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Pyramid diagram showing the stages of education and how training and development are an important part of NDA's HR strategy. Corporate strategy execution depends upon developing and implementing the best solution in the workplace. A business case explores all feasible approaches to a given problem and enables business owners to select the option that best takes the organization forward. A business case aims at capturing all the information, securing approval of human resources and finances required to successfully complete the project, and analysing risks and alternatives. FinOne * is a national finance company that helps people make decisions about their money, from investing to planning for retirement.
FinOne wanted to increase its sales by improving the loyalty of existing customers, and also by winning new business. Research published in Harvard Management Review shows that companies who display best practice in managing their customer emotional engagement, generate 26% more gross margins and 85% sales growth over their five largest competitors. ABT tailored its 'Psychology of Client Decision Making' program into a two-day workshop aimed to meet the advisors' particular needs.
FinOne and ABT decided that the best approach was to deliver training in several stages to ensure the new attitudes and skills transferred into new behavioural habits. Following the workshop, ABT conducted individual coaching sessions for each advisor over the telephone. ABT provided FinOne managers with the tools and templates to coach and support the transfer of training. Later, ABT followed up with FinOne to check the outcomes and ensure the training had impacted behavioural patterns in the long-term. Advisors put their success down to their ability to more effectively plan for and structure meetings and, perhaps more importantly, listen to client's needs. Following the rollout of strategically and operationally significant training programs, I conduct post-implementation reviews. This process of applying newly learned skills from a training program to the participant's work on the job is called transfer of training. The organization that is the subject of the case study below is a leading financial services business in the Asia-Pacific region. I conducted surveys and interviews four months after participants completed the last of the online modules. The questionnaire part of the study elicited observations of on-the-job behaviors from participants using self-reports. In order to minimize perceptual bias, I also conducted patterned interviews with participants' Team Leaders and Project Managers who had first-hand experience of the Business Analysts' activities and work products. I am able to apply what I learn from the course to my current role, with support from my manager and colleagues.
I want to look now at the most significant factors that inhibited the transfer of training to the job. As I have not had the opportunity to apply the skills and knowledge, my recollection of the course content is now rather vague. As time elapses and I do not use these new skills, I am sure they will eventually be forgotten.
A less significant reason cited was that the learnings were not practical for the participant's work situation. The Force Field diagram above summarizes the key factors inhibiting the participants' transfer of learning to the job post-training. This result is typical of what I have found in other organizations and emphasizes the critical role that workplace systems and culture play in moving from simply conducting training activities to focusing on improved employee and organizational performance.
If you are a manager or trainer, you cannot do much about the first variable, except work to ensure that the people who genuinely need training are the only ones who attend. However, if you do this you will need to proceed with great caution, as you may fall foul of anti-discrimination laws and in the end subvert the very goals you are trying to achieve. However, it is the third factor, workplace climate, which accounts for a greater variation in training transfer than either of the other two factors. It is this workplace climate that provides the organizational context for training undertaken by employees.


