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12 Ways to Make Sure Your Learners Use What They Learned

07-23 Hoh Rain Forest Bridge
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If our learners don’t use what they learned on the job—then why train them in the first place?
Crossing the bridge from training to behavior on the job doesn’t happen for many reasons: they don’t remember how, they don’t feel confident in their new skills, they aren’t sure if the new behaviors are supported by their managers, or they don’t have the right equipment, software, environment.

Here are 12 ways to build transfer into your training:

  1. Relevance. Make sure that the training you’re offering provides a fix for a problem worth solving—something relevant to the learners, their managers, and the organization.
  2. Manager’s Buy-In. Work with managers ahead of time to get buy-in and support.
  3. Manager’s Expectations. Work with managers to make sure that the new way of doing things is part of what they expect from their employees.
  4. Manager’s Encouragement. Provide support to managers for encouraging their employees to try and succeed at specific new skills and activities.
  5. Timing. Offer the training as close to the time the new skills are required as possible.
  6. Strong Rationale. Make it clear to the learners what’s good about this new way of doing things: for the learner, workgroup, managers, and organization.
  7. Support for Sharing. Provide 3-minute overviews that learners can take back to share with their manager and co-workers.
  8. Design to Support Transfer. Design the training from the beginning with a focus on ensuring transfer.
  9. Practice. Provide sufficient practice so that people feel confident in using the new skills.
  10. Build Confidence. Include confidence-building advice and discussions so that learners will be more likely to use their new skills on the job.
  11. Support for Performance. Provide easy-to-access job aids to help people remember what to do.
  12. Ready the Environment. Ensure that the environment supports the new skills (for example, equipment, software, log-ins are available). This may require working with others, for example, IT, facilities, HR.


Book: The Six Disciplines of Breakthrough Learning

Post: From Memory—Or Not?

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