3 questions answered about refresher training


An L&D dream come true would be a training programme that, run just once, leads to employees remembering and implementing everything from it. It would have an immediate impact on your business.

As we’ve explored here, this is not going to happen anytime soon, unfortunately. 90% of learning is already forgotten within the first 30 days. And there’s no guarantee that the rest is actually being used in the day-to-day work.

That leaves L&D with the challenge to constantly close knowledge gaps in the workforce. One way to do that is through refresher trainings. They can keep your employees current on policies and procedures, workplace safety, product updates, and much more. And that at usually a much lower cost than running the original training course again and again.

How do you know if your staff needs refresher training?

Ideally, refresher training would be already a part of your annual training plan. You wouldn’t want to wait until performance goes sideways before scheduling them. Here are some of the telltale signs that indicate that refresher training is urgently needed:

  • Simple mistakes are being made repetitively.
  • An increase in accidents and safety concerns.
  • Customer satisfaction is consistently falling below expectations.
  • Employees are struggling to keep up with product and technology updates.
  • Overall productivity is low, and turnover is rising.

How can your company benefit from refresher training?

Smart L&D professionals immediately think about the ROI when new training initiatives are considered. You might wonder why you should budget for refresher training when you already have the core training in place.

The answer is simple: Only by continuously refreshing your employees’ knowledge and skills will you unlock the full value of the training. We’ve seen again and again that merely training staff once does not result in the desired change in behaviour and impact on the business.

Besides, refresher training benefits your organisation in more than one way, because it:

  • increases efficiency and reduces mistakes
  • creates a culture of learning and promotes excellence
  • equalises your employees’ knowledge
  • keeps your organisation safe and compliant
  • identifies knowledge gaps and training needs

How can you design a refresher training for maximum impact?

It might be tempting to let employees simply go through the same training course again. If it was an e-learning module, it might not even lead to additional costs. However, your staff would likely be less than thrilled about this idea. Instead, providing a new and different learning experience will increase engagement and retention.

Follow our four tips to design refresher training that your employees will be excited about:

1. Deliver it on a mobile device

You want your refresher training to be as accessible as possible. Delivering it through a mobile app (we recommend Mindmarker) allows your staff to access the training at their convenience. This way, you can also trigger reminders and messages at the right moments to keep your employees engaged with the training.

2. Make it short and to the point

The refresher training shouldn’t be simply a copy of the entire original training. Through easy-to-digest microlearning, you want to increase retention and the potential for behaviour change. You can achieve this by focussing on the need-to-know information that is critical for success and presenting the training material in new and different ways, for example, as videos.

3. Utilise quizzes and games

Adding a gamification element to your refresher training has many advantages. It makes the training instantly more engaging, fun, and provides an opportunity to check the understanding. The immediate feedback is crucial to reinforce the learning. In addition, you’ll receive valuable insights into which parts of the training your employees are still struggling with.

4. Provide job-aids

Job-aids are useful tools that can help employees on the spot. They come in handy when the information provided is complex, and you can’t expect staff to remember everything. Job-aids could be, for example, checklists, worksheets, step-by-step guides, decision tables, or flow charts.  

Where to go from here

After reading our tips, you might already have a training programme in mind that urgently needs a refresher. Or you might wonder how you can plan for a refresher training for an upcoming course.

Click here to learn more about our solutions for refresher training and learning reinforcement.