The Importance of Reinforcement in Training

When was the last time you attended a training class or webinar and actually recalled what you learned there for more than a few days?

The more complex and detailed the topic the less likely it is you’ll recall what you were taught and if you neglect to use the information, you’ll remember less and less as time passes.

Stephen Paskoff, the president and CEO of Atlanta-based ELI, Inc., talks about the importance of addressing how we learn and using that knowledge to ensure that we retain what we learn.

While new technologies have provided more opportunities for learning, Paskoff reminds us that focusing just on technology and how it can help us train people isn’t enough.

Paskoff points out some training principles to remember:

*We are most likely to remember something attached to an experience that happens to us or which is personally meaningful.

*Content that is not important to us is not as well remembered as content that is important.  As such, leaders of a company have a role in defining important content.

HR POINTER: The fact is that we can remember only a fraction of the information we receive.  That’s why reinforcement is the key to learning.

Most companies waste thousands of dollars per year on training programs due to the fact that managers do not reinforce the learning that their employees receive.  As such, the content is forgotten over time.

For real learning to take place, managers must be part of the training programs that their employees go through and managers must have a Post-Training Action Plan to reinforcing the aspects of the training that will provide meaningful change for the business.

Without this two-pronged approach by managers, training sessions will be nothing more than one of the “feel good” programs that senior management mistakenly believes represents real improvement for the business just because they spent money “training employees.”

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