Tips for Improving Training for Motor Carriers


Talent development is one key to the success of a motor carrier’s overall risk management strategy. By providing ongoing training and development opportunities as part of their efforts, motor carriers can reduce the financial losses caused by employee turnover, roadside inspections, vehicle accidents, and workplace injuries, to name a few. However, for all the advantages a positive training experience can offer, motor carriers should be mindful of the costs associated with bad training experiences as well.

One of the most common reasons training can fail is poor planning. Many trainers put a great deal of effort into planning a training event by scheduling personnel, reserving resources, developing a presentation, and promoting the event. All of these tasks are essential, but the success of training hinges more on what happens after the event and on the job than on what happened before or during the actual training.

The goal of training is to transfer new knowledge or a new skill to employees so they are better equipped to perform their jobs and help the organization achieve its business objectives. That is why employers should be intentional about how training is designed and, more importantly, supported by managers and supervisors once the worker returns to their job.

According to InformaTech, “Students forget 70% of what they are taught within 24 hours of the training experience.” The German psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus called this the forgetting curve and he estimated that only 12 percent of learners apply the skills learned in training back to their jobs. That is not good.

So how can you overcome this and realize your return on expectations? Here are some tips to help learners overcome the forgetting curve and make your training more effective.


Design the training based on measurable performance objectives rather than nebulous learning objectives. Planning curriculum for a training event should start by focusing on what business objective will be met by offering this training. Performance objectives should be quantifiable and measured before and after the training to determine if the objectives were met.


It is crucial that managers and supervisors support the training effort by ensuring their workers apply what they learned to their jobs. If an employee learns a new skill but returns to work and falls back to the old way of doing things, the knowledge or skill will be lost. Involving managers and supervisors on the front end before the training and explaining their roles will help the training be a success.

*Source: What Works in Professional Development: The Forgetting Curve.


  • Follow up with supervisors and managers to ensure learners are applying the training to their jobs. 
  • Develop performance objectives for training events that can be directly measured on the job. 
  • Conduct post-training assessments to measure the effectiveness of performance objectives. 

The information in this article is provided as a courtesy of Great West Casualty Company and is part of the Value-Driven® Company program. Value-Driven Company was created to help educate and inform insureds so they can make better decisions, build a culture that values safety, and manage risk more effectively. To see what additional resources Great West Casualty Company can provide for its insureds, please contact your safety representative, or click below to find an agent.

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