The Appalling State of Employee Training… and how to improve it.
Among employees who are formally trained, nearly half find training ineffective
Our new infographic, “The Appalling State of Employee Training and How to Improve It,” pretty much says it all:
Organizations are still struggling to provide employees with the training they need to do their jobs effectively.
But the right kind of training can substantially improve company success.
For years we’ve been hearing that conventional training doesn’t work. Learning and business leaders alike tell us that they’re looking for training methods that will get people to engage—and stay engaged with their learning—in order to boost job performance and bottom-line results. But instead of simply expecting everyone to take our word for it, we decided to get some hard data to back up our claims about what’s really going on with employees and learning. We commissioned Ipsos, a global market research firm, to survey more than 1,000 employees for answers.
It’s not surprising that Ipsos found a staggering one third of US employees still receive no formal training for their jobs. And of the two thirds that do receive training, 46% say it’s not terribly effective for succeeding at the job. In fact, the research found that only about 35% of the US workforce is receiving training that is effective at helping them succeed at their job.
Other research backs that up, and actually paints an even bleaker picture:
- Research on the Forgetting Curve has shown that within one hour, people will forget an average of 50% of the information you presented, and within one week, they’ll forget as much as 90% of what they learned.
- Robert Brinkerhoff, an internationally recognized expert in evaluation and training effectiveness, presented a study in which only 15% of people were able achieve sustained new behaviors after a training session. In other words, only about 15% of your employees may be applying learning to the job.
So at an average training cost of about $1,229 per employee per year, a company with 5,000 employees could be wasting as much as $5.5 million a year on ineffective training. And with as many as 70% of employees not engaged, and a workforce churn of 9% to 25% each year, the costs to business are far greater than just wasted learning investments.
That leaves a lot of room for improvement. In fact, Aberdeen Group has done the research and has identified that best-in-class organizations maintain 85% employee engagement, realize a 15% increase in revenue per employee, and obtain a 16% increase in customer satisfaction rates or scores, through effective employee training.
So how do you improve training to impact job performance? Well, our research certainly identifies that what most companies have been doing isn’t the way. So Ipsos asked employees what would engage them more effectively in their learning. Here’s what they said:
- 90 percent said training that is easy to complete and understand is important to them, with 55 percent saying it is very important.
- A large majority of employees (87 percent) feel that it is important to have access to training information anytime, anywhere they need it to do their jobs, and over half of employees place a premium on this ability (51 percent say very important).
- 85 percent of employees say it’s important that training is engaging and fun, with two in five (39 percent) citing this as being very important.
- Another 85 percent of employees recognize the importance of training that’s personalized and relevant to them, with another two in five (42 percent) rating personalization as being extremely important.
Bottom line? Traditional training methods just don’t cut it anymore. Employees expect more. So, if you want to get them interested in the first place (and then keep them interested in learning over the long run) it’s time to modernize your approach. Give employees what they want and what they need and the business will benefit in the process.
For more information on how to modernize your corporate learning environment, take our quick 9-question assessment (no info required) and we’ll provide you with information and tactics to help you transition your training out of the past and into the present.