87 percent of training knowledge is wasted, without further coaching or reinforcement activity

In June 2013, Forbes magazine quoted sales guru, Neil Rackham, of SPIN Selling® fame, who had conducted a study that indicated “that post training, if there was no coaching or reinforcement activity, there was a drop-off of 87% of the knowledge acquired.” 

In return on investment terms, that means 87p of every pound spent on formal training is, in effect, wasted. So why then is it so difficult to turn training into real learning?

Clearly, training needs to be high quality, interesting and relevant in order to make a difference and affect change… but why is it that, assuming that training is consistent, the impact of port-training coaching and reinforcement has such an important effect on successful learning?

Learning comprises of two key factors; the first involves learning new skills and gaining knowledge. The second, and the part that makes all the difference, is how to ensure the new skills and knowledge become an embedded part of the day-to-day job, often to support compliance as well as understanding.

Backing this up, in a quotation from The ACHR News magazine, leadership experts, Zenger, Folkman, and Sherwin “found in their 2005 study that the most commonly cited problem in employee learning and development was lack of serious post-training follow through. The things that contributed to this problem included lack of management understanding of or buy-in to the training, little or no coaching or encouragement of the employee after the training, and almost non-existent meaningful evaluation of the training. These things combine to form a significant obstacle to training success.”

Luckily, there are new companies emerging that are solely focused on knowledge reinforcement and training retention. This means a real ROI on training is now achievable.