Chief Learning Officer magazine is a trademark of Mediatec Publishing Inc. All clomedia.com and Chief Learning Officer magazine content Copyright 2013 MediaTec Publishing Inc. All Rights Reserved. It is illegal to copy, reproduce or publish any information contained on clomedia.com or in Chief Learning Officer magazine without express written permission from MediaTec Publishing Inc.
Scrap Learning and Manager Engagement
By participating in the training process pre- and post-event, managers can ensure that employees retain and apply more of what they learn.
In an ever-changing business world, where sustainable competitive advantage is key to success or failure, training is the lever many organizations turn to when searching for performance improvement. However, most organizations overlook an important aspect of development that often makes it many times more effective — manager engagement.
KnowledgeAdvisors conducted a survey from December 2009 to March 2010 to investigate the current state of training application and manager engagement. The majority of nearly 160 respondents were from companies with 5,000 or more people, and their roles within the organization were most often in learning and development (56 percent) or human resources (25 percent). More than three-quarters (76 percent) of all survey respondents indicated that training is a key organizational tool to optimize employee performance (Figure 1).
Unfortunately, using training as a performance lever tends to lose its power with time as employees forget what they’ve learned or let their newly acquired skills go unused. Robert O. Brinkerhoff, Ed.D., professor emeritus at Western Michigan University, said that after training, learners typically fall into one of three categories:
1. They do not try to apply training.
2. They attempt to apply it but realize no worthwhile results.
3. They apply training and get some positive results.
Positive results tend to be reinforcing and prompt the learners to apply their skills again. Yet Brinkerhoff estimates that successful application, group three, is as low as 20 percent. The remaining 80 percent is known as scrap learning — learning that was delivered but unsuccessfully applied, as in groups one and two, and is therefore wasted.
Scrap learning is pervasive. By survey respondents’ best estimates, only 9 percent of learners actually apply what they learn with positive results. Seventy-six percent indicate that learners apply 50 percent or less of what they learn, which means the scrap learning rate is 50 percent or higher among more than three-quarters of all companies.
The Next Generation of HR: What’s Wrong? What’s Right?
May 23rd 1:00pm - 2:00pm CT
2013 CLO Breakfast Club, Boston
September 12th - 12th, 2013The Westin Copley Place
Fall 2013 CLO Symposium
September 30th - October 2nd, 2013Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa
Get the Magazine