You’ve done your homework, walked your talk, and implemented employee training programs designed to improve employee engagement.

The big question is, are you able to measure effectiveness?

On average, 90% of the knowledge shared with trainees are forgotten within a week. After two weeks, we remember 30% of what we’ve seen, 20% of what we’ve heard, and only 10% of what we’ve read.

This statistic is frustrating, to say the least. All that time, money, and energy down the drain with close to zero returns that improve employee engagement in a measurable way. Total expenditure on workplace training in the United States amounted to 83 billion U.S. dollars in 2019. This figure includes the budget for training-related technology, training activities, and salaries paid to internal training staff.

So how do you plug the leak to improve employee engagement?

To answer this question, let’s analyze current training approaches to determine if they are effective enough to improve employee engagement.

Organizations around the world have been investing in digital technology and tailored apps with user-friendly interfaces. Unfortunately, training methods have remained the same. Many companies still adhere to traditional training techniques that may have been responsive 10 years ago.

What are these methods?

Classroom training

The most traditional type is classroom training. Sure, that weekend of seminars may include perks and holidays. When it comes to employee training, a large part of it is still carried out through a classroom setup.

This isn’t to say that it’s inefficient. This method allows for easy management. It’s also economically feasible. A classroom setup allows one coach to train a large number of people at the same time. Unfortunately, the drawback here is that trainees receive little to no feedback regarding performance and progress after the training. One trainer cannot assess every employee to identify their strengths and points of improvement. Nor can they track whether the training resulted in improved skills, attitudes or behaviors.

Technology-based training

Another type is technology-based training. This includes online videos and courses, learning systems via intranets, and other types of collaborative projects that heavily rely on online platforms. Unfortunately, as modern and convenient this may seem, what this can lack interaction. For instance, when protocols are introduced and difficulties are encountered, problems aren’t answered in real-time. Frequently, learning and implementation don’t happen simultaneously. So you must look for courses offering discussion rooms, and course handouts that can be discussed through an online or workplace offered learning circle.

On-the-job training

Then, of course, we have on-the-job training. This involves having a knowledgeable person train a newcomer. But this can be tricky because not everyone is built to train. It can also be ineffective and undocumented.

How do we make employee training more effective to improve employee engagement?

The key is active participation in learning delivered in doable “chunks” that can be practiced immediately in the workplace and discussed. The more engaged and actively involved employees are, the more they retain what has been learned. Classroom training, technology-based training, and on-the-job training are all passive unless you include and interactive component.

Tweaking these traditional methods to include an interactive and experiential component is key. This involves an employee’s supervisor who works with the employee to practice what was learned. Or, it can involve a learning circle where groups of employees practice together and share both wins and opportunities for improvement. Think of it in terms of a training support group.

For example, a blended approach may include a video on customer communication. It features a co-worker in action. And lastly, the trainee could also perform a task such as crafting or answering client emails or calling customers under the supervision of a co-worker, mentor or performance coach.

The Power of Micro-Training to Improve Employee Engagement

What is the purpose of micro-training? From TIGERS® Success Series’ perspective, in addition to equipping employees with the skills necessary to fulfill their job responsibilities, the goal of training is to improve workforce behavior, skills and employee attitudes. The behavior TIGERS focuses on supports trust, interdependence, genuineness, empathy, risk resolution, and success. Behaviors like these support collaboration, reduce conflict and improve workplace relationship success. Behavior supports organizational goals, roles and relationships. It often lies at the root cause of employee bullying, diversity issues, and employee engagement.

In a nutshell, micro-training divides the entire training program into chunks of 15 minutes each (maximum). Links to learning materials are delivered by email and are accessible by handheld devices, laptop, or desktop.

Retention is effective because lessons are broken down into bite-sized portions that can be acted on. Discussion rooms, interactive handouts to discuss in the workplace, quizzes an question and answer sessions with a TIGERS licensed coach also apply. This makes learning easier, enjoyable and adaptable to real work situations.
The benefit to be had from micro-training is…


Many trainees struggle with knowledge retention. But with micro-training, knowledge is reinforced because training is convenient. There aren’t location or time limits. Plus, the program enables engagement, interaction, and quick feedback. This is especially true when supervisors or learning circles reinforce employee learning.

This makes a lot of sense especially for many organizations shifting to remote work arrangements.

Care to dig deeper into training and how to improve employee engagement?

Copyright TIGERS Success Series, Inc. by Dianne Crampton

Get all your managers on the same page to improve employee engagement

Add the TIGERS Among Us Book Club to your weekly team meetings. Each week team members are held accountable to read one chapter in the book.