How to Help Employees Transfer Training to the Job
Training transfer enables employees to apply the skills learned in training on the job. Training transfer is performing certain activities before, during, and after a training session that enable employees to more effectively and quickly apply the skills learned in training back on the job.
Training transfer is the goal when employees are involved in any internal or external training activity, session, seminar, or on-the-job training.
The goal of training is to enhance the skills, knowledge, and the thinking and learning ability of employees. But, even more important, is the capability to apply the new information, skills, or knowledge in the employee's job.
Taking training transfer one step further, ideally, the employee learns the new information, applies the information on the job, and then, shares the new information by transferring the knowledge (training) to other employees.
Want the training that you provide for employees to have a real impact on the skills practiced in the workplace when the employees return to work? This case study illustrates the power of paying attention to employee training transfer before, during and after the training and development sessions or activities.
Training Transfer Case Study
So that you understand the concept of training transfer, the following is a real-life case study that shows a training manager applying the needed actions before, during, and after providing recipients with training.
In a mid-Western university, the Director of Human Resource Development (HRD) created a new employee training series for supervisory staff members. She began the needs assessment process with focus groups that included both prospective participants and supervisors to identify the key skills and ideas needed from the training.
She consulted with outside experts to determine employee training content. She observed employee training programs and met with peer university HRD Directors to compare notes before developing the employee training.
She formed a university-wide advisory committee to review and assist with the employee training design and delivery.
Then, working with internal and external training and development vendors, she developed the objective-based employee training sessions. Managers of trainees are required to attend an initial meeting which introduces the employee training session content.
These meetings also teach participants the role of the manager in supporting the training efforts. Gradually, more and more managers attended the complete training as well.
The HRD Director piloted sessions with the first couple of employee training groups. Sessions were redesigned based on feedback. Trainers presented relevant examples and activities during the sessions.
The participants filled out multi-page evaluations that provided feedback about content, learning, and the effectiveness of the sessions. These were due within a week of the training session, and not required at the end of the session, so participants had time for thoughtful review and reflection following the training.
Training redesign is an ongoing process based on feedback.
A couple of months after the sessions, the HRD Director meets with employees who participated in the training. Her purpose is to assess their satisfaction with the training and learn whether they had been able to transfer the training to their workplace over time. She also meets with their supervisors to assess whether the employees are applying the skills in the workplace.
She is working to provide actual testing and 360-degree feedback to strengthen the training transfer component of the employee training program.
Is the employee training program a success? You bet. She spent the time to implement the steps recommended in the below series of articles about training transfer.
The university is reaping great results from the resources invested in employee training. You can experience these results, too, by paying attention to the transfer of employee training to your workplace.
After all, why would you not want to add the activities and follow up that will ensure that employers and employees reap the positive impact of the time employees spend in training? You're investing in the training time anyway.
Activities That Support Training Transfer
This information suggests activities and ideas that enable the successful transfer of training to the employee's job. The transfer of training occurs most easily when the training is internally developed and delivered.