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Chapter 5 “Transfer of Training”

In many training programs, most of the attention and money is focused on developing the program, but
just as important is the follow-up which ensures that learning is put into practice. Trainee motivations to
learn as well as manger support for training are key issues for ensuring learning and the application of
training on the job.
-Transfer of training : trainees’ effectively and continually applying what they learned in training
(knowledge, skills, behaviors, cognitive strategies) to their jobs.
A Model of the Transfer Process:
This model is useful for considering what you can do to ensure that trainee characteristics, training design
and the work environment are conducive to transfer of learning.
-transfer of training includes both the generalization of training to the job and the maintenance of learned
material.
-Generalization - a trainee’s ability to apply learned capabilities to on-the-job work problems and
situations that are similar but not identical to those problems and situations encountered in the learning
environment.
-Maintenance - process of continuing to use newly acquired capabilities over time.
-For generalization and maintenance to occur, capabilities must be learned and retained. The model shows
three factors that influence learning and transfer of training. These factors influence learning, retention,
maintenance and generalization.
1-Training design : the characteristics of
the learning environment, including
meaningful material, opportunities to
practice, feedback, learning objectives
,program, organization and physical
features of the training site.
2-Trainee characteristics: include ability
and motivation. If trainees lack the basic
skills needed to master learned
capabilities, are not motivated to learn,
and do not believe that they can master
the learned capabilities (low self-efficacy),
it is doubtful that learning and transfer of
training will occur.
3-Work environment : includes factors
on the job that influence transfer of
training, such as manager’s support, peer
support, technology support, the climate for transfer and the opportunity to use newly acquired
capabilities on the job.
-although transfer of training sounds like something to be considered after training occurs, the conditions
that facilitate transfer need to be provided before the training actually occurs.

Training design
For transfer of training to occur, managers need to apply transfer of training theories and encourage
trainees to take responsibility for learning and engage in self-management strategies .
1-Apply theories of transfer ( transfer of training theory)

1-Theory of identical elements : proposes that transfer of training occurs when what is being learned in
the training session is identical to what the trainee has to perform on the job. Transfer will be maximized to

Key behaviors: set of behaviors that can be used successfully in a wide variety of situations. known as behavior modeling training. Storage and retrieval of information are key aspects of this model of learning. 2-Encourage trainee responsibility and self management Trainees need to take responsibility for learning and transfer which includes: 1-preparing for training. even though the work environment is not identical to that of the training session. -Application assignments :work problems or situations in which trainees are asked to apply training content to solve them. materials. 5. 2. . which makes it easier to recall the capability when needed. to consider potential applications of the training content to their job.the degree that the tasks. -trainees should be given an explanation as to any differences between training tasks and work tasks -trainees should be encouraged to focus only on important differences between training tasks sand work tasks. One step in developing behavioral modeling programs is to identify key behaviors that are needed to be successful in a situation. they need to participate and share experience in discussions. 3-using training content back on the job. trainees need to review and work toward reaching the goals established in their action plan.determining the degree of support and negative consequences in work settings for using newly acquired capabilities. It is also important to identify the range of work situations in which these general principles can be applied. 3-Cognitive theory of transfer: this theory is based on the information processing theory of learning. -before training. and to ask questions if they are confused. Near transfer: trainees ability to apply learned capabilities exactly to the work situation. -the influence of cognitive theory is seen in training design that encourages trainees as part of the program.applying learned capabilities on the job. This situation arises particularly in interpersonal skills training. the like hood of transfer depends on the trainees’ ability to retrieve learned capabilities. particularly those that deal with the use of equipment or that involve specific procedures that must be learned. -after training. -Also important is providing the trainee with cognitive strategies for coding the learned capabilities in memory so that they are easily retrievable.during training. trainees need to be involved. to practice. -identical elements theory does not encourage transfer where the learning environment and the training environment are not necessarily identical. -the approach emphasizes far transfer: the trainee’s ability to apply learned capabilities to the work environment. Self management involves: 1.setting goals for using learned capabilities. Also trainees need to complete any assigned pre-training assignments. Program that emphasize far transfer include the following training designs: -the program should teach general concepts and broad principles.engage in self-reinforcement. 3. The like hood of transfer is increased by providing trainees with meaningful material that enhances the chances that they will link what they encounter in the work environment to the learned capability. 2-Stimulus Generalization approach: suggests that the way to understand the transfer of training issue is to construct training so that the most important features or general principles are emphasized. trainees need to consider why they are attending training and set specific learning goals as part of completing an action plan. Programs that emphasizes learn transfer should include the following training designs: -the program should teach specific concepts and procedures. 2being involved and engaged during training. -the program should emphasize that the general principles might be applied to a greater set of contexts than those presented in the training setting. -The theory of identical elements has been applied to many training programs. The use of application assignments in training helps the trainee understand the link between the learned capability and real-world application. They need to be welling to change and ask peers and mangers for help if they need it. -trainees should be made aware of examples from their experiences that are similar to those emphasized in training so that connections can be made among strategies that have been effective in different situations. -identical elements theory is particularly relevant in making sure that near transfer occurs. According to this theory. . equipment and other characteristics of the learning environment are similar to those encountered in the work environment. -the stimulus generalization approach can be seen in the design of managerial skill training programs. 4. Training programs should prepare employees to self-manage their use of new skills and behaviors on the job.monitoring use of learned capabilities on the job. -behaviors or skills that trainees learn in the program should contribute to effective performance. -Self-management : a person’s attempt to control certain aspects of decision making and behavior.

