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?