Ever conducted a training program for your employees that you thought was well-designed and even well-facilitated but failed to deliver the desired results? In no time you realized that your staff went back to their old behavioral pattern and it left you wondering where you’d gone wrong? Well, the outcome of a learning program is the product of the amount taught and the amount transferred. The equation can be explained by this formula:
Teaching X Transfer= Outcome
From this equation we can understand 2 things. Conducting well-planned training programs are still essential because the matter being taught is a vital part of the result formula. People cannot implement and transfer what they haven’t been taught. However, from this formula it is also clear that learning by itself is not enough. Even if the content was planned exceptionally well and learning was 10/10, if the transfer was 0, then the result which is on-the-job impact is zero.
Unfortunately, most organizations emphasize all their efforts on the training content to make sure that the learning experience is great, but in the process they end up ignoring the critical element of learning transfer. Companies think that if they create a truly compelling training program, it will create momentum and the participants will be motivated to convert this learning into results.
Just like it’s impossible to shoot a cannon directly to the stars, similarly it is impossible to generate results by merely planning a good training program. In the book The Six Disciplines of Breakthrough Learning, this aspect is wisely explained. The book says that you cannot generate sufficient momentum in one big bang to accelerate an object to the velocity it needs to break free of gravity. Sooner or later, air resistance and gravity will take over and the projectile will lose momentum and will fall back to Earth.
Now this holds true for training programs as well. No matter how much knowledge the program imparts initially, the barriers created by undying old habits and a resistance to change can cause participants to lose their enthusiastic momentum and quickly fall back into the pre-training routine.
Just like launching a space shuttle, a consistent input of energy over time is required to help participants absorb the information and use it to their benefit until they finally take off on their own.