The consequences for using learned capabilities. -self management is important because the trainee is likely to encounter several obstacles in the work environment that inhibit transfer of training. -These characteristics include: Manager and peer support . Characteristics of a Positive Climate for Transfer of Training . less effective capabilities instead of trying to apply the capability emphasized in the training program. Trainees should try to avoid a consistent pattern of slipping back or using old.. . -these obstacles inhibit transfer because they cause lapses: lapses take place when the trainee uses previously learned. -one way to prepare trainees to deal with these obstacles is to provide instruction in self-management techniques at the end of the training program.research suggests that trainees exposed to self-management strategies exhibit higher level of transfer of behavior and skills than do trainees who are not provided with self-management strategies. ineffective learned capabilities.Opportunity to use skills.Examples of Obstacles in the Work Environment That Inhibit Transfer of Training Sample Content of Self-Management Module *Work Environment Characteristics That Influence Transfer 1-Climate for transfer: It refers to trainees’ perceptions about a wide variety of characteristics of the work environment that facilitate or inhibit use of trained skills or behavior.

discussing progress with trainees and providing opportunities to practice. and strategic goals. 2. Levels of Management Support for Training -managers should be actively involved in the design and delivery of training programs. -It provides a progress check schedule of when the manager and trainee meet to discuss the progress being made in using learned capabilities on the job. such as reinforcing use of newly learned capabilities. and type of support from managers and peers) 3. -Managers can communicate expectations to trainees as well as provide the encouragement and resources needed to apply training on the job. 2-Encourage trainees to bring to the training session work problems and situations they face on the job. -Ways to gain managers’ support for training: 1-Provide a brief on the purpose of the program and its relationship to business objectives and strategy. -Managers pay attention to the development of their staff because part of their incentive plan is based on training and development. 5-If possible. use managers as trainers. productivity.strategies for receiving feedback 4.Managers who serve as instructors are more likely to provide many of the lower-level support functions. .stress the application of training content to the job.2-Manager support: refers to the degree to which managers: 1-emphasize the importance of attending training programs. trainees need to achieve the highest level of support possible. Training and development are considered a strategic goal. .to maximize transfer of training. resources needed. -managers can also facilitate transfer through reinforcement(use of action plans). problem) 2. 4-Trainers can assign trainees to complete action plans with their managers. The incentive plan comprises fiscal. 3-Share benefits of the course with managers. .strategies for reaching the goal (including what the trainee will do differently.expected results.Action plan :written document that includes the steps that the trainee and manager will take to ensure that training transfers to the job. It includes : 1-a goal identifying what training content will be used and how it will be used (project.

