How To Boost Learning Transfer In Your Organisation
Ahead of Learning at Work Week, more and more companies are looking at ways to optimise training in their organisation to provide their employees with new skills and opportunities.
But simply giving your employees training courses might not be enough. One particular theory by author Morgan McCall states that just 10% of learning happens during formal training sessions. The rest takes place outside the classroom.
So if your freshly trained employees are struggling to use their skills at work, you may need to provide some extra support. With that in mind, we’ve come up with five steps you can take to create effective learning transfer in your organisation.
Step 1: Provide opportunities for hands-on experience
Ever heard of the Forgetting Curve? Formulated by 19th-century psychologist Herman Ebbinghaus and later backed up by other scientific studies, this theory shows just how quickly people forget what they’ve learned. He found that we forget an incredible 70% of what we learn after 24 hours and 90% within a week.
Thankfully, there are several steps you can take that could improve these statistics. One of these steps is providing hands-on experience. If you’re keen to ensure that your employees retain and develop their newly acquired knowledge, you’ll need to provide opportunities for them to use it.
There are a number of practical things you can do to help your team members apply what they’ve learned during training sessions.
Step 2: Encourage reflection
When it comes to improving the transfer of learning, hands-on experience becomes even more effective if you combine it with opportunities for your employees to reflect on what they’ve learned. According to research carried out by Harvard Business School, reflecting on a learning experience can powerfully enhance the learning process and also boost confidence levels and morale.
The benefits of reflection don’t stop there either, as the same research also revealed that regular reflection leads to more productive employees. The team of academics behind the study found that call centre workers who spent 15 minutes per day reflecting on the lessons they’d learned, performed 23% better than those who didn’t do any reflection.
So how do you weave reflection into your employees’ busy schedules? Here are a few of our top tips.
Step 3: Provide opportunities for social learning
Human beings are social creatures, so it’s not surprising that 20% of our learning occurs informally, via social interaction and collaboration with others. To make the most of this characteristic, you’ll need to cultivate a supportive, open work environment that allows employees to observe others, ask questions, develop strong relationships and share any issues they’re experiencing as they develop their skills.
Wondering how this can happen when everyone’s working remotely? The social learning process is all about creating connections, which means that it can be just as effective online as it is offline. So whether your employees are connecting in the real world or via Zoom, you can still create a community that encourages generosity, shared learning and support.
An excellent example of social learning occurred when Harvard Business School launched its e-learning initiative, HBX. At the time, many online courses involved passively consuming videos, but HBX wanted to shake things up, so they designed a much more interactive learning programme. It included:
The result of this social approach to training? HBX’s courses achieved a completion rate of nearly 90%.
Step 4: Make formal learning more memorable
Formal training has an important role to play when it comes to learning transfer. Because we all learn in different ways, variety is the key to ensuring that every training session is memorable.
Don’t worry if you can’t deliver face-to-face training due to current restrictions, as there are plenty of ways to liven up your e-learning. If you’re creating your own online training modules, consider using a mix of teaching methods such as webinars, podcasts, case studies, video conferences and quizzes.
Offering bite-sized chunks of information will also help to make your online training more memorable for participants. Known as microlearning, this popular approach involves delivering small learning units that include just the right amount of information to help learners achieve a particular goal.
Because microlearning courses are highly focused, they cut out any irrelevant information, which makes the key facts easier to remember. As a result, this approach to training makes the transfer of learning 17% more efficient.
Step 5: Boost memory with gamification
A recent survey revealed that employees feel more motivated and happier when their training is gamified. Why does gamification make the learning process so enjoyable? It’s all down to the neurotransmitter dopamine (aka our ‘reward hormone’) that’s produced in the brain.
Whenever we win a challenging game and gain a reward, our brain responds by releasing extra dopamine. As well as giving us a feeling of wellbeing, this boosts our attention span, motivation, and working memory.
Increase learning transfer in your organisation, and you’ll boost your employees’ motivation, confidence and productivity.
Why not invest in your workforce today by following our five simple steps? If you want access to innovative workforce training solutions, explore our wide range of courses that can help elevate your team to new heights.