Refresher training, while often overlooked, is critical to organizations. It’s human nature to forget skills and knowledge that aren’t used daily, and this is true even for the most talented and skilled individuals out there. According to the Decay Theory, retrieving these memories becomes more difficult over time, especially with the interference of newly acquired information.
So what does it mean for the learning and development (L&D) supervisors? Help your employees remember the concepts that they may have forgotten and take them back to basics from time to time with training programs. It is also essential to update them on new technologies and renewed policies, such as cyber-security updates and OSHA compliance.
In this article, we’ll delve into the concepts of refresher training and how it can help strengthen your team’s performance and improve preparedness. We’ll also explore some refresher training topics alongside powerful methods that you can use to achieve better learning results.
What is refresher training?
As the name suggests, refresher training is a type of training program that reviews and revisits concepts that are still relevant and up to date. It helps restore an employee’s old skills and knowledge, which would otherwise be lost or forgotten due to lack of use. Overall, it seeks to keep the knowledge fresh and maintained in their memory despite taking in new learning concepts. Anyone can benefit from refresher training, regardless of their expertise, vulnerabilities, and years of professional experience.
Objectives of refresher training
- Reinforce key learning concepts
- Address knowledge gaps among learners
- Ensure employee knowledge is up-to-date
- Update employees on new and updated policies and procedures
- Reduce mistakes and improve employee performance
What are the benefits of refresher training?
- It reduces mistakes and errors by an incredible margin. Slips and inaccuracies happen at work, even to your best employees. And while it is impossible to stop human errors from occurring, there are significant ways to minimize them, such as conducting a safety program or a hands-on training course. Revisiting fundamental concepts can help employees reconnect with any lost knowledge and correct any performance lapses.
- Refresher training also enables stronger memory retention. Our brains automatically offload information that is no longer useful. According to the Forgetting Curve by Herman Ebbinghaus, memories are bound to fade in just a matter of weeks if no attempts have been made to retain them, which is a vulnerability at work. A frequent refresher training will counteract these effects and ensure that no skills will be lost over time.
- Reinforcing regular refresher training can help achieve better regulatory compliance too. Keeping the employees on top of the industry standards and regulations, as well as the company policies and procedures, builds harmony and consistency. Plus, it protects your company from the most brand-damaging breaches in the future, so it stays at the forefront of the market competition.
Refresher training topics
Here, we’ve outlined some of the most relevant courses that can you may want to include in your refresher training in your workplaces:
Risk assessment and safety management
To maintain the optimum level of safety in your business setting, your team must be fully aware of the risks associated with the structure of their activities and functions. It is also integral that they are constantly reminded of security measures and safe work procedures to avoid potential hazards and injuries. Some of the most popular risk assessment and workplace safety topics that your employees probably need include fall protection, airborne hazards, aerial lifts, scaffold safety, fatigue risk management, workers compensation, and more.
Good customer service builds trust and loyalty among clients, which in return, leads to greater success and stronger brand positioning in the market. So what you can do best is to invest in your employees and brand representatives, and provide them consistent customer service training. First off, you can update them with your products and service, or refresh their memory as to how they should deal with difficult customers and complaints. You can also help them review the right speaking voice, tone, and etiquette to ensure that their interactions with customers are always carried out professionally and respectfully.
According to Statista’s report on Cyber Crime in 2020, the United States alone reported 1,101 data breaches and over 100 million records exposed within the year. While no one is completely safe from these malicious intents, vulnerable companies with poor or unauthorized cybersecurity practices are usually the primary targets of cybercriminals. To ensure a higher level of cyber defense strategy, your employees must have the skills and knowledge to recognize and react to such attacks. Now and then, initiate a refresher training to keep them up to date with the ever-changing forms of cyber threats, best practices to mitigate risks, and what they can do in case they encounter any suspicious activities.
Industry standards and compliance requirements
To avoid lawsuits or any internal disputes, your role as a manager or L&D supervisor is to ensure that your team knows the latest industry standards, regardless if they are administered by the local state or international bodies. Some must-have compliance topics that you may want to include in your refresher training program include workplace harassment, bullying and discrimination regulations, GDPR compliance training courses, safety standards (depending on your business industry), and more.
Refresher training methods
There are different forms of refresher training, however, we’ll focus on how traditional training delivery differs from microlearning. Refresher training courses can be delivered in a traditional way – you can gather your team in a conference room, go over each topic through a series of PowerPoint presentation slides, and practice their old skills in some realistic scenarios.
Although according to Ebbinghaus, employees will most likely forget about 50% of new information after the first hour of their training and about 70% after 24 hours. Plus, the human brain can only digest three to four new pieces of information at once, so confining them in a while-walled boring conference room with long lectures and thick modules isn’t exactly your best option.
The microlearning method suggests higher retention than your traditional classroom-style learning. Here, your refresher training lessons will be reduced into short bursts and focused chunks, taking only 5-10 minutes to complete. It perfectly captures the objective of a refresher training, which is to simply help employees remember skills and knowledge that they may have forgotten, without having to go through the hassles of organizing yet another day-long conference or training program.
It is also worth checking out alternative training methods that will no longer require your employees to attend physically. For starters, there is EdApp, which is currently by far the best LMS platform on the market. It uses smartphone technology to deliver training directly to their mobile phones, giving them the total flexibility to learn whenever and wherever suits them the best.
EdApp not only supports but also enhances microlearning through spaced repetition. It uses strategic repetition and scheduling algorithms (known as “Brain Boost”) to re-expose employees to previously learned information. In better words, the information nuggets will be delivered and retaken at increasing intervals until they are embedded in the long-term memory.
This LMS platform also takes pride in its newest quiz-maker feature, Rapid Refresh, designed to reinforce training with just a click of a button. Struggling to squeeze in additional time to build your refresher content? With this powerful import feature, all you need to do is complete a spreadsheet template and watch the magic happen as it splits your content into bite-sized nuggets. Your course content can be deployed daily or weekly, even in a single burst, all up to you.
Want to know more about how you can use EdApp to implement your refresher training? Feel free to get in touch with the team at email@example.com. You can also
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