16 Guaranteed Strategies for improving learning retention of employees (2024)

Vidya Gopinath for keySkillsetVidya Gopinath for keySkillset
Vidya Gopinath for keySkillset
16 Guaranteed Strategies for improving learning retention of employees (2024)

In the fast-paced world of corporate training and development, ensuring that employees not only learn but also retain the knowledge they acquire is crucial. As Hermann Ebbinghaus's pioneering research on the Learning Curve and the Forgetting Curve revealed, a significant portion of new information can fade from memory within 24 hours if not actively retained. In this blog, we will explore a comprehensive set of strategies to maximize learning retention, transforming training into a long-term investment for your organization's success. Here, in this blog, we will discuss the 16 guaranteed strategies for improving the learning retention of employees.

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The Power of Learning Retention

Imagine this scenario: You invest time, effort, and resources into a comprehensive training program for your employees, covering critical skills and knowledge necessary for their roles. Initially, they grasp the concepts, but over time, the information begins to slip away. Sound familiar? It's a common challenge, and one that can have a significant impact on your organization's productivity and success.

Meanwhile, these stats and data from studies that reveal the power of learning retention:  

  • Within 1 hour, learners forget an average of 50% of the information presented
  • Research shows that an average learner forgets 70% of what they learned within 24 hours  
  • They also forget 90% of what they learned in 7 days if they don’t make an effort to retain it
  • 71% see the potential of micro learning to increase knowledge retention
  • 68% believe that micro learning can drive engagement
  • Active learners retained 93.5% of the previously learned information compared to the 79% of passive learners after a month  
  • Learners who immersed themselves in a personalized 3D virtual reality (VR) environment remembered 30% more information and achieved test scores 20% higher than their peers.

Now, let's delve into the enhanced strategies for boosting learning retention in the workplace:

Top 16 Tips to Increase Retention Rates of eLearning Programs  

1. Read Less, Remember More:

  • Break down learning objectives into bite-sized, focused chunks to make them more manageable.
  • Shorten eLearning sessions to align with learners' attention spans.
  • Frequent, shorter sessions are more effective for retention compared to long, exhaustive modules.

2. Tell a Story:

  • Create narratives with relatable characters and situations to engage learners emotionally.
  • Ensure that the story supports and reinforces the key learning objectives without becoming overly complex.
  • Utilize eLearning videos and characters from popular culture to connect with learners.

3. Test, Quiz, Ask:

  • Incorporate quizzes and assessments throughout the training content to help learners track their progress.
  • Frequent testing after each unit or module enhances information retention and focuses on specific learning objectives.
  • Use test results to evaluate the effectiveness of your training module and make necessary improvements.

4. Active Participation:

  • Design content that transforms learners into active participants rather than passive recipients of knowledge.
  • Incorporate interactive activities, scenarios, and simulations to engage learners and enhance retention.
  • Consider advanced techniques like virtual reality activities or virtual learning labs for greater immersion.

5. Repeat to Retain:

  • Emphasize repetition to reinforce learning and move information into long-term memory.
  • Use techniques like simulations and role-playing to revisit and apply previously taught skills.
  • Include regular refresher units to ensure knowledge retention over time.

6. Spaced Learning:

  • Break down training into shorter sessions with spaced intervals.
  • Reinforce key concepts multiple times over several days or weeks to enhance retention.

7. Blended Learning:

  • Combine traditional face-to-face learning with eLearning for a well-rounded approach.
  • Cater to different learning preferences, including visual, auditory, and kinesthetic styles.

8. Microlearning:

  • Break content into small, bite-sized modules.
  • Daily short sessions are more effective for retention than lengthy ones.

9. Video Learning:

  • Use videos to deliver content, as visual representations aid retention.
  • Engaging videos can increase knowledge retention significantly.

10. Interactive and Engaging Content:

  • Create content with relatable narratives and characters.
  • Use animations, quizzes, surveys, visuals, and humor to engage learners.

11. Apply Learning to the Real World:

  • Ensure training is directly applicable to employees' job roles.
  • Use simulations to demonstrate how learning objectives relate to real-world scenarios.

12. Teach Others:

  • Encourage learners to explain what they've learned to others.
  • Teaching reinforces their own understanding and retention.

13. Learning in the Flow of Work:

  • Integrate learning into daily work processes and systems.
  • Provide quick access to training resources when employees need them.

14. Take Tests:

  • Incorporate quizzes and assessments into training courses.
  • Pre-tests challenge learners, while post-training tests aid retrieval and progress tracking.

15. Learn from Mistakes:

  • Emphasize the value of making mistakes in the learning process.
  • Mistakes capture attention and promote learning and improvement.

16. Hands-On Learning:

  • Practice-based learning enhances comprehension and retention.  
  • Active participation, engaging multiple senses, and using gamification can help learners remember and recall information effectively.


By implementing these strategies and techniques, you can create eLearning experiences that not only impart knowledge effectively but also ensure that the acquired knowledge remains with the learners for the long term. This approach will result in higher retention rates and more successful training outcomes.

Creating effective training programs is indeed crucial, but without learning retention strategies, much of the effort and resources invested in training can go to waste. Human beings have a natural tendency to forget information over time, which is why it's essential to implement strategies that help learners retain what they've been taught.  You could also check out the free trial access to experience the multi modal learning experience at keySkillset.

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