The Value of Process Learning

We all have had training that is presented and then once it is over we forgot most of what was presented. It is just how our brains work in that we do not retain well no matter how well the training was presented. It is rather alarming to me that we spend time, energy and quite a bit of staff enrichment expense to participate in training which often yields about a 5% retention rate if the training is lecture only. If we read something the retention rate is about 10% and if we do not utilize the information that we hear or read we typically forget it entirely.

If we think of the millions of dollars spent in training by our companies and organizations with such a small retention rate it seems almost foolish to make that kind of extensive investment, yet we need training for the fast-paced and developing world of change and technology in which we currently live.

Lakeside’s training is largely about trauma and adversity training. We recognize that in order to provide effective training we need to make it sticky. It needs to be memorable or in a more contemporary language. Particularly when dealing with trauma types of topics it is essential that those we train recognize how they need to deal with someone they encounter who has been impacted by traumatic events. We really cannot afford to provide typical training that can be easily forgotten.

When we were designing our training, we intentionally embedded techniques within the training that was purposed to be sticky. Contextual illustrations, story-telling, process discussions, book discussions, practice and reporting and open sharing are just a few of the methods we included. This helped trainees process what they were learning and that experience with our trainers had a much more significant result in retention, along with skill-based learning.

A number of years ago, we researched knowledge retention of what we were teaching. We monitored our outcomes for about 10 years and the results were uncanny. For every year we measured the knowledge retention, we found that the retention rate was 82% almost to a percentage point. It showed so much consistency and the persistent high level of retention was rather remarkable. It was because we were very sensitive to group process, to learning capacity and to how we presented our information in a contextual way. It was a huge tribute to our trainers and our curriculum designers. 

Training is far more of an art form than we typically think if we are going to be effective and if our training has the capacity to be remembered and utilized. We need to teach these important skills in such a way that they can be functional, especially since our participants often work with those who have struggled with trauma. It is our purpose to give them memorable tools to deal with so that their trauma training will yield lasting results. The value of learning that is processed in real life and in real time can offer a great deal of significant potential. It can make training much more impactful if we are intentional about honoring a process that will add integrity to our training methods and values.

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