Whether it’s a brand-new first-grader or your brand-new hire, people aren’t inherently one kind of learner (e.g. visual, auditory, kinesthetic). The idea that they are is considered a neuromyth, or a common misconception about the way our brains work. Basically, we’re not giving our brains credit where it’s due (sorry, ol’ noggin).
The “one kind of learner” neuromyth has been widely accepted, especially by the education system, but guess what? Scientific research disproves it (Digital magazine Quartz discusses the implications here). And that’s good news for the corporate world—it means that learning opportunities can be presented in ways that are effective for everyone.
Engaging ways to train employees
No matter how complicated brains are, you don’t have to be a brain surgeon to get the most out of your employees. Try these approaches in your training program to eliminate the fluff and start seeing results:
Chunk it up. New York Times science reporter Benedict Carey emphasizes that lengthy study or training sessions are not the most productive way to learn. We spend the majority of our brainpower trying to concentrate instead of retaining information. Instead, employee training should be broken up into small time-chunks and delivered over a long period. (This is not only more effective, but a lot less stressful for new hires trying to juggle training and work).
Keep things fresh with variation in content. Long textbook-style pages of reading material won’t make it any easier for your employees to learn. Incorporating videos, quizzes, and surveys similar to those in Bridge by Instructure’s online training platform will make it easier for employees to consume and retain information, and even to enjoy the learning process.
Let ’em out of the office. Learning a little here and there will help the brain nail down material by exposing it to different environments. If you’re using a mobile-compatible training program (which you should be—read this eye-opening study to find out why), then your employees can learn better by switching up their surroundings, whether it’s the train, a coffee shop, or the office.
Role play. Everyone benefits from real-life application. When new hires are learning new job tactics, have them work with partners to recreate real-life situations in which they can apply the principles and skills.
Take it from Ben Franklin: “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.”
Creating effective training for your team isn’t as hard as it seems, especially with an easy-to-use online platform where you can create courses for... well, anything. Your new hires will be sailing through the onboarding process in no time.
Learning style is no excuse for employees to lag behind—check out how employee engagement and learning are linked in our “Educate to Engage” e-book.