Why Your L&D Tools Might Not Be Delivering Your Desired Learning Outcomes

While some organizations are looking to slash L&D budgets in 2021, smart organizations are doubling down and embracing changes that improve learning outcomes. Investing in effective employee training boosts the bottom line, with “effective” being the operative word there.

Of course, when your L&D tools deliver the results you seek, investing in training seems simple. You know the benefits of ongoing training programs: you improve employee satisfaction and retention, boost motivation and production, make it possible to hire from within, and better align the moving parts of an organization toward company objectives--but only when learning actually takes place.

Undoubtedly, if you aren’t seeing the results you desire, there are specific reasons your L&D Tools might not be translating into improved learning outcomes and behaviors.

Try these key actions to obtain better results.

Focus on the Journey, AND the Destination

Too often training can focus on two things: certifications and bragging rights. Indeed, in a resume-stuffing world, it’s easy to lose sight of something much more important: changed behavior. What do students do with what they have learned?

In a recent study by Gartner, 70% of employees reported not having the skills they needed for their jobs today. Yet, more than $80 billion gets invested in corporate training and development in the United States every year.

Those figures represent quite a gap!

Companies provide the training, it’s just not leading to results!

Thus, a better approach to L&D utilizes an outcome-based model. Yes, you want employees to obtain certain certifications, meet legal requirements, etc, but effective L&D tools build action into every step of training.

Practice Viewing Learners Realistically

A learner-centered approach results in better learning outcomes.

In the late 1800’s German psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus studied what became known as “The Forgetting Curve.” In his research, he discovered that humans forget about 75% of what they study within just six days after study.

The key to counteracting the Forgetting Curve? Application. If you use what you study, you retain it better.

Effective L&D tools utilize these key learning retention strategies:

  • Breaking new data into small pieces,
  • Aligning data to useful application, directly applicable to the individual learner’s interests, needs, and capabilities,
  • Repeating key data, over time (not just immediately),
  • Spreading learning over time,
  • And shortening the feedback loop, so that the learner cannot get very far off track before getting guidance.

The Harvard Business Review recently spoke to these issues in an article by Glaveski entitled, “Where Companies Go Wrong with Learning and Development.” He spoke to the growing idea of “lean learning,” patterned after Toyota’s lean manufacturing system, where you use effort only when it is needed, cut waste and improve outcomes.

The article points out that we now have the technology for adaptive learning. Just as ads get tailored to web-searchers, based on their search history and online behavior, L&D programs can adapt to learning needs based on progress and learning outcomes.

In the 21st year of the 21st century, we must evolve past cookie-cutter experiences.

Embrace Feedback and Change

Just as we want employees to accept feedback or criticism as a means to make positive change, an effective L&D strategy must model that behavior.

Apply only right-fit solutions, based on workplace experience, to stay relevant to employees and thus improve learning outcomes.

After all, L&D isn’t about training a dog to sit for treats, it’s about genuine learning for workplace application.

Genuine learning might include training patterns and pattern recognition, the memorization skillset we remember from so many years of primary education. But so much more of the learning and behavior for a 21st-century working environment involves being able to make judgment calls, create new and more innovative solutions, or operate collaboratively (even at a distance and across differences in language or culture).

Shouldn’t our L&D tools do the same?

Arist Embraces Innovation

At Arist we built effectiveness into our learning platform from the ground up.

We focus on the success of your desired learning outcomes, through a platform that seamlessly integrates with your organizational goals and your employee learners.

Contact us to find out how it works.