How Peer Learning Groups Address the Six Common Training-Fails

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Despite significant investments in employee training, it is estimated that nearly 90% of new skills are lost and forgotten within a year. This means that 90% of the investment is wasted.

There is no doubt that training managers is not easy, and no two organizations will face the same problems. But there are commonalities that experts have observed across nearly all businesses. Analyzing the six most common reasons why management training fails, we will show how Peer Learning Groups can address each challenge and make professional development programs more successful and cost-effective.

  1. Limited Time and Competing Priorities

Managers are short on time and have to prioritize their overwhelming to-do lists. Skill development does not get priority over tending to business. It is difficult to take time off from work. Even when the training is held off site, emails and texts continue to interrupt the learning process.

Peer Learning Group Solution: Peer Learning Groups take little time and can be flexibly organized at the workplace when managers have the need to focus on learning a new skill. It only takes 90 minutes for six managers to work through a topic of interest.

  1. Lack of Interest

The value or the immediate application of training is often lacking. Training on generic issues is far removed from real-life challenges. There is often a disconnect between the skills offered in training and the personal success of a manager in the workplace.

Peer Learning Group Solution: Participants in the Peer Learning Groups select topics that are of immediate interest and discuss issues that are relevant to their needs and situations. The knowledge and skills are immediately useful and applicable, allowing the managers to draw personal and professional benefits from the learning experience.

  1. Limited Budget and Training Resources

Even with an increased focus on training, budgets for management development are not getting bigger. And many professional development training programs are very costly, making it difficult to ensure that all managers have access to them.

Peer Learning Group Solution: Organizing and implementing a Peer Learning Group program in in your workplace costs just a fraction of what you would spend on sending people to off-site classroom events. In addition, the face-to-face peer learning group method delivers lasting and concrete results that contribute to developing collaboration, increased productivity and job satisfaction.

  1. Information Overload

The typical off-site professional development programs are days-long intensives. The trouble is that managers can’t absorb and remember all of that information in that amount of time: a lot of what is presented is missed out and the rest is quickly forgotten soon after the program ends.

Peer Learning Group Solution: Peer Learning Groups take a microlearning approach to learning. The group sessions last only 90 minutes. The new learning content offered by The Peer Learning Institute materials are very succinct and strictly limited to the topic at hand.

  1. Lack of Planning and Poor Timing

Traditional training takes a lot planning to do it well. Even when you buy the training from outside providers, there are a lot of details to attend to. Program schedules are fixed, which may not coincide with the immediate training needs of the managers.

Peer Learning Group Solution: While a peer learning group program needs some planning, it is fairly straightforward and follows a well-designed process provided by The Peer Learning Institute. Once the Peer Learning Groups are set up, the program runs on its own with little need for additional coordination beyond monitoring the progress and periodic check-ins by the participants’ supervisors.

  1. Neglecting What Happens After Training

When managers don’t use the skills they’ve learned after training, knowledge decay sets in very quickly. New skills have to be practiced and applied. Without a strategy for reinforcing new skills after the training ends, 90% of what your managers were taught could be lost.

Peer Learning Group Solution: The Peer Learning Groups are structured so that the managers practice their new skills through ongoing workplace application and experimentation, followed by reflection on the practice experience. The Peer Learning Groups blend learning with working, resulting in a seamless work-based professional development experience for the managers.

For more information about peer learning and how to engage your managers in effective learning, please visit http://www. peerlearninginstitute.com

Peter Korynski                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Co-Founder and Chief Program Officer                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The Peer Learning Institute

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