Mentoring Groups Help Reinforce Learning

Written by
Laura Francis

How Group Mentoring Impacts Training

A recent article in Training Journal looked at how much information people forget after they attend a work-related training event. It comes as no shock that retention declines as times goes on, but what may surprise you is how quickly people forget. Most people forget roughly 75% of what they learned…just one day after the training. Put another way, they only retain 25% of what they learned in the training that they had the previous day. The number declines even further as time goes on.

Part of this is due to the fact that there is often little context involved in the training. You may do simulations or role play, but nothing can make learning stick like applying the theories and practices within the context of your actual work. And doing it over and over. Trust me, now that I have had to do some trial and error regarding how to design pages for this website, I am much better equipped to remember how to do this task than if I had just sat through an online video showing me how. I had to get my hands dirty, so to speak. But once I did, that learning took hold.

Group MentoringWe have seen this contextual learning effect in action through mentoring groups that our clients run in River. Their training events become much more robust and impactful when coupled with the use of mentoring before, during and after the event. The participants form a cohort that is provided the opportunity to extend their learning through their mentoring group in River. They use the software to connect before the course so they can meet one another, get oriented to the topic, share their history with the topic, and more. They log in and use River throughout the duration of the course so that they can discuss relevant learning points, vet ideas, extend conversations, pose questions, etc. Once the course is finished, they continue to use River to communicate with one another, ask questions, share what new ideas they have applied, explore options for solving problems, and so on.

It’s a natural fit to use group mentoring as an integrated part of more traditional training interventions. The participants can lean on their peers and the advisor(s) for help as they apply learning within the context of their daily work. It’s like the proverbial village coming to help each learner as they move along on their journey. There’s no need to go it alone when you can have colleagues by your side who are going through the same thing.

As you start thinking about how you could implement group mentoring to support your training efforts, ask yourself these questions:

  • What is the reason for the training?
  • Do concepts from the training need to be applied on the job?
  • How do you plan to support your participants once any event-based components of the training are over?
  • Do you have subject matter experts who can advise your learners?
  • Do you plan on requiring any pre-work prior to the training event?

River has vast experience with group mentoring and has helped clients set up groups to support training efforts. Contact us to discuss your situation and to see how River can help you.

Start planning how you can use mentoring with our Mentoring Roadmap eBook. Download your copy today.

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