One of the most effective ways to guarantee the transfer of training requires no management reinforcement at all.
Conventional wisdom says if training is going to be applied back on the job, we must have management buy-in and reinforcement. But is that 100% true?
Of course not. There are a wide variety of other factors that determine how much, if any, training gets applied. Organizational culture. Talent gaps. Gaps in policies, processes, and procedures to name a few.
So then the question is, how can training professionals give a big boost to training transfer with so many variables that are out of our control affecting the transfer rates?
The answer is as elegant as it is simple.
Let the trainees decide what learning they will apply and when they will apply it and then utilize one of the most seductive approaches known to man to provide a support mechanism that will almost ensure it will be applied.
By doing so, you can boost the transfer of training by 50% or more. Here is the 4 step process on how you do it.
Step 1: Conduct a Content Review at Half Day or Full Day Intervals
You’ll cover a lot of material in a half day and full day program, so stop and conduct a brief content review. For a multi-day course, I do a review in the morning of the previous day’s content.
Step 2: Participants Select the Key Learning to Apply Back on the Job
In tables groups, have each person review the specific content covered to
- select up to 3 things they will apply back on the job
- identify a date they all agree to be contacted to determine if they applied what they said they would apply
Step 3: Create Their Accountability Mind Map
As a table group, they create a simple mind map which graphically displays their agreement. Encourage them to have fun and be creative in creating their mind map. The activity set up is quick and easy – to complete the mind map, each person does the following:
- Give each table a single piece of flip chart paper
- Each person writes their name on the flip chart
- Next to each name, the person lists the 1, 2, or 3 things s/he identified to apply back on the job
- When everyone is done with their list, the group puts the date they agreed to follow up with each other on the flip chart
- They should exchange contact information, and they own the process so they are responsible for how they will conduct the follow up.
Step 4: Take a Photo of the Mind Maps
The facilitator should take a picture of all the flipcharts and provide them to the participants. Interestingly enough, most participants will take a picture with their smart phones as well.
You have now just used the power of peer pressure to create a social learning experience and increase the transfer of training without requiring any effort from the trainees’ managers.
This also provides 3 huge benefits to the trainer:
- You now have an efficient way to check back in with the participants, which reinforces your brand and value of training
- It enables you to scale the shared accountability for training transfer
- It provides you with additional data that you can use to determine which information was most valued, what was actually applied, and if it wasn’t applied, what got in the way (barriers).
That’s a creative and fun way to plan for level 3 training evaluation during the instructional event.
Simply brilliant, right?
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