5 Biggest Challenges Of Using The 70 20 10 Model In Your Workforce Training
Igor Crnatovic

Challenges Of Using The 70 20 10 Model

The 70 20 10 model proposes that:

  • 70% is experiential learning, which happens through completing daily tasks, challenges, and practice. This learning is usually self-directed and allows employees to learn through on-the-job experiences.
  • 20% is social learning which enables an employee to learn with, and through others, by completing tasks and overcoming challenges together.
  • Lastly, 10% of learning is formal, which can be achieved by face-to-face training, or through engaging course content, like webinars or videos.

While the learning model seems simple, it can be tricky to put into practice. Let’s address the challenges and explain how each one can be overcome.

eBook Release: How To Leverage The 70 20 10 Model For High Performing Employees
eBook Release
How To Leverage The 70 20 10 Model For High Performing Employees
Discover what the 70 20 10 model is, its benefits and how to implement it, in this complete guide.

1. Lack Of A Learning Culture

Before you start to implement the 70 20 10 model, you need to ensure your company has a good learning culture. At the very least, this culture should be able to adapt to change, particularly when this change results in better support for your workforce learning. A healthy learning culture doesn’t just happen overnight; it needs to be nurtured by everyone in your organization, from top to bottom.

The culture you want to build, or change, needs to be open and collaborative. Collaboration enables employees to learn with, and from, others. And that’s more likely to happen when they’re in a supportive working environment.

Your employees shouldn’t be afraid to ask questions; they should feel confident carrying out tasks, and comfortable with making mistakes and learning from them.

2. Senior Management Aren’t Involved

You shouldn’t be alone in deciding to change how your employees learn. If you are, then the support you need just won’t be there.

Think about the experiential side of the model; how will your employees learn from others if no one is willing to answer their questions? Your managers should be fully engaged with this model, leading by example, before it’s rolled out to the wider organization. By showing that they need to continuously learn in order for them to become better at their role, it signals to their co-workers and direct reports that this behavior is the norm.

Get senior management involved in communicating the benefits of this model to their teams and also making sure it’s clear that learning is just as much of a priority as their daily to-do list. They should have input on creating course content for formal training programs. Their insights on what is and isn’t working for their teams is invaluable feedback for you to gather so you can continuously improve how you use 70 20 10.

3. Employees Don’t Have Easy Access To Training Tools

Without the proper tools for a job, how can it be carried out and completed? Imagine calling a plumber, only for them to arrive at your house without the tools they need to fix your leaky sink.

Now apply this situation to your workforce. If you want to get the most out of the 70 20 10 model, you need to provide your employees with the tools they need from the start.

It could be messaging software, like Slack, where they can share knowledge, troubleshoot problems, and learn from each other. Or a project management system, like Trello, where they can collaborate and work together to take a project from ideation to completion. However, the most important tool you need in your workforce toolkit is a Learning Management System (LMS).

An LMS allows you to easily manage, deliver, and track the learning happening across your organization. Of course, you need more than just tools, you also need a plan.

4. No 70 20 10 Learning Plan

Supporting workforce learning needs to start with a plan upon which you can build your corporate learning strategy. It’s important to assess all of the ways in which your organization currently learns, noting areas of strength and weakness. With this information in hand, you’ll be better prepared for identifying and planning how the 70 20 10 model will work for your organization. Finding out the strengths and weaknesses of how your employees are being trained, will better inform how you’re going to use the 70 20 10 model.

5. No 70 20 10 Implementation Strategy

Planning your 70 20 10 learning strategy is a complete waste of time if you don’t know how you’re going to implement it.

The challenges we’ve covered here all play into the effective implementation of this model. To successfully implement 70 20 10 you’ll need to ensure:

  • your learning culture is open and adaptable to change,
  • that all employees, regardless of seniority, are invested in supporting these new ways of learning,
  • and you’ve got the tools and plans in place to successfully facilitate this change.

Getting More Out Of Corporate Learning

None of these challenges are insurmountable. The hard work you put in at the start to support 70 20 10 Learning and Development across your workforce will certainly pay off in the long run, benefiting both you and your employees.

Download the eBook How To Leverage The 70 20 10 Model For High Performing Employees and get to discover all about the 70 20 10 model, an L&D theory that encapsulates all of the different ways that people learn. Join the available webinar, too, to find out more insightful information about the 70 20 10 model.

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