learn, show them how to apply!

- Provide written scenarios and opportunities for self-reflection

- Encourage social friction

5. Follow the Reinforcement Flow

Keep a consistent balance between challenge and satisfaction to encourage engagement, retention and adoption.

Is your reinforcement program getting more difficult over time to stay in the flow or is it just a reminder service?

6. Create Measurable Behavior Change

In order to create measurable behavior change, set reinforcement objectives from the beginning -- they will determine the metrics you measure.

Reinforcement objectives are different than learning objectives. Start with Level 4 in your mind: what impact do you want to see? Also, look for actionable intelligence from analytics that will help you make decisions on educating current and future learners. 

Bear in mind, reinforcement is not an assessment. It is a comprehensive solution for effectively driving behavior change following a training program. This is done through a variety of questions, scenarios and surveys that contextualize training for participants. 

7. Place the Participant Central

Whenever you are developing a training program or learning course, make sure that you put the participants at the center of that process.

Take into consideration different learning styles, different skill sets, etc. to maximize engagement during the initial training and drive actionable results for long-term behavior change within the organization. Every message must have a value for the learner. 

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10-Step Guide to Determine Your Reinforcement Objectives

NEW: 10-Step Guide to Determine Your Reinforcement Objectives.

Learn how to determine objectives that will close the 5 reinforcement gaps, achieve the 3 phases of behavior change and create measurable impact in your organization.

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