Employees forget 90% of information within a week from the day of training. Find out how to educate them effectively

6.2.2020, 5 minutes read

Employees forget up to 70% of all information received during training in 24 hours. Learn the modern approach to staff training.

Employees forget 90% of information

When it comes to forgetting, this imperfection of our brain does not affect only the information gathered at work. After all, don't forget what article we read, what movie we saw, what conversation we overheard, or who we came across? 

Forgetting work-related information, instructions and responsibilities, however, results in inefficient time management and low productivity which cost the employer a lot of money.

Why do people forget?

Forgetting is not only an issue of the modern age, troubled by overload of information. Hermann Ebbinghaus, a German psychologist, pioneered the memory and forgetting research before 1885.

The outcome of his tests and observations is the Forgetting Curve which shows that we forget the majority of information after a few hours from their receipt. George Armitage Miller followed up on Ebbinghaus’ studies with primary focus on short-term memory.

His work gave birth to the theory of the Magical Number Seven, i.e. the number of information a human can hold in his or her short-term memory is 7 ± 2. Some people can hold 5 objects while others 7 or 9. This means that you want to remember a 10 digits phone number, account number or a long password, you need to pay more attention and spend more time.

forgetting curve
Hermann Ebbinghaus’ Forgetting Curve

The forgetting rate also depends on a number of external factors, such as stress, emotions, or physical and mental condition.

Forgetting has a positive side

The reason why information just “vanish” is not negligence. Forgetting is closely connected to the survival instinct developed in humans a long time ago.

They say time is the best healer. However, in this context, it is the forgetting which eliminates things unrelated to human’s future path and it is the forgetting which allows us to receive and store new information and knowledge.

Forgetting has a positive side

Minimize the forgetting rate

There are no wonder memory pills to help you, but the experts didn’t forget this issue. They came up with a number of techniques and methods. In a nutshell, they all agree that long-term forgetting can be reduced by inner motivation, associations, and repeating.

The inner motivation could be our fondness of a specific topic or the benefit of the information which helps us solve a current problem. Associate a new piece of information with a clue and the probability of storing the information in the long-term memory increases. The crucial element for this step is associations.

Curve indicating the information remembering rate by days of review
Curve indicating the information remembering rate by days of review.

Reviewing also boosts your memory. To maximize the effects, repeat information at specific time intervals. Memorizing large amounts of information in a short time, very well known from the long nights before tests, is meaningless in terms of long-time memory.

A popular method is the “2-7-12 rule” which says that after the second review we will remember the information for 2 days, after the third review for 7 days, and after the fourth for 12 days.

Repeat information at specific time intervals

However, all of these are obsolete methods and techniques which, with a small modification and smarter application, can have the desired effect on employees reluctant to learn hundreds of pages.

More appropriate educational tools

There are specific staff training methods in the digital environment, such as online courses (e-learning), instructional videos, gamification (i.e. education based on games), or digital onboarding. 

The last option tends to grow in popularity among corporations. The advantage of onboarding is that, besides the employees, you can also educate your customers and consumers. What exactly is onboarding?

Digital onboarding an educational process based on direct interaction with an app, software package, or information system, such as SAP or Sage. In plain English, it comprises a Help popularized by the MS Word.

Relevant Help at the Right Time

In the real world, an onboarding guide delivers relevant help at the right time. For instance, only when the user is new in the app as the guide knows the user has logged in for the first time or only when he or she becomes an advanced user who has been using the app for a month.

 The digital onboarding can offer personalized help based on various input data, e.g. based on the employee's attendance or his or her previous experience with the app.

Example help created by yeself
Example of Help created by YesElf

All of the above is covered by the YesElf onboarding platform that gives you the option to create a similar guide for any corporate software. YesElf can train your staff as well as provide information to employees who did and did not complete the onboarding process , helping you uncover the causes of ineffective work.

If the employee is late on his or her tasks because the software is slowing him or her down while ignoring the context-sensitive help , it is not rocket science to find out who is responsible.

 If you are interested in a similar guide for your corporate software, feel free to contact us and we will gladly personalize you for a free trial version for 30 days.

Book a Yeself demo to see how customer experience management can improve your business

request demo

Try YesElf for free

Request a personalized version of our YesElf platform and test its features in real life. It’s non-binding and free for the entire month!

I’m interested