How any of these improvements come about is by your people behaving differently back on the job. The salient point from my studies of training transfer and workplace performance is that training participant attitudes and abilities are important, along with good training design and delivery. The above is a condensed adaptation from Leslie Allan's book, From Training to Enhanced Workplace Performance.
Leslie Allan is Managing Director of Business Performance Pty Ltd; a management consulting firm specializing in people and process capability. He is also the author of five books on training and change management and is the creator of various training tools and templates. Find out more about how to improve transfer of training and affect real behavior change in the workplace. Success factors however, rely upon basing the solution on the right requirements, drawn from a sound and robust Business Case. Its purpose is to define the parameters, risks and management factors involved within the project. This 8 hours course packs in all the information you will need to create compelling business cases that are comprehensive and persuasive.
FinOne asked ABT to help its sales team become more proactive and productive by changing the way their advisors think. The management at FinOne recognised that to do this, advisors need to be more proactive and productive. Emotionally satisfied customers contribute more to the bottom line than 'rationally satisfied' customers. The training program was designed to build the advisors' awareness and skills in making the emotional connection with their clients.
The results, shown in the table below, illustrate a marked improvement across all the target areas. The graph below shows that advisors rate the training they received at 8.5 out of 10 or higher, and recommend similar training to other sales teams. During these reviews, I survey training participants and their managers using questionnaires, focus groups and interviews. The problem of training transfer is well recognized within the training industry, with some estimates putting the level of application of skills on the job at around a meager 20%.
The multi-faceted training program trained some 80 Business Analysts in basic business analysis tools and techniques using classroom theory sessions, workshops and online modules. This allowed participants sufficient time to apply the skills and knowledge learned back on the job. By way of explanation, a Force Field diagram illustrates the forces for and against achieving a particular goal.
In this study, the most cited reason for not applying the training was the lack of opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills learned once the participants returned to the workplace. It's just that in my current job the opportunity has been limited in terms of developing Business Analysis skills.
All of these reasons indicate either a mismatch between the participant's role and responsibilities and the training objectives or a poor linkage between the Business Analyst's participation in the training and their manager's performance expectations back on the job.
The results clearly demonstrated that in one particular department, there was at least some form of task disagreement around seven of the ten skills taught in the program. Consider the impact that preventing otherwise eligible participants from attending will have on other participants. For training transfer to occur, the training methods need to be matched to the learning content, the training objectives and training participant preferences.
Participants' preferred learning styles and modes of delivery also need to be taken into account. What is meant by workplace climate is the way in which members of an organization view and use the organization's structures, relationships, rules and history. It is from where the training participant comes and to where they will return at the conclusion of the training.
I want to direct your attention for a moment to what it is you want as a result of the training that you conduct.


It is of no use having your training participants' heads filled with information if they can't remember it or can't apply it. However, it's what happens in the participant's workplace before and after training that most influences whether they will apply the learning on the job.
He has been assisting organizations for over 20 years, contributing in various roles as project manager, consultant and trainer for organizations large and small.
Leslie is a member of the Australian Institute of Management and the Quality Society of Australasia. Check out Leslie Allan's comprehensive guide and workbook on improving workplace performance through training.
A well crafted business case document outlines the rationale for undertaking a business project.
It can be considered as a tool for the project manager to guide the design, management and evaluation of the project.
It meant changing the mindset of each advisor to increase their motivation, confidence and communication. This enabled ABT to tailor a training program that focused specifically on the advisors and their business. ABT designed the workshop materials and developed productivity exercises and coaching assignments pitched at FinOne's advisors. My aim here is to find out those factors that helped training participants apply the skills they learned to their job and those that hindered them from doing so.
We all have an interest then in ascertaining just how successful training transfer was after our last big-budget training program. Following completion of the surveys, I conducted three Focus Group meetings with the survey respondents. The goal is positioned in the centre of the diagram, with the forces helping achievement placed on the left and the forces against placed on the right. The lack of opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills learned was an oft repeated theme in the participants' survey comments. Training also needs to progress from simple concepts and activities to the more complex, or from an overview to progressively more detailed treatment of the subject matter.
Without doubt, the quality of training design and delivery is critically important for achieving organizational outcomes.
Workplace climate has an observable dimension in the visible symbols and artifacts of the organization and behaviors of its members. The upshot here is that what happens before and after the training event has a significant impact on the effectiveness of any training programs you implement. And it's of no use being able to apply it if they don't want to apply it or are prevented from applying it by others in the organization.
And isn't changing workplace behavior through skill application what workplace training is all about?
He is also a member of the Divisional Council of the Victorian Division of the Australian Institute of Training and Development (AITD). Visit the From Training to Enhanced Workplace Performance information portal to find out how to download the free Introductory Chapter and start using Leslie's comprehensive employee performance guide and toolkit today. It should be a formal, written argument that argues the reasoning to convince a decision maker to approve an intended action. The goal of training transfer in this case is for the Business Analysts to apply each of their new business analysis skills on existing and new projects.
And if so, how will their desire to complete the program be affected and what will they tell others?



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