Organizations spend a lot of time and billions of $ on multiple training interventions throughout the year. Despite all that, a vast majority of those interventions fail. 74% of employees do not find measurable improvement in performance after training.
Where do things go wrong? Why do employees still lag in skill development?
It all boils down to what and how employees are learning.
Learning for the wrong reasons
Today’s employee training is about continuous professional education (CPE) credits that focus on proving employees’ worth for promotion and L&D’s worth by achieving KPIs. Training programs rarely measure the business impact made due to the learning interventions.
Learning at the wrong time
Employees learn according to L&D’s calendar, not when they need to learn. Most learning courses are uniform to the team irrespective of each individual’s skill, role, and goal.
Learning the wrong things
People do not find motivation in learning the things they are not interested in. However, most corporate training programs overlook that fundamental principle. Employees sit through courses with little relevance to their needs or interests.
Forgetting what is learned
People easily forget things they do not apply in real life. As per “The Forgetting Curve”, if not used, we will forget 75% of new information within six days of learning. It is our innate nature. Each year, billions of dollars of training programs do become forgotten information due to negligence of this reality. And organizations are left with disengaged employees.
So what is the solution?
Consider using the lean learning method.
The lean learning method mandates that employees learn the right thing, at the right time, for the right reasons, and retain what they have learned.
Learning what is Needed
Organizations need to look beyond Continuous Professional Education (CPE) credits. The focus should shift to measuring the business impacts created out of the training.
Instead of focusing on trending skills or certifications, companies will do better if they assess employees’ level of understanding. This assessment will indicate the skill gap and provide direction towards relevant learning solutions.
Applying Learning to Real-world Situations
We lose information if not used. Skills learned through training programs are mere information that will eventually become lost memory. Real-life applications not only enable the transformation of this raw information towards the organization’s objectives, but they also motivate employees to hone the new skills.
Guided Learning with Feedback
As opposed to training programs at specific intervals, guided learning centers around continuous improvement in skills. Be it employee onboarding, functional leads, IT, cross-functional teams, or end-user training, this type of learning provides the opportunity for personalized learning and immediate live application.
Feedback is another vital tool that promotes employee engagement with the training program. It also provides constructive support through multiple channels such as direct messages and chatbots and makes employees stay motivated while applying the learned skills.
Not every individual enjoys the same method of learning. Employees also vary as per their skill levels. A standardized training program will not benefit the employees who are not in the need of that particular skill.
Tracking training analytics and measuring employee performance prior to the training and post-training will equip you with insights into employees’ needs.
Such information will assist in curating personalized training based on employees’ goals, performances, and preferred learning styles.
Micro courses are one of the many examples of personalized learning methods. Short, crisp, and bite-sized modules are easy to read, digest, and use. They also retain the attention span better than lengthy texts.
Other modes of learning such as infographics, videos, virtual reality, augmented reality are also great to keep employees engaged and energized throughout the training program.
Active Peer Learning
Peers have always been humans’ go-to problem solvers. Individuals usually ask their colleagues for assistance before trying to learn a new skill. As we have the innate quality to learn while teaching, peer learning is an excellent way to incorporate just-in-time learning. It strengthens the existing skills of the team while at the same time channelizes performance review and team building.
The only thing worse than training employees and losing them is to not train them and keep them.