10 Ways to Improve Outcomes from Your Training

From mandatory compliance and processes training to onboarding or upskilling, employee training provides an important backbone for organization stability and expansion. Even amidst a global pandemic, the 2020 Training Industry Report estimated that US companies spent $82.5 billion on training employees last year.

In general, training expenditures are on the decline. Smart companies seek ways to implement training more efficiently--less time, better outcome.

So, we’ve gathered together this quick list of 10 key ways to improve learning outcomes from your training.

1. Begin with the End in Mind

Dr. Stephen R. Covey made this statement famous with his seminal book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

It certainly applies to training and goal alignment: know where you’re going before you start down the road.

Too many workshops and leadership development experiences do not make the objectives clear. Whether the training supervisors or presenters lacked direction, or the learners failed to understand course intentions, stating the end goal (course learning outcomes) at the outset remedies these errors and improves training.

2. Track Progress

There are lots of KPIs (key performance indicators) related to course progress.

In a way, tracking progress is easiest with remote learning. In a group instruction setting, attendees can zone out unnoticed. During breakout sessions, they might hold back and not engage. But during remote training, particularly with eLearning, each individual has their own course progress bar, questions to answer, etc.

Whether remote training or eLearning, tracking learning progress through each lesson results in greater success with training.

3. Strengthen What is Already Known

Too often results are based on new knowledge. However, effective training builds on what learners already know. It is much easier to make subtle shifts in behavior than it is to expect learners to completely change in a short period of time.

To improve learning outcomes, build on skills already known.

4. Skills Should Build on One Another

In order to implement new knowledge, experienced course creators take the building blocks of what is already known (or presumed to be known) and stack new skills on prior experiences.

This is why microlearning has become such an important tool in the training arsenal.

Learning small new pieces of information, which can then be used in the real world, has a greater chance of successful implementation than the “fire hose” approach--where information is just spewed at the learner hoping some of it sticks.

5. Give Training “Wins” Along the Way

Research indicates that both success and failure are self-perpetuating. When learners struggle and experience failure, it can become internalized to the point that they expect themselves to continuously fail.

By the time individuals experience workplace training, they have years of education (even if just grade school) before their current learning experience. If learning or training experiences have been difficult, you might find resistance to new training or internalized expectations of failure.

Instead, we can use the knowledge of the win/loss cycle to perpetuate success.

When employee learners experience success with training, especially when they also have the opportunity to share their insights, thoughts, and successes with peers or instructors, you strengthen the “win” cycle.

Building on those wins, you improve learning outcomes.

6. Balance Knowledge with Application

The ability to apply what one has been taught is a higher-order thinking skill than sheer memorization.

Creating is higher still.

A course that has an emphasis on applying and doing will therefore have better outcomes.

7. Break Learning into Bite-sized Pieces

There’s only so much anyone can absorb in a single sitting.

With so many demands on modern attention units, self-paced learning structures tend to work best. Following all the guidelines listed so far, a course broken into manageable pieces has the best chance of providing enough time to practice each new skill between learning sessions.

8. Consider Peer Training for Better Learning Outcomes

One of the most grueling training programs on earth begins on solid ground, goes underwater, and then heads to space. It might sound like a riddle, but it’s astronaut training.

And there’s a reason astronauts usually train in pairs, even doing spacewalks in doubles. It’s called peer training, and it improves learning outcomes in workplace training as well.

Whenever possible, consider having a buddy system with peer accountability for training steps.

9. Value Mentoring and Apprenticeship

Another important aspect of accountability and solidifying knowledge can come in the form of apprenticing or mentoring on a new job.

Mentorship can boost post-training performance, enhance company stability and even serve a role in assisting mentors themselves to feel valued in the workplace.

Organizations that value leadership, growth, and an ROI on training dollars, invest in mentorship.

10. Follow-up When Training Ends

If organizations just spent a fraction of the cost of training on follow-up post-training, they’d likely see a huge boost in the success of training programs.

Follow-up provides reinforcement, solidifies the importance of training experiences, and then even reveals the next opportunities for growth.

Write Your Own Courses

At Arist, we understand what it takes to improve learning outcomes--and to create training programs quickly.

Whether you choose courses from our training library, we create courses for you, or you write your own ideal mobile learning experiences, our platform makes learning straightforward, and beautifully simple, for better training outcomes.