Rational for Refresher Training (that's different from the core Training)

I have a client that wants his employees to take the same 50 min e-learning module each year as refresher training. Assuming budget is not an issue, I'd like to propose that we create a refresher training that covers all the key concepts in half the time and is updated every few years (e.g., new scenarios, changes in legislation). Is there anything else you can add for why we wouldn't make employees do the same base training year after year?

5 Replies
Trina Rimmer

Oh boy. Sounds like you've got a client management challenge on your hands, Elizabeth! I've run into this idea before and I've recommended a similar alternative—something shorter, more evergreen for those who've already completed the lengthier training.

You could try to position your recommendation as having two benefits:

  1. I assume his employees are busy workers? Why take them off the job for an hour every year to retrain them on something they're already aware of, have already been trained on, and/or that they're not having trouble doing? Not only does that eat into their productivity, it also negatively impacts their morale. When managers insist on subjecting staff to the same training over and over, it comes across as them not being trusted to do the job, or worse, it can make learning feel like a punishment, rather than something enriching.
  2. Maintaining a lengthier, presumably more complex module, is simply costlier.

I'm sure other folks will have some ideas for you, but those were two big considerations that occurred to me. Best wishes on your client management adventures!

Bob S

You might also point out that seeing the same information presented two different ways/points of view can aid in retention and ensures they truly understand the value of it on several levels. For example, making the one version "customer centric" and viewing the info from that lens, and the other from a "compliance and risk" standpoint.

Another approach... Consider test-out options for the off year at least. This can be presented as an integrated approach of learning/relearning it one year, and then recertifying the next year. In that off year, break the refresher into sections that each have their own pre test - pass that and you are exempt from that section of the refresher.  After all if they can prove they know it, why waster their time!   This can also tie nicely with your new changes in legislation play... As long as you make the tests appropriately challenging, when you update a section with the new regs, they are not going to be able to test-out unless they pursue the course or the info on their own.

Hope this helps!

Sean Speake

Thumbs up for Bob's suggestion. Move the assessment up front - if employees can pass the assessment, they don't need to take the course.

Break down the economics of it for your client. If half the learners pass the assessment, that's a savings of at least 30 minutes, which would translate into X dollars in savings. If that doesn't sell them on the advantages, then I don't know what to tell you. =)