July 10, 2008
According to conventional wisdom, 70 percent of employee development happens on the job, 20 percent through formal and informal relationships with bosses and mentors and 10 percent in the classroom.
However, we are seeing a new dynamic emerge, one that suggests that 50 percent of employee development takes place through challenging job assignments, 30 percent in the classroom and 20 percent through community involvement. This theory suggests that powerful learning experiences are available everywhere and that experiential classroom instruction can be tied more closely to the job than ever before.
If experience is the best teacher, most companies are apparently cutting class when it comes to knowledge transfer (KT). According to a recent study conducted by the Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp), just 29% of responding organizations report that they incorporate retirement forecasts into their knowledge transfer practices, and only a third add "skills gap analysis" into those forecasts. Most companies also admit they do not formally measure the effectiveness of their knowledge transfer practices.
The problem with bar charts is that they should either be line/area charts (when graphing a change over time, like unemployment rates) or they should be a simple pie chart (when comparing two or three items at the same scale).
Instead of asking learners to respond globally (which they are not very good at), it asks learners to respond to specific learning points covered in the learning intervention. This not only enables the learners to better calibrate their responses, it also gives the learners a spaced repetition (improving later memory retrieval on key learning points).
"Today's employers will need to be innovative in hiring and motivating their workforce employees who can vary widely in age from Generation X and Y to Baby Boomers," said researchers Diane Spokus, a recent Ph.D. recipient in workforce education, and William Rothwell, professor of workforce education and training and development. "Few institutions have retention efforts under way to retain their mature workforce. But managers will need a smorgasbord approach to fully use the untapped assets of an aging workforce."
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