If we don’t want corporate training to be a waste of time and money, we need to figure out how to make learning stick. And how to help people to actually apply it. Sustainably. As it turns out, supervisor support is absolutely essential for that. And the easier it is for leaders, the more likely they are to make learning stick. Find out what supervisor support is made of and how to use it as success enhancor for your next people development initiative.
Only 1 out of 6 participants in training apply what they have learned. This is the shocking research result of Dr. Robert Brinkerhoff. Four out of six participants give it a try – but do not follow through. And one will not even start! So, usually, up to 85% of the resources spent on a corporate training initiative are wasted. In times of VUCA, pandemic, constant crisis, and fierce competition, this is nothing any organization can afford.
But why is this still common then? Most often, the reason for ineffective training is that there is focus on content, didactics, and hygiene factors like location, technics, and buffet – but not on how to transfer learning into real life.
High time to turn the tide, right?
12 levers for effective people development
In 2016, a transfer researcher called Dr. Ina Weinbauer from the Institute of Transfer Effectiveness was determined to find a way for HR and L&D professionals to increase transfer success significantly. She dug deep into transfer research and found out: She wasn’t the first one to try! In 100 years of transfer research, people found more than 100 determinants that influence transfer success.
That’s a lot. Actually, too much. And some of these elements found were great for scientists but not of much practical help for HR and training professionals. One example:
Take the factor cognitive abilities which can be translated to “intelligence”. Researchers found out that intelligent people have more transfer success than others. Well, what a surprise. But at the same time: What to do with this information? Should we send participants to an intelligence test before each training to decide if they should attend or not? That would be rather strange, right?
So, here’s what Dr. Weinbauer did to find an effective approach: She dropped all the factors that cannot or only hardly be influenced or controlled by HRD professionals.
The satisfying result: 12 steerable levers to maximize the impact of people development measures.
Here they are, assigned to three key areas: