Sheep Dip or Culture Change?

Sep 26, 2018

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Sheep Dip or Culture Change?


Many of us struggle to retain information from a training course and apply it when back in the workplace…….so is most training therefore a waste of time?


A German doctor of philosophy called Hermann Ebbinghaus published a paper ‘The Curve of Forgetting’ in 1885, highlighting that a given piece of learning is forgotten by more than half of the audience within the hour. This is probably the same today as it was back in 1885, and leads me to contemplate how much of a training course is remembered after a week! 

The problem here is at least two-fold. Firstly the training should be relevant, engaging and fun if it is to be memorable and this topic is covered in a separate article ‘Have Fun!’ 

Secondly, a lot of training is commissioned to address an issue that has arisen within an organisation and individuals are ‘put on a training course’ as a result. Sometimes it can seem like training is almost inflicted upon staff, (or that’s how they feel), with Senior Management believing that they need not attend themselves. 

So many issues that training is meant to resolve however are systemic and cultural in nature within the organisation. Customer Service training and Management Training in particular can provide good examples of this.....what happens if upon return to the workplace, the newly inspired delegate observes other staff that did not attend the training, or indeed management providing poor customer service, or failing to engage with their team effectively?

The easiest thing for them to do is to follow suit and quickly slip back in to the behaviours that are commonly displayed and embedded within the organisation.

 So what is the answer?

We have worked closely with a number organisations that have recognised this potential pitfall. As a result we have worked with them in the design phase to identify with them the behavioural changes that will need to be adopted by the whole team to effect proper tangible change.

We can then adopt an holistic approach when designing and delivering a training programme that includes everyone, and assist in tracking progress over the coming weeks  and months to ensure this is embedded within the organisation, and in this way staff and management alike are both invested in the same process. 

Sheep dips are okay and will certainly work to a certain extent, but honestly, culture change is so much better! 

Thanks for reading,



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Sheep Dip or Culture Change?