The A-Z of Training: P is for Push and Pull

Do you have a push or pull deployment model for your learning? This article discusses how to enable a pull model in your organisation and create a culture of learning.

In many organisations training occurs in a single direction, namely training is provided to meet the demands of the organisation. This is the push model of training deployment. Where learners are disengaged with the training process there can be serious resistance to push based training- "Why do we have to do this again?" is a common complaint from learners.

In compliance based environments there is a clear need to have some degree of push since the failure of a single employee to remain compliant can have serious implications for the organisation. Good oversight for these environments is essential.

The steps below can help you to enable a pull based learning environment.

Initiate personal development plans

Outside of compliance issues, you can create an environment that encourages learners to develop themselves by identifying their own training requirements. Having personal development plans in place is an important first step in enabling learners to pull training. These are often developed during staff appraisals; however setting aside a separate meeting allows you to focus on training.

Work out your training offering

Establishing all of the training requirements allows you to spot any gaps in your current offering. You might choose to develop new courses internally, or bring in a trainer if budget allows.

One of the most common issues is that learners are unclear about how a particular course will help them meet their development plan. Make sure that you express the learning objectives clearly, and point learners in the right direction where possible. You might consider rebranding your courses so that they align more closely to the identified objectives.

You should also be clear about the training schedule so that learners can plan their training effectively.

Enable staff autonomy

Learners can only pull when there are processes that let them. Can your staff book onto courses themselves? Do they have access to e-learning resources without asking permission? Begin to make your training materials availaible and signpost learners to them so that they can use them at any time.


Evaluation is a critical step in improving your deployment model as well as seeing how far you have developed. There are number of ways to measure this:

Encouraging a pull based deployment model can improve learner engagement and produce better learning outcomes.

author photo

Dr Adam Chester is a cofounder of Prodeceo.

He is excited about empowering Training Managers and Learning and Development professionals with technology that is easy to use.

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