Open-book companies Maritz Travel Co. and Morse Bros. have done their own research to determine the best ways to educate their adult learners. Maritz takes the multimedia approach -- bells, whistles, audio, pictures on the walls, overheads, and even a little drama -- to appeal to its hundreds of employees who learn in different ways and at different speeds.

Morse discovered that the average adult has an attention span of 15 minutes, so it opted for more frequent (weekly) training sessions that lasted no more than 15 minutes. When developing your next training program, keep in mind these benchmarks compiled by Karen Berman, principal of Berman ConsultingGroup:

After three days of training, people remember...

  • 10% of what they read
  • 20% of what they hear
  • 30% of what they see
  • 50% of what they see and hear
  • 70% of what they say
  • 90% of what they say and do

Copyright 1999 Open-Book Management Inc.