Of course Learning Transfer improves Firm Performance

2018.06.19 Fenix Bretz
Learning Transfer improves Firm Performance

A firm’s performance is obviously determinant upon a number of factors, such as financial measures, customer service, competition engagement, marketing presence, and more. However, arguably one of the more critical components which influences firm performance is employee training and the learning transfer. This is why learning transfer is at the heart of Kodo Survey. Studies have shown that the ability to transfer learning to the workplace bolsters job performance and this, in turn, invigorates the firm’s performance as a whole.

The logic is quite simple: With a training needs analysis that has been developed the right way, highlighting relevant business objectives, those organizations with an ability to facilitate learning transfer, and show their employees how to translate skills learned to the actual job, will grow their employees for real and increase their performance. And that's only one reason evaluating training effectiveness and performing learning impact measurements will be standard in the future. 

Far too many companies fail to have a genuinely effective training and development programs in place; in fact, a number of surveys have shown that 60%, or even more, of what is learned during training is never adequately applied (if applied at all) to the job. You would do good in finding out learning transfer strategies from the best businessesSeriously, evaluate your own program. Is the training truly effective and are employees transferring what they learn to the roles they are required to undertake at work? If they are not transferring skills and knowledge attained, then how do you think this might be affecting the company overall, and what can you do about it? What are the three top factors driving learning transfer?

Herein, lies a major problem for many organisations - they are spending time, money and energy on training that isn’t doing what it was intended to do and that has no significant bearing upon an employee’s function and role within the firm. 

An easy place to start working on increasing learning transfer is with the managers. Over and over again, research shows that the key to learning transfer is with your manager and that you will be well of if your managers support your employees in their transfer of the learning to their jobs. 

Learning Transfer and What it Means for You

So, you might be spending money on programs that are not offering their full ROI potential. With the right training evaluation you could ensure that your initiatives for learning reach their full potential, rather than merely getting “halfway there.” Or, you could use the insights reducing training cost without jeopardizing any quality. You are in essence missing a huge opportunity if you're not measuring quality and impact of training and development. 

As Head of training and development you need to be able to determine the ROI of your training and development. In this process you also need to get insights that will help you make decisions and continuously improve your entire portfolio so that it impacts your employees' productivity and the organisational performance in significant ways. There are some generic tactics that history tells us are effective factors to ensure learning transfer, but to truly drive high impact learning you want to improve your courses or programs by gathering the right people data and analyzing it in a way that dresses you for taking the right decision - those what will have the most impact on the effect and transfer of training.

A 2017 study revealed that companies who included a comprehensive employee training program realized 24% higher profits. These, mind you, were programs which invariably led to learning transfer in beneficial ways. Another study conducted in 2014, referencing an undeniable problem with any sort of valuable learning transfer, asked 150 people about their company’s training program and then also measured the firm’s respective performance using parameters such as customer satisfaction and quality of products and services. They, in fact, discovered that those firms who reported back a positive training experience recorded a higher organizational performance.

Money on Training should equal to Money for the Business

Certainly, training transfer is important for the health of the organisation, the morale of the employees and the functionality of everyday operations. You need to keep in mind also, that training equates to money, in some cases a great deal of money. On average, a company will spend roughly €700-1000 per employee but that's only counting the training budget, not the indirect cost and opportunity cost. The normal ROI expected from a training initiative would be at least twice that of the total cost of training, many times the multiplier is even four times the investment. Check out our ROI calculator - a tool that will help you calculate what monetary ROI you'd have of increasing your learning transfer. 

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Want to know more?

Learning
Determine learning impact, learning transfer and behavioral development in an easy way.
Expose
Expose gaps so that you can improve quality and maximize effect both before and after a programme.
Data
Get data-driven insights, enabling you to increase course or portfolio performance and reduce cost.

Now that we have used Kodo for a while, we see how easy it is to follow the learning impact and transfer of learning to the workplace. The insights we receive help us to continuously improve courses and programmes.

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Kristoffer Laag
HR Strategist