The Transferability of Learning
"Today we live in a world where continuous learning is not an option. It's a requirement."
Managers are busy people. As well as strategy, planning, meeting personal targets and managing daily tasks, they also need to be committed to continuous learning, both for themselves and for individuals in their teams.
Learning comes in a variety of forms - on-the-job learning, personal discovery and research and formal training experiences. It's essential that managers are involved in the learning of employees by ensuring its transferability to the workplace.
The ultimate goal of learning is change for the individual, the team, productivity and the bottom line over time. Learning is about positive results.
International speaker and expert on the application of learning, Bob Pike, recently presented a range of events at AIM. The focus of his presentation at the launch of AIM's 2012 Training and Education Program was the concept of the transfer of training.
He explained that learning and training is an investment, not a cost. He stressed, however, it needed to be the right training for the right purpose. "Training is a process, not an event," Mr Pike said. "It begins long before we walk into a training room (or engage in any other learning activity) and continues until we get results on the job."
He highlighted the need for the manager, participant and trainer to be engaged in the process; before, during and after a training event or program. It is managers who are integral to ensuring that training or acquired knowledge is transferred into the workplace.
"Participants should leave a learning activity excited about what they can do now that they could not do before; and with more confidence in themselves, their knowledge and their skills.
"Managers have unique insights into the developmental needs of the people they manage. They can see to it that learning is reinforced and that people are supported to use new skills back on the job. Managers are an essential part of the performance improvement process," Mr Pike said.
Managers are responsible for ensuring training or further learning has practical, hands-on elements that can be transferred immediately to the workplace. Learning should be supported with follow-up and measurement of the change that has taken place.
By being open about objectives and improvement, the manager is setting the scene for accountability, showing that he or she is committed to the process of change and improvement and also committed to the individual.
"Transferability of learning is not just about relevance and ensuring learning has practical implications," said Mr Pike. "It also needs to be reviewed, revisited and reinforced".
In his presentation, Mr Pike noted the depth and range of courses in the recently-released 2012 AIM Course Directory [PDF; 1.55Mb]. He made particular mention of new courses which he believes meet current needs. These included Step Up Skills for Recent Graduates and Effective Technical Writing. He noted that assisting talented recent graduates to become effective and productive is one of the most important roles of a manager.
Mr Pike is founder and Chairman of The Bob Pike Group and Creative Training Techniques Press. One of his most popular sessions is the 11 Ways to Survive and Thrive in Turbulent Times Workshop.
Mr Pike has worked with The Salvation Army, World Vision, Pfizer and IBM. He is the author of more than 15 books, including the popular and best-selling Creative Training Techniques Handbook which has sold over 200,000 copies. His newest book, The Fun Minute Manager, formed the basis of his breakfast presentation at AIM.
Visit www.aimcourses.com.au to download a copy of the 2012 AIM Course Directory.