US Firms Spend US$156B (2011) on Employee Learning

Source: WSJ, Oct 2012

U.S. firms spent about $156 billion on employee learning in 2011, the most recent data available, according to the American Society for Training and Development. But with little practical follow-up or meaningful assessments, some 90% of new skills are lost within a year, some research suggests.

… the correlation is very weak between reaction to training and actual learning.

… the single most important element of an effective training program? ….

Design. It’s the thing you do before, during and after. How are you going to allow employees to practice? How are you going to provide feedback? What sort of technology are you going to use?

The American Society for Training and Development says that by the time you go back to your job, you’ve lost 90% of what you’ve learned in training. You only retain 10%. If you don’t use the skills very quickly, you will have big decay very quickly. That’s why you need to reinforce, you need to assess. If you learn something and you don’t have the opportunity to practice, eventually you are going to lose it.

What training ought to do is help you get access to that information—databases, manuals, checklists—when you need it on the job. They cannot memorize everything.

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