One of the challenges in any organization is how to get employees to retain the information they learn. Whether it’s from a training session, an e-learning course, or simply reading an article, if the knowledge isn’t retained, it may as well not have been learned in the first place. Unless the learning is continually reinforced, it will quickly be forgotten.
There are several reasons why people forget new information quickly. One is that we are constantly bombarded with new information and our brains can only process so much. Another reason is that we often don’t take the time to learn something new, we just try to get through it as quickly as possible. Lastly, we tend to forget things even if we do try to learn them because we don’t have a good way of retaining the information. It’s like trying to remember a phone number that you’ve only heard once – unless you write it down, or use some other method to store the information, you’ll probably forget it within a few minutes.
So how can you improve learning retention in your organization?
Many strategies can be used to improve learning retention. One of them is to ensure that there is a culture of continuous learning in the organization. This means that employees are encouraged to learn new things regularly and that they feel like their learning is valued by the organization. More importantly, reinforcing what is learned is just as important as the initial learning.
In this post, we’ll share some tips on how to improve learning retention in your organization.
1. Make learning a part of your organizational culture
Often, the biggest barrier to learning retention is that employees don’t see the value in what they’re learning. If they feel like their learning is going to be forgotten as soon as they leave the training room, they’re not going to be very motivated to pay attention and absorb the information.
You need to make it clear to employees that learning is valued in the organization and that it’s something that everyone is expected to do. You can do this by setting up a learning committee, sending out regular updates on what employees are learning, or even just holding regular lunch-and-learns.
If you make learning a part of your organizational culture, employees will be more likely to see the value in it and be more receptive to retaining what they learn.
2. Reinforce what is learned.
We might think that once employees have learned something, they’ll remember it forever. But that’s not how learning works. For new information to be stored in long-term memory, it needs to be rehearsed and reinforced.
There are a few different ways you can reinforce what employees have learned. One is to give them periodic quizzes on the material. This not only helps them to remember what they’ve learned, but it also allows you to identify any areas where they might need more help.
Another way to reinforce learning is to offer refresher courses or follow-up discussions. This gives employees a chance to review the material and ask any questions they might have. It also shows them that you’re committed to helping them learn and remember the information.
3. Use different methods to teach new information
When you’re teaching employees new information, it’s important to use a variety of methods. This is because different people learn in different ways and what works for one person might not work for another.
Some employees might prefer to learn by reading, while others might prefer to learn through discussion or hands-on activities. By using a variety of methods, you’ll reach more employees and increase the chances that they’ll remember what they’ve learned.
4. Space it out
When you’re introducing new information to employees, it’s important to space out the learning. This means that you shouldn’t try to teach them everything at once. Instead, break the material down into manageable chunks and spread out the learning over some time.
One way to do this is to introduce the material a little bit at a time. For example, you might want to teach them one concept today and another concept next week. This will help employees to better understand and remember the information.
5. Make it personal
When employees feel like they can relate to the material they’re learning, they’re more likely to pay attention and remember it. You can make learning more personal by using case studies or examples that are relevant to your employees’ jobs. This will help them to see how they can use what they’re learning in their everyday work.
Another way to make learning more personal is to allow employees to choose what they want to learn. This could be done through a learning menu or by allowing them to design their learning plan. When employees have a say in what they learn, they’re more likely to be engaged and motivated to remember it.
6. Make learning fun.
Nobody wants to feel like they’re back in school, but that doesn’t mean learning can’t be enjoyable. There are several ways you can make learning fun, such as gamification, simulations, and competitions.
By making learning fun, you’ll help employees to see it as a positive experience. This will make them more likely to pay attention and retain what they’ve learned.
7. Use technology to your advantage.
Technology can be a great tool for helping employees learn and remember new information. There are several different ways you can use technology to your advantage, such as:
- Using e-learning platforms to deliver training
- Creating digital flashcards to help employees review material
- Using apps to help employees track their learning progress
8. Provide opportunities for practice.
Unless employees have a chance to practice what they’ve learned, they’re likely to forget it. You can provide opportunities for practice by having employees complete exercises or role-playing activities. This will help them to solidify their understanding of the material and give them confidence in their ability to apply it.
9. Encourage social learning.
Social learning is a great way to encourage employees to learn from each other. This could be done through forums, discussion groups, or even simple water cooler conversations. When employees can share their knowledge and experiences, they’re more likely to remember what they’ve learned.
10. Celebrate successes.
When employees feel like their efforts are being recognized, they’re more likely to be engaged in their learning. You can celebrate successes by giving employees awards, recognition, or even just a simple thank you. This will help to keep them motivated and encourage them to continue learning.
Learning retention is always going to be a challenge, but there are some things you can do to make it easier. By incorporating some or all of the strategies above, you can help your employees to better remember what they’ve learned. This will ultimately lead to improved job performance and a more knowledgeable workforce.