It’s no secret that learner satisfaction does not ensure a high training impact. In short, the best training with the best trainer may not result in a significant change of practices. This process of going form “knowing” to “doing” is known as learning transfer. And it has become one of the main challenges for L&D professionals. At forMetris, we have been working on this subject for many years. Our R&D project leader, Célia Poulet discusses her research findings below.
forMetris’s study shows that after a training course, 81% of participants are satisfied but only 42% actually implement what they have learned . Why?
One hypothesis is people just forget what they have learned over time. Trainees need help to remember what they have learned during training, and many efficient tools can help with learning retention. But what about soft skills training courses, where implementation goes far beyond recalling knowledge? Let’s take an example: a participant takes a training to learn how to delegate better. He understands the training, realizes it’s in his interest to delegate, more and theoretically knows how to do it. If you give him a test a few weeks later, he will easily pass it. Now let’s take a closer look. Did our participant manage to change his practices? Not necessarily, and he could definitely continue with the same habits even though he knows it’s not the right thing to do. Memory is thus not the problem. To transfer one’s learning is not to know this or that, but to turn this knowledge into concrete actions. This step is key to optimizing training impact.
Ask yourself the right questions:
Obviously, the training must be effective and valuable for learning transfer to happen. However, this doesn’t mean transfer will occur after any good training courses. Participants need to ask themselves some questions:
Is post-training support key to optimizing training support?
At forMetris we believe that working on learning transfer starts as soon as the training session is over. That is to say, you need to have an efficient post-training program. Our thorough studies on the subject have led us to the conclusion that having a coaching session after training is an optimal approach. But, of course, it’s virtually impossible, to have everyone benefit from coaching sessions. This is why we have developed the 1st digital self-coaching solution. Our R&D team (coaches, sociologists, cognitive psychologists) has worked on a solution that could be easily rolled out to address the issue of learning transfer.
 A forMetris study from 2013 based on the analysis of 372 000 evaluation questionnaires
Célia Poulet, PhD in Sociology, specialized in adult learning