Experience is the Best Teacher: Why Experiential Learning Matters for Employee Growth

May 5, 2023


Written by UJJI Team

Introduction to Experiential Learning

As startups and business leaders in the United Kingdom continue to navigate the challenges of the ever-changing workplace, it's important to consider innovative approaches to employee development. 

One such approach is experiential learning, a technique that emphasises practical, hands-on experiences to enhance skill development and foster employee engagement. 

According to a study by the National Training Laboratory, people remember only 10% of what they read but 90% of what they do.

What is Experiential Learning?

Experiential learning is a teaching approach that emphasises learning through experience and reflection. It involves hands-on activities, simulations, and real-world scenarios that allow you to apply your knowledge in a practical way. Experiential learning theory proposes that people learn best by engaging in real-life experiences and reflecting on them.

Benefits of Experiential Learning

The benefits of experiential learning are many. It promotes better retention of information, enhances problem-solving skills, and improves teamwork and communication. Employees who have experienced this type of learning are more engaged, motivated, and productive. Participating in a group project or job shadowing are examples of experiential learning.

Why is employee engagement important?

Employee engagement is crucial for the success of any business. Engaged employees are more committed to their work, have a better understanding of the company's goals, and are more likely to stay with the company long-term. Experiential learning is a powerful tool for increasing employee engagement, as it provides employees with a sense of ownership and control over their learning experience.

Creating an Experiential Learning Program

Experiential learning is an approach that encourages you to learn by doing rather than just listening. Experiential learning activities provide hands-on experiences that enable you to apply concepts and theories in real-world situations. Let's dive into the five essential steps to create an engaging and effective experiential learning program.

Identifying Learning Objectives:

First, identify your learning objectives. What do you want your team to learn? What skills or knowledge do they need to improve? Be specific and measurable in your objectives to track progress.

Designing Engaging Learning Activities:

Next, design engaging learning activities that cater to different learning styles. Use simulations, role-playing, and real-life scenarios to give your team hands-on experience. Encourage collaboration and discussion to promote learning.

Setting Up a Safe Learning Environment:

Creating a safe learning environment is crucial for success. Ensure your team feels comfortable to try new things and make mistakes. Provide support and feedback to facilitate growth and development.

Measuring Learning Outcomes:

Measuring learning outcomes is the key to determining the success of your program. Use quantitative and qualitative data to assess progress and identify areas for improvement. Continuously refine your program to achieve the desired results.

By following these steps, you can create an experiential learning program that is not only engaging but also effective.

Engaging Employees with Experiential Learning

As the saying goes, "Tell me and I forget, teach me, and I may remember; involve me, and I learn." This holds true in the workplace, where employees actively engaged in their learning are more likely to retain and apply information in their work. 

How to improve employee engagement? Experiential learning offers a hands-on approach to employee training, providing an immersive and engaging experience that promotes long-term retention and application of skills.

Providing Opportunities for Hands-on Learning:

Incorporating hands-on learning opportunities in your employee training programs can yield many benefits for both the employee and the company. By actively engaging employees in their learning, you empower them to take control of their development and growth. 

This leads to increased productivity and job satisfaction. Additionally, hands-on learning can help employees better understand complex concepts and develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

Encouraging Collaborative Learning:

Collaborative learning allows employees to work together to solve problems and develop new ideas. This creates a dynamic and engaging learning environment. This approach can be particularly effective for teams that work closely together, allowing them to build trust, improve communication, and share knowledge and expertise. You can encourage innovation, boost productivity, and enhance team dynamics by fostering a collaborative learning culture.

Incorporating Real-life Scenarios:

Real-life scenarios offer a practical and relevant approach to employee training. It allows employees to practice their skills and knowledge in a realistic setting. By simulating real-world challenges, you can prepare employees to handle situations they may encounter, leading to increased confidence and better decision-making. Additionally, real-life scenarios can help employees to develop their critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

Using Gamification Techniques:

Gamification techniques offer a fun and engaging approach to employee training. It uses game elements to motivate and incentivise employees. By incorporating features such as leaderboards, badges, and rewards, you can create a sense of competition and achievement that encourages employees to stay engaged and motivated. Additionally, gamification can help break up traditional training methods' monotony, making learning more enjoyable and memorable.

Implementing Experiential Learning in the Workplace

As more companies compete, they learn that it's important to have employees who are trained well and can adapt to different situations.

Integrating Learning with Job Responsibilities:

Experiential learning is all about integrating learning with job responsibilities. This means that employees are allowed to learn and apply their newfound knowledge immediately. This approach not only helps employees to be more productive but also increases their job satisfaction.

Providing Flexibility in Learning Approaches:

Every employee learns differently, and companies need to recognise this. By providing a range of learning approaches, such as e-learning, coaching, and on-the-job training, companies can ensure that all employees have access to the type of learning that suits them best.

Promoting a Culture of Continuous Learning:

Experiential learning should be an ongoing process rather than a one-off event. By promoting a culture of continuous learning, companies can encourage their employees to take ownership of their development and stay up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies in their field.

Encouraging Feedback and Reflection:

Feedback and reflection are essential components of experiential learning. By encouraging employees to reflect on their experiences and provide feedback, companies can identify areas for improvement and make necessary changes. This can lead to a more efficient and effective learning process.

Measuring the Effectiveness of Experiential Learning

Experiential learning is a powerful way to boost employee development. But how do you know if it's actually working? Here's how to measure its effectiveness.

Identifying Key Performance Indicators (KPIs):

Identifying key performance indicators (KPIs) is the first step to measuring the effectiveness of experiential learning. What do you want to achieve? What are your goals? These are the questions you need to ask yourself before you start.

Analysing Learning Metrics:

Once you've identified your KPIs, you need to analyse learning metrics. How many people are completing the program? What are their feedback scores? Are they applying what they've learned on the job? These are all important questions to ask.

Gathering Feedback from Employees and Stakeholders:

But numbers only tell part of the story. It's also crucial to gather feedback from employees and stakeholders. What did they like about the program? What could be improved? What impact did it have on their work? This information is invaluable in understanding the true effectiveness of the program.

Iterating and Improving the Learning Program:

Finally, iterate and improve the learning program based on your feedback. Maybe certain modules aren't resonating with employees, or the program must be adapted to better fit the company culture. Whatever it may be, take action and make changes accordingly.


Using experiential learning in employee training and development is a great way to keep employees interested and help the business succeed. Every company need to use experiential learning to stay competitive in the fast-moving business world.

With UJJI, businesses can create immersive and interactive learning experiences. This enables employees to learn by doing, leading to better retention and application of knowledge in the workplace. By investing in experiential learning with UJJI, businesses can empower their employees to reach their full potential and drive long-term success.


What is experiential learning?

Experiential learning is a hands-on learning approach involving active participation, reflection, and feedback to enhance knowledge, skills, and attitudes.

What are the benefits of experiential learning?

Experiential learning promotes engagement, collaboration, critical thinking, problem-solving, and innovation. It also enhances retention, application, and transfer of learning to the workplace.

How do you create an experiential learning program?

To create an experiential learning program, you must identify learning objectives, design engaging learning activities, set up a safe learning environment, and measure learning outcomes.

How do you engage employees with experiential learning?

To engage employees with experiential learning, you must provide hands-on learning opportunities, encourage collaborative learning, incorporate real-life scenarios, and use gamification techniques.

How do you measure the effectiveness of experiential learning?

To measure the effectiveness of experiential learning, you need to identify key performance indicators (KPIs), analyse learning metrics, gather feedback from employees and stakeholders, and iterate and improve the learning program.

go to blog home