Getting “sticky” with Learning


In the words of Henry Ford (Founder, Ford Motor Company), "The only thing worse than training your employees and having them leave, is not training them and having them stay.”

No matter how much ‘training your employees’ eats up production time for your organization, you cannot ignore the importance of training them. Without implementing a successful training program, that educates your staff on the procedures and culture of your business, the long-term cost would outweigh any short-term inconvenience.


If you are a small or medium business owner, or the training brains behind your large-scale organization, you must have in place - an effective training program for your employees. This training program must essentially contain lessons that encourage application and knowledge retention.

Here are some tips on how to build an effective training program:

Create a culture of learning

Important to growth of any business, is the growth of its people’s skillsets. Provide the resources that will help employees polish their existing skills and learn new ones they need to make the next step in their field. Organized, ongoing training programs will maintain all employees’ skill levels and continually motivate them to grow and improve professionally.

Plan and plot to make them learn

Release bi-weekly / monthly / annual training calendars that helps them plan training as per their requirements. Outline the what and why of the session a couple of days in advance so employees can mentally prepare and come in knowing what to expect and why they are there.

Apply what they learn

Discuss in detail where and how these new skills will be applied and how success will be measured. It’s important to provide a place to answer questions, review concepts and troubleshoot any problems. If employees don’t use what they have learned as soon as they return, the content will fade in a very short time span. Training will start to “stick” once employees are making decisions based on what they have learned.

e-Learning content that ‘sticks’

Some of the many concepts that will help you achieve training “stickiness”:

Simplicity – Focus on the learning objectives and keep the content simple to understand and evaluate. Structure the e-Learning in a way that is unambiguous and retainable.

Direction – Focus your message on the needs of the employees. This may seem like a no-brainer, but many people jump into training development and training delivery without giving much thought to what information the employees want and need to do their job.


Surprise – Communicate your message in a way that is unexpected to employees. A way that points out the counter-intuitive aspect you might have identified. Help them make sense of the unexpected or contradictory information to create a new, sensible body of knowledge of the topic in discussion.

Credibility – Involve the right Subject Matter Experts, those who really know their stuff on the training topic. This is a common method of gaining credibility in training. For example, in safety training, many workers like to receive safety training about their work processes from someone with many years of experience working at that site.

Story-telling – If a story presents a problem or challenge the employees may have to face on the job, they will be actively trying to solve the problem themselves in their mind as the story unfolds. And that turns training that might have been presented as a boring, passive, and ultimately ineffective lecture into an engaging, active, and ultimately effective learning experience.

We at Pathways Training and eLearning, hope that you learned some easily applicable concepts to developing a new learning program, or revising your existing one. Get in touch with us to know more about how we can help.

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