If your organization is falling victim to the dreaded training gap, then you’re in need of some agile performance support. The training gap exists somewhere between what employers expect their employees to take from training, and what they actually do. And the gap is much bigger than you might think; according to an infographic from Shift eLearning, only 12% of learners apply skills garnered in training to the actual job.
This problem is experienced across all organizations, and can be a huge source of stress, angst, and counter-productivity. In fact, 70 percent of organizations today rate “capability gaps” as one of their top five biggest challenges. Even worse, this problem can be really tough to recognize and remedy without the right tools.
Leads you to wonder, why does this happen? You give your employees all the right information and have a dedicated instructor to oversee the process. So why are the skills getting left behind once the real work starts?
It’s due in part to the format of training versus the ability to learn. To clarify this point, what I mean here is training and learning are two different things. If the learner isn’t engaged or absorbing the content, then training isn’t happening. The trainer just thinks it is. To back this point up, it’s a fact that 70% of learning on-the-job occurs informally. Employees want the flexibility to learn on their own time and in their own way.
So what can your organization do to bridge the gap between training and actual learning? We’ve got two remedies that are sure to provide the performance support your employees need, want, and expect.
- Give your employees the flexibility (physical and mental) to learn in their own way, at their own pace, in whichever format they prefer. Some people like having a printed version of a document to review, while others might rather pull out their mobile phone, say while waiting at the doctor’s office, to review their materials. Inspiration strikes everyone differently. Making your training materials available at anytime, anywhere so that your learners can access them whenever, gives your employees the ability to learn even when they aren’t in the training setting. Mobility of training materials just makes sense in the “instant gratification” culture we belong to. Just as employers expect employees to retain important training information, employees expect their materials to be made available in the easiest and most accessible ways. Mobility allows for materials to be referenced on-the-go which gives employees more power to perform their jobs.
- Offering feedback about material consumption is important for management to see the big picture, and how training fits in. With robust reports, data, and analytics that reveal how often learners view their materials, for how long, and from what device, it’s much easier to see the benefits and results of access. Additionally, using assessment is a great way to understand how much of the information is actually retained and used. By offering the feedback garnered from usage reports and assessment results, management can clearly communicate what they expect and better understand what the learner expects. Consistent and helpful feedback paired with mobility is the ultimate form of performance support.
Once you are able to bridge the training gap with a performance support component that is mobile and provides robust feedback, your employees will continuously perform.
Sources: “10 Statistics on Corporate Training and What They Mean for Your Company’s Future,” by Karla Gutierrez, www.info.shiftelearning.com. “The Top eLearning Statistics and Facts for 2015 You Need to Know,” by Christopher Pappas, www.elearningindustry.com., “5 Crazy US Skill Gap Stats Every Recruiter Should Know About,” by Sean Pomeroy, www.info.visibilitysoftware.com.