There is a great deal of value in assigning resources to a learning budget. For many companies, supporting learning in the workplace is the simplest way to get more from a workforce, both in terms of individual personal satisfaction and contribution to the business as a whole. However, learning cannot exist in a vacuum. If it is a one off with no follow up then it can lead to valuable resources going to waste.
Is your company wasting its learning budget?
There is evidence to suggest that a large proportion of companies waste up to 90% of training budgets. This is a significant figure to process and one that, in this current era of streamlining and careful resource allocation, can be problematic. The main reason for the 90% is a simple lack of follow up. The waste is triggered by “forgotten” learning – i.e. useful learning that has been absorbed by staff and then forgotten because there has been no investment in making that learning go further.
The science of forgetting
German psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus was a key figure in the study of memory and was the pioneer of discovery of “the forgetting curve.” He was also the first to describe “the learning curve” but it is the forgetting curve that provides such valuable insight into why learning that isn’t followed up is going to waste. According to the forgetting curve, we lose learned information over time when no steps are taken to retain it. The timescales for losing this new learning are short too – the forgetting curve shows that without conscious review of any learned material in the immediate aftermath of having learned it, we tend to forget quickly. In fact, the average human will typically halve their memory of any newly acquired knowledge or learning within days or weeks without some kind of specific review.
Reflection and retention
Ebbinghaus and his forgetting curve show just how important it is to follow up on anything learned with a conscious review in order to retain that information. This is something that is key for all of us, no matter what the learning environment we are in. For companies spending out on learning to generate change and advancement in staff, the key to embedding the returns of that investment lies in this kind of following up. Without it, all that knowledge simply goes to waste as life takes over once again.
A portfolio reminder platform
There is a simple solution to the need for conscious review of learning in order to help it embed – a portfolio reminder platform. This type of software is specifically designed to enable review and to encourage the kind of reflection and retention that will help learning to stick. A portfolio reminder platform can be designed around any type of training and set up to deliver key reminders to return to recent learning to a schedule that fits with your business. It’s the simplest and most straightforward way to ensure that 90% of learning budgets don’t go to waste.
If you’d like more information on learning management systems and how to make the most of learning investment at your business we can help – contact Enterprise Study to find out more.