Corporate training tactics for increasing learner retention

Corporate Training November 28 2014

If planned and carried out correctly, corporate training can have incredibly far reaching rewards and merits. From increasing employee adeptness and proficiency to improving bottom line performance and sales, teaching your workforce new skills and changing their behaviour will undoubtedly bring about more success for both individuals and entire enterprises.

However, training isn’t always a straightforward exercise and there are several challenges to overcome. Along with establishing a budget, finding time to coach individuals, choosing the right teaching methods and examining a training programme’s success, actually knowing whether employees have learnt and retained valuable information is one of the biggest obstacles a business faces.

Unfortunately, several employees find training fairly tedious and uninspiring. Sometimes this will be down to the teaching method itself or the person leading the programme. However, it can also be caused by the subject matter, which could be quite irrelevant or not connected to the individual’s job role. Consequently, workers aren’t prepared to learn new knowledge or skills in the first place, let alone retain and apply this information when back at work.

Even if members of staff can demonstrate their learning in the working environment or real-life scenarios, there is always room for improvement. If you’ve invested a significant amount of time, effort and money into training, then you’ll obviously want to achieve the best results possible. For this reason, more and more businesses are exploring ways to increase learner retention rates through eLearning.

Thankfully, there are a few common and lesser-known techniques out there that have been proven to increase an individual’s ability to remember crucial information. Therefore, if you’re worried that corporate training isn’t improving your workforce’s performance, the following eLearning tactics should provide some invaluable and useful insights.

 

AtomVirtual simulations

To discover whether employees will be able to remember and apply new skills or knowledge in a realistic situation, it is highly advantageous to develop simulations as part of a corporate eLearning training programme. These virtual environments feature the same characteristics and challenges as the real world while giving individuals the opportunity to develop expertise and demonstrate proficiency.

Simulations provide a stress-free environment featuring familiar or unique scenarios for members of staff to make mistakes without criticism and learn from these shortcomings. When employees do provide evidence that they are improving, managers can assess this progress and introduce new situations.

For maximum effectiveness, it is recommended that simulations strike a chord of familiarity, as several learners may feel a bit overwhelmed by this advanced form of learning. An exact replica of the workplace isn’t required, but using real names or landmarks can make all the difference. Some sort of support, like a help function, is also advantageous for those unfamiliar with new technology. Learners should be given time to complete the simulation while feedback on their performance helps too.

On top of that, employees need to be encouraged to develop and increase their knowledge, as eLearning puts a great deal of emphasis on individual progression. This can be achieved by tapping into the natural human instant of competition. At Wranx, our gamification model pushes employees to learn more by providing the chance to obtain over 300 different achievements. A workforce leaderboard also motivates learners to try and beat their colleagues while acquiring new knowledge.

 

PaintTheme-based learning

Despite the fact that eLearning is an incredibly flexible and effective way of teaching individuals important information, the absence of an instructor can have a few negative implications. Some trainees feel alienated or disjointed during self-paced learning, which calls for a training solution that does not take into account social, educational or professional backgrounds. While this sounds like a difficult challenge, theme-based learning can increase familiarity for all learners while building strong relationships with the teaching and tuition in question.

From a corporate training perspective, creating a theme where common ideas and topics work across multiple contexts can markedly improve knowledge retention. What’s more, individuals who aren’t overly familiar with technology-aided learning can overcome any fears and subjects will be understood in more detail.

 From taking employees on a virtual worldwide journey with a travel theme to developing a programme where learners find themselves at a theme park or playground, there are various avenues to explore.

For example, if a department store’s sales team need to improve and develop their knowledge about various items, a theme-based eLearning programme could feature an interactive house where trainees can click on a room or product and find out more information. Every learner will be familiar with the layout of a standard home and can concentrate on areas where their knowledge might be lacking. If each item has in-depth product information and the benefits of buying, employees are better prepared to deliver convincing sales pitches to their customers.

 

BullseyeSpaced repetition

With traditional corporate training, employees are told vast amounts of information in one go and are expected to retain this knowledge straight away. However, this isn’t an effective method of teaching because our brains aren’t programmed to remember things this way. Conversely, spaced repetition is a learning technique that exploits the psychological spacing effect to help increase long-term memory retention.

If you implement a training programme where subjects are occasionally studied over a prolonged period of time, employees are more likely to keep hold of new skills and knowledge in their minds. But it is crucial to schedule teaching and tuition at the right time so that members of staff don’t forget important information before the next review.

With Wranx Drills, we know exactly when to schedule new or existing topics to improve your long-term memory. Our short sharp quizzes feature 10 questions where learners have to rate how well they know an answer. If the subject is comprehensively understood, it will come up again at an appropriate point in the future. However, if employees struggle with a certain question or topic, it will be scheduled again for the next day. This scientifically proven technique works better than any other study, teaching or learning method and can transform your corporate training approach.

Knowledge Retention in Business