According to the Institute for Research in Learning, did you know that over 80% of how employees learn to do their job takes place on the job? Less than 20% actually occurs in formal training programs. If those numbers surprise you, just think about how you learned to do your job. How much of it would you attribute to training programs you attended?
Yet, given these statistics, many companies continue to devote the majority of their training resources to traditional classroom and online training, not on informal learning activities that support people on the job.
With the pace of change in our global economy, it is essential for your employees to be competent at learning and adapting quickly to new ways of working. I was talking to a Branch Manager at a local bank recently who told me that things change so often in his workplace that he has to have weekly meetings with his staff to keep them up to date just so they can perform their jobs.
If it’s so critical for your employees to be continuously learning new things to keep your business competitive, consider looking at your training department as part of your business strategy. How do they enable your staff to deliver the outcomes you desire for your company? At the end of the day, it’s all about how well people perform on the job that makes the difference, not how many classes your training department delivers this quarter.
This is not to say that training programs are not important. Effectively onboarding new hires usually involves some type of training. However, if you haven’t done so already, start to give more thought to how you can deploy your training resources in a way that has the most impact to your organizational strategy.
There are many ways to accomplish this. Here are just a few:
• Educate your leaders on how to help their staff learn and adapt quickly.
• Provide job aids that employees can reference quickly when job processes change.
• Provide access to brief learning experiences that can be accessed on the job to help remember something previously learned or to help guide them on something new they haven’t experienced.
• Harness the collective knowledge of your organization by providing just-in-time access to experts for questions and implement a process to retain that information so that it can be accessed by the next person with the same question.
This also has implications on hiring your training staff. As you can see, the competencies they need to be successful go beyond just being able to deliver training programs. Some look at their training departments as a “necessary evil”. An enlightened leader utilizes training resources towards accomplishing business goals.
Check out this other Company Culture article for additional learning: