When the memory fails
You have probably tried it before – getting a trivia question in a quiz that you know your brain has the answer to. You just can’t find it. You say that it’s right on the tip of your tongue, but at some point the other players stop believing you. You have probably also tried to read a great amount of material for a test where you had to show your knowledge. Most of the material you spent so many hours studying has now been archived in the infinite library of oblivion.
On the other hand, you can probably remember phone numbers for friends and family from back when everyone spoke on landline phones. That’s a lot of years ago and you don’t need those numbers anymore – yet, they are still etched into your memory. Memory is a fickle thing. Short-time memory has limited storage space, while long-term memory has endless rows of bookcases.
Avoid the big memory book by repeating knowledge
Memory studies show that approximately 70 percent of any amount of concentrated information that you have acquired today will be forgotten already tomorrow if you don’t recapitulate it. After a month, only a frighteningly small amount of this information is left – less than 10 percent.
We see a lot of organisations spending loads of resources on courses and e-learning seminars with either video or animations – sometimes followed immediately by a test. They may look good and prove efficient in the short run, but what they lack is repetition over time. This new knowledge never settles in the long-term memory’s bookcases if it is not used regularly.
The memory stores knowledge by repeated repetition
That is exactly what Academy does. Academy prepares employees for knowledge – with articles, posts from colleagues or video, for instance. Following that, they will take small quizzes where they can test their knowledge. If preparing employees to provide better customer service is the goal, for instance, the questions will take the shape of customer inquiries. When the employee has completed a training course, he or she will receive performance feedback – and if any answers are wrong, the system will inform the employee about the correct answer and provide an explanation as well.
After a week, the employee will be able to complete the training course again – and repeat again the week after, and so on. Academy’s approach to learning rests on the importance of maintaining knowledge through what is called spaced repetition – repetition with pauses in between. The repetitions create highways to the long-term memory, making knowledge readily accessible when you need it.
How does Spaced Repetition work?
Muscles need repetition and breaks to grow – so does memory. Repeating and revisiting knowledge over time forces the brain to connect nerve cells, storing the acquired knowledge in memory.
Have the answer ready with repeated knowledge
When knowledge has settled in the long-term memory, a customer will be able to wake up an employee in the middle of the night and get a comprehensive answer when asking about the technical differences between two models of high-end headphones. Or how many volumes a particular series of sci-fi novels contain, and what the first one is called.
The employee won’t have to look it up or ask his boss or specialised colleague. The answer will materialise immediately. This makes the employee comfortable about his or her knowdlege and gives the customer the best service experience possible.
A memory that remembers and does not fail, and knowledge that is repeated and stored, has many advantages. It gives your employees confidence in their knowledge and the best conditions to provide good customer service. It gives your customers the best possible service experience and guidance. And it gives you the confidence that your staff can do their jobs to the very best of their ability, because you have ensured that they are learning, re-learning and storing knowledge at the Academy platform.
Want to know more about how to boost knowledge retention? Click here to schedule a talk.