We’ve Learned About How Employees Learn
We have finally learned about how employees learn. There’s “old school” learning and there’s “new school” learning. Learning by the old school method involved a lot of lecture, repetition, memorizing and a “one-size-fits-all” approach.
It worked to a degree. But we have since learned how employees learn more effectively – specifically about the process of learning that leads to better understanding, lasting retention and measurable on-the-job behavior change. In a nutshell, effective learning is far more interactive.
Learning Can Be Learned
The good news is that learning is a skill that can be learned. A recent study found that learning strategies and instructional design approaches are more effective than raw cognitive ability in acquiring new skills. When it comes to learning new things, your ability to master a new skill is 15% more significant than IQ.
An Example from the Elementary School Classroom
Many parents today are at a loss when they try to help their children through Common Core Math. Multiplication tables used to be memorized. Now students arrive at their answers through a new and often puzzling problem solving methodology.
A recent San Jose Mercury News article states that “The good old days of memorizing math formulas or multiplication tables are gone. Instead, Common Core math requires students to show how they reason their way to the right answer. As a result, many parents say homework is far more complicated than it used to be.”
But today’s kids get it and are far closer than their earlier counterparts to being able to set up their own equations, work with unknowns, and understand what a number array is.
What This Means for Corporate Learning
Those of us charged with developing the talent our company needs to thrive, need to pay attention to what we have learned about how employees learn.
Most now know that to truly prepare workers to learn and acquire new skills, lecture should be at a minimum. We recommend that it be no more than 30 percent of any training session. As soon as concepts are introduced, training should shift toward interactive learning…practice exercises, role plays, real-world scenarios, simulation, individual coaching, feedback, reflection, and performance tests.
Far more learning can be carried back to the job if learning is relevant and active…with upfront analysis and real problem solving followed by ongoing reflection and reinforcement activities.
The 5R’s to Help Make Learning Stick
Once you understand how employees learn, don’t forget to focus on skill adoption and retention. Our learning research has identified five attributes that must be present for the sustainable transfer of skills from the workshop to the job:
The Bottom Line
We’ve learned about how employees learn. Learning is a learned behavior. Learners benefit from thoughtful planning, effective decision making, active reflection and experiential practice. Just make sure the new skills and behaviors are highly relevant to success for the learner, their boss and the business as a whole.
To learn more about effective learning strategies, download The Pros and Cons of 3 Training Rollout Strategies
Corporate Change Is Personal
LSA is an instrumental training outsourcing partner in helping us to build management capacity and strategically invest in our people. Their flexibility, depth, and breadth of expertise allows us to deliver top quality solutions that are directly tied to key business plans. Their ability to custom design, deliver, and evaluate our Management Curriculum has been excellent. They are true business partners and a pleasure to work with.
Margaret M. Mader
Vice President, Human Resources
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.
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
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
LSA custom designed a Management Development program that is absolutely “on target” for our technical managers. Their facilitator has done a superb job delivering the material in a way that is fast paced, highly interactive, and fun. She presents practical solutions to the people situations that our managers face every day. I regard LSA as an excellent partner that understands our business needs and a virtual member of our HR department.
Vice President Human Resources
LSA’s consultant designed and delivered a half-day team building solution for our recent conference. It included careful customization to integrate the design with our new mission and values. Everyone had fun and identified key issues with our teamwork. Altogether a great program!
Director of HR
In my years working with LSA, it seems like I’ve had a personal consultant at my fingertips to help me identify just the right solution to satisfy our needs. The entire LSA team has become a trusted friend of Actel — assuring we provide state-of-the-art learning to meet our complex, high-tech business and people needs.
I have worked with LSA Global at previous companies and welcomed the opportunity to bring them in to support my new organization. We worked closely with LSA to design a solution for our Client Partner Teams and Management Training on both coasts. LSA designed a customized solution for our business and organizational culture. LSA is a quality organization, one that I’d recommend to any company looking for a first class training and consulting partner that makes an impact.
Chief People Officer
We have worked with LSA Global for our learning and development needs and have always had great success. They helped us recently with customized Management Workshops that we held for the second time. It was fantastic, and I would highly recommend LSA to anyone that is attempting to get immediate and impactful improvements.
HR Manager, BU Radiology Informatics
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
PalmSource has found our relationship with LSA extremely beneficial. We worked closely with LSA to customize the right Management Training Program solution to meet our unique business needs. LSA is a quality organization, one that I’d recommend to any company looking for a first class training and consulting partner.
Vice President of Human Resources
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
LSA helped us design and deliver a blended learning solution for our leaders to help drive our growth plans in a way that aligned with our specific culture and values. LSA understood our business, had deep expertise in the content areas, tailored the programs to fit our specific needs, and delivered great results. They constantly strive to deliver business impact and align their solutions with our business initiates, culture, and performance management systems. I highly recommend them to anyone looking to take their leaders to the next level.”
Beth A. Taylor
Vice President of Human Resources
We recently contacted LSA Global to assist us with a unique training request. We gave LSA a very short deadline and LSA custom designed a training program to meet our exact requirements within the limited time allotted to them. We found their facilitator to be well versed in the subject matter and very credible; the design provided practical and valuable information to our team of managers. I highly recommend LSA Global, particularly in the area of management training.
Julaine K. Souza
Senior Vice President
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
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