Learning Transfer@Work


Learning Transfer @ Work

Learning transfer can be defined as the ability of a learner to successfully apply the behavior, knowledge, and skills acquired in a learning event to the job, with a resulting improvement in job performance.

As a empowerment professional, I am increasingly on the hook to prove the value of my empowerment methodology and crucial for it to transfer this into performance. But I am caught in a predicament: In many organisations, they have little or no control over the learning process once the employee leaves the classroom (or finishes the e-course), and it’s impossible to measure the outcomes.

While the training might be top-notch and feedback great in the classroom, if people can’t apply what they learn on the job, then they are not ‘capable’ at the point of work.

Training professionals have done a lot of great work in recent years to define training design, delivery, and post-training reinforcement to enhance the transfer of learning. The methodologies may vary, but they are still addressing the challenge of poor performance, low engagement and negative mindsets.

The problem isn’t the training; it’s what comes afterward.

The biggest challenge for most organisations is what happens after the training. With training still seen as an isolated event, supervisors and even learners are slow to accept responsibility for creating an ideal environment for learning transfer. In today’s competitive world, businesses want employees back on the job after training, not participating in team practice and evaluation sessions with supervisors and peers. And putting employees back into a training room for more training is expensive. That leaves many organisations creating job aids(and some cases, ticking a box on peoples CPD, and expecting the learning to be applied at the point of work) and then hoping for the best.

Brain science and technology have some answers

So what tools are available to L&D professionals to maximise value from the learning event? Recent advances in brain science have proven that if the learning can be continued consistently and is ongoing after the initial training, the employee will retain significantly more of the information to apply effectively to the job when it’s needed.

“Several recent studies have shown that our cognitive machinery is fundamentally incompatible with conventional, one-way schooling. The traditional one-to-many approach to teaching and learning isn’t effective. The days when knowledge was considered a commodity to be delivered from teacher to student are over. Instead, knowledge emerges through curiosity-fueled exploration. Everyone must be a student and a teacher.

Corporate learning executives are bringing this approach to the workforce,shifting the focus from activity-based learning to experiential learning. By integrating interactions, mentoring, coaching, action-based learning, shadow assignments, and access to educational resources into the learning program, corporate learning can help employees feel empowered, invested, and engaged in the business.

So L&D, Leaders, Managers, need to face up to the reality and realise that there are often restraining forces on performance that have a root cause which is neither lack of learning nor lack of engagement, although these factors are often present as well and get all the blame for lack of performance.

Like to know more about how Learning Transfer can empower and increase performance in your organisation?


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empower|me unlocks the performance puzzle, and empowers your people to fully engage.

Organisational and individual performance improvements happen only when there’s a clear understanding of the connections in the organisation’s internal and external systems.

There are a recommended three levels of performance- the organisational level, the process level and the job/performer level- and ideally the performance goals, structures and management actions at all 3 levels are aligned.

  1. Organisation performance is the performance desired by the business. Factors that affect performance at this level include strategies, organisational goals and measures, and the organisation’s structure and deployment of resources.
  2. Process performance is the performance requires of all processes(production, order fulfillment, product development, complaint-handling, billing, planning, hiring,sales,distribution and so on). These processes should meet the needs of customers and stakeholders and must work effective and efficiently. The goals and measure for all processes must be driven by the requirements of customers and the organisation.
  3. Job performance is the performance required of all jobs in order to achieve the process-level performance. It is concerned with how the work is performed and managed by individuals within the organisation. Factors that affect performance at this level include hiring, promotion, job responsibilities and standards, feedback, rewards, training and so on.

So as we can see, a lot of opportunities within these areas for performance to slip.

The empower|me pathway navigates all 3 performance levels and supports you to align them, so that your people are empowered and performance improves.

How to improve performance

Whenever a performance improvement lever is pulled, it must always be remembered that it is part of a system. The above 3 levels of performance are interdependent. That means any attempt to introduce an organisational goal will fail if that goal is not supported by processes and human performance systems.

Equally, a job can’t be defined by someone who doesn’t understand the needs of the business process that the job exists to support.

From this, it’s clear that before performance at any of the three levels can be managed, the expectations for that performance need to be established and communicated.

It’s also crucial that the purpose of the business is clearly defined and communicated throughout the organisation.

Where managers barely communicate with their peers in other sub-systems; it is highly unlikely that workers are reaching out across the divide. A leadership structure which pays lip service to cooperation, but demonstrates competition or silo mindsets, will not engender a systems approach throughout the organisation.

The empower|me pathway navigates all 3 performance levels and supports you to align them, so that your people are empowered and performance improves.