The 70-20-10 Model for Learning and Development is a formula often used to define the ideal learning sources employed by successful managers. According to this theory, people learn 70% of what they know from their professional experiences, 20% through social contacts, and 10% through formal educational experiences.
he concept was developed in the 1980s by three academics and writers who were affiliated with the Centre for Creative Leadership, a non-profit learning organisation in Greensboro, North Carolina. The three researchers—Morgan McCall, Michael M. Lombardo, and Robert A. Eichinger—were examining the crucial learning experiences of effective managers.
Implementing the 70:20:10 model
‘’The 70:20:10 model isn’t just a numeric sequence. It is a fundamentally different view of work, performance and learning in the 21st century.’’, notes the ‘70:20:10 Institute’, supporting that this methodology is in use by an increasing number of leading organisations.
According to the model:
- 70% is gained by experiential learning (from challenging assignments): Experiential learning, often known as on-the-job learning, refers to what workers learn while doing their jobs. An IT expert could, for instance, pick up new problem-solving techniques when a system fails, etc.
Examples of learning by working: problem solving, challenging tasks, auditing/ reviewing, innovation, reflection
- 20% is gained by social learning (from relationships): When people begin a career, a variety of individuals act as mentors, coaches, and seasoned employees who assist them in developing their talents. A person’s career’s learning curve starts on the first day of their first employment and continues throughout the years after that.
Examples of learning by working together: coaching colleagues in the workplace, collaboration, and continuous improvement, giving and receiving feedback, learning in networks, action learning.
- 10% is gained by formal learning (from coursework and training): Organisations provide formal training to help workers develop new skills, hone old ones, and adapt to a profession’s constantly shifting environment. However, many courses may leave students worn out and bored with nothing to show for their time. Due to this, it may be beneficial for an employee’s growth to reduce training and coursework to 10%.
Examples of learning by formal intervention: courses, modules, workshops/ masterclass, e-learning, seminars
Three (3) Key benefits of the 70:20:10 model
- The model improves productivity: The informal portion of the 70:20:10 framework eliminates the need for workers to wait for formal training. They may pick up knowledge through collaborating with others or applying what they’ve learned.
- The model is a great way of knowledge retention: Studies show that employees who have access to a Learning Management System (LMS) and work in an organization that embraces 70:20:10, are more engaged learners and retain more knowledge. New hires in these organizations are less likely to leave, too.
- The model increases employee engagement: Because 70:20:10 enforces employees to give each other feedback, ask questions, and collaborate, they often realize that development happens all the time and in a variety of ways.
How the 70:20:10 model is applied in today’s world
The model offers a helpful foundation for comprehending how individuals learn and grow, but its relevance might change based on the learner as a person, the industry, and the nature of the job. In today’s world, more than we engage with one another, we interact online. The lack of human contact and ties has left the younger generation unhappy and lonely. While there is unquestionably some learning occurring thanks to phones and the Internet, there is also damage occurring that must not be disregarded at any cost.
In 2018, research by McKinsey & Company and J.P. Donlon discovered a close relationship between the skills of a company’s leaders and its market performance. Furthermore, all these prove that in our age and time, technology should be put to use for training employees informally instead of depriving them of informal experiences.
How to implement the model in workplace
#1 Raise awareness: Making sure that everyone is aware that an employee’s growth involves more than merely taking a course is the first step in the process. For example, conducting workshops or seminars to introduce the concept may help to implement the model in the company. Furthermore, by sharing success stories of individuals who have benefited from a well-rounded approach to learning and emphasizing that personal development is vital.
#2 Make a 70:20:10 development plan: Identifying your current location is the first step in creating a plan. You may determine what needs to be done to get there by combining it with the objectives you established during step two. In particular:
- For the 70%: Job-related experiences: Many employee’s learning opportunities should come from their employment. This may be accomplished in several ways, such as by overcoming obstacles that arise in the job or learning new skills while working on a project. To help employers you can provide opportunities for employees to manage people and projects, offer mentoring or leadership coaching to provide on-the-job support, encourage employees to learn through on-the-job experiences, challenging assignments, and projects, etc.
- For the 20%: Developmental relationships: Facilitate social learning by encouraging employees to collaborate, mentor, and share knowledge with their colleagues. You can use tools like mentorship programs, peer-to-peer learning, or knowledge sharing platforms.
- For the 10%: Formal coursework and training: Finally, you want to focus 10% of your efforts on setting up a formal professional development program. Offer traditional training and development programs, workshops, and courses. These should be aligned with the specific skills and knowledge employees need to achieve their goals.
#3 Define your goals: It’s vital to identify the ultimate objectives for individual employees and align these with the organization’s strategic goals. Moreover, you may determine which departments, teams, or business units are involved in each employee’s development journey.
The 70-20-10 model is intended to serve as a general framework for understanding how individuals learn new skills and information rather than as a rigid rule. It emphasizes the value of a well-rounded approach to learning and development that combines formal education, social learning, and experience learning.