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Dealing with Training Loss

Updated: May 22, 2022

As a former manager, I know the pain of training employees on a process or policy and immediately hearing questions about what to do or being asked to explain the exact information in a training.

A couple of weeks ago, I had a brainstorm session with a client on this topic. We were discussing what to do with employees who go through a rigorous training process (2-4 weeks) and retain very little of the information when they start their day-to-day work.

Read on to see some of the things we discussed to address training loss...

Initial Training

During the initial training, particularly longer trainings, it can be helpful to provide time for application and feedback. This method could be considered on the job training. Another option may be including frequent formative assessments. To borrow from my education background, formative assessments are usually more informal and frequent. Finally, consider shadow days or ILT, instructor led training.

On the Job Training

Depending on your industry, creating a sandbox for practice could be a viable way to develop on the job training. In this training style, you can provide SOPs or tech training and then provide space for the employee to try out the process. Adding immediate feedback can ensure the trainee is not retaining misinformation or incorrect practices.

Formative Assessments

In teaching, formative assessments are used for on-the-spot checks for learner understanding. These should be frequent and brief, ensuring that you are continuously checking learning progress and understanding. Formative assessments are easily achieved in platforms like Articulate Rise, where you can include a multiple choice question directly in the training.

Instructor Led Training

If your training requires more immediate feedback or review, consider ILT sessions interspersed in your e-learning design. This will allow you to place an experienced trainer or employee in contact with your new trainees so that instruction is adapted to the learner's needs in real time. This also allows for frequent Q&A sessions and ensures the trainee has options for ensuring their own understanding.

Ongoing Training

Beyond the initial onboarding, it's important to craft ongoing training components that continually refresh employees' memories and ensure day-to-day habits do not overcome trained procedures. Some options for ongoing training are:

  • a training calendar with annual or semiannual retraining

  • micro-learning modules

  • lunch and learn sessions or open office hours

Training Calendar

A training calendar will allow you to ensure that key information is continuously available. For organizations that require adherence to specific procedures or regulations, quarterly or twice-annual training may be appropriate.

To avoid learner fatigue, updating learning modules either in content or style can give a little cognitive boost to learners.

Micro-Learning Modules

A bank of micro-learning modules can also aid in avoiding training loss. Micro-learning modules can be created to develop specific and targeted skills. Keeping these modules to 2-5 minutes ensure that they are not a burden on the learner.

Micro-learning modules can be arranged as opt-in modules for all learners or can be assigned by managers.

Lunch and Learn

Drop-in, live training sessions can help to provide employees with added support. Peer support may also be invaluable in ensuring that all employees feel supported and heard.

Contact me to learn more about how you can avoid training loss in your organization!

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