How much pre-work do you give?
If it’s a two or three-day event, I might have them do a pre-reading and then give some reflection questions. Then in between day one & day two, I would have them do some homework. And even if it’s just a two-day event or a day-and-a-half event, that overnight can be a critical time for having people reflect on what they learn and practice some of the tools form the workshop. The I have them start the next morning in pairs to share their reflections and observations.
Too many organizations do one shot trainings. A better approach is to set-up a series that people attend over time. This way, you can give them homework in-between sessions.
A new idea is to make short video clips for people to watch in-between sessions. In short 3-8+ minutes clips you can describe scenarios or case studies and have them to apply the skills and concepts covered so far as they think about how they might engage/resolve the situations.
You can also send out videos of people responding to common workplace situations with the caveat that these are just a few ways to respond, not the perfect or only ways. And ask them to reflect how they might respond differently?
If you anticipate that people may enter feeling resistant, you could give some videos clips or written scenarios as prework and ask them to come prepared to discuss ways to engage effectively. If they review the prework, they may get a flavor for you as well as the workshop content; and may come in less resistant and more open to learning.
What I find is if I give more than 10-12 pages of readings, I don’t think most people do it. So, I tend to make the workshop so full and engaging that people leave wanting more and then, they want to do the follow up activities that I send them.