While the saying 'you can't teach an old dog new tricks’ isn’t entirely true, it does convey a human reality. As our brains grow older, retaining information and learning new skills gets harder. For this reason, learning fails to stick when it’s not experienced or put into practice. However, this doesn't mean that people cannot learn new skills; It means that they have to learn by doing.
When it comes to workplace learning, training is a means of developing people and particular skills. In the same way we don’t learn how to ride a bike by reading a book, creative habits and leadership reflexes are honed by doing, not reading or listening.
As a result, the best training treats learning as a journey and engages the whole self in action; it stimulates the brain, pulls at the heartstrings and offers first-hand experience, equipping learners to tackle real-world business challenges. In this blog, discover why workplace learning is authenticated through engagement, emotion and practice—and how ExperiencePoint’s carefully crafted workshops achieve all three.
General feedback, or what the industry refers to as a ‘smile sheet,’ is not an accurate measure of learning success. Many training experiences introduce exciting new concepts and tools, but they often fail to develop the skills and behaviors required to use them effectively. Once workshop participants go back to their jobs and apply newly learned skills, it’s apparent that they lack the latitude and support to sustain new mindsets.
Workplace learning must go beyond surface-level knowledge and challenge participants to build the skills and behaviors to bring learning to life. While pure enjoyment is essential to training success, it's insufficient to render the transformative experience leaders seek from their training programs today. ExperiencePoint’s immersive training uses short bursts of learning, design sprints, digitally-driven simulations, and gamification elements to ensure that participants have fun while leaving with the mindsets needed to apply learnings to their day-to-day work.
Studies show that emotion strongly influences human cognitive processes, including how we learn, remember, reason, and problem-solve. Emotion modulates attention, motivating action and behavior. Therefore, intense training that pulls at one’s heartstrings enables participants to internalize learnings and act upon new skills. The heat of the moment exposes participants’ default behaviors and allows them to build new reflexes.
ExperiencePoint’s workshops are highly social learning experiences that leverage case studies to simulate real-life projects and play upon participants’ emotions. Amidst a sea of change-management workshops, learning experiences like ExperienceChange stand out because they guide users through the emotional journey of undergoing change. Participants can feel the highs of success and the lows of failure (sometimes even having to fire a simulated team member). As a result, participants remember what it feels like to truly experience change, internalize lessons and act upon new learning. Participants leave happy and equipped to tackle real-life scenarios rather than leaving with just a positive NPS score in their hand.
“The course focused on the emotional and rational side of change and its impacts - this was extremely relatable. Also, the gamification portion kept me engaged and was extremely enjoyable. I plan to apply some tools to my own change project, share what I learned with others and learn more about leading change.”
Given that we remember 80% of what we personally experience, it’s not surprising that hands-on application is an important element of training that sticks. Hands-on learning provides a safe space for people to practice in ways that expose their biases and bad habits. The real magic happens when practice is scaffolded so that it can be applied to a real business challenge. People leave training knowing they're on a learning journey and have work to do, but are excited about the impact they can have on their work because they've experienced it firsthand.
ExperiencePoint focuses on developing knowledge, skills and behaviors through practice. We think of learning as role-specific journeys that change behaviors while enabling new skills. Our workshop participants are guided through realistic innovation projects which provide a structured method to apply learnings. Participants leave able to immediately use a range of our proven approaches in their daily work and organizational initiatives. Our sustainment framework then ensures that new skills stick, allowing leaders to focus on scaling innovation efforts—something you could never expect of a smile sheet.
Training That Sticks Vs. Training That Slips
A recent ExperiencePoint survey revealed that 42% of leaders think applicability is the most important aspect of a training experience. While knowledge-based learning may delight in the moment and even render decent NPS scores, it's rarely applied. Beyond accumulating knowledge, it is crucial to build skills and behaviors to provide meaningful learning experiences.
In an era where businesses need to adapt, learn or perish, ensure that your organization is getting training that is not only enjoyable but also engaging, insightful and lasting.