Help Your Employees Use What They Learn in Training

It’s no secret: thriving companies are constantly investing in professional development for their employees. Collectively, company leaders spend billions of dollars annually on learning and development initiatives. (A report that was published by Bersin in 2014 confirmed that, on average, about $1,000 is spent per employee, per year on learning and development, and that L&D spending is on the rise.)

When a worker’s skills, knowledge, and ability to do a job well are widened through training, employers benefit. This is not a mystery to organizational decision makers, but convincing employees to utilize the skills they learn in training can be.

Are My Employees Applying Training to On-the-Job Situations?

How often after having a conversation with someone do you realize you don’t remember what he just said? This in-one-ear-and-out-the-other phenomenon won’t cut it in the modern workplace where digital transformation is driving the evolution of most job roles. Organizations shelling out tens of thousands of dollars on training are counting on employees deeply absorbing and using the skills they learn. If training is not fully understood and implemented, a company can lose money, productivity, and growth. In order for training to stick with an employee long-term, it must transfer effectively.

Strategies for Ensuring Your Employees Use What They Learn in Training

Knowledge transfer is the key that unlocks an employee’s ability to use what she learns in training, and managers have direct access to that key. A supervisor’s support will be the difference between a worker using what he or she learns in training or forgetting the new information.

How exactly does a manager foster knowledge transfer? Here are a few strategies that will assist supervisors in promoting this process:

  • Connect with employees before training to discuss its purpose and their expectations of it.
  • Make it clear in one way or another that you expect the training to be used on the job immediately after it is completed.
  • Ask employees how they would like to integrate the skills they will learn in training into their daily tasks. Help them set reasonable goals according to the answers they give you.
  • Be sure to personally use the skills and terminology that will be presented in the training.
  • Create a fear-free atmosphere by letting employees know that you want them to take risks when using their new skills in the workplace. Assure them that they will not be reprimanded if they fail.

How do You Ensure Your Employees Use What They Learn in Training?

Managers have the power to help along the process of knowledge transfer before, during, and after job-specific training. In what ways have you supported employees in this area? How do you ensure return on your training investment by encouraging full understanding and implementation of learned knowledge?

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