Corporate retreats won’t work without this

Employees learn transferrable skills but they can just as easily forget them, warns one expert in the field.

Corporate retreats and volunteering initiatives are supposed to teach employees transferrable skills but workers are surprisingly quick to forget, warns one expert in the field.

“Unless you practice the skills on your own and really have that level of diligence, your ability to apply the new skill on the job will be between 10 and 15 per cent,” says Mark Thompson, chief engagement officer at McKinley Solutions. “That can happen as rapidly as just 30 days.”

According to Thompson, repeated follow-up is the most important thing employers can do if they want to ensure workers remember transferrable skills and actually use them in the workplace.

This could include employees making intermittent presentations, having them apply principles to a current project, or asking them to teach others what they learned.

“That level of sustainability and regular involvement allows you to bring your ability to apply it on the job north of 80 per cent 30 days later,” says Thompson, who suggests employers aim to do between five and seven follow-up interventions.

“If you can get them to work on the information over the course of multiple months then the impact on the organization is much stronger because they’re internalizing it, they’re generalizing the information, and they’re applying it to their work environment,” he told HRM.

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