How to Ensure Employees Remember Training
When investing in training initiatives, company leaders want to know one thing, “How do we ensure employees remember training?” They want to know how to make training “stick.”
Learning is not a one-time event. It’s a continuous journey. Whether training is related to a system implementation or department new hire training, companies must ensure knowledge retention. Great training produces memorable moments that become engrained in an employee’s mind and day-to-day actions. With this approach, information can be recalled the next day, the next month, and even the next year after training.
Company leaders want to know how to make training “stick.”
Why Content Is Forgotten
According to eLearning Industry, there are six main reasons employees forget information. They are:
- Retention interval
- Task type
- Conditions of retrieval
- Methods for training, testing, and evaluation
- Individual ability
While all are important, retention interval and overlearning are the most prominent.
Trainers often underestimate how quickly employees need to be reminded and refreshed on training information. The forgetting curve shows that retention falls dramatically within the first 24 hours after learning. The challenge? Combatting this curve.
Employees should receive a training summary the day of or after the training event. This provides an opportunity to reinforce key points. It also emphasizes the importance of the training to the company and their role.
Every trainer must combat the forgetting curve.
In addition, trainers often provide too much information at one time. This may be well beyond the point needed for the learner to understand core concepts. Information overwhelm drowns out the most important points. Also, the actions the employee needs to be successful are missed. Impactful training that will be remembered should stick to the point.
Best Type of Training for Content Retention
So, what type of training is best to ensure long-term content retention? For employees to remember training, it must:
- Resonate with specific employee roles
- Use a memorable approach and to-the-point language
- Identify the problem or knowledge gap being solved by the training
- Harness the power of varied learning methods
For employees to remember training, it must resonate with employees, identify their challenges, and be presented in various ways.
eLearning or virtual instructor-led training are perfect to set a strong foundation. These learning techniques should use bold graphics, targeted language, and modern instructional design to engage and interest employees. However, they are often not enough on their own.
Depending on your company-specific challenges and employee dynamics, specific knowledge retention techniques should also be used to supplement, reinforce, and guide.
Techniques to Remember Training
To organize and access information that has been taught, specific techniques can be used. Using multiple learning methods, active learner involvement, and emotional engagement help encode information into long-term memory. However, research proves that specific spaced repetition results in an 80% content retention rate.
Planned, spaced repetition improves retention to 80%.
To start, use infographics, video, and continuous learning portals. These allow both a push and pull learning approach. They emphasize access to information when it’s needed most.
In addition, try to create different content formats and visual techniques. This can make the same information feel new and fresh. To become a part of an employee’s true day-to-day decision-making, it must be ingrained in everything they do. This happens through consistent repetition of core messages.
Custom Learning Solutions
For an automotive client, we created a custom and versatile learning solution that used spaced learning and knowledge retention techniques. New product and services training were transformed through the use of an online learning and instructor-led training foundation. Then, hands-on practice, assessments, certifications, short videos, and incentives supported ongoing performance.
New information becomes engrained through performance support.
Spaced learning allows a learner to be presented with the same information, in varying formats, across planned and targeted intervals of time. This increases the likelihood that employees will notice the application of content in their day-to-day roles and use it in business-critical situations.
Knowledge Retention in Action
As an example, a sample learning strategy that focuses on knowledge retention is shown below.
First: A 15-minute eLearning course may be used to deploy a new policy.
Second: After the training is complete, the learning management system sends an email to the employee thanking them for completing the training and provides an infographic-style summary of the three most important points of the policy.
Third: Two days later, the employee receives an emailed video used in the training that describes how the policy is applied in their role.
Fourth: One week later, the employee receives another infographic describing situations in which the policy would need to be used and frequently asked questions about the policy.
Fifth: Two weeks later, the employee is invited to play a game to compete with colleagues who have taken similar policy training.
Knowledge Retention Platforms
To be sure employees truly remember training, knowledge retention platforms can be used. Knowledge retention platforms are targeted learning portals that can use gamification and competition to fuel learning and performance. A knowledge retention platform like LHT Learning’s PERFORMANCE+ counteracts learning loss and enables employees to retain more of what they learn in training.
Our PERFORMANCE+ knowledge retention platform works by asking employees to complete a variety of training events and then engaging challenges through an online learning portal. Employees compete against one another as individuals or as small teams. This particular type of knowledge retention strategy uses a points system that incentivizes employees to earn prizes and badges through the completion of additional challenges.
A knowledge retention platform like PERFORMANCE+ counteracts learning loss.
PERFORMANCE+ drives participation and accountability using features such as:
- Automatic notifications. Get employees started, then keep them engaged and on track.
- Leaderboards. Track program participation.
- Data analytics. Provides insight into employee engagement and progress.
- Reporting. Integration with learning management systems (LMS) and learning record stores (LRS) can enhance tracking and reporting.
Learning becomes memorable when targeted strategies are employed to combat the forgetting curve. Planned repetition of training information pushes training deep into brain patterns, allowing prompt recall and use when employees need it most.