If you’re like me, when you want to remember something you write it down. This simple transfer of a thought from my head to a piece of paper (or word document or tablet) will remind me of what I need to do, when and where I need to go or what I need to pick up on my way home.

But if I really want to remember something long-term, it requires more than taking notes. It requires continuous learning and a focus on reinforcing the skills and methods you want to add to your repertoire.

Why is this necessary? Simple: within an hour from sitting through a presentation at work, people on average forget about half of the knowledge they just learned. Extend that time out to seven days, and you hardly remember anything; about 10 percent of what you learned will be retained.

Training is a major investment for most sales and service organizations, but if it’s not applied and continually reinforced, that investment turns into an encumbrances… or vanishes into thin air. As a result, you have to keep teaching the same skills and methodologies over and over – talk about a vicious cycle!

Effective learning is based on techniques proven to strengthen retention rates and is delivered in bite-sized chunks so your sales and service teams and managers can keep their skills shape.

Reinforcement for learning should include:

  • Continual coaching.
  • Follow-ups, which include just-in-time refreshers when you need it most.
  • Mobile Apps to deliver the reinforcement anytime, anywhere.

If you provide a reinforcement experience that helps the learner to recall the information they learn, the learner’s forgetting curve will be reset. If you provide a series of reinforcement events, the forgetting curve will be reset each time and long-term retrieval will be maximized.

In other words, reinforcement tools help you optimize your investment to drive better, sustained performance that will ultimately drive revenue.

Just remember, to get the most out of your development initiatives, learning should be never ending, include consumer-grade digital aspects, be tailored to fit your unique situation and include reinforcement events. To learn more about an integrated learning experience, see Miller Heiman Group’s Learner Ready solutions or listen to a replay of a webinar on The Sales and Service Training Shift.

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