The Ultimate Cheat Sheet On Learning Transfer

Emma Weber

Recent research found 76% of respondents felt their organisation’s approach to support learners in sustaining their after training behaviour change  “could be improved” or “does not exist”.  

67% suggested that less that 40% of learning is sustained into an improvement of job performance.

With the ever increasing rate of change in the world, workforces must become more skilled and sophisticated. Now more than ever, learning has a responsibility to create real behavioural change and the desired business results.

With this in mind I have created the Ultimate Cheat Sheet on Learning Transfer to help you get clear on how to meet the challenge of transferring learning back to the workplace after a learning initiative.

Consider whether your initiative is designed to stretch or support employees – if it is “stretch” and it’s of high strategic importance then learning transfer is critical.

Be clear about what is going to happen after the initiative. Pre-program learning modules and action planning is great, but it’s useless if there is no specific learning transfer plan in place, that you have confidence will support the action.

Look at your organisation’s maturity and resources available to decide who should deliver your learning transfer. Be mindful that the manager is not the only option for supporting learning transfer. Success will depend on their level of expertise and time available.

Be aware that content reminders are not as powerful as change reflection. Structured reflection, after an initiative will facilitate genuine behavioural change.

Couple the reflection with a process to hold employees accountable to themselves with their learning transfer

Use a calibration tool to measure progress over time – get employees to calibrate where they are at with their action plan goals at the program, and then again throughout or at the end of the learning transfer.

The telephone is the secret weapon for productive and cost effective learning transfer. Using the phone rather than face to face follow ups means the individuals are more open, honest and vulnerable which enables them to reflect at a deep level and therefore created sustained behaviour change.

Ensure your process goes beyond ticking the box’.

Be mindful of the timeline that you collect the progress review data across, and ensure you aren’t just collecting happy sheet data at a Kirkpatrick/Phillips Level 1. Go deeper – find out if they have changed and met business objectives.

Most importantly, enjoy the learning transfer process! Keep refining your process and improving your business results from learning.

Whenever you’re planning your next learning initiative, take a moment to consult with the learning transfer cheat sheet. Ask yourself, where can you turn your aspirations into a reality and implement elements of successful learning transfer to create business impact from learning?

We’d be happy to chat transfer of learning with you and explore where we might support you in creating job performance improvement from your organisation’s learning or change initiatives. We stand behind our solutions and would love you to experience them in person. All of our initiatives have a money back guarantee.

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Emma Weber

Emma Weber is a recognized authority on the transfer of learning. As CEO of Lever – Transfer of Learning, she has helped companies such as Telstra, Oracle and BMW deliver and measure tangible business results from learning. Emma has also been a guest speaker at learning effectiveness conferences worldwide and authored the hugely successful book Turning Learning into Action. Much more detail around the issues and solutions examined in this article are available in the book – please feel free to download a free chapter.