There are organisational costs to training – and not just financial costs but opportunity costs as well as other resources. Course participants invest their precious time and energy in the training – they are also taken out of their comfort zone and feel the stress of doing new things or doing familiar things in a new way. So everybody wants the training to be successful and obtain its perceived benefits. But how do you ensure that training sticks?
How do you ensure that the new skills, knowledge and attitudes learned are transferred back to the workplace? The key is planning for it.
For the successful transfer of learning to the workplace, one must develop a plan that encompasses three phases: the before, during, and after-the-training phases. Each of these phases is explored below.
Before the Training
This is the key phase as it is when the overall plan is created – unfortunately, in organisations of all sizes and in all industry sectors, it is frequently neglected. The starting point of course is when the training need was identified, whether this was through a formal Training Needs Analysis (TNA) or as the solution to a performance problem – what goal or objective was identified that the training is to achieve? This objective must be clearly identified. Any fuzziness to this objective will cause multiple problems such as unfocused training provision, lack of relevancy in the content, and unclear success criteria. Evaluation of training requires clear objectives to be set at the outset. So, spending time clarifying this with relevant line managers and those providing the training pays large dividends.
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