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The 70-20-10 Learning Model

Posted by TUV Rheinland on Nov 27, 2018 4:58:36 PM
TUV Rheinland


What still applies to personnel developers after 30 years – and what does not.

70-20-10: Over three decades these have been the dream measures for personnel developers. 70 percent we learn on the job, 20 percent in social interaction with one another, and 10 percent in the context of formal further training. 30 years have passed since Michael M. Lombardo and Robert W. Eichinger first published this insight in their book ‘The Career Architect Development Planner’, and the 70-20-10 model is still in use in many companies throughout the world today.

But a lot has changed in the last three decades in the working world, and digitisation in companies, in particular, is progressing highly dynamically. How useful is the 70-20-10 model really today?


An Update on the 70-20-10 Learning Model

In 2017, Training Industry Inc, an information portal for the continuing education industry in the USA, conducted a study with around 960 employees. Colleagues also wanted to know where employees learn the most today: at work, in the social sector, or in in-service training?

The result for USA came to 55-25-20. To find out whether this result would also be internationally valid, the research team added further professionals from the UK, India, Singapore and Australia in 2018.

Subsequently, the researchers came to an average of 45-27-28, values that also deviate from 55-25-20, but which clearly no longer point in the direction of 70-20-10.

According to their findings, there are significant factors that influenced the results.

In particular, people learn more on the job:

  • when the company is very large;
  • employees have a high average age; and
  • team building is very small.


Social interaction provides for an improved learning experience:

  • if the team building is very good; and
  • employees have a low average age.


Formal training is then accepted above all:

  • if the companies are smaller.


What can we learn from this? Personnel developers must determine for themselves which formula is right for their own company – or obtain external support from experts. Effective further training for the working world of tomorrow requires more than just classroom learning.

Digitisation and the current state of the art enable many exciting interactive formats today, from e-learning and blended web-based training to serious games, audiocast, and dialogue simulations. Such solutions encourage curiosity, because in this instance, the user can learn in a relaxed way without the consequences of mistakes. At the same time, he receives immediate feedback on his actions, which leads to self-impacting successes – and in the end is perhaps not so dissimilar to the feedback he receives in interacting with colleagues in the workplace.


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This article first appeared on TR Academy. Click here to read the full article.

Topics: Academy, training