3 ideas for maximizing your training investment

Source: Performance Improvement Blog

$92 billion.

Take a second to think about the impact of that figure.

In a recent blog post, Stephen Gill performed a calculation based on ASTD’s 2013 State of the Industry report and figured out that $92 billion worth of training investment went to waste last year. In terms of an overall percentage, that’s roughly 56% of what organizations spent on training.

How can we possibly allow this kind of waste to continue? The answer is quite simple…

We can’t.

Here are three ideas for how modern learning can help maximize your training investment:

1. Forget the firehose. Design training for retention.

Classroom learning will always have its space in a corporate environment; however, not all classroom learning is designed to instill long-term knowledge retention. As Stephen’s blog says, only a small percentage of employees will apply what they’ve learned from a classroom and this is most likely due to the nature of the forgetting curve. Here is where modern learning comes in. With modern learning, you can design training to be delivered in smaller, more digestible chunks. By bite-sizing your learning, you are allowing room for a scientific principle known as deep encoding to take place. Deep encoding has been proven to help with long-term knowledge retention; therefore, by bite-sizing your learning you can expect that more of your employees will apply what they learn on the job.

2. Make it personal or don’t bother making it at all. 

A lack of relevancy is one of the most dangerous aspects of classroom learning or any kind of learning for that matter. If it’s not relevant, it will not be paid attention to and therefore not retained, not applied and simply gone to waste. With the ability for modern learning technology to personalize learning by addressing each learner’s knowledge gaps, there’s no excuse for any organization to deliver irrelevant learning.

3. Reinforce training by making it a part of everyday.

As I mentioned earlier, the nature of the forgetting curve will cause employees to quickly forget what they’ve learned unless it’s reinforced. If you know that classroom learning will never go away in your organization, then reinforcement with modern learning is simply something you must start doing. Many studies have shown that by reinforcing learning over time (a process known as interval reinforcement or spaced practice), knowledge retention will increase significantly. The beauty of a modern platform is that it can allow for learning to be delivered in a manner that doesn’t disrupt an employee’s work day. Whether it be on a mobile device, a tablet, a desktop computer or even a point-of-sale terminal, the learning should be where the employee is.

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Written by Laura Martin

As a process person, she loves nothing more than taking a business and transforming it from obscure to renowned and beyond. She takes the reins on Axonify’s strategic alliance marketing efforts that put the company on the map.

Let’s work together to drive frontline performance in all the right ways.