Why 80% of Employee Training Doesn't Stick — And What You Can Do About It

Access your free video now and find out what you can do to ensure that employees retain what they learn in training sessions and apply those skills, attitudes and behaviors to the job. You will learn:

  • How to turn 20% retention on its head and ensure that employees retain the vast majority of knowledge acquired in training
  • Why managers and supervisors are key to successful training
  • Why changing the way you think about training can transform your career.

Why are we giving you all of this for free? Because it’s the best way we know to introduce you to a new approach to management and employment law compliance training.

Here’s how it works: Request your video on why 80% of employee training doesn’t stick now and we’ll email you a user name and password that gives you instant access to the Compliance & Management Rapid Learning Center. There you’ll find your free employee training video and a collection of other training resources for managers, supervisors and HR professionals. You’ll have unlimited access to this powerful library of e-learning modules, reports and fast-read articles for 30 days.

More information for those who love the details …

Each year companies spend about $1,000 per employee on training. Now, if employees assimilated anywhere near 100% of that learning and applied it on the job, those training dollars would be well spent. We all know that’s not happening – and much of your organization’s training investment is going to waste.

An all-too-common employee training scenario

Joe attends a two-day sales training seminar with a dynamite speaker. He returns to his job feeling he’s acquired a new skill set that will reduce the rejection he’s always associated with cold calling. For a week or two he applies the new skills diligently. He used to make five cold calls a day. Now he makes 20 and his sales skyrocket. But after a month he’s less diligent. He’s making only five or 10 cold calls per day and his results fall off.

Sounds familiar? To understand why this happens, let’s look at how employee training works. This is true about any learning activity, whether it’s how to sell, hit a golf ball, operate a drill press, or play the piano.

If I had five hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend the first four sharpening my axe.
– Abraham Lincoln

When most employees receive training, coaching or instruction, their skill level immediately rises. They start to scale the learning curve. Then, over time, performance falls off. But some permanent learning has occurred, and they’re still better off than before. This is what happened with Joe.

The secret to effective, long-lasting employee training

In 1885 German psychologist Herman Ebbinghaus conducted a landmark study and coined the term “forgetting curve.” He found that when people are exposed to an idea one time, after 30 days they retain only about 20% of what they learned. That explains why so much training doesn’t stick, and why companies are throwing a staggering amount of money down the drain.

But when training is reinforced, that is, when the manager follows up with the employee to discuss progress, to observe their technique and assess their skill levels, and to revitalize their commitment, employee competency levels rises even higher. When managers follow repeatedly, retention continues to rise. And that’s the answer to why most training doesn’t stick – lack of follow up.

Numerous studies have shown that the key to knowledge retention is “interval reinforcement.” If employees, either by themselves or with the help of a manager, repeatedly revisit what they learned in training, they eventually achieve permanent mastery of skills.

Why doesn’t training follow-up occur most of the time?

The bottom line: Managerial follow-up – or “interval reinforcement” – is hard work. Few managers are willing to repeatedly follow up to make sure that training sticks. This is why any CEO will tell you that his or her company is starving for highly disciplined managers who can develop people and achieve top performance. You can be part of that elite group if you follow the steps outlined in this free report.

If you get the connection between follow-up and training success, you’ll dramatically enhance your organization’s results and your own personal success.

Access this free video on Why 80% of Employee Training Doesn’t Stick – and get 30 days of free access to the Compliance & Management Rapid Learning Center.


Steve Meyer
Stephen Meyer
CEO/Director of Learning and Development, The Rapid Learning Institute


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