70:20:10: Drive performance by enacting change in your learning culture

• 4 min read

Informal learning combined with formal training can boost employee engagement and retention

One of the biggest organizational L&D challenges is making sure employees are not only engaged with the learning content they’re being presented, but that they also retain it. Problem is, organizations often compound learning challenges by placing too much emphasis on formal learning as the cornerstone of their L&D strategy.

Fortunately, technology is enabling a shift from L&D to performance management. But technology is only half of the equation. For organizations to truly enact change that drives results in their L&D activities, they must embrace a mindset shift that considers L&D as a performance management function instead of simply a training function.

The 70:20:10 model, at its core, is about changing the learning culture within your organization. Research shows that organizations that have integrated the framework into their L&D strategies reap many benefits related to improved processes and better overall efficiency.

Because the 70:20:10 model emphasizes the benefits of informal learning, it’s also a great methodology that encourages better employee engagement with L&D content and programs.

The methodology divides learning into three categories:

  • 70% – informal, on the job, experienced based
  • 20% – coaching, mentoring, developing through others (social learning)
  • 10% – formal learning interventions and structured courses

Of the organizations that have embraced the 70:20:10 framework:

  • 73% improved process
  • 72% improved efficiency
  • 63% improved productivity

The pace at which the business environment moves today means companies can’t afford not to take advantage of these types of performance improvements.

An Exercise in Continuous Improvement

Research shows that learners using a learning management system (LMS) based on the 70:20:10 model are more engaged, retain more knowledge and stay with the organizations longer. The framework outlines a new way to track performance, a continuous improvement process that builds bridges across organizations – particularly large ones.

“We are living in a world where access trumps knowledge every time. Those who know how to search, find and make the connections will succeed. Those who rely on static knowledge and skills alone will fail.” – Charles Jennings

Chief among the many benefits of the 70:20:10 model is that it allows learners to take charge of their own learning, especially those willing to extend their activities into new, difficult and uncomfortable areas. They take initiative to seek out the knowledge and skills they need to succeed. It’s up to HR and L&D managers to ensure the organizational culture is one that values personal growth and development to help employees understand (and accept) their roles.

In the 70:20:10 framework, performance problems aren’t training problems. Instead, performance problems should be investigated to determine if issues lie in the existing training or whether motivation is the biggest factor. While formal learning (classroom-based training) has controlled the majority of workplace training in the past, the approach isn’t as impactful as it could be when it’s combined with the potential of learning through work and social collaboration.

 Collaboration is King

 An LMS that supports the 70:20:10 learning model will ease the transition from a learning plan that only supports formal learning, encouraging a cultural shift within your organization that embraces and champion social and collaborative learning. Technology, including mobile platforms that allow learners to consume L&D content wherever they are whenever they’d like to consume it, is a driving force behind the adoption of social learning in the workplace.

“The incredible expansion of mobile technologies is another important factor that will both drive and support the deployment of workplace learning tools and systems in the areas of performance support, particularly, but also in areas such as expert location, crowdsourcing-based problem solving and others.” – Charles Jennings

 Social learning is key to the 70:20:10 framework. When social learning approaches are employed, research shows retention rates as high as 70%, because it allows learning to happen in the working environment. Learners pull knowledge from experts within the organization instead of having it pushed on them so learning become part of the organizational culture, while decreasing costs compared to formal learning techniques.

 Social learning in the workplace can take the following forms:

  • FAQs and Forums: employees pose questions and receive answers from within the organization.
  • Organization Wikis: can be a great source of knowledge for new employees or those unfamiliar with every aspect of an organization.
  • Utilize expert knowledge: Create communications channels where experts can use their knowledge to help others.
  • Gamification and rewards: provide a way for administrators and users to track their learning progress. Well-performing users and experts who regularly offer their knowledge can be rewarded to incentivize participation.

 Docebo’s Coach & Share module facilitates these social learning functions. It’s the world’s only LMS that supports the 70:20:10 model, with Docebo share taking care of informal learning (70), Docebo Coach supports social learning (20) and Docebo learn supports the 10% of formal learning.

 This methodology isn’t new – in fact, it’s been around since the mid-1980s. But as learning technology continues to evolve, such as the Docebo LMS, there is a need for companies to identify and implement technologies that enable them to benefit from the 70:20:10 model. While the majority of learning solutions address the formal training requirements traditionally deployed, few technology solutions have effectively enabled and capture experiential and social learning in the workplace.

This is where Docebo stands apart from its competition.

Bringing 70:20:10 Experts Together

Docebo established a strategic partnership with the 70:20:10 Institute in 2016 to build its learner-centric LMS around the 70:20:10 framework. We’re excited and proud to sponsor the Annual 70:20:10 Summit in Eindhoven, The Netherlands on April 11, which brings together CLOs, senior L&D and talent leaders, experts and people who are actively working with 70:20:10 in their own learning practice.

The one-day event will provide with the opportunity to share your insights with industry experts and practitioners, and hear how organizations around the world are transforming their L&D practices. There will also be an opportunity to use tools to evaluate 70:20:10 situations and solutions in your own organization. Want to learn more about or register for 70:20:10 Institute Summit?