How to make your Coaching and Training Interventions Stick

How to make your Coaching and Training Interventions Stick

How to make your Coaching and Training Interventions Stick

Increasingly we hear that recruiters are struggling to find middle or senior managers with the right skills and competencies to manage virtual or on-site teams.  Reports suggest that there is a ‘soft skills’ shortage amongst many candidates for management positions.  At the same time, according to research by, around 75% of employees are actively looking to change jobs. 

So, with retention and engagement being major challenges facing organizations, how do you address these key issues?  Of course, it’s well-known that employees feel more valued if they receive training from their company and soft skills can be addressed by Coaching and Training interventions, which can result in significant and real behaviour change.

However, many companies struggle to make their Coaching and Training interventions ‘stick’ and frequently traditional Training courses become a ‘tick box’ exercise.  With budgets being tight, organizations should be receiving significant ROI from their Coaching and Training providers.  The benefits of robust Learning and Development initiatives can include:

So how can organizations make their Coaching or Training ‘stick’?

Within a week of attending a standard training course most participants will have only retained about 50% of what they learnt, with that figure diminishing further a few weeks later, especially if the delegates didn’t make notes. 

Organizations need to take more of a holistic view of their Learning and Development requirements and include customised learning solutions as opposed to ‘off the shelf’ products which just ‘tick the learning box’.  In turn, in order to create real, sustainable behaviour change and deliver excellent ROI, training providers need to work in partnership with HR, learning and development managers, and the senior team to take a consultative approach to their overall business, growth, and culture, as well as their TrainingCoachingTalent Assessment and Talent Management needs. A more holistic approach leads to increased alignment with the business strategy and overall significant performance improvement.

In order to ensure that the learning from Training or Coaching Programmes ‘sticks,’ each participant can be assessed in advance utilising Personality Questionnaires and/or a Face to Face or Online 360 Feedback Review.  These Talent Assessment and Measurement tools assess current performance and future potential, assist in raising an individual’s self-awareness, and identify key areas of strength and those requiring improvement.

Competency Frameworks have taken some rap recently, however, many are still highly effective and often are being rebranded as ‘desired/acceptable behaviours,’ and/or company values.  If each participant in every Coaching or Training Programme is assessed against the most relevant leadership and management competencies/associated behaviours/values and their scores are agreed with their Coach/Trainer, they can then also be benchmarked against their cohort.  Additionally, if the participant’s line manager is involved in this assessment process and scores are reviewed after each Training module or Coaching session to assess progress, then real data can be used to customise blended learning interventions.  This can include signposting to online resources, audiobooks, eBooks, Tedtalks, podcasts and so on, meaning that each individuals learning styles and preferences are accommodated.

Similarly, if participants work on their skills, develop techniques, devise solutions to long standing problems, and practice tools and techniques whilst dealing with real life business scenarios during Coaching and Training sessions, then learning and development solutions become real and more effective.

Throughout every Coaching or Training intervention each individual should work on their identified key development areas and receive constructive feedback from their Coach or Trainer.  Back in the work environment this process should continue via their line manager, a Mentor, work ‘Buddy,’ and their peers. This will result in significant and sustainable behavioural change as individuals receive ongoing constructive feedback in order to embed the new learned behaviours and ensure they do not ‘revert to type’ under pressure.

At the end of each Training or Coaching Programme if participants complete a practical review of the content in order to assess their progress and identify any ongoing development needs, these results and additional feedback can be discussed with their line managers and combined into their Personal Development Plans.  Their goals can then be aligned with the overall business strategy and with SMART Action Plans completed to ensure future progress.

Often after six months a repeat online 360 Feedback Process can be carried out or an anonymous feedback review with initial scores compared with the original ones.  In addition, a separate review may also be conducted to measure the success of the Training or Coaching interventions and may include follow up meetings with team leaders, line managers and team members to review performance against the competencies, company vision, and any Key Performance Indicators, if appropriate.

As a result of the buy in from line managers and HR, learning and development interventions should lead to sustained high performance, and have a positive impact on financial results, organizational culture, employee motivation, and morale, which in turn should enable the participants to deliver improved stakeholder and customer value.  When team members receive support from their line managers, it is likely that around 90% will apply the learning in the workplace and there will be a noticeable and measurable improvement in performance.

Line managers should keep checking in with any of their staff who are going through a Coaching or Training Programme and keep asking them how useful they are finding the sessions, what they are learning, and how they are implementing these tools and techniques in their daily work.  The line manager should also keep delivering effective feedback on what they are noticing that is changing within their employee’s behaviour, and suggest what they can stop doing, start doing more or less of, or continue doing?

Results of learning and development initiatives can also be measured in performance reviews and in a company’s employee engagement survey, HR survey, and Pulse surveys.  

In addition, you can assess the quality and effectiveness of your chosen Coach/Trainer with regular online surveys to rate the quality of their work and the content and outcomes of each Coaching or Training session.

‘I walked past XXXX in reception today, so he had to call out to me.  He looks very different, so I had to ask him what he’s done to change so much.  He replied simply that he’s had two Coaching sessions with you and is now far more confident and happy!  Thank you for your help; his team is also far more focused.’  CFO

You can read my eBook on Developing Soft Skills here:

About Jill Maidment

If you would like to book any of the following, please contact me.  You can read my eBooks and listen to audiobooks on key leadership topics here.

Executive Coaching and Mentoring, Career and Transition Coaching, Business Coaching, Resilience Coaching, Life Coaching Retreats

Leadership Training, High Performance Leadership Development, Management Training, Leadership and Management Team Development, Team Facilitation, Strategy Away Days and Offsites, Group Coaching

Executive Assessment, 360 Feedback, Face to Face 360 Feedback, Talent Management and Succession Planning