Learn for Longer: Boosting Your Business with Knowledge Retention
It’s a symbiotic relationship. The more the members of your organization know, the more they’ll contribute to the success of your company. That’s why we believe training and development is never something to be overlooked. Investing in your employees’ training goals means investing in your company’s future. On top of that, employees’ knowledge retention will ensure they will be effective members of the team for longer.
More knowledge = more confidence on the sales floor and in their job = more successful performance = more positive contributions to the business
Increased knowledge retention = more confidence for longer = less overwhelm when learning new skills with a firm knowledge base = more opportunities to add to their skillsets = greater opportunity to excel and grow in the business
Here are some things to avoid when developing eLearning content. These may actually negatively impact knowledge retention:
- Cognitive Overwhelm – This is exactly what it sounds like, and you’ve probably experienced it before. Imagine this: you have an 8-hour training day, and every hour is a new meeting with its own agenda of things to teach you. Sure, you’re taking notes and paying close attention. But by the time you’re out of there, you feel foggy, tired, and can’t seem to remember exactly what you’re supposed to do on the job. This is cognitive overwhelm, and it can happen in eLearning too. When you stray away from course objectives, opt for lengthy and unengaging courses, or cram too much information into a video, you’re putting your learners at risk of cognitive overwhelm.
- Ineffective Training & Assessment Strategies – Though ILT training is an effective and popular training method, it may not be the right fit for all cases. That’s where eLearning and other training and development strategies come in. If you don’t use the most effective method of training, or if you use assessment tools that don’t best measure the competency of the learner at the end of the training, then you haven’t used the most with your training budget. More importantly, you may also confuse the learner, negating the entire process.
Instead, try out these methods of growing your learners’ knowledge retention:
- Microlearning – Composed of bite-sized nuggets of information, microlearning is easily digestible. It prevents cognitive overwhelm by focusing on one specific course objective and by being short in length. Presenting small bits of information at a time gives the mind time to process new information and better retain it for longer.
- Interactive eLearning – Micro or not (HALIGHT offers a variety of eLearning modalities), consider how you can apply interactivity to theory. This gives your learners a chance to explore new content more tangibly. This interactive approach also helps learners develop a personal experience with the content so they can better remember the material they engaged with. This practice is in line with our core training & development philosophy: Tell Me, Show Me, Let Me Do.
- Get Certified – Connecting similar courses in one certification allows learners to explore an overarching concept in a variety of ways. It also gives learners more time to consider the concepts without a lengthy training module. Instead, they get a full experience with the training material through a series of modules. By the end of it, they’ll have enough engagement with the material they can confidently say they are certified. They also won’t experience cognitive overwhelm from incredibly dense and long courses.
- Get Engaged – Skip the proposal and get right to engagement. Engaged learners (Okay, we don’t mean only the ones with rings on their fingers.) are more connected to the material they’re learning. Introducing game mechanics (e.g. leaderboards, points, badges, fun assessments) motivates learners to do (and score) better. With gamification, learners’ concentration and active participation help keep learners engaged, too.
- Visualize It – According to some theories, certain individuals learn better through a specific presentation of new information. Consider if you can complement informational text with a helpful example image. Or maybe some text is best to be replaced entirely with an interactive infographic. Even more, HALIGHT’s animation team can help you make a fully animated video to narrate and illustrate a more difficult concept. Putting theory into a visual format can enrich blended learning experiences and better help learners understand more difficult topics.
What happens when we forget?
The reality of human error is that we forget. After a prolonged time of not using vital information, we forget it. The strategies listed above are helpful in reinforcing and presenting new information in a way that boosts long-term memory. But what about when we DO forget? Ensure you have the tools necessary to help employees quickly access key information in a pinch. If you have your own LMS, include helpful resources like PDFs and videos in a quick reference catalog. Ensure that platform users can search or filter results to find the resource they need in a jiffy. Not sure how to do this or don’t have your own LMS? We can help find the perfect strategy for you.
You should consider knowledge retention as a necessary business strategy that serves as a competitive advantage. Consider the tips above or follow our social platforms @HALIGHTInc for more information on how to increase knowledge retention to boost your business.