Train to Ingrain

Why Doesn’t Training Work?

Nearly 50 years ago, James N. Mosel reported “…mounting evidence that shows that very often the training makes little or no difference in job behavior.”  According to Tim Baldwin and Kevin Ford: “There is a growing recognition of a ‘transfer problem’ in organizational training today. It is estimated that while American industries annually spend up to $100 billion on training and development, not more than 10% of these expenditures actually result in transfer to the job.”

Interestingly, the experts say the problem isn’t with the training, but with what happens afterward. John Newstrom’s study surveyed trainers to identify and rank order the most serious barriers to transfer. He found that the most significant shortfall was “lack of reinforcement on the job.”  In 2005, Jack Zenger, Joe Folkman and Robert Sherwin probed the cause of this pain. “Talk to any group of laymen or professionals about what is broken in the current learning and development process, and most will tell you it’s the lack of serious post-training follow-through.” The authors concluded that less than 5% of training and development funds are committed to what happens after training. We believe it is time to change all this is one of the key goals to Train to Ingrain.

The Transfer of Training: Science or Art?

Train to Ingrain is an idea that has been evolving for many professionals over the past few decades. While there may be custom approaches to implementing this depending on unique circumstances, we feel there are a few key sign posts that can help to frame those approaches:

  1. All Development is Self-Development. Learning occurs when readiness exists.
  2. Readiness may very well be related to the serious expectations of performance by management.
  3. Learning can occur without changing behavior- we all know things we do not do.
  4. In order for skills to transfer there must be an expectation that learning will be implemented, consistently.
  5. Learners need regular and ongoing support to make changes, changing behavior is extremely difficult.
  6. The support will be most effective coming from the manager.
  7. The very essence of being a manager is to develop others. Without this, you have an individual contributor.
  8. Support groups of learners can be a very helpful if not used as an excuse for the manager to not be involved.
  9. For behavior to change there must be a partnership between T&D and Management.
  10. The classroom which has been viewed as the ‘end all’ for fixing people, is really the starting gate.
  11. The time invested by “the manager” will be significant if a change in behavior is to occur.
  12. This investment in the development of others should be a serious performance expectation of management.

How we can help:

We have enhanced the publisher offerings we represent to ensure your employee transfer their learning. Learning that is not utilized is the norm. We can help you not become part of that statistic. Contact us to learn more.