Five Tips to Boost the “Stickiness” of Employee Training

What is “stickiness?” In the context of workplace training, stickiness tracks the level of learner engagement and knowledge retention. A “sticky” training course means that lessons taught in the course are well engrained in the learners’ memory and are likely to actually be applied on the job. So the outstanding million-dollar question: how do we make training stickier? There are many ways to make training more engaging and more memorable and Vital Learning’s courses offer plenty of guidance, but here are a few tips to get started:

  1. Make it personal. This is easier said than done and requires a thoughtful understanding of your trainees. What are their backgrounds? What is their workplace like? What practical skills would they love to know and what solutions would improve their job performance? Some background research and discussion with the trainees themselves can go a long way.
  2. Create the context. Provide the trainee with the link between the skill points learned and his/her ability to better contribute to the organization. If the trainee feels that having a thorough grasp of the learning material will immediately benefit his/her job performance, that’s a great reason to stay engaged.
  3. Manage expectations early. Be clear in your communication of what the training course will provide and how it will be structured. Give the trainees a good understanding of the training objectives before the course begins and emphasize why the training is important. This will help to alleviate trainees’ anxiety about the session and will get them engaged early on.
  4. Make skill practice entertaining and relevant. Applying learned skills in simulations of real-world scenarios will help knowledge retention and the likelihood that these skills will actually be used on the job. Make the role play sessions fun, thoughtful, and job-relevant. It’s impossible to perfectly replicate on-the-job experience, but creating scenarios trainees can relate to increases stickiness.
  5. Follow up. The initial training session teaches trainees the basic skills sets and how to apply them. But workplace learning is never-ending, and unique challenges constantly arise. Newly learned skills that are not continually applied eventually fade from memory. Make sure the trainees continue to think about and apply the skills they learned.

Vital Learning’s facilitator guides offer step-by-step instructions on how to run a successful and sticky training course. Find out more about Vital Learning’s engaging and adaptable course material.

Do you have other thoughts on stickiness? We would love to hear your comments and suggestions on how to make workplace training more memorable and engaging.


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