In today's fast-paced business environment, corporate training programmes play a crucial role in developing employees and enhancing their skills.
However, traditional training methods such as lectures and reading materials may not always be effective in engaging and retaining employee attention.
To tackle this problem, more and more organisations are turning to experiential learning – a learning method that engages employees in experiences and scenarios that simulate the workplace.
In this article, we explore the benefits of experiential learning and how it can maximise employee engagement and performance.
According to a survey by the Association for Talent Development (ATD), only 12% of learners apply skills learned in traditional training to their jobs.
This highlights the importance of experiential learning, which allows employees to apply their learning in a practical and realistic setting.
A study by the Corporate Executive Board (CEB) found that employees who receive experiential learning are 2.5 times more likely to be high performers compared to those who receive traditional training.
Experiential learning is also beneficial for employees who prefer hands-on learning and interaction over traditional lecture-style training.
This is particularly relevant for the younger generation of employees, who have grown up with interactive and immersive technology.
According to a report by the Centre for Creative Leadership (CCL), 61% of millennials prefer experiential learning, while only 28% prefer traditional lecture-style training.
Experience-Reflect-Learn - The Proven Methodology for Behavioural Change
Experiential learning, centred around the concept of ‘learning by doing’, offers an impactful learning experience and should form a core element of any corporate training programme.
This way, employees experience and reflect upon their actions - good and not-so-good behaviours, successes and failures - and in doing so, internalise ideas and best practices to apply back to the workplace.
The process of Experience-Reflect-Learn is proven to help drive real behavioural change and improve performance.
Trial and Error - Learning by Doing
Learning by trial and error and from one’s failures is a very powerful way to learn, but with one condition, that the learning takes place in a safe and simulated environment instead of actually on-the-job! Experiential learning solutions such as business simulations and activities, help employees learn new skills and promote behaviours that help address genuine work challenges.
In fact, a research study conducted by the University of Waterloo found that learners who engage in experiential learning are more likely to identify gaps in their knowledge and develop critical thinking skills.
According to a report by the Association for Talent Development, companies that offer comprehensive training programmes have a 218% higher income per employee than those with less comprehensive training. This highlights the importance of investing in employee training and development.
Furthermore, a study by the Corporate Executive Board found that experiential learning can lead to a 90% increase in the retention of knowledge compared to traditional learning methods.
This statistic underscores the effectiveness of experiential learning in helping employees internalise concepts and apply them to their work.
Another survey conducted by PwC found that millennials, who make up a growing portion of the workforce, place a high value on learning and development opportunities when evaluating potential employers.
In fact, 35% of millennials cited opportunities for personal development as a top factor in their job decisions.
These statistics demonstrate that investing in experiential learning can not only benefit employees but also contribute to the overall success of an organisation.
Turn Theory into Practice
A survey conducted by the Association for Talent Development found that 87% of organisations use experiential learning in some form, and 82% of those organisations reported that it is an effective learning method. This shows that experiential learning is widely adopted and is perceived as a valuable tool for employee development.
Experiential learning offers employees the opportunity to put knowledge and theory into practice by applying their understanding to simulated real-world scenarios.
Application of learning is vital in building practical understanding as well as helping to build a more visual representation of the learning which in turn is easier to remember and sustain long-term.
According to the National Training Laboratories, the retention rate of learning through experiential learning can be as high as 75%, compared to just 5% through lectures.
Learning Should be Fun
Experiential learning offers an interactive and immersive learning experience. Actively learning through ‘doing’ instead of just ‘listening, watching or taking notes’ is more engaging and offers a fun way to learn.
Even when the subject matter is technically dry, experiential learning offers a great way to break up the learning and drive engagement.
In fact, according to a research study conducted by the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, learning by doing can increase retention rates by up to 90%.
Real-world Examples of Experiential Learning
The benefits of experiential learning can be seen in various industries and organisations. One such example is the healthcare industry.
Healthcare professionals are required to handle complex situations, and experiential learning can help them develop their critical thinking, communication and decision-making skills.
A case in point is the use of medical simulations, where healthcare professionals can practice patient care in a safe and controlled environment.
Another example is in the retail industry, where experiential learning can help employees handle customer interactions and situations better.
In fact, retail giants such as Walmart and Macy's have adopted experiential learning methods such as virtual reality simulations and interactive learning games to train their employees.
How MDA Training can Help
MDA Training is a leading provider of experiential learning solutions, offering customised and impactful corporate training programmes to organisations across various industries.
With over 30 years of experience, MDA Training has a proven track record of delivering results-driven learning solutions that engage, motivate and inspire employees.
MDA Training's approach is centred around the Experience-Reflect-Learn methodology, which is designed to help employees reflect on their experiences, identify areas for improvement, and apply their learning back to the workplace.
This methodology is supported by MDA Training's team of experienced trainers and facilitators, who work closely with clients to design and deliver bespoke training programmes tailored to their specific needs.
MDA Training offers a wide range of experiential learning solutions, including:
Business Simulations - A powerful learning tool that allows participants to experience the challenges of running a business in a safe and controlled environment. MDA Training's business simulations are highly immersive and can be customised to reflect the specific challenges and objectives of the organisation.
Interactive Workshops - MDA Training's interactive workshops are designed to be highly engaging and interactive, encouraging participants to share ideas and collaborate with their colleagues. These workshops cover a wide range of topics, from leadership and communication to customer service and sales.
Virtual Reality - MDA Training's virtual reality simulations offer a highly realistic and immersive learning experience, allowing participants to practise their skills and decision-making in a safe and controlled environment. These simulations can be customised to reflect the specific challenges and scenarios faced by the organisation.
MDA Training's experiential learning solutions have been proven to deliver real results, helping organisations to improve employee engagement, performance and retention.
For example, a global telecommunications company worked with MDA Training to develop a customised leadership development programme, which included a business simulation designed to help participants develop their strategic thinking and decision-making skills.
The programme delivered a 92% satisfaction rate and resulted in a 25% improvement in leadership performance.
Get in Touch with MDA Trainers Today
If you're interested in maximising the benefits of experiential learning in your corporate training programmes, get in touch with MDA Training today.
Our team of experienced trainers and facilitators will work closely with you to develop a customised training programme that meets your specific needs and objectives. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you transform your training programmes and drive real results for your organisation.