Constant connectivity has become a societal norm for the majority of Americans. This means that every hour of every day, we’re being hit with information. Though this is generally accepted as a good thing, it makes retaining valuable data, such as training information, a struggle.
You invest valuable resources into making sure that your team’s training is up to a high standard, so it is in the best interest of your organization to make sure that retention and comprehension of that knowledge is as high as possible and effective when it’s applied.
By identifying a few key areas where training efficiency lacks, you’ll be able to plan a course of action and make the most of your sessions both inside of the classroom and out.
Why is Our Training Ineffective?
Memory Loss and Improper Follow Up
According to an article from Art Kohn, Learning Solutions Magazine, on average 70% of learning is lost in 24 hours. In spite of all of the preparation put into making your training sessions as effective as possible, the majority of the information will be lost.
This disheartening statistic begs the question, how do I help my team retain knowledge? Consider mixing in-class training with post-class reference material.
Learning in a classroom setting has its benefits. With an instructor present there is opportunity for clarification of information from a designated expert. Interaction between the instructor and the audience allows for everyone to learn together, not just one person at a time.
However, almost everyone has sat through a classroom session, walked out to complete the task described, and failed due to memory loss or lack of clarification. It is in these precious moments that it is essential to provide teams with reference material so that they can go back and verify what was covered.
Instructors should also be taking notes during sessions about where detail is lacking and expand upon them in the reference materials.
No Buy-in from the Team Leaders
Everything starts with the attitude of the leaders and their ability to implement changes and updates. To get the team to buy into a new way of doing something, there must first be acceptance from those in a leadership position.
It is key to engage leadership teams prior to establishing any new training information to ensure that they not only understand what they’re to be doing but more importantly, why they need to make the change.
Reasons will vary by organization and operation but they should in some way, shape, or form benefit those who are being asked to make the change and that must be relayed to them.
Once leaders are informed, they will be more likely to pass on correct information to their teams, enforce the changes, and perform the correct actions themselves. If your leadership team is excellent, the transition will run smoothly and what was once a change will become the norm.
Lack of Clear Goals Leads to Internal Frustration
With any action, there should be a clear goal or desired outcome. These goals can evolve and will differ by the action required, but they must exist so that achievement of those objectives can be monitored.
Without setting a well-defined goal, the common response to training implementation is that it isn’t working so we either need to shut down our training module or modify it. Remember that results may not show up immediately, so it is important to monitor progress to see if the march towards a desired outcome is occurring.
Think of this from an athlete’s perspective who wants to be able to run a marathon in a desired timeframe. The tasks of day-to-day training may vary but the goal generally remains the same.
The initial goal will not be achieved right away but the progression towards the goal should provide benchmarks for continuation. And once the goal is achieved, you’ll likely set your sights on new goals that may require some new methods to achieve.
The recurring mantra should be that prior to setting up training, you should decide what you would like to see occur as a result of those efforts. This can be intertwined with the “why” statement mentioned above, but it should be focused on quantitative data rather than qualitative.
For instance, you may train your staff on a process that is safer than previous methods. The “why” for this is because you care about the safety and well-being of your teams (qualitative). The goal could be less safety violations in a quarter (quantitative).
No Encouragement for Learning
Perhaps the issue simply lies within the fabric of your company culture. If training isn’t a priority, growth will be stunted both for the organization and its team members.
The whole purpose of training is to bring together the best practices of the organization to keep activities as uniform as possible for the sake of your team and the organization as a whole.
Be sure to designate training times that work for your teams and encourage follow-up and feedback to ensure maximum effectiveness in addition to providing reference material options, as mentioned above.
Planning for Training Success
By identifying where your organization has inefficiencies when it comes to training effectiveness, you’ll be better able to craft solutions for the problem. Be sure to supplement in-class learning with reference material, identify “why” reasons for changes to get buy-in from leaders in your organization, set clear and measurable goals to monitor progression, and encourage learning for the growth of your team.