to make your organisation fit for the future.
Your organisation will only thrive in the coming decade if it can change faster than its business world is changing. And do this at lower cost than competition. So getting more business benefit from your learning and development money is of paramount importance.
Just putting in a better, high-powered training alone may even hurt your bottom line. After all, shoehorning a Ferrari F1 engine into your Volkswagen might sound great pulling away from the lights. But is it just flash, or will it really give you the performance you need to get through a gravel pass in Africa?
You get the performance you need when all components are well matched and integrated into a coherent system. The same for learning; you’ll change what people do at work better, faster and at lower cost if you do more than send them to a course. You get the most transfer from a course into on the job actions by having all three elements below.
- Opportunity to Use.
Ensure that the participant has a project using what has just been learnt. Obvious really, but how often do participants wait a year before they have an opportunity to use what they’ve just learnt? Ebbinghaus showed in 1885 that people can forget up to 90% of what they’ve learnt in as little as a week. The need to use immediately, on the job, what you’ve just learnt is the best post-training intervention to drive transfer.
- Personal Outcomes.
Ensure that there are positive personal outcomes for using the newly learnt skills. And that there are no negative personal outcomes for using them! Just as important is making sure the participant knows this. If this training is there to enable your high potentials perform better, and reach the next level, make sure they know that. Just a simple conversation from their line manager makes a big difference.
- Supervisor Support.
Ensure that the line manager actively re-inforces the skills, behaviours just learnt. The supervisor’s attitude is one of the biggest levers in getting learning transfer. So ideally train top-down, sending the line managers on the new training before their subordinates. If you can’t do that, do spend time with the line managers so that they are clear why the company needs these behaviours. And how they play an essential role after a training in transfer.