Putting the Pieces Together for Learning Transfer

Featured Image - Learning Transfer - Puzzle Pieces

Imagine for a moment that you just finished leading a round of Customer Service Training focusing on DISC Behavioral Styles. You reviewed how DISC profiles can be leveraged to more effectively communicate with customers and to identify their motivations, helping your team to solve customer challenges while appealing to what matters most to them. You demonstrated how the foundations of DISC can also be applied to working more effectively with internal teams. As a result of the training, and the consistent coaching and reinforcement of the learned skills,  Customer Service scores go up and working relationships improve. All around, it was an outstanding success!

This is learning transfer—the application of behavior, knowledge, and skills to the job with a resulting improvement.
We know firsthand that learning transfer is easier said than done, but with thoughtful planning, frequent coaching, and willingness to reevaluate, you’ll produce trainees that are putting the pieces together, enjoying the process, and helping others do the same along the way.

Each of us is a piece of the puzzle and each of us helps to set in place other important pieces.

Neil Anderson

Providing training is like offering someone all but three of the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. The last few pieces represent the knowledge transferred to the trainee and it’s up to them to contribute these and complete the picture. 

Have you ever noticed that the outside edge pieces of a puzzle create the frame and space to work in, but they have fewer tab and slot connections than the inside pieces do? The real impact happens when all four connections click into place and lock in the learning

Consider these three stages of creating fun and effective training that sticks: 

Before 

Just as you would with a giant jigsaw puzzle, you prepare a space to work. Consider what tools and accessories you need (a clean flat surface, good lighting, a comfy chair and a beverage), turn over all the pieces so you can see them, perhaps separate them into edge pieces and regular pieces, consider how long this will take, and determine who will participate. 

In training terms, you may want to do a needs assessment, get counsel and feedback from departmental leaders, identify key skills, compare notes with peers, or work with partners (like us!). Set goals to ensure a positive impact and return on the time and effort employees invest in training.

During

Fun has been proven to contribute to successful learning transfer, so be sure to include lots of fun flavor in the training for best results. Keep it realistic and relatable to the trainee’s everyday job and tasks. 

After

Provide resources for your trainees to use after the session such as workbooks or skill cards for their desk. Make it easy for them to review concepts and ensure they know how to incorporate their new skills. Post-training support from the trainee’s manager is also important because they are closest to the activities where the transferred skills are being used. Teamwork required!

Bonfire understands how the pieces fit together and strategically creates our courses with learning transfer in mind so our clients get the maximum value.

Teaching is like building a puzzle

Brittany Seifried