I am pleased to share a summary below of my article “Five Steps to Protect Your Training with Reinforcement” featured in TD Magazine’s December issue. TD Mag is the ATD’s award-winning monthly magazine that covers industry best practices, emerging technologies, and trends.
Corporate training success stories show that one of the most effective methods to tackle the post-training retention challenge and boost training ROI is to enroll employees in a training reinforcement plan as soon as they complete a learning program. The primary goal of a training reinforcement plan is to foster long-term knowledge retention and understanding by prompting learners to actively recall and retrieve what they were taught by using short retrieval practices (mainly quizzes, but possibly also flashcards, smart tips, and microlearning modules). Every time we call up a memory, we reinforce a mental route in our mind and, therefore, increase our ability to connect what we know with what we can do. Even a single retrieval practice can produce significant improvements in retention.
Getting started with training reinforcement is not as hard as you may think. The first thing you need to do is determine which corporate training programs can best benefit from a reinforcement dimension. Then you define a basic structure, choose a delivery method, and create the content. Here are the five practical steps that I explore in detail in the TD article:
- Prioritize your programs: identify programs that benefit the most from reinforcement based on how critical they are, how much they cost and the number of trainees.
- Choose the right reinforcement structure: your training reinforcement plan should start right after the initial training program ends and last no more than six weeks.
- Choose the delivery method: mobile delivery, although not the only option, is an easy and cost-effective way to implement in a corporate setting for a range of reasons, include increased engagement, offline access, and real-time analytics.
- Craft results-driven content: to be effective, your plan needs to reinforce information that is most fundamental to long-term retention and job performance. I lay out a 4-step guide to developing content in the article. You can also learn more on “How to Create First Rate Content” in our virtual library.
- Start small, but start: Last but not least, consider running a simple and inexpensive pilot to test the waters. By using analytics, you can measure and demonstrate how much you have increased the return on your training. That way, you would have tackled the forgetting curve head-on and, more importantly, you’ll no longer have to guess how your employees perform after
I invite you to real the full article at this link (free for ATD members). For more on practical advice on your training reinforcement and microlearning needs, please contact one of our learning experts.