70-20-10 Model of Performance And Training Revisited

70-20-10 Model of Performance And Training Revisited

The 70-20-10 model is widely used in organizations across the world for implementing learning programs. In this blog, I will cover the model briefly and provide some thoughts on implementing it better for successful skilling of workforce.

What is the 70-20-10 Model All About?

The model 70-20-10 provides broad guidelines to organizations on providing learning support to learners in a variety of formats. The model is intended to be as an aid to create the right framework for performance.

Many organisations either over-train or under-train their employees. Using this model, which is a research-based model, organizations can train their employees in the right way.

The model states that 70 percent of learning happens due to the day-to-day experiences at the job. 20 percent happens through social interactions with colleagues and managers. 10 percent is through formal training method.

70 20 10 model Tesseract Learning

Some have criticized the model being anti-training due to its lower emphasis on formal training. However, this model reflects the real-world scenario. This model can be used as an effective performance evaluation model as well.

At the end of a performance review cycle, managers can review the things that they had implemented well to improve the overall skills and performance of the employees.

Implementing 70-20-10 Model

As employees do their jobs day in and day out, one of the ways to scale their skills up is by throwing challenging assignments at them. Employees become learners only when there is an element of challenge to the task they are performing. When employees are provided challenging tasks, they tend to find out everything that will help them come up with innovative ideas to complete the assignments.

The idea is not to provide too challenging a task which cannot be achieved by them.

In my experience I observed that new team members are very enthusiastic about learning new ways of doing things and want to impress their managers. The managers take this opportunity by providing unrealistic deadlines and pressurize the new team members in completing them.

On the other hand, good managers take this as a good opportunity to groom the employees for higher-order thinking skills by providing enough challenges.

If the tasks are too complex or the employees are novices, then the emphasis should be on the other two ways of skilling which is social learning and formal training. I will cover this next.

The 20 Percent- Learning Through Social Interactions

Managers should encourage their team members to have regular interactions both within and outside their departments. As Peter Senge said about learning organizations, those organizations truly become learning organizations that ensure that their employees are placed in an environment where learning is encouraged. When employees interact both socially in-person as well as through forums, they share their ideas and help each other.

A simple example would be of a team that has started work on a project. A new team member joins the project midway. While the team member is provided a knowledge transfer by the team lead, the team itself should interact with the newest member and help him/her with the various technicalities of the project. Some employees like sharing their ideas. However, managers should note that that not everyone is adept at social interactions and therefore must conduct informal sessions and encourage the team-members share their understanding as well as key learnings so that the project moves forward in a smooth manner.

The 10 Percent- Formal Trainings

The formal training constitutes the rest of the model. While there is not much to argue about the kinds of trainings that the learners provided such as Face-to-Face trainings or eLearning, there is some debate about using microlearning and gamification as part of formal training.

Microlearning, Gamification and Short Videos

I put forth my considered opinion that microlearning, gamification and similar kind of interventions can also be part of the 70 percent of the informal on the job trainings.

While learners get challenging assignments and work on them, they also need guidance to support them. Microlearning since its advent has been used in variety of ways. One way is to provide timely intervention during the moment of need. While Job Aids are traditionally considered as performance support, even microlearning and short interactive videos can also be used to enhance the performance of the learners.


To conclude, the 70-20-10 model is a good way to challenge employees and enable them to perform better. However, what also needs to be kept in mind is to provide timely interventions that help the employees grasp the product/project related concepts better.

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