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  • Lisa DelCol, CPTD, PMP

Why Training Isn't Enough

Since you’re reading this post, you already know that a well-trained workforce is at the core of a successful business. The fast pace of change means that continuous learning is no longer just nice to have, either for companies or employees. In addition to fulfilling regulatory and compliance obligations, forward-thinking organizations understand that the best employees gravitate to companies that will invest in their development. This article in Forbes magazine cites the “What Makes a Great Place to Work” survey, confirming that the number one choice of respondents is “Training that helps me grow my skills and knowledge.”


On the flip side, even if they don’t have ladder-climbing aspirations, astute individuals understand that they must keep their skills sharp and their knowledge current to keep pace with the changes in many industries.


That’s why you’re reading this blog. You already know that training is required for continuous learning, but it’s not enough.


A typical plan involves providing employees with initial training, followed by annual refresher courses. However, that strategy isn’t sufficient if your goal is to change behaviours or establish job-critical skills and knowledge.


For example, everyone knows when the purpose of a training is just to check the compliance box. Learners click their way through without paying much attention, until they get to the final assessment. As long as they pass it, they’re good to go and the company can demonstrate their employees completed the training. But that does not guarantee competence. The main thing this type of training does is test a learner’s short term memory: Can they answer questions about information they just saw in the past 15 minutes?


Online learner


Science tells us that we forget about 50% of information presented to us within hours, and about 75% by the next day. The numbers get worse as time passes. This is why training is so often considered to have failed the company.


In order for training to be effective and for skills and knowledge to actually stick, we need to apply what we learn in a real-world setting. (For more detail written in layperson terms, this article from eLearning Industry gives a good explanation.) For best results, the practice should be spaced and repeated. This does not apply only to hands-on skills. We need to practise having difficult conversations or analyzing real-world situations.


We can do this online. Try the examples on my website to get a feel for how it could work. You can guide a hot work operator through choosing the best location for a job, or help a supervisor navigate a conversation when one of her team members comes out to her.


These are only two examples, but the possibilities are unlimited and they can be customized for your organization. Whether you want to create supplemental tools to make your existing training more robust, or you want to create something entirely new and innovative, I can help you reach your goals.


Contact me today and let's discuss your training needs.