When it comes to developing the skills of employees long term, business leaders will typically have a clear idea of how best to utilise their workplace training programmes.

That doesn’t mean to say, however, that their processes cannot be improved through new and innovative ways of thinking. While it may seem cost efficient and more comfortable to stick with traditional methods of workplace training, businesses and employees may be missing out on more effective ways to increase learning retention.

The method of interleaving works to ensure that employees across an entire hierarchy of a business are organised and engaged within their roles to be able to deal with several professional obstacles.

But what is interleaving? And how can businesses utilise it in order to see a real return on investment from workplace training programmes?

What is interleaving?

Interleaving refers to the process whereby an individual will learn relevant information in several different ways, and in several different orders, to improve learning retention.

By giving employees the information they need to succeed in their roles in different formats, an entire workforce is more likely to be able to draw on the information in a real-life situation, regardless of in what way it is presented to them. Although a typical linear training event may provide the right information, in several professional industries employees will need to be versatile and be able to draw on facts and figures in any given order to be able to achieve.

As well as other perceptual thinking methods, interleaving works to maximise how employees react in specific environments to certain information. For more information on the perceptual thinking methods that we adopt as part of our workplace training programmes, read our blog here.

Interleaving compared to linear training events

As previously mentioned, business leaders will typically have a clear idea of what they want to portray to employees in their workplace training programmes, and also how to do it. Traditionally, an event will have a clear beginning, middle and end, and in turn, an individual will be expected to recall this information in a set order. This, however, is one dimensional and limits the individual as they will be less likely to recall this information if it is required in a different format or order.

This is where interleaving and other forms of perceptual thinking become more advantageous. Without having to change the actual content learnt as part of workplace training, employees can develop their skills in a number of different ways by adopting these methods.

How can interleaving be implemented in workplace training?

When training employees, especially the young and upcoming leaders of the future, businesses can draw on modern experiential methods of learning to embed interleaving and improve retention.

By adopting methods like virtual learning, which enables employees to develop their skills in an environment and at a pace most suited to them, an individual can receive information in several different orders to become more versatile.

Furthermore, as opposed to attending one linear training event, virtual learning methods allow employees to go back and refresh their memory on a specific topic whenever they want, giving them the flexibility to improve. For more information on how virtual learning can be used as part of experiential learning programmes, read our blog here.

To conclude, when constructing a workplace training event, or when finding the most effective ways to train a workforce, versatility is critical to significant progression. While a traditional linear training event may appear to be effective, weaknesses will eventually begin to show when employees are unable to adapt to evolving demands in their specific industry.