Overcoming the Forgetting Curve to Maximize Learning
The Alarming Reality of Learning
According to psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus’s Forgetting Curve, nearly 80% of what we are taught is forgotten within 30 days.
This is an astonishing number, especially when you consider the budgets organizations are allocating to skill development. To decrease this gap, you can leverage several methods to reinforce learning and help your employees achieve real growth. This will help you reach your DEI and talent development goals and maximize the value of your organization’s investment in these initiatives. This will in turn keep you competitive, profitable, and agile in facing today’s talent crisis and an unpredictable future of work.
How to Maximize Learning in the Workplace
1. Relevant content and engaging experiences
One in four (24%) HR leaders say their leadership development approach does not prepare leaders for the future of work, according to a Gartner report. When developing learning experiences and programs, give careful consideration to the topics of focus—what will benefit your workforce and help your organization meet its goals? Then, consider the format that would best suit this learning experience. Would your staff benefit from an in-person or virtual training? Would self-paced elearning be more effective? Maybe a one-day training will suffice, or perhaps a multi-day program is more appropriate.
There’s a good chance a blend of these formats (and more) will benefit your organization the most. Keep in mind that every culture has distinct norms and preferences, and you will want to ensure the content is tailored to be globally consistent, but locally relevant. Workers are leaving their jobs for better development opportunities at similar rates as leaving for higher compensation, so it’s important to ensure the content of your learning experiences is actually applicable. Be sure to use terms that resonate with your teams and include actionable next steps.
2. Individualized recommendations
A key way to reinforce concepts is to make it personal. What tools can you utilize that highlight an individual’s impact and role? Tools like the GlobeSmart Profile, a work style self-survey, provide both individual and team analysis, as well as customized advice for working across differences. The Inclusive Behaviors Inventory is another tool that provides individual, team, and organizational reports with advice and action plans for growing a more inclusive workplace. Learning tools that provide personalized experiences and connect to real-life work strengthen comprehension and have more value than trying to make a vague, one-size-fits-all experience work for many.
3. Targeted Follow-up
Since learners tend to forget much of what they’re taught, following-up with your employees will help make new concepts stick. Consider different ways to extend learning experiences, like via various communication channels or a discussion at your next team meeting. We build email nudges into our learning journeys, and our clients have shared great feedback on how they’ve helped reinforce concepts and facilitate individual and organizational next steps toward change. Learning is a journey, not a one-time event, and finding ways to continue the learning gives your organization the best chance at real growth.
4. A culture of ongoing learning
Today’s employees are not prepared for future roles. Gartner reports that about 33% of skills in 2019 job postings will be obsolete by 2024. Caring for people’s careers starts with caring for their skill development. By upskilling your workforce, you are not only growing your top talent, but you also have a better chance at retaining your top talent.
Creating a culture of learning at your company can facilitate this internal talent pipeline while at the same time expressing genuine respect for your employees and their careers. This goes a long way as the global workforce continues to prioritize their employers’ follow-through on their values in increasing measure.
Embedding numerous learning opportunities in the flow of work is an effective way to enable real growth, and companies that do this are 29x more likely to be a place where employees grow, develop, and unleash their full potential. Yes, you read that right—29x! Take advantage of this sharp growth potential by leveraging your corporate learning initiatives to maximize your investment and serve your workforce in the best way.
Creating intentional and relevant learning experiences helps employees amplify their growth potential, and positions your organization for greater success. Explore the wide variety of workplace learning experiences in GlobeSmart.