What are you doing wrong? 4 ways corporations are incorrectly training their employees

Corporations spend a lot of time and money to train their employees. Unfortunately many companies have little to show for this huge expenditure.

Eduardo Salas, a professor in organizational psychology at the University of Central Florida, has completed over two decades of corporate training research. In one of his studies, he concluded employees forget 90% of what they learned in training within the first year of employment.

If no one is remembering what they learned, then why are we wasting time and money on training?

The 4 ways corporations are training their employees wrong:

1. Employees become instant experts.

Many corporations believe if you send someone to a week-long training they become an expert. And they don’t need follow up training or feedback.

Salas states, “That is an erroneous assumption. It is much more complex than that. In this day and age, companies in general still have very simplistic views of training.”

How do you turn your team into experts?

It starts with simple follow up.

Follow up makes sure employees grasp new information. And you’re able to assess where your team’s knowledge falls short.

Create a system with short quizzes focused on product and service training. Send them out monthly to make sure employees have the latest information.

2. Evaluate your employee’s knowledge.

One of the biggest mistakes companies make is to evaluate employees immediately after they’ve been trained. Why’s that?

Success rates are highest when you quiz someone an hour after you taught them something. That’s why it’s better to quiz them a week later –  it might not look so good.

Salas says evaluating employee knowledge after training means you’re measuring reaction – not retention. That’s why companies get positive results.

Monthly assessment helps you identify training gaps and improve retention. Use what you’ve gained to improve your training materials. And don’t forget to measure the impact of your changes.

3. Technology is not the answer.

A lot of trainers are using technology to train their team.  It’s inexpensive and it helps facilitate company-wide training. Those are both bonuses.

But, it’s not working. Technology is hampering your staff.

Your staff can’t possibly learn everything from a computer screen. A computer can’t answer specific questions or explain new information quite like a face-to-face meeting. And it’s definitely not a replacement for on-the-job, get-your-hands-dirty training.

Use technology to support training.

Balance hands-on training with online quizzes, game simulations, and video. Bottom line? Use technology as a resource, not an end-all solution.

4. Not supporting employees after training.

Salas says companies can have the best training in the world, but if they don’t have good supervisory support, the training may not be effective.

Set clear expectations with your management team.

Have management communicate expectations to new hires. Let them know your training curriculum is a process. Plus, there’s always a team member to help out – a mentor of sorts. This makes new team members comfortable from day one. They’ll be more likely to retain more information and become part of the team quicker.

These mistakes are easy to fix. Assessing your team effectively helps your corporation be more productive. Not to mention, the increased return for the money you’ve been pouring into training your team.

Assess your team’s knowledge with QuizPoo – Make your first quiz!
Resources cited
Silverman, Rachel Emma. So Much Training So Little Too Show For It. The Wall Street Journal. 26 October 2012. Web. 16 July 2013  | http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204425904578072950518558328.html