The ultimate goal of any training session is for the participants to take what they learn and apply it back on the job. Here are a few things to keep in mind as discussed in the article titled, “The 80/20 Rule for Learning Transfer“, written by Michael P. Leimbach and Ed Emde.
There are three areas that should be addressed to increase learning transfer for participants:
Design for Transfer
Learner readiness is all about making sure your participants see “what’s in it for them”. In other words, they clearly see that the new knowledge/skills the course will provide are relevant to their jobs and see the payoff in actually obtaining them. This should begin prior to the learning event taking place. Examples of how to do this?
- Sending an email link to the participants that directs them to a video providing an overview of the content and the impact of learning the new skills presented in the course.
- This could be followed up with a quick self-assessment to identify areas of opportunity and areas of strength.
Design for transfer means you have the appropriate elements in place such as a structured system of follow-up activites, action plans, and opportunities to practice behavioral models. Instead of focusing solely on what happens during the training event itself, consider after action events to support the skills in the participant’s daily job role. Examples of how to do this?
- Incorporating the new skills learned into existing forms
- Sending out a weekly email that reviews a specific topic/skill, associated tips for applying it, and links to additional resources to continue to enhance their interest.
Organizational alignment is critical in ensuring learning transfer. This involves securing exective sponsorship, engaging managers, and encouraging peer support for the training event. Examples included:
- Interviewing key stakeholders
- Identifying potential obstacles to success.
To get a more detailed look at transferring learning and to determine if your organization has a successful strategy in place, I encourage you to read the “The 80/20 Rule for Learning Transfer.”