A Better Way

apple_core.jpgIn an earlier post, I described why 80% of training is wasted, and how we are wasting hundreds of billions of dollars on that training. There has to be a better way.

So what would this “better way” look like?

To begin with, it would focus on the effectiveness of the core learning moment.


Too much of web-based training today focuses on all the bells and whistles surrounding the actual training – things like LMS integration, single sign-on, content digitization and storage, and so on.

Meanwhile, the core learning moment – especially when applied to soft skills training – is overlooked. We’re still largely porting outdated ways of teaching onto the digital world. So while a lecture transforms to a video, our brains still only remember about 10% of the information delivered through these passive learning approaches.

A better way to make this core learning moment effective would:

  • Focus on practice. Consider that one week after a lecture, learners remember only about 10% of the information. Even after re-reading the material, one week later they will only retain 39%. If they practice these skills, the retention rate goes up substantially, to as much as 80%. Ideally, at least 50% of time training on any subject should be spent on active practice. Practice is one of the most fundamental aspects of skill development, yet it is likely the most overlooked element in corporate learning programs.
  • Enable feedback. Practice and feedback go hand-in-hand for skill development. The best type of feedback involves observations and suggestions about a practice session, delivered in a candid, constructive manner. This includes self-evaluation (because watching yourself on video is incredibly instructive) and feedback provided by peers and managers.
  • Enable social learning. Social interaction creates richer experiences and increased application opportunities. With peer interaction and feedback, learners enhance their understanding from others’ experiences, approaches, and perspectives. This aspect of social learning leads to greater engagement with and effectiveness of training programs. An important side benefit is that learning together is a powerful community builder that helps to forge deeper relationships and a vibrant company culture.
  • Offer micro-learning.  Learning is more convenient and effective when offered in small chunks, especially with today’s hectic schedules. Even better is when learning is an ongoing, on-demand initiative available to managers when and how they need it. In a survey of learning professionals, 90% reported preferring more “bite-sized,” or micro-learning.
  • Let you learn anywhere. Millennials are now the largest generation in the workforce, so their preferences help define learning approaches for the future. They are tech-savvy and value flexibility regarding when and where they work and learn. They expect learning to be as accessible as a map to the nearest restaurant and available in the palm of their hands. This means fewer classrooms and schedules, and learning that can be accessed anywhere – on the Web, on smartphones, or on other mobile devices.

These are the tenets that drive how we have built SkillStore’s social learning app. We believe this app has the potential to transform leadership and management skills training at scale.

Want to learn more about SkillStore? Request a demo below to see how SkillStore can improve management and leadership programs at your company.