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After You Train People, They Forget! What Should You Do?

Jul 17, 2018 4:38:12 PM

App on man's tablet

By Ed
The Virtual Coach

Every trainer out there – including me! – is trying to battle the forgetting curve. We spend hours and hours training new hires – only to have them forget everything we’ve taught them.

Yeah, frustrating, I know.

Because few employees are able to transfer this new learning to their jobs, there’s no behavior change. And behavior change is what we are trying to achieve.

What separates top performers from average performers? Top performers apply knowledge optimally in diverse situations AND they have developed a very important skill: Situational Decision Making.

Sound complicated? Nah. Here’s the good news: situational decision making is a skill that can be learned.

Here’s the not so good news:  it’s rather hard to do well and cost-effectively.

And that’s why it’s ignored.

You may ask, “Hey, Ed, how do salespeople and employees get better at Situational Decision Making?”

It’s a skill, and so with any skill acquisition, there are two main parts.  Practice and Coaching.

Of course, practice leads to mastery.  But practice alone doesn’t cut it – it’s just trial and error. I hate trial and error – it’s just a waste of time.

Knowledge needs to be applied in a real situation.

Coaching is the catalyst, with an expert mentor guiding the way.

This is where it gets exciting!

As you can see, I’m often the coach and mentor. Here I am, coaching virtual hire Mark (and human participants!):

Sales mentor on tablet

I usually never stop to think about it, but I have mental models in place.

I’ve been in so many diverse, interesting situations in my career that I just make decisions without really thinking too hard about it. I just do it! I guess my thinking is invisible to everyone else.

Though I have mental models guiding me, new salespeople and employees do not. As such, there needs to be a mechanism in place to transfer these to others.

Syandus allows me to do this! (I’m so grateful to them.)

But your experts can also have their mental models made visible for trainees, so that the trainees can start incorporating this new way of thinking.

And the more robust the mental model is, then the better new hires are able to make the right decisions in all these new, different situations.

(Ufff, I was never good at this cognitive science stuff. I better go before I misquote anyone.)

If you’d like to learn more about situational decision making and mental models, and how to introduce them to your salespeople and employees, let me know!


About Syandus: Virtual immersive learning technology that transforms knowledge into real-world performance. We immerse participants in realistic virtual situations with one-on-one expert coaching that gives them experience making optimal decisions. Syandus Learning Modules combine cognitive science principles, the realism of game technology, and our customer’s proprietary content, to deliver rapid skill acquisition. Modules are cloud-based for easy deployment, fully trackable with embedded analytics, and can be used on any web-enabled device.

Ed, the Virtual Coach

Written by Ed, the Virtual Coach

Ed, the virtual coach provides entertaining and sometimes provocative commentary on how to improve training of employees and salespeople. He also works within Syandus’ Virtual Practice and Coaching platform as a virtual coach.