Thursday, 12 June 2008

L&D 'Transfer Climate'

Training Industry Quarterly (Spring 2008) has an interesting article on L&D 'Return on Investment'.

The title is somewhat confusing 'Take your ROI to Level 6' - given that normally Kirkpatrick is cited as 4 levels. [when expressed as 5 - these are (i) reaction; (ii) knowledge; (iii) behaviour; (iv) impact; & (iv) ROI]

The new sixth Level is proposed (by author Paul Leone of American Express) to be 'Transfer Climate'

This is defined as 'Assessment of factors in the learners' work environment (climate) that will help or hinder the transfer of learning'

This seems very similar to the 'Success Case Method' promoted by Brinkerhoff (see this earlier post on this blog) !

Rather than debate this - I'm more interested in the finding presented from studies at American Express (studying over 2000 managers, attending one of their core leadership programmes).

Leone states "..we found the true impact of a training program will best be predicted by the work climate each participant returns to after the event..."

Key enablers were:

  • manager clearly communicates endorsement and support for the training - sets goals and expectations before learner initiates learning event
  • manager follows up with participant after the event to discuss what was learned and how to apply
  • manager recognizes and rewards improved leadership behaviour

The article highlights that blended learning makes it easier to design formal training that encourages the above - e.g. leader-led kick-off & wrap-up sessions.

What are additional best practises being used by the L&D profession to influence the managers of those attending training courses ?