Written by:

Holly Macdonald


September 16, 2013

It’s been a really busy year for Spark + Co this year. We had our website redone, welcomed six new clients and worked on many projects, ranging from developing management training for a North American restaurant chain (face-to-face training), to self-paced e-learning modules for a national sales team and all points in between.

For each of these projects, we’ve noticed how these solutions almost always include a “manager’s guide”. Whether it’s a short email that we craft for the client to send from their own senior team providing key messages to the manager/coach to support the key activities of the training program, or a full-blown manager’s guide that accompanies the program, it’s a part of learning design that’s essential. Sadly, it’s an often overlooked element.

When you think you are “done” designing and devleoping – stop and ask yourself some of these questions:

  • Do the managers of this training audience know what to do to support and further the learning for their direct reports?
  • Can I clarify the learning activities for them?
  • Can I suggest a schedule of events that support the program after it’s been launched?
  • Do I have a communication plan?
  • Can I develop “management practices” that’ll help them habitualize their support?
  • Am I prepared to create “trigger” emails or alerts to nudge them?

Real behavior change comes after you’ve mapped a behavior chain and can honestly say: “I’ve done my best to sustain this training”.