There’s no doubt about it: Training employees the right way is challenging and time-consuming. And once the latest round of training is over, most supervisors can’t help but wonder if employees “got it.”
Too often staffers don’t get it. The latest research on retention shows average adults forget:
40% of what they learned 20 minutes ago
77% of what was learned after six days, and
90% of info after just one month.
Those are troubling stats for sure. But there are things that can make every training session more effective – and the best part is, none of them require any heavy lifting.
Keep these three principles in mind:
1. Less is always more
Most people would prefer fewer meetings, rather than more. But for training, be careful about cramming too much info into one session for time’s sake.
For example: You may be better off scheduling two 20-minute training sessions per month than a monthly 45-minute session.
Some safety managers hold five-to-10-minute “toolbox talks” with their staffers and often contract workers before the start of the work day. They can discuss a safety issue or technical point in detail, answer any questions, and it’s on with the day’s work.
2. Pause and repeat
In every presentation, there are two or three take-home key point. (And if there aren’t at least two, then the presentation isn’t worth much!)
Remind supervisors or trainers that before making those key points:
- pause before speaking
- slow down and try making eye contact with trainees
- pause for a couple of seconds after making the point, and
- repeat it again.
Just save this for the truly key points. Do this too many times and people will automatically tune out.
3. Quiz them
Giving a post-training quiz will show you who got it and who didn’t. A quiz with a mix of true/false and multiple choice questions should suffice.
No need to announce the quiz before the training. The point is making people regurgitate what they learned (or didn’t) at the end. Completing the quiz in and of itself increases memory retention.