Learning & Development

How to Eliminate Corporate Training Waste in 2023

Only 12% of employees feel strongly that their organization does a great job onboarding new employees. This low percentage makes sense when you consider that trainers often spend a few days throwing a large amount of information at employees and hope it all sticks. Research shows employees forget 50% of the information presented during a training session within an hour. In a week, that figure jumps to 90%.

HR and learning and development (L&D) teams put too much time and money into training content—whether for onboarding, compliance training, upskilling efforts, refreshers on core policies, benefits, and processes—for it to go underutilized or to waste.

Today’s Training Challenges

One of the biggest gaps in most training approaches today is that there is no easy way for employees to refer back to the information presented and get answers to follow-up questions. Despite your best efforts to cover everything, your employees will have questions—and lots of them. Whether it’s looking up how to pull a report or what the vacation policy is, it’s natural to need quick reminders after a training, and the information shouldn’t be hard to find. Yet, given over 80% of enterprise data is unstructured, the information is difficult for employees to find and use.

Say employees didn’t take great notes during a training session and need clarification on how to run a specific report. They know step-by-step documentation exists somewhere, but they aren’t sure where to find it. They have two options: They can take the time to scour the shared drive for the document and track down the exact part of the guide that contains the answer they need, or they can ask their trainer or colleague to find and share the documentation or take the time to re-walk them through that part of the reporting process.

The first option wastes valuable time for the employees, who should be focused on getting up to speed or contributing to key projects. This scavenger hunt for information is all too common; today’s knowledge workers waste 23% of their week scouring shared drives for the answers they need to do their jobs. The latter option of turning to colleagues for help disrupts the productivity of multiple employees at once. The employees who take neither approach and execute based on what they remember stall their own professional development, decrease organizational productivity, and increase their chances of making a costly mistake.

5 Steps to Take Today

There are several ways companies can eliminate training waste and make corporate training more effective this year.

  1. Centralize your company knowledge. Most organizations’ internal information is scattered across employee computers, intranets, shared drives, and the cloud. Get all your institutional knowledge in one location, and make it searchable and accessible to everyone across the organization so employees can self-serve.
  2. Streamline information retrieval. Bringingall your knowledge together is a great start, but if employees have to manually search for and find the resources they need, you’re missing out on significant time savings. Apply artificial intelligence (AI) to instantly find and surface the pieces of information staff need to drive their work forward.
  3. Focus on answers. The real value comes when you can quickly get employees exact answers to their questions, not just get them to the right document. Many manuals, guides, and policies are hundreds of pages long. It often takes just as much, if not more, time to find the right paragraph, slide, or video time stamp that contains the answer they need as it does to find the right document in the first place. Bring employees directly to where the answer they need lives.
  4. Drive knowledge-sharing and collaboration. Chances are that if one employee is looking for a particular answer, other team members would also benefit from seeing and using that information. Build out a process for enabling immediate sharing of your institutional knowledge.
  5. Enable real-time learning. Think about how your employees work, the systems they use regularly, and the situations in which they most often need answers. How can you make it as easy as possible for them to get the information they need right in the moment they need it? Whether they are in a meeting and need to reference a key resource or are in the middle of a project and need to recall how to do something, having what they need at their fingertips speeds up the learning process.

Why Act Now

Most executives have no idea this type of training waste is even a problem. That is why the organizations that recognize the issue and invest to fix it in 2023 will have a significant advantage, especially during a time of economic uncertainty when workforce capacity issues and the pressure to perform and be productive are high.

Dan Mallin is the Founder and CEO of Lucy, an AI-powered answer engine, where he helps Fortune 1000 organizations liberate their corporate knowledge, free capacity, and drive productivity.

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