Neuroscience and Employee Training: Using Brain-Based Learning to Improve Retention in 3 powerful Steps

6 Actionable Ways 46 corporate e-learning

Employee training is a critical component of any organization’s success. Training programs help employees develop new skills and knowledge, which can lead to improved job performance, increased productivity, and ultimately, better business outcomes. 

However, the effectiveness of employee training can be limited if the methods used are not tailored to how the human brain works. This is where neuroscience and brain-based learning come in. 

By incorporating these principles into training programs, organizations can improve retention and ensure that employees are able to apply what they have learned to their work. In this article, we’ll explore how to use brain-based learning to improve retention in three steps.

What is brain-based learning? 

brain-based learning

You know that big, squishy thing inside your head? Yep, that’s your brain! And when you’re learning something new, your brain is working super hard to make sense of it all.

Brain-based learning is all about understanding how your brain works and using that knowledge to make learning more effective and fun. Think of it like having a secret code to unlock your brain’s full potential!

When you’re learning with your brain in mind, you’re giving it the fuel it needs to power through any challenge. You’re using visuals, sounds, and even movement to help your brain make connections and retain information. It’s like a big ol’ brain party in there!

Brain-based learning draws on research from neuroscience, psychology, and education to inform teaching practices. It emphasizes the importance of providing learners with experiences that activate multiple regions of the brain, such as through hands-on activities, problem-solving exercises, and visual aids.

Benefits of using brain-based learning

Enhanced Engagement

 Brain-based training methods are designed to engage learners on multiple levels, such as through interactive activities and practical examples. This type of training can help employees feel more engaged and connected to the material, which can increase their motivation to learn and improve their skills. When employees are more engaged in their work, they are more likely to stay with the company.

Improved Knowledge Retention

Brain-based training methods are designed to tap into the natural processes of the brain, such as through repetition and active learning. This can help employees retain information better and for longer periods of time, which can ultimately improve their job performance. When employees feel confident in their abilities and see the value in their training, they are more likely to stay with the company.

Customized Learning

 Brain-based training recognizes that every learner is unique and may respond differently to various types of instruction. By using a variety of teaching strategies and methods, brain-based training can customize learning to meet the needs of different employees. This can help employees feel valued and supported, which can increase their loyalty to the company.

Reduced Turnover Costs

 High employee turnover can be costly for companies in terms of recruitment, training, and lost productivity. By using brain-based training to increase employee engagement and retention, companies can reduce their turnover costs and improve their bottom line.

How to use brain-based learning?

Step 1: Understand How the Brain Learns

brain-based learning

To create effective training programs, it is important to first understand how the brain learns. Neuroscience research has shown that the brain is constantly changing and adapting in response to new experiences. This phenomenon, known as neuroplasticity, means that the brain can create new neural pathways and strengthen existing ones in response to learning.

In practical terms, this means that training programs need to be designed to engage the brain and create new connections between neurons. This can be done by incorporating activities that challenge employees to think critically, solve problems, and apply what they have learned to real-world situations.

Additionally, training programs should be designed to be interactive, as this can help to increase engagement and retention. One of the examples of such can be gamified learning where the employers learn through the use of games.

According to statistics, most employees in America are provided with job training that incorporates gaming features. The data suggests that 83% of individuals who receive gamified training are motivated, while 61% of employees who receive standard training without any gaming elements feel uninterested.

Step 2: Incorporate Brain-Based Learning Principles

Once you understand how the brain learns, you can start incorporating brain-based learning principles into your training programs. There are several key principles to consider:


Emotion plays a critical role in learning and memory. Activities that elicit an emotional response, such as storytelling or role-playing, can help to increase retention.


Learning is most effective when it is relevant to the learner’s goals and interests. Training programs should be tailored to the specific needs and interests of employees.


Providing feedback is important for reinforcing learning and improving retention. Feedback should be timely, specific, and actionable.


The brain thrives on variety, and training programs should incorporate a variety of activities and approaches to keep employees engaged.

By incorporating these principles into your training programs, you can create a learning environment that is optimized for retention and application.

Step 3: Evaluate and Adjust

brain-based learning

Finally, it is important to evaluate the effectiveness of your training programs and make adjustments as needed. To effectively evaluate and adjust a brain-based training program, the following steps can be taken:

📣Set clear evaluation criteria

Before the training program begins, establish clear evaluation criteria that align with the goals and objectives of the training. This can include metrics such as performance improvement, knowledge retention, and employee satisfaction.

💻Collect data

Collect data throughout the training program using various methods such as surveys, assessments, and observations. This data should be analyzed to identify trends and patterns in the learning process and to determine what aspects of the training were effective and what areas could be improved.

📝Gather feedback

Solicit feedback from the learners and the trainers to gain a better understanding of their experiences with the training program. This can be done through surveys, focus groups, or one-on-one meetings.

💪Adjust the training program

Based on the data and feedback collected, make adjustments to the training program to improve its effectiveness. This may include changing the content, delivery methods, or assessment tools.

📊Implement the changes

Once the adjustments have been made, implement them in the training program and continue to collect data and feedback to assess their impact.

🚀Repeat the process

Evaluate and adjust the training program on an ongoing basis to ensure that it continues to meet the needs of the learners and the organization.


There are many companies that have implemented brain-based learning in their training programs. Here are a few examples:

  1. Google: Google is known for its innovative approach to employee training and development. They use brain-based learning techniques such as collaborative learning, hands-on projects, and personalized training plans to ensure that their employees are constantly learning and growing.
  2. General Electric: General Electric has implemented a brain-based learning program called “BrilliantYOU,” which focuses on personalized training plans and continuous learning. The program uses assessments and data analysis to identify areas where employees can improve and provides targeted training to help them reach their goals.
  3. Marriott International: Marriott International has implemented a brain-based learning program called “M-Learn,” which includes a variety of learning methods such as mobile learning, social learning, and experiential learning. The program is designed to be flexible and adaptable to the needs of each employee.
  4. Apple: Apple uses brain-based learning techniques such as active learning and visual aids in its employee training programs. They also provide regular feedback to employees and encourage continuous learning and development.
  5. IBM: IBM has implemented a brain-based learning program called “ThinkAcademy,” which focuses on personalized learning and continuous improvement. The program includes a variety of learning methods such as online courses, workshops, and mentoring programs.

These are just a few examples of companies that have successfully implemented brain-based learning in their training programs. By prioritizing employee development and designing training programs that align with the natural processes of the brain, these companies are able to improve employee engagement, retention, and performance.

By incorporating neuroscience and brain-based learning principles into employee training programs, organizations can improve retention and ensure that employees are able to apply what they have learned to their work. This can lead to improved job performance, increased productivity, and better business outcomes. By following these three steps, you can create a training program that is optimized for the way the brain works and that delivers real results for your organization.


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