Following up on training sessions is essential to the skill development of your blood donor recruiters. Follow-up training gives them a chance to ask for help or clarification on something they have recently learned and provides them with direct feedback from the trainer regarding what aspects of the training were successful and which parts may need to be revisited. The most important part, however, is that follow-up is required to solidify and make permanent any behavior change.
Trainers, or anyone wishing to make a change in behavior(s), should have a basic understanding of how change happens in adults. The five stages of change are pre-contemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, and maintenance. These stages are used to examine and treat a variety of behavioral issues. Here is what each stage means to a trainer or educator.
- Pre-contemplation: (Current situation). In this stage, blood donor recruiters may not even be aware they have a problem. Or if they are aware, they have no intention of changing anything.
- Contemplation: (Pre-training). Here, blood donor recruiters – through education from supervisors – are now aware of a problem and are thinking about taking steps to overcome it.
- Preparation: (Training). The contemplation is over. Action will be taken, and direct, actionable goals will be set.
- Action: (Post-training). Action is the stage in which individuals use the lessons learned in training to modify their behavior in order to overcome their problems. Action involves the most overt behavioral changes and requires considerable commitment of time and energy of the blood donor recruiter.
- Maintenance: (Follow-up). After the behavior has been changed, people must now work to prevent a relapse and understand what they have learned during the Action stage requires considerable commitment of time and energy of the supervisor/trainer.
Following up after training will be most effective if the trainer/supervisor uses the correct techniques to help reinforce the changed behavior. This can be achieved by the following: (1) consecutive goals that move you ahead in small steps are the best way to reach a distant point, and (2) consecutive rewards keep the overall effort invigorated.
An effective reward is something that is desirable, timely, and dependent on meeting your goal. Frequent small rewards, earned for meeting smaller goals, are more effective than bigger rewards that require a long, difficult effort.
Following up to training is not simply a tool to increase the benefit of training, it is a requirement to realize the goal of the training.
How are you using follow-up training in your blood donor recruitment center?
SOURCES: THE PSYCHOLOGY THAT UNDERLIES THE CHANGING OF BEHAVIORS IS COMPLEX. TWO RESEARCHERS NAMED PROCHASKA AND DICLEMENTE DEVELOPED A WAY OF DESCRIBING IT THEY CALLED THE STAGES OF CHANGE MODEL. THOUGH ORIGINALLY DEVELOPED IN THE CONTEXT OF SMOKING CESSATION, IT’S FIVE STAGES ACTUALLY DESCRIBE THE PROCESS BY WHICH ALL BEHAVIORS CHANGE.