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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I am very impressed with the quality of work and talent. LSA did a great job of listening to my needs and providing the exact management training program expertise I needed to get the job done.
Director, Business Planning & Analysis
We partnered with LSA to pilot a customized behavioral interviewing program to help ensure that we continue to hire the best and brightest as we continue to rapidly scale. LSA’s ability to understand our business and our unique culture combined with their desire to ensure that the best practices framework truly fits our performance environment and is highly adopted by our people is a real blessing. Most other firms want to just ‘give you training.’ Not LSA, they are focused on helping me hit our hiring forecasts and attract A players.
Director of Global Recruiting
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
What a refreshing change from the half-baked psycho-babble you normally get from training and consulting organizations. LSA gives you the practical and results-oriented assistance you need to define and reach your goal. They provide a results driven plan – not just a temporary fix. They are great to work with, and even more importantly, they “get it!”
Vice President Human Resources
I’ve partnered with LSA Global at two companies now, and I consider them a valuable and trusted training and consulting resource. They recommended just the right solution to address our management development needs and have wonderful facilitators that match YuMe’s culture and style of our management team. I would highly recommend LSA Global to any company wanting to deliver quality learning solutions with a valuable learning and development partner.
Harmonic has worked with LSA for over 8 years. We have found their partnership extremely beneficial. We recently implemented a Management Development Program that was designed and customized to support our company’s strategic initiative of hiring, building, and retaining key intellectual property and human talent. We worked closely with LSA to target and implement the right solutions with the greatest impact. I would recommend LSA to any company that’s looking for a trusted training and development partner.
Director of Human Resources
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
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
SeaTel has found our partnership with LSA Global to be very valuable and beneficial. We turned to LSA to customize a supervisory/leadership solution to meet our needs. LSA delivered a customized top quality solution. I’d recommend LSA Global to any company looking for a best-in-class training and consulting partner.
I consistently look to LSA Global when I need custom programs put together for my client groups. I can always count on LSA to do a thorough needs analysis and to put together spectacular programs that are well received. Their management development and performance management expertise and professionalism make them one of my top-rated learning and development partners.
HR Program Manager
On behalf of Roche and my staff I would like to sincerely thank you for your help with this. The English as a Second Language (ESL) assessment and coaching that you provided for our team was a great success.
I have worked with other training companies and found it to be more of a seller/buyer relationship than one of matching the right expertise to our business issues. That’s what LSA does – ask the hard questions, listen, and understand our business needs. We receive the benefit of their expertise from assistance with personal development plans to enhancing team performance, to looking at enterprise-wide challenges. It’s all about helping our business succeed as we grow. Right now, LSA is providing great ideas, a fresh approach, and valuable guidance as we develop our management team and accelerate our client relationship management results.
Director, Team Development
We value our relationship with LSA Global. We came to LSA because we wanted to improve overall behavioral based interviewing capabilities of our managers to increase the probability of both hiring top talent and future leaders. LSA designed a highly customized solution for our business and culture. We are currently rolling out this solution to our leaders. I would highly recommend LSA Global as a top quality resource.
HR Project Manager - Training & Development, PHR
Congratulations on your pro-activity in establishing this program and developing such an effective New Employee Orientation course.
President and Chief Executive Office
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
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