What Happens After Training?

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This guest post is by Laura Martin, Vice President of Marketing at Axonify. Laura offers some critical post-training strategies in order to ensure that training leaves a lasting impact. What Happens After Training? Employees start to forget. Immediately The way corporate training is currently being delivered is fundamentally broken. Let me share a fictional story with you to help illustrate this. Here is a story about a man named John, who is a new employee working on the floor of a large manufacturing organization. clock2 When John first joined the company, he went through a rigorous onboarding process, which involved many hours of classroom-based training. He was told that if ever he needed to refer to a procedure, there was always a safety manual available in the break room on the floor. He was also told that there were safety posters in the break room that illustrated key principles, such as ladder safety. After John went through his onboarding training, he was sent back to the floor to begin putting his training into practice. A few months later, John had an incident. He was attempting to clean a part of a machine that was very high off the ground and he had not secured his ladder properly. Quite simply, John had forgotten his initial training. It has been scientifically proven that if information is not reinforced from the time of the initial learning event, people will forget close to 90% of it. Given this, can you blame John? All he had in terms of options for reinforcement were the large (and boring) safety manual and some old posters in a break room. Neither of these two options seemed engaging enough to prompt John to genuinely want to reinforce his learning. Although this was a fictional story, the truth is that this is going on all around the world today. Not only within manufacturing but also in sales, retail and many other environments within large organizations. Realistically, classroom training is probably not going to go away anytime soon; however, we can change the way we approach what happens after training. Here are three post-training strategies to consider: 1. Bite-size your training – Take the initial training that was delivered in a classroom and break it down into digestible pieces. Human beings are far better at processing small bits of information at a time as opposed to large amounts. Once your information has been bite-sized, consider delivering it daily in short bursts as opposed to once or twice a year in a large and lengthy classroom setting.  2. Personalize it – Everybody learns at different speeds. Although delivering all the information to a large group at once might seem like the most efficient way to train people, the truth is that everyone in the class is taking in the information differently. In order to training to truly be effective, it has to be personal. Going back to John’s story, as it turns out he may not have remembered ladder safety as well as one of his colleagues might have. 3. Make it engaging – Most corporate training is simply quite boring. Unfortunately, some of the material is innately dry and so the only thing that can really change is the way this material is delivered. Consider taking advantage of game mechanics in order to make training more of a social experience. The more organizations start to focus on what happens after training, the less we are going to hear stories like John’s. Laura Martin is the Vice President of Marketing at Axonify, a corporate eLearning solution that utilizes the latest in brain science and the art of gamification to make learning stick. Discover more of Laura’s posts on the Axonify blog or follow Axonify on Twitter.
Want to join the conversation and learn more? Join Carol Leaman from Axonify for a special webinar, “How to Really Nail Employee Training to Performance” along with Ari Tammam of WalkMe at 1 pm Eastern (10 am Pacific) on Thursday October 24. We’ll discuss the latest trends and tactics to improve long-term training, and make it something more engaging and memorable.
Jason is the former Lead Author & Editor of TrainingStation Blog