When businesses are investing in learning and development opportunities, you need to be able to critically asses the impact through learning transfer.
The primary objective of any learning process is obvious: to increase knowledge and influence positive behaviours.
Whether that’s compliance, upskilling, reskilling or refresher training, the objective is the same.
Post-training, we want our people to transfer the knowledge they’ve learned away from the classroom. But how can companies encourage this learning transfer?
Keep reading to learn:
- What learning transfer is
- The benefits of learning transfer
- The secret sauce to encouraging greater learning transfer
Let’s dig in.
What is learning transfer?
Learning transfer is the art of taking knowledge from training or learning courses and applying them and sharing them outside the classroom.
While learner engagement is key to learner retention, what else is key is ensuring that learner’s have practical use for their new knowledge.
This is a problem many L&D professionals are facing.
Pretty low! So, how can you up the rate of learning transfer?
First, let’s look at the benefits.
What are the benefits of good learning transfer?
A course with good learning transfer can impact businesses by:
- Improving productivity through better processes, smarter working and deeper knowledge
- Increasing wider team knowledge
- Lifting sales
- Driving better leadership
When the benefits are this good, it’s worth investing in high-quality learning to ensure a high rate of learning transfer.
A huge drain on your budget and disengaged people.
Even if just one member of staff gets good learning transfer, that can have a huge trickle-down impact.
They could bring in new processes, share their knowledge, change the status quo.
Learning done well can revolutionise businesses and so investing in the right training is vital.
How to increase the learning transfer rate
For us, technology is the secret sauce when it comes to improving learning transfer.
Like many areas of L&D, technology is a facilitator in transferring learning to the workplace, rather than a tool to do so.
But, in today’s world, we rely heavily on technology.
We use it to make sure we’re up on time for work, to connect with friends, family and colleagues across the globe and to manage projects more efficiently in the workplace.
Technology is at the heart of almost everything we do in the modern world – and learning is no different.
Here are three ways in which technology can help you encourage your people to apply learning in their day jobs:
- Build psychological safety
- Provide coaching and feedback
- Make learning social
Let’s look at each one in more detail.
Build psychological safety
One of the biggest barriers our learners face when it comes to applying newly learnt skills or knowledge on-the-job is the fear of failure.
This runs in tandem with that knowledge they learned becoming less and less easy to recall (and in turn, apply).
To overcome this, our people need environments that they feel safe and comfortable to try – and of course, safe and comfortable to fail in.
And a great way to facilitate that environment is by encouraging collaboration and engagement amongst teams.
Combining both of these provides a sense of camaraderie amongst your people, and allows them to quickly double-check their knowledge before applying it in the real world.
And applying new knowledge and skills doesn’t seem so scary when you have the support of your colleagues and learning platform behind you.
Provide coaching and feedback
To ensure learning is being transferred to the workplace appropriately, managers and coaches need a space to provide feedback, tips and words of encouragement to team members.
A talent experience platform can help you achieve that.
And more importantly, a space to give and receive clear, constructive feedback.
Plus, if needed, a platform like this can allow trainers to nudge learners in the right direction if they need to refresh their knowledge.
By having all of that data in one space, it makes it easier for the L&D team, plus the rest of the business, to keep up to date with learning progression.
Make learning social
Social learning is a great way to encourage behavioural change in the workplace.
So, learners are more inclined to – and confident in – applying their learning in the workplace.
They’ve witnessed exactly how it is done and know what they need to do to use their newly acquired knowledge or skills.
So, if you’re looking for ways to make your learning last in the memories of your people, and make sure they actually apply it at work – it’s time to think about learning transfer.
Improve learning transfer with Think
We’ve barely scratched the surface with the tools and features on offer that can support better learning transfer.
From Feedback 360 to one easy-to-use platform that centralises all of your people data, you’ll have all of the tools you need to best combat low learning transfer.