Some time ago, I came across reviews of a book, Transfer of Training by Mary Broad and John Newstrom.  Their thesis is that what the manager does before training, what the trainer does before training and what the manager does after training are the three most powerful factors influencing the transfer of training.  I couldn’t agree more.  Too often, particularly in soft skills training, the focus is on what is done during the session and the end of the day feedback.  But this limits training effectiveness.  There is little incentive for the trainees to apply the learning back in the workplace.  The inputs provided to the trainer before the session is inadequate.

My own experience confirms Broad and Newstrom’s thesis.  One of the most effective training programmes I have conducted is where the operations manager requested for the training.  The inputs I got were specific, allowing me to design a module on skills that the trainees required in their daily work. In his feedback, the manager stated that change could be seen from day one.

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