To keep training dollars at work after an employee returns from a seminar or conference, consider having the employee give a mini-seminar afterward. It's a great way to make employees follow up on what they learn, reports Linda Miles, CEO of Linda L. Miles & Associates, in Virginia Beach, Va., which stages more than 100 seminars for dental-office staffs a year.

After staff members return from seminars, they report at a departmental meeting the three most important things they learned. The reports even make cross-training easier. "After our shipping clerk went to a postal-service seminar, all 20 of our employees learned how complex his job was and were more cooperative when changes came about," says Miles.