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L&D of the future means designing for the specific learner.

The 70/20/10 method is a popular framework for learning and development in the workplace, but as it turns out, it's not as reliable as we thought. The method suggests that 70% of learning and development should come from on-the-job experience, 20% from interactions with others, and 10% from formal coursework or training. However, recent studies have called into question its effectiveness and evidence base, leaving many to question whether this method is just a myth.



A study by the Center for Creative Leadership found that the ratios of learning sources varied greatly among individuals and organisations, with no clear pattern or consensus. In other words, the ratios of 70/20/10 are nothing but a shot in the dark. It's like trying to hit a target blindfolded, you might get lucky but the chances are slim.


Additionally, the 70/20/10 method does not take into account the various types of learning and development that may be needed in different roles or industries. For example, a highly technical role may require more formal training and coursework than a role that primarily involves interpersonal skills. It's like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole, it just doesn't work, in most cases.


So, what is a more evidence-based approach to learning and development in the workplace? One option is the use of deliberate practice, which has been shown to be effective in improving performance in a variety of fields. Deliberate practice involves setting specific, challenging goals, receiving feedback, and continuously striving to improve. A more agile and iterative approach with constant in the moment feedback.


Another evidence-based approach is the use of coaching and mentoring. A meta-analysis of coaching studies found that coaching can lead to significant improvements in job performance, as well as job satisfaction and well-being. Similarly, mentoring has been shown to have a positive impact on career development, including advancement and increased job performance.


One potential solution to the one-size-fits-all approach of the 70/20/10 method is the use of psychometrics. Psychometrics is the field of study that deals with the design and use of psychological tests, such as aptitude tests, personality tests, and interest inventories. These tests can be used to identify an individual's strengths, weaknesses, and preferred learning style. By understanding an individual's unique profile, organisations can tailor their learning and development programs to better meet their specific needs and preferences.


For example, an individual who scores high on a test of spatial reasoning might be better suited to learning through visual and hands-on methods, whereas an individual who scores high on a test of verbal reasoning might be better suited to learning through reading and writing. By identifying these differences, organisations can develop learning and development programs that are more effective for each individual.


Additionally, psychometric assessments can also identify an individual's potential areas of growth, which can be used to develop targeted development plans. It can also be used to identify an individual's motivational drivers that can be leveraged to increase their engagement and participation in the training programs. At the Work Psychologists, we are seeing a large move towards the individualisation of L&D programs in an effort to drive greater ROI and efficacy.


In summary, using psychometrics in conjunction with evidence-based approaches such as deliberate practice and coaching and mentoring, organisations can create a more tailored and effective learning and development program that addresses the unique needs and preferences of each individual. This can lead to greater engagement, satisfaction, ROI, and ultimately, better performance. As always check the evidence base surrounding any workplaces interventions and frameworks to make sure you are applying evidence based practice.

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