I love to learn and I do so by reading and then doing. My partner learns purely by doing. Our team members learn by either reading and doing, watching and doing or listening and doing.

My niece recently started walking, by doing. My sons are learning to drive by doing. Are you starting to get the picture here?

We learn by doing

As you’ll see from the infographic, how you learn and how much you remember varies depending on the learning format used and the amount of time until learning is put into practise.

Only 5% of what we see / hear is remembered, 75% of what we learn comes from practice by doing and 90% comes from teaching others and through immediate application.

And when it comes to learning retention, if we haven’t ‘done’ something by way of testing out and implementing the learning within 9 days, then we retain less than 20% of what we were taught.

I learned French at school, I got a ‘B’, the most I can remember now is “Bonjour, je m’appelle Kelly. Quelle heure est-il?” Translated that’s, ‘Hello, my name is Kelly. What time is it?’ However, I’m in Spain two or three times a year and I can say hello, which varies depending on the time of day, and I can order food drinks, and understand as well as respond (poorly) to much conversational Spanish. How? I’ve never ‘learned’ it per se, but l’ve learned it because I do it.

Every 60 seconds, 72 hours of video content is uploaded to Youtube and you can find everything from how to build your own home to how to add an Instagram picture and everything in between.

The way we learn is changing, we no longer need to pay thousands of pounds on a course when a 10 minute Youtube video will give us what we need to help us move forwards to the next step.

Yet, when it comes to designing and delivering content for our people we still, design a one size fits all programme investing time and money that perhaps could be better spent elsewhere and then, we still wonder why we don’t get the participation we wanted. despite making the programme mandatory.

It’s time to do things differently.

If you want to find out how join us for our next webinar on 7th February – Why Your Training Isn’t Working and What You Can Do About It.


Kelly Swingler is Founder of Chrysalis Consulting, The People and Change Experts and was appointed at the UK’s Youngest HR Director.  Kelly is passionate about helping people find bespoke people solutions to suit the needs of their business. Kelly is the author of Fostering a Mindset for Career SuccessAGILE HR and what’s your excuse for not Overcoming Stress.