Employee training retention especially with new trainees may be the biggest organizational training failure. A lack of follow-up training is not only common it’s typical. So, why is follow up training critical? How much do trainees forget? “Research on the forgetting curve (Figure 1) shows that within one hour, people will have forgotten an average of 50 percent of the information you presented. Within 24 hours, they have forgotten an average of 70 percent of new information, and within a week, forgetting claims an average of 90 percent of it.” – – Learning Guild — Brain Science The Forgetting Curve

“Within 24 hours of getting the information – spend 10 minutes reviewing, and you will raise the curve almost to 100% again. A week later (day 7), it only takes 5 minutes to “reactivate” the same material and again raise the curve. By day 30, your brain will only need 2-4 minutes…” — University of Waterloo.

How To Improve Employee Training Retention

Follow up

After conducting a training session, following up with the participants is crucial to ensure participants have retained the knowledge and skills gained during the training. Here are some ways to conduct follow-up after training:

Conduct a survey 

Send out surveys to the participants to gather feedback on the training session. This will help you identify areas that need improvement and give you an idea of how well the participants understood the training content. (See the survey below.)

Quiz the previous day’s key points

Facilitate quizzes to test the participant’s knowledge and skills after the training. This will help you determine whether the training effectively achieved its objectives.

Meet one-on-one

Meet with each trainee after the training session. Schedule one-on-one meetings with the participants to discuss their progress and address any questions or concerns they may have.

Send a communication asking for examples of implementing the training.

Keep following up! 

Conduct refresher sessions to reinforce the training content and provide additional support to the participants. Continuously repeat the training. I often must remind myself that it’s not only okay to repeat training but necessary.

The key is follow-up training; think about it—you can raise training retention by up to 90%! How would this impact your operation?

Benefits of Conducting Follow-up Training

Conducting follow-up after training can provide several benefits, including:

Reinforce learning

Following up after training reinforces the information from the initial training session. This helps ensure the information is retained and applied in the workplace.

Identify knowledge gaps

By following up after training, trainers can identify any knowledge gaps or areas where employees may need additional support or training.

Improve performance

Follow-up training helps improve employee performance by providing ongoing support and feedback. Companies can increase their return on investment (ROI) in training programs by ensuring that employees apply what they learned during training.

Enhance employee engagement

Conducting follow-up after training shows employees that their development is essential to the company. This can lead to increased engagement and motivation to perform well in their roles.

Overall, conducting follow-up after training is an important part of any effective training program and can benefit employees and companies.

Share What’s Valuable to the Trainee 

Employee training retention requires training that’s useful, pertinent, and fit the needs of trainees. It must support organizational policy and procedure. I’ve conducted training sessions on subjects near and dear to my heart — subjects I was passionate about. However, I was sometimes disappointed when the trainees didn’t share my enthusiasm. The trainees didn’t embrace the training because it didn’t fit their needs. When planning a training session, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Does the training fit the needs of the trainees?
  • Will it improve the job, results, activities, or team?
  • Does the training adhere to organizational policies and procedures?
  • When and how will the trainees use this?

Just because you’re passionate about a subject doesn’t mean your direct reports will be. Do they need the information? Is it information they can use? How do you determine if the training is valuable? Ask them. Below is a simple survey you can use. You can adapt the survey to your needs or create your own. The survey uses open-ended questions to solicit more than yes or no answers. I want to know what they’re thinking and what they remember, don’t you?

Training Survey

Trainee Name _________________________ Date _______________

  1. What key concept did you take from the training?



  1. Was the information pertinent, and is it information you will use?



  1. What was the purpose of the training?



  1. What would you have discussed further?



  1. What could have been improved?



  1. What topics would you like to explore in the future?



  1. What are your assignments?



  1. What commitments have you made regarding using the training?


How Can I Help You?

I like to help people and organizations, but I have three criteria I consider before taking an assignment – I believe in what the organization stands for, I know I can help, and it looks like fun. If you have any questions, Contact Me. 

So, does your business have a management training plan? Because, if not, many organizations, large and small, use my book, The New Manager’s Workbook a crash course in effective management, as the basis for their leadership development program. Check it out. It might help you stop putting off what you want to do.

If you enjoyed this post, you might like Pick One.

Photo by Claire Nakkachi on Unsplash