Apr 152011

Training Transfer: What do you believe?

Training Transfer: Posted by Dave Basarab on Thu, Apr 14, 2011

Over the past few years, I have been designing, delivering, and evaluating training so that learning experiences shape the learner’s belief structure in some way. In this context, I define beliefs as “the idea that the participants and/or their companies will benefit from using the new knowledge and skills.” Beliefs are derived from the course design and/or content and answer the question—what do our employees need to believe so they’ll successfully transfer training skills to the job? The following are a few belief examples:
  • When leading people, my attitude makes a difference.
  • I have a voice and can make a difference.
  • I own the customer experience.
  • Values drive results.
  • A fun workplace drives productivity.

What my experiences are showing time and time again, is that when a participant believes what they have learned will aid them or their company,  the likelihood of them adopting (applying) the skills to the job increases. Of course, no one can change someone’s beliefs by training alone.  However, we can shape those beliefs during the training experience by the way we design the course, the phrases we use during delivery, the signage/branding of the course, success stories from past participants, etc.  The list is only limited by our creativity.

A few weeks ago, I was meeting with the Chief Learning Officer and Director of Instructional Design at a major healthcare institution here in Atlanta.  We had jointly been working on a 1-day leadership class for their “chiefs”.  We were close to finalizing the design when I asked them: “What do you want your leaders to believe – based upon this design – when they walk out of class?”  They thought for a moment, and then stated – that’s a good question.  We then had a rich discussion on the design – and their desired outcomes – and made changes to the design based upon their answers.

So, ask yourself – do your training programs shape the right beliefs so that you’ll increase adoption thus driving maximum value for your investment?



Learning Optimized, Behavior Changed, Performance Advanced

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