Transfer Of Learning: Not Just An Afterthought

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Transfer of Learning: Not Just An Afterthought Why should we focus on transfer of learning/training? Training is an investment. However, studies have estimated that only 10% of training dollars invested result in actual change on the job (Georgenson, 1982). The loss to organizations is significant. In Canada, the annual amount invested in training is estimated to be $4 billion. In the United States, the annual figure is estimated to be more than $100 billion (Gist, 1990). If employees are seen as resources, then money spent on training must be viewed as investments in human capital development. ?Transfer? refers to the implementation in the work environment of the skills acquired during the training program, and the maintenance of these acquired skills over time (Baldwin and Ford, 1998).

Transfer of learning needs to be a concern to all who plan, teach, evaluate, attend, and support training programs for employees. This rings especially true for our organization as we have training needs in four key areas: · Customer Service · Sales · Computer Skills · Technical Skills Not only do we have to look at the cost/benefit of training design and delivery we need to understand also the cost/benefit of the transfer of learning.

Obviously, in our business it would be expensive not only in terms of monies invested but moreover in hidden costs such as poor customer service, low sales, costly technical errors etc. In other words, when we are looking at the cost to benefit ratio when investing into our training needs we need to also analyze the hidden expenses incurred if transfer of learning did not meet our expectations. Therefore, we cannot afford to assume that transfer of learning will take place after the training. We must pro-actively work with trainers, employees, supervisors and management to support transfer of...