Understanding the 70/20/10 learning model

While it may have been created in the 1980s, the 70/20/10 learning model remains relevant even for today’s modern workforce. In this article, we’ll describe the model in detail, how it works and how you can make it work for your organisation starting today.

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What is the 70/20/10 learning model?

The 70/20/10 learning model is a learning and development model which suggests that 70% of learning happens through practical experience, 20% happens through social interactions and 10% happens through formalised learning programmes.

Many organisations rely on the 70/20/10 model to conceptualise, build and implement L&D programmes for their teams. The potential benefits include: 

  • Higher retention rates. Thanks to employees learning new skills. 

  • Increased responsibility. Giving employees more autonomy in their roles. 

  • Improved productivity. New skills typically correlate with better work outcomes. 

  • Higher satisfaction. Employees enjoy their work – and their new skills – more. 

The role of the 70/20/10 learning model 

The purpose of the 70/20/10 learning model is to provide a diverse range of learning opportunities to employees. When employees enjoy a mix, they learn from different angles and become more fully-formed professionals. 

That in mind, the beauty of the 70/20/10 model is that it is quite versatile. Given the rise of hybrid working models and remote work, employees are even more used to learning in-person as much as they are with learning over a screen. 

That might make right now an ideal time to implement a blended learning model in your organisation. This kind of model relies on exactly that mix: some hands-on training, some in-person training and some work done through online courses, for example. 

But, it’s one thing to say it and another to show it. Let’s talk a bit about how you can implement this learning model into your organisation…

Implementing a 70/20/10 learning model

Learning models take time. The first piece of advice is to start slowly when rolling out a new model for learning within your organisation. Anything you introduce will need time to familiarise people with the change and speed up adoption. 

Best practice: Kick things off with a small focus group in your organisation. Trial your messaging, tasks and outcomes with them. Make sure to ask for feedback at each stage, but consider this your organisational “control group” to help advance this change in learning. 

Many organisations run into a similar challenge when it comes to the 70/20/10 model. Mainly, convincing employees that 70% of their learning should come from hands-on experiences and as much from courses or more “traditional” learning methods. 

That kind of shift is what makes this model relevant to an overall change management programme for your organisation. Mainly, to shift the mindset of your employees and have them see learning in a new light. 

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Help train your employees in new ways

For an organisation that wants to keep innovating and improving, new learning models – like the 70/20/10 model – can help your employees learn, develop and improve. But, as an HR team, you need to keep on top of all that learning. 

To do that, we want to introduce you to Training Management as part of Personio’s all-in-one HR software. It can help your team maintain a single source for all employee trainings, recording the important information and keeping tabs on everything. 

Book your very own demo today to learn more and see how Personio can save your organisation valuable time. 

70/20/10 learning model: Frequently asked questions 

How can you maximise the 70/20/10 learning model?

Individuals need to be open to new learning experiences and embrace challenges and challenging roles. 70% of learning happens through doing the work so employees need to be ready to jump on opportunities in order to maximise the benefits of this learning model. 

What are the challenges to implementing the 70/20/10 model?

The biggest challenge to the 70/20/10 learning model is employee adoption. For the model to succeed, there needs to be an organisational shift in mindset. That shift is only possible when employees understand what is happening, why it’s happening and what they need to do. HR teams should prioritise this element of the model above all others. 

How effective is the 70/20/10 model?

The 70/20/10 learning model is one of the most effective learning and development models in the modern workplace. The bigger challenge is making it effective for employees, looping it into their daily work and emphasising the fact that they are actively learning on the job. 

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