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Transfer of Training - What is it?

How to ensure your training is effective

Transfer of Training - What is it?

How to ensure your training is effective

On the basis of the belief that training and development enhance organizational competitiveness with higher employee productivity, the global value of corporate training market is projected to register a CAGR of 8.0% and reach USD 487,306 million from 2021 to 2030. However, the effectiveness of corporate training programs varies and sometimes being viewed skeptically.

What is Transfer of Training?

Positive transfer of training – the extent to which the learning that results from a training experience transfers to the job and leads to meaningful changes in work performance – is often the ultimate goal of corporate training. The positive transfer of training (henceforth: transfer) encompasses two major aspects: generalization and retention/decay. In order to provide a direction in employee training and development for human resources professionals, this article will briefly review (1) factors that influence the generalization and (2) retention/decay of training, as well as (3) interventions that can enhance the transfer of training.

Factors influencing generalization of training

The generalization of training involves more than modeling the responses to events that occurred in training, but also extending to real-life practices with a wide range of situations. Although the situations and issues can be simulated in training programs, it is impossible to match all the situations or diversity of problems people face in their job within a limited time. Thus, the major tenant of generalization is to apply the key principles and skills from training in the appropriate ways with a diverse range of settings and people. Below is a list of key factors influencing the generalization of training:

Factors influencing generalization of training

Factors influencing retention/decay of training

The retention issues focus on the changes that occur in the form or level of knowledge, skills, or behaviors exhibited in the transfer setting, as a function of time elapsed from the completion of the training program. As such, to be able to memorize the lessons learned from the training programs, maintain the learned materials and behaviors over time, and avoid forgetting the changes made are the major concerns. The key factors that will influence the retention/decay of training are listed below.

Factors influencing retention/decay of training

Interventions to enhance the transfer of training

Numerous strategies for enhancing training transfer have been suggested before and after training programs. Moreover, some key features of the training programs are also proven to be beneficial for the generalization and retention of training. Although different strategies should be applied based on the nature of the tasks or behaviors, there are some general factors that can enhance the transfer of different training programs. Below is the list of interventions and key features of training programs that are crucial for successful transfer.

Interventions to enhance the transfer of training

Conclusion

Although increased expenditure and investments are placed on corporate training and development programs, money can be wasted when the interventions are not effective. Accordingly, human resources professionals are needed to equip with the knowledge to evaluate the effectiveness of training programs, while psychologists and learning specialists should develop more cost-effective scientific-based training programs in response to the mounting social needs.

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