Retention is perhaps the most important part of learning – something Sabrina Tellez said she wishes she would have known when she started out in the world of learning and education. “We, as learning professionals, get so caught up in the initial point of training, and we feel like we’ve been successful after meeting that initial need, and then we move on,” she told JW Marshall on a recent episode of the Future of E-Learning Podcast.

In their conversation, Tellez and Marshall discuss past challenges, current ideas and what artificial intelligence could be bringing to the field. Throughout her career of more than 15 years, Tellez has worked in various industries, including insurance, retail and, most recently, non-profit. While working at Academy Sports + Outdoors, a sporting goods retail chain in the southern U.S., she got excited about the idea of micro learning around 2014 or 2015.

“Our sales force needed to be out on the floor as much as possible,” she said. “We built our learning in bite-sized chunks … which made it easier to digest and access. We found a lot of success with that.”

Tellez is now Director of Training and Development at BE A CHAMPION INC., and retention plans are some of the most important aspects of her work.

BE A CHAMPION is a non-profit organization that offers free meals to students and low-cost after-school services for children. Before Tellez, the company had never had formalized training, a challenge she welcomed with open arms.

“Take your time and observe,” she told Marshall when asked for advice for learning professionals who are dealing with similar challenges. “As much as I would have loved to start by building training immediately, I had to slow down and get to know the organization.”

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