12.30.2015

3 Proven Ways to Improve the Transfer of Training Today

One cartoon figure's brain is dripping into another's to show knowledge transfer

If only the transfer of learning to on-the-job application were as easy as pouring facts from the brain of an instructor into the brain of a student. It is, however, a far more complex process to change behavior and performance. And even when the training participant has learned the skills in a workshop environment, there is no guarantee those new skills will actually be proficiently transferred to their working world.

If your goal is the effective transfer of training from the workshop to the job, you need to coax your learners and their managers far beyond simple insight and awareness of new behaviors.

Here are three ways to improve your transfer of training success:

1. Establish strong learner readiness
Until your learners are persuaded that the effort needed to acquire and apply new behaviors is truly in their (and their boss’) best interests, there is little hope that they will care enough to make the changes required to improve performance. You need to provide clear and compelling reasons for the training participants and their bosses to be motivated to learn, change and perform. What’s in it for them? And are they capable of learning and supporting the new skills? It is a question of relevance, motivation and ability. Be sure you have established all three before you invest the effort, time and money required for training to change behavior and on-the-job performance.

2. Establish a supportive process and accountability
You need a system in place to measure the transfer of training. No training or development should take place without alignment with an important business imperative. If the learning will have a true impact on business results, it should be reinforced and measured. Participants and their bosses should be held accountable; not only for attending the training but for proving that they have transferred the training to the workplace. Give them opportunities to practice the skills, the support of well-trained coaches to encourage and tweak the skills, and measures of actual performance.

3. Establish alignment
To be worthwhile, training should be highly relevant to the learners, their bosses and the business. In other words, the new behaviors need to be fully aligned with important organizational goals. This is how you can garner the necessary support of senior leadership and the resources necessary for success. The training should be integral to enhancing productivity and, therefore, the organization’s performance.

Once these three pillars of successful transfer of training are in place, the effectiveness of your learning initiative is said to be increased by as much as 180%. Don’t fall short. Lay the groundwork properly by establishing learner readiness, appropriate goals and metrics, and the full support of executives.

Learn more at: http://www.lsaglobal.com/lsa-transfer-of-training-methodology