3 Smart Strategies for Saving Your Training Program

There I was doing the thing my manager told me not to do. Her face was turning red, and the pressure was building. As her mouth opened, I realized my mistake. I had forgotten what I had been "trained" to do.


Make the difference with a psychological approach

Unless you apply a psychological approach to your training program, it may be difficult to make your training materials stick. Without one, you'll be tempted to think that a well-presented seminar should equal high learning retention. Unfortunately, that isn't always the case.

Research shows that people forget information quickly. If you want different results, you need to take a different approach. Here are 3 smart strategies for saving your training program from retention decay.


1. Train in the "need-to-know" context


Learning in the right context is critical. State dependent memory suggests retention is higher in the same environment where the learning took place. Companies may be making a mistake when they send employees hundreds of miles away for training. Unfortunately, memory doesn't always take the trip back. The best environment for learning is in the workplace because that's where the information needs to be recalled.


2. Review materials regularly


Learners need to review the information at regular intervals. The cognitive load our brains undertake to learn material is staggering. Our brains constantly filter sights, sounds, and other stimuli to attend to what's most important. It's a logical fallacy to believe that information will be retained in the first setting.

Reviewing materials can be as simple as spending 5 minutes a day reading notes. Just remember to start reviewing within a few days after the initial training. Each time material gets reviewed, the brain gets another chance to encode it deeper. This simple behavior will help you leverage your team's information capital to greater results than before.


3. Break your curriculum into digestible pieces


A common mistake organizations make is massing all training materials into a great elephant. You can't eat an elephant in one sitting, even if you have 3 breakout sessions. It's far more effective to use microlearning.

Microlearning focuses on teaching small bitesize pieces over a period of time, helping employees learn at a rate that they can better retain. When microlearning is combined with cutting-edge technology, companies can train their employees at lower costs and with a higher return on investment.


You can transform a best practice into a common practice

Retaining information is only part of the solution to effective training. Employees need to apply what you teach them. That is the #1 challenge in training and development. For example, people know that it's healthy to exercise every day, but how many actually do it? It takes more than good information to change behavior.

If you're interested in transforming your organization, visit www.teambitesize.com. To read more about how to lead behavior change, go to Train Effectively Not Just Efficiently.

Comment below and share what additional strategies you'd add to the list above.