skills training. It is influenced by the work environment and trainee motivation. -Support network : a group of two or more trainees who agree to meet and discuss their progress in using learned capabilities on the job which may involve face-to-face meetings or communications via email. -one way trainees have the opportunity to use learned capabilities is through assigned work experiences that require their use. Breadth: includes the number of trained tasks performed on the job. and expert advice. -It may be used to enhance transfer of training by providing trainees with an electronic information source that they can refer to on an as-needed basis while they attempt to apply learned capabilities on the job. training is seen as one part of a system designed to create human capital. -trainees may share successful experiences in using training content on the job. Task type: refers to the difficulty of the trained tasks that are actually performed on the job. -trainers may also provide trainees with a mentor. -Key Features of a Learning Organization . and behaviors from the training program.learning organizations emphasizes that learning occurs not only at the individual employee level but also at the group and organizational levels. The learning organization emphasizes knowledge management. . 5-Technological support: -Electronic performance support systems (EPSSs) :computer applications that can provide. as requested. and task type. -Opportunity to perform is determined by breadth. -Trainers can monitor trainees’ use of EPSS. -Low levels of opportunity to perform may indicate that: 1-the work environment is interfering with using new skills.These problems might relate to the training design or work environment. 2-training content is not important for the employee’s job. a more experienced employee who can provide advice and support related to transfer of training issues. skill. Activity level: the number of times or the frequency with which trained tasks are performed on the job. In a learning organization. The mentor can provide advice and support related to transfer of training issues 4-Opportunity to use learned capabilities or opportunity to perform :refers to the extent to which the trainee is provided with or actively seeks experiences that allow for application of the newly learned knowledge. -Training processes are carefully scrutinized and aligned with company goals. information access. and change. which provides the trainer with valuable information about the transfer of training problems that trainees are encountering. -opportunity to perform is also influenced by the degree to which trainees take personal responsibility to actively seek out assignments that allow them to use newly required capabilities. activity level. adapt.The Learning organization: is a company that has an enhanced capacity to learn. -Trainers might also use a newsletter to show how trainees are dealing with transfer of training issues. *Organizational Environments That Encourage Transfer 1.3-Peer support: transfer of training can also be enhanced by a support network among the trainees. They might also discuss how they obtained resources needed to use training content or how they coped with a work environment that interfered with use of training content.

formulas and specifications that are described in formal language. processes. -knowledge management can help companies get products to market quicker. 3-combination: involves systematizing explicit concepts into a knowledge system by analyzing. and social networking sites or portals on the company intranet that allow people to store information and share it. and cultures to improve the creation. and use of knowledge. -Ways to create and share knowledge 1. develop innovative products and services and attract new employees and retain current ones by giving people the opportunity to learn and develop. action learning.2-knowledge and knowledge management: -knowledge is either tacit: personal knowledge based on individual experience and influenced by perception and values. better serve customers. Knowledge is shared and learning occurs through observation. 4. and on the job experiences. training opportunities.Use technology. study problems. sharing. -Knowledge management: the process of enhancing company performance by designing and implementing tools. 4-Develop informational maps that identify where specific knowledge is stored in the company. imitation and practice. 2-externalization: involves translating tacit knowledge into explicit knowledge. and use technology. 5-Allow employees to take time off from work to acquire knowledge. 2-Create an online library of learning resources such as journals. models. how they can be contacted and the type of knowledge they have. .Internalization: converting explicit knowledge to tacit knowledge using training methods such as simulations. categorizing and using information in a new way. or explicit: manuals. systems. this takes the form of metaphors. and seminars. attend training. concepts and equations. e-mail. . 3-Publish directories that list what employees do. technical manuals. structures.There are Four Modes of Knowledge Sharing: 1.Socialization: sharing tacit knowledge by sharing experiences.

-the CLO has to ensure that trainers. companies must recognize and promote employees who learn. To encourage knowledge sharing. 3-Provide easy to use technology for employees to access and share information within the context of their job. 8. -the CLO’s job is to develop. and share. or blogs for employees who share a common interest in a subject. 7-Require employees to give presentations to other employees about what they have learned from training programs they have attended. Employees may not know or trust other employees. implement. -the CLO locate knowledge and find ways to create capture and distribute it. 4-Ensure employee trust and willingness to share information. Chief learning or knowledge officers (CLOs): are leaders of a company’s knowledge management efforts. may fear their ideas will be ridiculed or challenged or may see knowledge sharing as involving too much work and additional responsibility. teach. 2-Create knowledge management leadership positions: by creating a position that is considered to be part of the company’s top management team. Training can help develop the culture as well as the content and learning strategies. . Information technology develops the systems for accessing. information technologists and business units support and contribute to the development of knowledge management practices. a signal is sent to all employees that learning is valued and knowledge management is seen as being related to business strategy and critical for the company’s success.6-Create chief information officer and chief learning officer positions for cataloging and facilitating the exchange of information in the company. and link a knowledge/learning culture with the company’s technology infrastructure including databases and intranet. the training department and information technology department must collaborate. may hoard knowledge to have power over others. 9-Create communities of practice using face-to-face meetings. -Keys for effective knowledge management 1-Training and information technology collaboration: For knowledge management to be effective. wikis.Design office space to facilitate interaction between employees. sharing and storing knowledge and delivering training.