Jonathan VeharMore and more organizations are taking a closer look at “learning transfer” — how we make sure people use what they learn in a classroom or program.

“There is no magic bullet for making this happen,” says CCL’s Jonathan Vehar. “But instructional designers can take steps to create courses and experiences that improve the chances of making learning stick.”

CCL has long held the view that development is a process, not an event. Even so, we continue to adapt how we work with leaders and organizations to help people apply and integrate what they learn.

Vehar and CCL’s Samir Mehta are giving a webinar, Making Learning Stick, to share some of our insights with people charged with organizational learning, leadership development or talent management.

Among the ideas they will cover are five strategies for better learning transfer:

  1. Prepare. Engage. Apply. What happens before and after a training program matters just as much as the program itself. All three phases offer opportunities to boost and solidify learning.
  2. Factor in 70/20/10. Research shows that senior executives distribute their sources of career-long learning as 70 percent on-the-job challenges, 20 percent other people and 10 percent formal coursework. Experiences that focus on creating learning in all three categories can boost learning transfer and accelerate development.
  3. Managers (and Mentors) Matter. Get the people that manage the work to have conversations with their direct reports about learning, expectations and application of knowledge. If the boss isn’t engaged, be sure a mentor is.
  4. It Takes Three. The learner, the organization and the training provider each have responsibility. Without commitment from all three, learning transfer is in trouble.
  5. Peer Pressure … a.k.a. Accountability Groups. A transformative program experience will connect peers. They learn together, share experiences and discuss challenges and goals. Tap into these ties and create accountability groups so peers can support and push each other.

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