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Weekly wash up

March 18, 2009

The weekly wash-up is a meeting at the end of the training period to update the training team on what occurred and outline the plan for future training efforts. This regular get together is an opportunity to co-ordinate efforts, learn from each other’s endeavours and obtain advice or direction from from the training manager.

Individual advice, performance management or personal issues are best dealt in a one on one environment. Typically it will take around 15 minutes to complete and covers only pertinent information relevant to the training team as a whole.

There are four parts to the meeting:

  1. Planned and actual training
  2. Opportunities and setbacks
  3. Progress and proposed actions
  4. How you can help.

Planned and actual training: In the first part of the meeting we are concerned with whether or not we completed all the training that we set out to do. Did we training the number of hours, days or sessions that we anticipated? Did we cover all lessons or topics? Where all competencies achieved? If not, where did we fall short and were any additional or other achievements made?

Score it as a percentage of training undertaken or goals obtained. Why produce a score – it is a metric that we can use, with some additional information, to determine what actions or situations gave us the most learning opportunities. Over time this measurement can be be a great predictor for future training results.

Opportunities and set-backs: Regardless of whether we were successful or not, did we have any unexpected challenges that needed to be overcome? What about unexpected opportunities – did we take them and did we make the best of them that we could? Can we predict or identify when these are likely to recur? Did we make our own opportunities by undertaking additional or alternative training efforts?

This step helps us explain why planned training didn’t equal actual training and what else we did or used during the training period to make up for it.

Progress and proposed actions: Take a quick snapshot of the training being conducted – are you ahead of the plan, behind or traversing along a completely different path altogether? Do we need to amend goals or assessment dates? Do we need to change our strategies or the planned resource usage? What are we going to do next week; follow that current plane, ramp it up or try some additional / alternative strategies? What will you need and who else needs to know we are proposing?

How can you help? This is the crux of the meeting. Everything up to now could have been achieved via reporting and we, as the training manager, now add our advice and assistance to the training team. There are five things that we can offer to help:

  • Advice: What suggestions do you have? Typically the manager has experience, additional support available from above or a least a view of the ‘big picture’.
  • Assistance: What can you do to help, physically or in support of the training effort?
  • Resources: What additional resources can you offer or obtain for the training team?
  • Coordination: Who can you talk to and negotiate with to smooth things over or obtain additional assistance?
  • Approval and direction: Approve their proposed actions or decide the best course if alternatives are available. They are after you to make a decision and manage the training team. You are their leader, lead.


In most environments, OJT trainers work alone, rarely get the opportunity to meet with other trainers and usually only chat to the boss when they have a problem. The weekly wash-up is your opportunity to meet with your team to see how they are going, disseminate your decisions and standardise practices. For trainers, it is a chance to fill you in on the week’s events, co-ordinate their future efforts and elicit your help in the process.

Download my free e-book “THE WORKPLACE TRAINER’S TOOLKIT” Eight models for effective on the job training.

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