Too Much Corporate Training Is Wasted
Done right when you provide learning that sticks, training can be a great investment in career development and performance improvement. In fact, investments made by an organization to make their employees more successful consistently rate in the top ten in terms of employee engagement research. Done wrong however, training can be a missed opportunity and a huge waste of both precious time and money for you and your employees.
Learning that Does Not Stick
Based upon the measurement of over 800 training programs, we know that training, by itself, changes the behavior and the on-the-job performance of only 1-in-5 participants on average. Those are not great odds. The biggest barrier to having learning that sticks? Relevance!
Training that is not highly relevant to the participant, their boss and the company as a whole has the lowest probability of changing on-the-job behavior or performance. While this seems like common sense, how many of your training initiatives have a direct thread to a top strategic priority and the individual, team and company levels? Our clients tell us that less than 20% of their training fits the bill.
Learning that Sticks
We define learning that sticks as training that helps to visibly improve on-the-job behavior and performance in a way that moves a people or business priority forward.
Take a Lesson from Animals
For newborn offspring to survive in the wild, they must learn new behaviors. Certain birds teach a “password” to their chicks in order to call for food. Some European ants practice a way to run together to find food quickly. And lions kill prey for younger offspring and then bring live prey to older offspring to finish the kill.
How much do your leaders create the conditions for their teams to practice and learn how to “survive” and perform?
3 Tips to Create Learning that Sticks
To create corporate learning that sticks:
1. Focus on What Matters Most
Forget the fire hose approach. It may make logistics easier, but it will only overwhelm employees and there will be little on-the-job retention. A little at a time with greater focus and intensity is far more effective.
First, identify the top few skills that matter most to the participants, their boss and the company as a whole. Second, identify the top scenarios in which those skills would make the most difference. And finally, design a learning solution that allows participants to learn what matters most at a pace that works for them.
2. Allow for Practice of the New Skills
The more participants can test their new skills, the more proficient and confident they will become. To become adopted, new skills have to be put into practice on-the-job over a sustained period of time. Practice can be done on an individual basis or group basis, in real circumstances or in simulations. The key takeaway is that changing behavior and performance is a process.While much has been written about the amount of practice required to master a new skill, we find that how you practice is as important as how often you practice. Researchers from Johns Hopkins University found that those who practice slightly modified versions of the new skills learn faster. Similar to the muscle confusion concept for athletes, it is important to keep your brain on its toes.
3. Reinforce the Right Behaviors
Much of learning is learning by doing, reflecting, feedback and failure. Be sure that your training programs have sufficient follow-through and are supported by performance management systems and ongoing coaching. Without consistent exposure, feedback and accountability, new skills tend to become the fad of the month instead of the new muscles required to perform at your peak.
The Bottom Line
Ensure that your investment in training counts. If you focus on what matters most, pace the learning, allow for practice and follow through, you will be part of the elite 20% that has delivered learning that sticks.
To learn more about learning that sticks, download 3 Steps to Building a Smarter Training Initiative – One that Gets Business Results
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We recently partnered with LSA Global to offer our Supervisors and Managers a customized two-day management training program. Everyone who attended said it was by far the best management training program they had ever attended. The content was rich and highly interactive. The case studies were relevant. Each participant walked away from the training much better equipped to lead their teams.
Director of Human Resources
Congratulations on your pro-activity in establishing this program and developing such an effective New Employee Orientation course.
President and Chief Executive Office
We contacted LSA to help us with customized management development. LSA worked with me to identify a solution that would meet our exact needs. We decided to start at the top and ran the program for our executive team. It was such a great success that we hope to roll it out companywide. We look forward to a long-term partnership with LSA Global and their team of experts.
Barry L. Byrd, SPHR
Human Resources Manager
The Next Generation Management Development courses have helped me communicate more effectively with my peers and teammates. By utilizing effective communication techniques such as clarifying and confirming, and asking open ended questions, I have been able to clarify and understand information in situations where I would have otherwise asked limited questions and made false assumptions.
Firmware Engineering Manager
Avon’s success is dependent on strong relationships among our Customers, Representatives, Associates, and outside resources we hire to help us meet our business objectives. We were very pleased with the results from working with LSA Global to design and facilitate a custom program for our events management team. LSA demonstrated responsiveness, flexibility, and an innovative approach to working with us.
Senior Manager, HR Destiny Sales Region
LSA’s customized Effective Presentation Skills program has helped me elevate my presentation skills to the next level. I now have a much greater self-awareness of my presentation skills and can leverage off of my strengths while working to improve upon other areas. I would definitely recommend this solution to anyone for whom business presentations are an integral part of their job.
Senior Marketing Manager
In the Next Generation Management Development courses, I was trained with skills and tools that have made me and my team more productive, motivated, and successful at communicating with other departments.
Firmware Engineering Supervisor
LSA provided top notch solutions right when and how we needed them. They exceeded my expectations from a speed, quality, and cost standpoint. I recommend them to anyone looking for a true business partner in the Learning and Development arena. The breadth and depth of their expertise has helped us hit tight deadlines across multiple projects.
Fortune 500 Financial Services Company
Director of Infrastructure & Technology
The LSA Global team was very receptive and flexible to our needs every step of the way. Their staff and facilitator demonstrated attention to detail, responsiveness, and professional courtesy. The participants were thrilled with the outcome and rated the communication skills workshop and the facilitator as ‘Excellent’. I’d highly recommend working with the LSA Global team to meet your professional development needs.
I continue to be impressed by the level of leadership development and management expertise and quality of advice and facilitation that LSA has to offer. What a smart and client-centric group of great people who really know how to help leaders attract, engage, develop and retain top talent.
Director, HR Business Partner
I highly recommend LSA Global to anyone who is looking to improve individual or organizational effectiveness through their top quality programs and broad range of expertise.
VP of Human Resources
We consider LSA our true business partner in the areas of Learning and Organizational Development. From Strategic Planning to Presentation Skills and Management Training, they continue to provide excellent value and extremely high quality solutions – not just one time events. I recommend them to anyone looking to drive true business results.
Michelle A. Mitchell
Vice President, Worldwide Human Resources
LSA’s Employee Engagement Consulting and Survey work has provided critical visibility into: how well our people are holding up under the general economic environment, as well as, the specific challenges that face biotechnology companies in their efforts to discover and develop new medicines; their level of alignment and commitment to XOMA’s Vision and mission critical strategies; how leadership practices and management systems support an environment that engender commitment, and the specific actions that our leaders can take to improve on areas that are important to our people. I highly recommend LSA’s employee engagement solutions.
Vice President, HR and IT
I had been working with LSA for many years with my prior company. Currently, I’m with a company who hadn’t done much basic management skills training. After identifying and presenting a program recently, our managers are excited and talking in the halls about the great experience. LSA saves us time in delivering the right training for our needs.
LSA helped to meet the needs of my teams within a very narrow timeframe. My team walked away with highly useful management tools and practices. LSA saved us time in delivering the right solution for our specific needs.
Director, Software Engineering, EPG
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