Factors that improve the transfer of learning
Imagine that – you have spent more than four months organizing a big learning event related to an important strategic initiative. Several thousands of dollars budget were spent on a venue, travel costs, contracting external keynote speakers and group activities. The seminar is a total success, everyone is excited.
In order to document the success of the intervention and to prove the ROI on the budget spent, the HR manager sent a simple survey to the participants containing three simple questions:
1) what did you remember
2) what would you apply
3) what benefits would you obtain (on a personal or professional level)
The only problem was that because of the holiday period that survey was delayed with 3 weeks. To a huge surprise for the HR manager, nobody answered the survey. When he approached some of the participants and asked them personally, the only common point they remembered and liked from that event was… the golf tournament during the last day.
Before you say “this never happens at our company” think honestly what is the percentage of knowledge and information that people retain and apply several weeks after a corporate training intervention? According to our recent survey, 52% of money invested in corporate training have no return whatsoever, or in other words, half or the training money are a total waste. The question is which half?
What factors contribute to a better creation and retention of knowledge?
For years training was considered to be a universal cure for company problems. Staff is not motivated? Do training.
The team is not aligned? Do training.
The process of building knowledge and skills is lengthy and requires constant coaching and supportive culture.
But driven by a desire for quick results, this is what a usual training investment looks like:
Figure 1. Typical training investment