How To Ensure Your Employees Retain The Training You Give

According to a Bridge survey, 45% of respondents reported spending at least 15 minutes per week revising concepts that were taught in their employee training program. 

Training employees is crucial for a company’s success because the skills employees learn empowers them to deliver better quality work. But, well-crafted training will also be a waste if your employees don’t retain the information shared in the training. Unfortunately, losing information over time is a human trait that’s often explained as the forgetting curve. So, your obvious challenge while creating an employee training program is to make sure your employees retain the training. To ensure that your learners retain the employee training you give, let’s first understand the forgetting curve and what drives it.

What is the Forgetting Curve?

A forgetting curve shows how information is lost over time when there is no attempt to retain it. This is also called the Ebbinghaus Forgetting curve named after Hermann Ebbinghaus who gave this theory in 1885. 

Studies suggest that people forget an average of 50% of the information presented to them within the first hour. Within 24hrs, they forget an average of 70% of the information and an average of 90% within a week. But can you solely blame their weak memory? Are there other factors to consider like the type of information shared and the amount of information shared?

Actually, yes. While the learner’s memory is a factor that’s not under your control, there are indeed some factors that you have control over. Factors like how meaningful is the material shared, how the information is presented, and at what frequency and pace is the information delivered. 

So, how do we combat this forgetting curve and ensure that your employees retain the training? 

Focus not only on the information shared in the training program but also focus on how well you can deliver that information to your employees.

5 Ways To Help Your Employees Retain Training

Use Spaced Learning 

Imagine you are given a 5-page long booklet on employee training. And you are expected to absorb and understand this information within 30mins. Would you be able to remember every aspect of employee training by the time you implement it in your company? Seems impossible. 

Let’s imagine the same study material is shared with you in an hour-long session that has two short breaks, conducted twice in a month? There’s a high possibility that you would remember the information better. The same applies to the retention your employees have from training is well-time. 

Spaced learning is a mechanism that allows you to learn, review, and revise the information you receive. Space learning splits information into short segments to be consumed in shorter time frames. Why is it needed, you may ask? Because Karpicke’s research shows that if the information is not reviewed then our memory fades quickly. Spaced learning makes retention easier.  

Using tests or quizzes also helps in reviewing the knowledge gained through training. You could have a session for your employees to grasp the information and another, after a short interval, to review their knowledge. 

For instance, a good example of spaced learning,  create a course on product knowledge training for your sales team, divide it into small chunks and share the training with them over the course of a week. A fortnight later, conduct tests, quizzes, to check their understanding. This will help your employees retain more information out of the course and find out what areas in the course require more attention and work.

Make Training Accessible

Provide your training in such a way that it is easily accessible to the employees. That way, they can learn anywhere, any time, and can take charge of their learning process. Your employees don’t have to wait for the next training session or a team leader to help if they don’t remember anything. 

For instance, imagine your sales guy has to deal with a difficult customer online who’s bombarding him with questions. He suddenly remembers that one of his training had an FAQ and the adequate responses for it. Wouldn’t it be great if he could instantly access and actively respond to the customer? 

That’s the power of accessible training. Employees are able to regular revise and revisit the information. That makes it easier for your employees to retain the training that you provide them with.

Keep your content engaging

“You are always one great piece of content away from having your life changed.” These words by Garu Vaynerchuk shed light on the value of good content. 

If you just leave your employees with a big pile of just manual to go through, they’d probably dump those in their desk drawers. Even those who try to go over the content, will get bored and forget everything within hours.  A plausible solution: create visual content. 

90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, so registering visual data is 60,000 times faster in the brain than text. So keep your employee training in the form of webinars, videos, infographics, gamification, and even podcasts to ensure retention. And don’t worry, with Siminars you can create this full package of engaging content very easily. We offer a variety of media options including presentations, videos, audios, infographics, and blog posts to choose from. 

Cultivate a Learning Culture

Jackie Joyner Kersee has rightly said, “I maintained my edge by always being a student; you will always have something new to learn.”

A strong learning culture means that you offer professional growth opportunities to your employees. Not just that, take measures to ensure that  employees have resources to upskill at their convenience. 42% of employees say learning and development is the most important benefit when deciding where to work. 

For instance, CB Insights makes sure that its employees are up-to-date with the evolving technology and promote a learning culture. “CB Insights focuses on employee growth and learning,” says Alyssa Anchelowitz, Senior Marketing Manager. “They’ve expanded the training programs for managers and offered an education stipend that allowed me to learn more about Javascript my first year here.”

You can create a learning culture by conducting frequent training sessions, workshops, seminars, webinars, and encouraging regular feedback exchange. And what’s even better is that with a strong learning culture, every new employee that joins your team blends into it and comes up to speed faster, and is productive sooner. 

Keep it relevant

The popular saying  “content is king” should rather be revised to “relevant content is king”. Humans are very selective about the information they consume and tend to ignore information that they find irrelevant. For instance, in this article, you probably first went over the headings, graphics, and the intro instead of reading the body text. 

So, it’s important that the training program is relevant to each employee, lest they’d lose interest in it.

To make the content relevant, find out everything that is relevant to the employees’ job roles. Talk to your team and find out common bottlenecks, queries that they may have and include them in your training.  A good idea will be to use real-life examples because it will be relevant, relatable, and easier to understand. 

In The End

According to go2HR, 40% of employees with poor training will leave the company within the first year. Therefore, a well-thought training program is not just important for knowledge retention but also for employee retention. 

So, what are you waiting for, go ahead and upgrade your training programs with Siminars to deliver a wholesome training experience to your employees that they not only enjoy but also retain.