How to Challenge Employees Without Overwhelming Them

Challenge is at the core of what separates an effective training program from a crappy one. 

The basis of challenge is really quite simple: start where your employees are, and continually increase the level of difficulty. 

For training to be challenging but not overwhelming, there has to be opportunity for students to practice learning the new skill. The level of difficulty should only increase again once the employee’s skill matches the level of challenge. Or in other words, just before the content becomes too easy. 

One way to do that is by adding levels to your training program.

How Hard Should Your Employee Training Program Be?

The short answer to that question is… hard enough that it’s challenging, but not so hard that it’s overwhelming.

Yea I know. Simple to say, less simple to do.

We’ve noticed that clients often struggle to set the right level of difficulty for their programs. Which makes sense -- it’s not always clear how challenging content should be.

The problem is we all tend to err on the side of “too easy” instead of “too hard.”

And when content is too easy, it doesn’t support your learning objectives. Training feels like a waste of time. Employees check out. And your analytics don’t accurately reflect their learning.