Do you know what your people don't know?

Eliza Scott, 3 min read

Do you know what your people don't know?

Modern organisations have a gamut of topics to train their people on. There are compliance requirements around safety, security, bullying and harassment; product knowledge, customer service, leadership, wellbeing, it goes on. Traditional training targets a topic, content will be designed and deployed, then there may be some observation of impact and tick, there we go. We’re all trained...?


So, what was the impetus of the chosen topic? Perhaps a reactive response to a major incident, or a breach. Is there a commercial strategy involved, a marketing push around a product range? Or maybe not! Maybe you stuck a proverbial finger to the wind and decided “we need to train on this!”. More often than not, organisations don't know what their people don't know, until they really know, ya know? Major incidents will wave red flags towards where knowledge gaps exist. Though, surely we'd rather not wait until everything is falling down around us to target a training budget.


There's also no certainty that once a target is identified that every single element of a learning program is cemented in the brains of learners. Or that they’ll know how to apply it forevermore. A piece of feedback we hear from our customers at Yarno is that, unlike any traditional training program they’ve engaged with, Yarno is able to easily identify what people don’t know and measure how knowledge is retained over time. While sometimes alarming, it's one of Yarno's most useful applications.
Our content gurus have a secret, magical formula by which they chunk down training from the classroom or out of the maze of the LMS to make it mobile, make it quick and make it fun! Yarno creates engagement with material through active recall.

When you answer incorrectly, you have to consult the explanation right away, helping you to answer correctly next time. Requiring learners to actively engage with the training material means there’s no silently sitting up the back of the class texting, or ducking out for extended loo breaks. The content is on your phone. You have to view explanations if you are incorrect and your score is reflected against your name. Yarno then tags and segments results and granularly drills into knowledge areas, and reports on deficiencies. It’s sort of a knowledge audit, or a pulse check, and a training tool all in one!


But don't take my word for it. Alex Barry at Supercheap Auto put it best:


"A great thing we have found through using Yarno is that previously we never knew what our team didn’t know. Traditional training means that we provide content up front and once complete, test how much of what they have just been shown they remember at the end of the training, it doesn’t show us what they originally knew or didn’t know or how they retained that knowledge over time."


When I asked her for some specific examples, she told me that Yarno has identified that:

  • There was a misunderstanding among staff of some of their warranty processes, which they've since reviewed, simplified, and re-released.
  • Some of the knowledge which they assumed staff held was actually some of their lowest performing areas! They've since shared that knowledge with trade-partners, and followed up with additional hands on in-store training.


She went on to say:

"You don't know what you don't know, unless in this case Yarno is able to provide the information - such a great surprise feature that we have gained from our experience with the platform."


We were already confident that Yarno is a massive improvement on traditional training, but this is an awesome bonus feature we hadn’t anticipated being such a powerful asset in the training world. This power lies in a number of flow on effects:

  1. Yarno results can inform how to focus resources and streamline future training efforts, allowing us to use what we know about our organisation to iterate and improve.
  2. Organisations are alerted to unsuitable training content in a feedback loop with their learners. If we don’t observe improvement it may reveal the need to review the material. Or some other organisational problem - the canary in the coal mine.
  3. There’s also the flow-on effect of acting as a preventative diagnostic measure, catching incidents before they ever were to occur.


Return on investment in training is notoriously elusive. There’s a million factors that contribute to how your employees behave and we’d need to perform some sort of inhumane experiment where we control every variable in these poor peoples' lives to derive some sort of causation. And it’s the 21st century. We don’t do that stuff anymore.


Perhaps we need to stop focusing on quantifying the impact of training in hard metrics, and focus on identifying areas for continual development, shifting resources according to the needs of our people who are right in front of us!


Eliza Scott

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