Jeff is listening to the radio in his car and just heard a press release that the Governor has asked the community to fly their flags at half-staff tomorrow in honor of a fallen officer that was killed in the line of duty. Jeff recalls from his scouting days that he learned information about how to fly the flag but it has now been forgotten.
After stopping along the side of the road and pulling out his smart phone, he finds his mobile app on flag etiquette and looks for how to fly the flag at half-staff. Because he has already learned this information before, he can quickly review the procedure and is ready now to display the flag correctly. The next day, Jeff is able to join others in his community in showing respect and honor to the fallen officer.
With a quick swipe of a finger, knowledge that has been lost is quickly recalled so that it can be applied for this event and retained for future occasions.
James and Angie are learning a lot about finances during the Mental Fitness Challenge. They are reading materials and listening to CD’s to help them distinguish between needs and wants. They are learning about budgeting and planning for the future. They find there are 10 areas they need to consider. With all this information, James and Angie are getting frustrated because they can’t remember everything.
James decides he needs to solve this problem and creates job aids to help them remember what they are learning. He puts these on the walls in their office where they can read them every day and refer to them as needed. As other topics are introduced through the program, James creates job aids for them also and increases the retention of the materials they are learning.
By the end of the 90 program, James and Angie feel like they have a good grasp on what was taught and they will be more likely to accomplish the goals they have set.
Kim has just finished a long day of meetings with a lot of information provided. It is her responsibility to take this information and pass it along to her co-workers. Even though she has tried to take extensive notes, she is fearful that she will forget the key points of the many meetings. As she discusses these concerns with one of the other participants, she finds out that summary sheets have been provided that highlight the main points she needs to pass along.
Kim downloads these summary sheets onto her mobile device and studies them. Using the notes that she took during the session and the main points on the summary sheets, she is able to effectively pass along the needed information.
Kim is able to retain valuable knowledge for her company and herself through using her mobile device.
Linda is part of a local women’s group and has been asked to help with the set-up for the next luncheon. This particular women’s group always displays the US and state flags and recites the pledge of allegiance before starting the meeting. As part of Linda’s job, she has been asked to replace one of the flags and then make sure they are displayed properly.
XYZ Flag Company is located nearby so she decides to visit the store to obtain the needed flag and get some help on flag etiquette. She finds the store to be incredibly helpful and even has a mobile app that she can download on her phone with charts showing how to display flags for different room arrangements.
On the day of the luncheon, Linda arranges the room and the flags according to the chart on her phone. She even recommends ABC Flag Company to all the ladies at the luncheon if they have any flag needs.
XYZ Flag Company has just retained a valuable customer who is sharing her great experience with others.
Cathy belongs to a networking group that frequently uses the association’s mobile app to make sure all members know where and when different events are scheduled. She has been asked by the group to keep the app information current and even include pictures of the members at the different events.
Looking at the schedule, Cathy notices that the meeting in 2 weeks will be at a golf course club house and then members are invited to play a round of golf after the meeting. She puts this information on the calendar included in the app. Two days before the special event at the club house, she sends out a notification to all the members reminding them of the change in location and the opportunity to play golf later. She takes pictures during the event and includes them in the mobile app gallery.
The networking group notices a large increase in people wishing to join their association. When members are asked why they are recommending this group to their friends, they find out that the information on the app and the work Cathy has done to make sure everyone feels involved has played a huge part in the retention of members and their invitation for others to join.
Do you find it more difficult to retain the information you need within your brain for instant recall at the moment of need?
Technology can provide an effective information recall tool. We can instantly access the information needed without carrying it with us.
Let’s look at some examples –
Do you carry a printed dictionary with you in case you need to look up a word? Do you have all definitions and spellings stored away in your head? Not likely. We are able to access online or offline dictionaries from a smart phone or tablet at the moment of need.
Do you carry printed maps with you for all of the locations you might visit? Are you personally familiar with the roads and terrain of all locations you will travel to this month? Not likely. Today, we can access Google Maps or other map resources online at the moment of need.
Part of mastering retention is knowing where to look at the moment of need to get the information required.
How do you maximize the learning opportunity when individuals are gathered together in a formal setting?
Take time to allow the group to interact with each other. This is more than simply stating their name in a brief introduction. Allow them to absorb the energy of the group and begin to share with each other.
People come with different levels of prior knowledge and experience. Use this resource to engage the group and highlight specific experiences as they are shared.
As questions are asked, don’t be too quick to answer them. Draw from the group’s experience and allow them to collaborate on solutions together.
Learning doesn’t stop during a classroom break. Encourage discussion and listen for feedback. Identify those who are willing to reach out and help others.
Use technology to boost learning. Leverage the power of short, online learning modules to prepare a group for the face-to-face session. Create social learning opportunities through online resources where the group can collaborate and exchange experiences.
Provide timely reference material that can be accessed at the moment of need. Look for ways to extend the learning experience outside of the classroom through follow-up learning modules. Leverage the mobile environment of the individuals with accessible resources and tools.
These efforts will retain both people and knowledge.
Many frequently include multimedia and interactivity in training modules in order to engage the learner and increase retention. This improves over traditional methods alone, but is it enough?
Often, it is better to quickly access the knowledge at the moment of need and immediately apply the skills and information to problem solving and performance issues. In these circumstances, there is no time for multimedia presentations and interactive exercises.
It appears that the best mix is to use multimedia and interactivity to teach the learner how to respond and how to find the required information. Then provide the means to access that information at the moment of need through any device and from any location.
This will enhance retention as knowledge is found and applied at the moment.
Many turn thoughts to goal setting as we begin a new year. It is a time to refocus energies and recommit for improvement. Enhancing communication with employees, clients and customers can deliver huge results.
One of the most effective times to establish clear communication is in the early stages of the relationship. A new employee on their first day needs to clearly understand the expectations of their role and the overall objectives of the company. A new client must understand the processes involved and how to get questions answered. A new customer wants to understand how to use their new purchase and where to get help when it doesn’t work.
Retention of these valuable company resources can be enhanced through appropriate orientation efforts on the first day. Providing an interactive learning experience will stay with them longer and allow quick review as needed later.
Use learning to retain your employees, clients, and customers.
Social media allows an individual to exchange information and to communicate. This collaboration can enhance the learning process and develop needed resources and experiences.
As information is exchanged, the individual is working to generate their own learning content. This occurs outside of any formal training environment. The collective knowledge of a greater group is accessed and the individual is engaged more frequently in the learning process. They identify the details that must be retained for future application. Gaps are recognized and questions posted for further clarification.
Social media can also facilitate communication between a facilitator and a group of learners outside of the formal setting. Through Facebook, advanced materials can be provided to individuals. Activities can be encouraged between formal sessions to apply the knowledge. A learning community is created to help address questions and to share experiences at the moment of need.
Social media can become a tool to learning rather than a distraction. The key to retaining people and knowledge is engaging them with interactive opportunities to learn and share.