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Learning Transfer to Performance


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When creating training events, instructional designers need to consider how their targeted audience will use what they learn in their work performance. Without learning transfer, training fails.

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Learning Transfer to Performance

  1. 1. The learning transfer problem Three techniques to improve it 13 October 2009 Learning transfer
  2. 2. Quotation “We spend a lot of money to train our people on customer service, but we still get several customer complaints. I think that the fault is with the training department.” — The Boss 2
  3. 3. Quotation “When I became a supervisor, no one trained me. I just don’t understand why workers expect to be trained. Nobody has time for that. You need to roll up your sleeves and learn as you go. That’s how I did it.” A Great Supporter? 3
  4. 4. Training results In a federal government training study, researchers found:  Training interventions:  Did not always relate to performance needs  Did not help employees perform their jobs  Rarely linked to organization’s business goals  Instructional designers used inadequate needs assessment procedures  Trainers did not have the knowledge and skills needed to support management and meet organizational needs 1995 study by the Merit Systems Protection Board on Human Resource Development in the federal government 4
  5. 5. Praise the training (Scenario 1)  A business analyst returns from training and reports:  Training on the new application was great  The application cannot work in this culture 5
  6. 6. Praise the training (Scenario 2)  A supervisor reports that training was excellent  The supervisor isn’t sure how the new knowledge will help with performance 6
  7. 7. Praise the training (Scenario 3)  A director wants to apply a leadership technique that she learned from training  The VP discourages her from trying 7
  8. 8. Praise the training  In these three scenarios, the learners did not complain about the training  However, learning most likely will not transfer to performance  Learners’ experience: Possible frustration, confusion, or a diminished opportunity to apply what they learned to improve the ways of doing their work 8
  9. 9. Do you agree? — Dugan Laird, Shanon Naquin, & Elwood Holton III, Approaches to training and development (2003) The transfer of learning into job performance is just as important, if not more important, than learning 9
  10. 10. Do you agree? Without attention to transfer, good learning often results in no return to the organization — Dugan Laird, Shanon Naquin, & Elwood Holton III, Approaches to training and development (2003) 10
  11. 11. Do you agree? — Dugan Laird, Shanon Naquin, & Elwood Holton III, Approaches to training and development (2003) Without transfer, training fails 11
  12. 12. The problem 12
  13. 13. Transfer systems  Transfer systems: All factors that influence the learning transfer to job performance  Includes things that training organization can control:  Training materials  Instruction  Learning environment  Includes the work environment where employees try to apply learning 13
  14. 14. Learning objects > Performance 14
  15. 15. Three ways you can help 1. Engage Managers 2. Involve learners before and after a learning event 3. Shift from content-centered to learner- centered
  16. 16. 1: Engage managers Managers should set the environment for learning. They need to create a learning roadmap for their employees and groups. Specifically, they need to:  Identify performance needs  Develop learning strategies for individuals and groups  Align learning to business goals  Support learning before, during, and after a learning intervention  Eliminate learning barriers  Reward learning and improved performance 16
  17. 17. 1: Engage managers As learning & development professionals, engage managers in the learning process  Identify managers who may be willing to accept this role  Coach the managers on how to engage their employees (using the ideas in the previous slide)  Measure manager successes  Determine a forum for marketing manager successes so that other managers can learn from their successes 17
  18. 18. 2: Engage learners: before & after  Stop thinking of training as a single event  Need to design activities before and after a training event 18
  19. 19. 2: Engage learners: timeline Before During After • Performance needs • Benefits / intended impact • Support network • Prerequisites • Assessments • Goals & objectives • Online resources • What’s in it for me? • Learning objectives • Content • Experience • Practice • Feedback / Rewards • Consultations • Action plans • “After” Prep • Community of Practice • Assessments • Coaching • Feedback • Online resources • Environmental adjustments • Performance reviews 19
  20. 20. 3: Content-centered vs. learner-centered These are traditional, content-centered action items 1. Review documents for key concepts 2. Logically sequence content 3. Study so that you can answer questions 4. Rehearse to appear credible 5. Build exercises to reinforce learning objectives 6. Verify that your content is accurate 20
  21. 21. These are learner-centered action items 1. Gather information about learners 2. Discover problems that they encounter 3. Analyze performance barriers 4. Determine expectations around their performance 5. Create realistic tools, templates, and job aids to help learners perform 6. Determine the benefits for learners and the organization when they successfully perform 3: Content-centered vs. learner-centered 21
  22. 22. About Gary A. DePaul, PhD, CPT I help people build safe, relevant, ​and unified work environments. Gary A. DePaul is a speaker, author, and leadership advisor. He has two decades of experience as a practitioner and scholar of leadership, has worked as a manager in fortune 500 companies, and consults with organizations to improve leadership practices. For more: 22
  23. 23. “What Is Leadership?” Is the Wrong Question Test Your Leadership Knowledge Other SlideShare presentations 23