Training is a rite of passage for many employees and required for the certifications and knowledge needed to progress in their careers. While organizations may take the time to prepare an employee for training and budget for them to attend a learning course, most organizations still struggle to assess and support the transfer of learning from training programs into the workplace.
According to the American Society for Training & Development, there is a 70/20/10 rule when it comes to learning and development. Research shows employees learn:
- 70% through real-life and on-the-job experiences;
- 20% through mentoring or coaching; and
- 10% through formal training.
Therefore, organizations must ensure that learning be applied on-the-job—in an immediate way—to improve actual employee performance and generate a positive business impact.
What is required for the transfer of training to the workplace? This question has been posed by researchers since the early 20th century, but has intensified in recent years due to economic challenges, an evolving workforce, and increased organizational focus on measuring and justifying training investments.
In general, the transfer of learning takes place when organizations:
- develop an overall learning transfer plan;
- implement tools and processes to reinforce the application of learning post-training;
- measure if and to what extent learning is applied on the job; and
- advocate for full manager support and involvement.
To identify breakdowns in the transfer of learning and develop best practices for addressing these gaps, ESI International, an international provider of project management centric learning, conducted a survey in March 2011. Titled "Applying Training and Transferring Learning to the Workplace: How to Turn Hope into Reality," the global study highlights the shortfalls in applying training and opportunities for improvement.