While the learning curve is fascinating, even more curious and frustrating is the forgetting curve. Learners forget information nearly as fast as they obtain it. In fact, it is said that within one hour, we forget nearly 50% of what we learn. Even worse, within 24 hours we forget almost 70% of what we’ve garnered.
And worst of all, we forget nearly 90% of what we learn after just one full week.
So what does this mean for your well-designed and executed training program? Your employees require more than just one initial training period to absorb the information; they require performance support and ongoing training.
How can you ensure you provide them with proper tools to promote ongoing learning? Try these 5 proven ways to provide your employees the ongoing training they need to succeed, and to fight the forgetting curve in your organization.
- You must give your employees untethered access to content. How can your employees possibly retain information that they’ve only encountered during class? Especially if their materials were print, they will end up in a back seat or a desk or a shelf to go un-used. These days, employees would much rather have access to their training content via their mobile devices, just like they would for other aspects of the job like checking email. When your employees have the content they need right in their hands via a mobile device, they don’t have to wait to find the answers to their work-related questions.
- It really helps to provide off-site, external professional development opportunities. While the information you have to give your employees is important and valuable, it also really helps retention if your employees get the opportunity to learn from other sources. Conferences, workshops, and other presentations are great for professional development, ongoing training, and boosting enthusiasm in your employees.
- Put more emphasis on skills application than knowledge storing. You don’t just want your employees to memorize lines of text and regurgitate it all to pass a test. You want them to feel comfortable and confident that they have what they need to perform their jobs well. This is why it’s important when encouraging ongoing training to promote building and retention of skills rather than just info.
- Take out the fluff- it just makes it confusing and frustrating. Why put information into your training materials that aren’t necessary or applicable? This just puts added stress onto your employees, because they waste time and energy considering things that don’t matter. Make sure your training materials are compiled with necessary content, not fluff. It doesn’t matter how long your materials are if they don’t have quality takeaway value.
- Try using video instead of just text. Well, we all know that a bunch of text without a break is not fun to read. Especially when you’re searching aimlessly for an answer in a sea of words. Why not use multimedia like images and video to better explain the point, and make them easier for your employees to draw out of your content. Using video helps your employees solve problems and find answers quicker. Who wouldn’t want that?
If you give your employees everything they need to combat the forgetting curve, then ultimately you will have a more successful and productive team.