May 19, 2021

Knowledge Retention Strategies for Training Development

Sam Caucci

Education science has come a long way and we now know traditional training methods don’t often stick. This article will outline seven alternative strategies businesses can implement to ensure new hires retain as much employee training as possible.

If you’re wondering how to retain knowledge during employee training, keep reading for our expert retention strategies for training and development to fire up your team. 

1. Gamify Learning

Gamification is the use of game-playing elements where the learning of new skills is required to help employees improve their learning retention and engagement. For example, scoring points, getting achievements and rewards and competing with others. 

Gamification is an awesome way to get your employees more engaged as well as boost their memory of the learning material. 

This happens because when you transform boring, old lecture slides into a game, it makes the learning process a lot more enjoyable. Did you know your employee’s ability to retain skills can increase up to 40% when you make their work more fun?

Gamification can also help increase your employee’s motivation by giving them feelings of satisfaction, success, achievement and winning. Games help release endorphins which makes the player feel good about themselves. 

2. Incorporate Storytelling

Before the invention of pen and paper, the human race relied on storytelling to relay important information over generations.

Stories helped us make sense of the world when we were young, and they continue to do the same for us as adults. Just think about it, how many times do you tell stories to your friends, family and coworkers to pass along information, insights, memories or advice?

The use of storytelling in employee training creates higher knowledge retention and recall, and leads to a more memorable learning experience. By incorporating storytelling as an approach to learning in a corporate setting you can help your employees meet any specific learning outcomes. 

3. Simulation Training

Simulation training has been proven to be a highly effective way to learn.  It immerses the user into an experience which helps them learn key skills in a variety of situations. They provide authentic experiences within challenging environments where employees can play out situations safely. 

Simulation training helps employees build the skills, confidence and control needed to get through difficult situations in an engaging way. This type of motivation can translate into better retention and integration which contributes to the success of the training. 

4. Engage Multiple Senses

Engaging multiple senses with experiential learning helps to address the different learning styles out there. After all, not everyone finds listening to a lecture exciting; they might prefer learning through hands-on experience instead. 

Experiential learning has multiple advantages which help to engage the senses as well as emotional connections during employee training. All of this helps to create stronger knowledge retention and recall. 

5. Active Participation

Employee participation is a key factor in any successful employee training campaign. Employees who are engaged tend to excel in whatever activity they are participating in. During training they will be able to retain knowledge better and have a clearer memory of what they learned. 

Gamified training is one way to supercharge employee engagement and active participation because it brings enjoyment into a learning space. Active participation helps employees feel more connected to the training they are in and the company they work for. It helps them feel their work has meaning and their contribution is important in the grand scheme of things.

6. Bite-sized Learning

Studies show our working memory is pretty limited, in fact, we can only retain around three or four items in one sitting. This means those 6-hour webinars you penciled into your employee development program might not be the best use of time. 

It’s more useful to break information down into smaller, bite-sized chunks which make learning and knowledge retention much more manageable for your employees. Overloading them with as much information as possible will only be detrimental. 

Focus your learning modules on a maximum of three key takeaways at a time. This ensures your employees don’t feel overwhelmed while at the same time helps them maximize their learning.

7. Repetition & Recall

When you want to remember something, let’s say a phone number, what do you do? Do you repeat the numbers over and over again until you can find a pen and some paper? 

Repetition is a key part of the learning process because it helps us cement new skills and information in our brains. Through the process of repetition, a skill is practiced or a piece of information is recalled, and over time it becomes easier and easier. 

Many of us aren’t blessed with the supernatural ability of photographic memory, so repetition is the next best thing. Covering a topic only once during your employee training program won’t be sufficient. Make sure to touch on that topic at least three times after its initial introduction. 

This repetition is far from redundant. It helps your employees store it in their long-term memories, where all permanent knowledge and skills are stored.

Want to help your employees retain more knowledge?

Through 1Huddle’s gamified Employee Development Platform, you can choose from our extensive library of games that can help your employees participate in engaged and active learning. 

What’s great about this approach is it combines all of the knowledge retention strategies we discussed in this article into one entertaining solution. Start your free trial of 1Huddle today or check out some of our customer success stories here!

Sam Caucci, Founder & CEO at 1Huddle

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