For companies that doing any training the use of the time and the idling of productive work is an expensive proposition. We would like the time spent in training to be productive and this means having employees remembering what they are trained on. That can be difficult if you are training employees all in one sitting as we often do. How can we help improve retention of things taught?
Kate Everson, writing in Mind Over Matter, suggests two methods. First, rather than delivering training all in one session break it up. Citing research from The University of Texas at Austin’s Center for Learning and Memory, Everson says it is better to give learners a rest. “Try having a session in the afternoon of one day and the morning of the next — it will take up the same amount of time, but participants will be more attentive for part two than they would be if thrust into it straight from part one.”
The second method she suggests it have the learners create their own memories about what they are going to learn. The example she uses is to ask questions about what is about to be taught before diving in. For example if you are training on safety, rather than just saying “this is how you need to be safer” ask the learners to think of the ways their actions might harm a fellow employee. Or in her example is was rather than teaching about privacy first as the employees how their actions could risk the privacy of their clients. According to the research “this method works better because it requires employees to generate their own memories and connect them, which improves their ability to connect.”
So the next time you have to do some training try putting on your thinking cap first so you can better compliment your learners’ efforts.
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