Employees often find inspiration during training sessions. When they walk away from the training for the night or at the completion of the training, however, they often do not retain the information, skills, and knowledge that training taught them. You can use these seven techniques to help improve knowledge retention during and after training.
1. Use Social Networks
Create a social networking group for the trainees. Allow employees to use the social network to share information or pose or answer questions that pertain to the training. Not only can this help employees that attended the training to retain the information, but it can also share the information with employees that are not able to attend the training.
2. Introduce the Intranet
Use an Intranet site or an LMS to share and post information during the training program. This can include a blog or simply an area
where trainees can access presentation slides and worksheets. This allows employees to access training materials when and if they need them, even outside the classroom training schedule.
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3. Create Learning Communities
Allow trainees to put their learning to the test by separating them into groups or learning communities. Give each group an assignment to work on together. Make sure that the assignment requires the group members to apply the knowledge and skills they learned during the training session.
4. Develop an Online Database
Add all of the training materials to a searchable online database. The database serves as a resource for trainees to search for and access information during and after the training sessions. While an Intranet site can only be accessed inside of the company, an online database can be accessed via the web, so anytime and from any computer the employee chooses.
5. Draw Knowledge Maps
Knowledge maps draw a direct line between specific skills and knowledge to the training session. The maps are diagrams rather than textual references. Knowledge maps help to reach those employees that learn better through visual concepts rather than audio training.
6. Teach Others
One of the best ways to retain knowledge is to have to teach the concept to someone else. Establish a program during the training session where trainees have to learn the concept. Once they learn it, bring in a new group of trainees. Have the original trainees teach the new trainees the concept. Using Forums can strengthen this kind of knowledge transfer.
7. Establish a Coaching & Mentoring Program
You can also bring in experienced employees to become the trainers so that they can pass their own knowledge, skills, and experience down to a new generation of workers. This type of coaching and mentoring program can start in the classroom training, but carry on long after the training program is over. Individuals that carry out the job duties on a daily basis are the best teachers for a new generation of workers.
Training can provide employees with information to improve skills and knowledge. It only benefits attendees, however, when employees retain the information they learn. Use these seven tactics to help training attendees retain what they learn in training so they can apply it when they return to their normal working environment.