How to train the right way with Bitesize

Your company faces a threat, and you probably don't realize it. This threat is invited right through the front doors of most companies: it's training.

How could training be so terrible? Employers and CEOs try to find a way to get training done as efficiently as possible. Efficient training. Training that is fast, unfortunately, is the enemy of effective learning.

Traditional training makes little difference in the overall performance of employees because it is focused on time efficiency rather than effective learning for each employee.

 

EFFICIENT TEACHING AND EFFECTIVE LEARNING ARE DIRECT OPPOSITES

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Studies show people usually only apply about 10 to 20% of the information they receive in traditional training (Brown & Seider, 1998, p. 285). Even when people are interested in the material being taught, they just don't have the capacity to process all the new information at once.

If you want the results traditional training won't produce, it's time to take everything you know about efficient teaching and turn it on its head. Take the formula for efficient teaching and reverse it. It turns out that efficient teaching and effective learning are, in fact, directly opposed to each other.

 

MAKING YOUR TRAINING MUCH MORE EFFECTIVE

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Efficient teaching happens when a subject expert shares a lot of information in a short amount of time. It's a product of three factors: the amount of knowledge the teacher has, the amount they are able to share, and the amount of time it takes them to share it. In other words, efficient teaching relies on a

  1. High concentration of knowledge

  2. High volume of information transferred

  3. Low time spent teaching

Here's how to turn traditional training on its head.

 

1. STOP OVERLOADING WITH KNOWLEDGE

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Often, employees receive corporate training in sessions, absorbing knowledge from a single, isolated source.  However, people learn more in a broader social context.

Even if experts are able to answer every question in a Q&A at the end of the conference, participants tend to ask conceptual questions in such settings rather than behavior-focused questions.

Training should focus on changing behavior rather than imparting knowledge. To create new habits, training should foster conversations that harness the existing knowledge base.

 

2. Volume of Information transferred

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When people hear a lot of information, they only retain a little of it.

Studies have shown that recall and retention increase drastically when people encounter new information in small, bitesized pieces. A 2014 study conducted by Vanderbilt University for Bitesize compared the retention in one traditional classroom with teaching the same curriculum in bitesized pieces. They found a 150% improvement in immediate recall and almost a 300% improvement in retention after one week. Similarly, they found a 240% improvement in learning French and a 400% improvement in football players learning new plays when taught using this new method.

When thinking about training, plan to give people only as much as they can process and apply immediately. Think about training like rainfall. If too much rain comes at once, the ground doesn't have the capacity to absorb all the moisture, and the water is lost as runoff.

 

3. Time spent teaching

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Some management teams worry about losing hours of productive work time if training isn't time efficient. But this status quo mindset is wrong.

Think, instead, of training on the job. Employees need realistic contexts for applying new behaviors. Work time should become training time and training time should become work time.

Change What You Do

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If you want to change the way your company trains, first change your mindset. Drill this into your head: everything that makes teaching efficient makes learning ineffective.

Rather than thinking of training as an annual or semiannual event, think of it as an ongoing process that will be most effective if it's made up of small pieces that build on each other.

Help is out there. Bitesize can help you turn ineffective training upside down by creating training with just-in-time learning that is applied in a real-life context.

For additional tips or to request a demo, visit our site: http://www.teambitesize.com/

To read more about effective training, go to "How We Do IT: The Technology Behind Bitesize."

Add your insight below. When have you seen annual or semi-annual trainings fail?