Researchers tell us we remember 10% percent of what we read, apply 50% of what we see and hear – and retain 90% of what we learn by doing. Today, reading how to do something first is a luxury. Far better and more efficient is training by doing.
“Doing” or experiential learning requires employees or students to think on their feet (even if they’re sitting down). In this situation, people need to analyze information or a given situation they’ve been presented with, then solve problems with the newly-applied knowledge. A coach and peers are crucial for this to be effective, since instruction and collaboration are still necessary for learning the right method.
This is true for on the job learning, and it’s true for virtual learning as well. According to Personnel Today (www.personneltoday.com), online courses still need to relate to the reality of the workplace, provide hands-on activities in order to succeed, and give opportunities to share and collaborate.
Virtual instruction should include two valuable applications:
- Reinforce and remind people of the knowledge and skills they need to apply on the job every day, and
- Expand employees’ knowledge base through the introduction of new expectations for existing jobs.
Training employees to grow their knowledge base or introduce new concepts to the workplace can be a costly, frustrating endeavor though. Companies spend on average nearly $1,200 per employee annually for in-person and class training – about $130 billion when you add it all up.
How is most of this money spent?
- Hiring instructors
- Sending people to conferences or off-site training
- Purchasing do-it-yourself materials and training their own staff to administer the material
Do companies feel they’re getting their money’s worth? Depends who you ask – the people who pay for it (“Yes!” – fingers crossed with hope) or the people being trained (“Huh? Oh we were multitasking…”).
When your employees are strapped for time and in need of training, what to do? Have you integrated online training into your program, and to what result? We’d love to hear from you!