Line managers are the main stumbling block when it comes to making a success of staff training.
A survey of learning and development professionals at the World of Learning conference in Birmingham found two in five respondents felt a lack of line management buy-in was the biggest barrier to learning retention.
Other significant issues that affect training include a lack of follow-up exercises to embed knowledge (37%), and lack of coaching or mentoring (25%).
Bob Mosher, global chief of training training firm LearningGuide Solutions, said the failure of line managers to properly support staff after the initial training could see retention of information drop by as much as 80%.
"Often people want to remember and apply this information after learning it, but managers and training departments instead talk louder and slower to them, and that's not what they need," he told Personnel Today.
Andrew Gee, project manager for the conference, said: "It is a constant battle for learning and development professionals to ensure that line managers place their staff's ongoing development as a high priority on a day-to-day level."
More than 260 learning and development experts were polled by the Learning and Skills Council-sponsored event.