After training of Konica Minolta’s sales team, managers noticed poor performance in their training transfer. Managers identified that the problem arose since the former training did not apply cognitive theory, which supports the use of strategies for knowledge coding and meaningful materials to define problems or issues encountered in the field. However, managers may adopt a solution-based training through e-learning or SMS communication pathway models. Also, managers ought to facilitate interventions that will support positive climate, managerial support, peer support, trainers support, and reward systems through the company’s policies and culture. That way, employees will foster their ability to self-assess situations in a solution-based selling approach.
Training Transfer is the process in which trainees can apply skills learned in training effectively and continuously in their jobs. The sales employees of Konica Minolta Company performed poorly in this regard since most of them could not apply trained skills effectively in their day to day activities. Due to the fragmented learning and development programmes, sales managers employed different techniques and methodologies of training their employees. Line managers were not able to consistently follow up and evaluate learning and development due to other demanding job roles.
To identify and come up with solutions to the problem, the HR team conducted a thorough training need analysis of all employees to have a consistent, targeted, and outcome-oriented sales training programme. The lack of trust between sales employees and their managers and uncoordinated training programmes are some of the issues that were identified as contributing to mixed results. HR team adopts a cognitive theory of transfer as a strategic approach to ensure that after training, the results will be felt in the workplaces, and the issues identified will no longer pose a problem. This is because the theory supports the use of strategies for knowledge coding and meaningful materials to define problems or issues encountered in the field (Schmidt and Ford, 2003). The solution selling methodology would be best adopted to train employees, whether through workshops or on the job training.
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Solution-based training will assist the company to avoid encapsulation from their sales employees; in this case, E-learning is the most suitable delivery approach for the company as big data analytics enables workers to learn about numerous problems and their solutions quickly before introducing the solution. However, the time required to engage trainees online may be limited, especially with the spaced practice. Also, a relapse is possible where trainees do not have access to online resources or practice away from offices. In that context, the HR team can utilize SMS communication pathways to assist employees in using new skills and behaviours by identifying when relapses are possible, determining the degree of support, discussing coping skills, and monitoring the use of skills learned (Donovan and Radosevich, 1999).
To ensure that this training is transferred into the workplace, the HR team will facilitate interventions that will support positive climate, managerial support, peer support, trainers support, and reward systems. Rewarding employees who perform their jobs based on knowledge acquired during training usually helps to avoid training relapse (Dempster, 1988). The company may offer salary commissions to its sales employees for any sales realised following their latest trained model. Equally, peer support is also a vital component to reinforce the skills learned, but managers and supervisors should create the right environment and support the established initiatives. For example, training should focus on providing practice opportunities, and avoid reprimanding employees when they make errors but instead encourage them to learn from these errors.
The trainers should develop learning and development programmes that can give immediate feedback about employees’ performance after training. These new capabilities should enable the organisations to come up with faster strategies for ensuring training transfer is effective and identify whether any follow-up training is needed and, if so, how it will be conducted, which resources will be needed (Lancaster and Di Milia, 2014).
Several critical organisational interventions can be utilised to ensure that the post-training transfer process takes place effectively. These activities include the establishment of a positive and constructive environment, administrative support, peer support, trainer backing, and, most importantly, the institution of reward systems. On the same note, issues including lapses to old, unwanted habits and practices, insufficient employee and management support as well as the lack of inter-departmental unity and teamwork have to be countered. The HR team has adopted several relapse prevention strategies, such as scheduling training sessions and support networks for peers. This enables peers to discuss progress and elements of training, thereby encouraging them to take learning as their responsibility. It also allows experienced peers to coach and mentors the trainees.
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This can be done by the creation of self-management approaches for employees to evaluate their progress in the context of the training and use of a solution-based selling approach. Additionally, it may be vital to create support networks composed of peer support, supervisor, and trainer backing. Supervisors can also facilitate transfer by providing subordinates with opportunities to practice new skills (Cromwell and Kolb, 2004). Training and learning programmes, which are aligned to training outcomes, will boost the morale and dedication of trainees as well as provide an excellent climate that enhances the practice of the knowledge and skills gained during the post-training transfer.
It is also essential to have upper management attitudes, specifically supporting training transfer through its company policy and culture. They can budget and allocate resources for refresher courses and offer technical support, such as ensuring each employee has access to electronic performance support systems: laptops, tablets, or desktop computers to facilitate continuous online learning. Having a company culture that views learning as an important part of its vision will enhance its capacity to capture and dispense knowledge at individual, group, and organisational level.
Cromwell, S.E., and Kolb, J.A., 2004. An examination of work‐environment support factors affecting the transfer of supervisory skills training to the workplace: human Resource Development Quarterly, 15(4), pp.449-471.
Dempster, F.N., 1988. The spacing effect: A case study in the failure to apply the results of psychological research. American Psychologist, 43(8), p.627.
Donovan, J.J., and Radosevich, D.J., 1999. A meta-analytic review of the distribution of practice effect: Now you see it, now you don’t. Journal of Applied Psychology, 84(5), p.795.
Lancaster, S., and Di Milia, L., 2014. Organisational support for employee learning. European Journal of Training and Development.
Schmidt, A.M. and Ford, J.K., 2003. Learning within a learner control training environment: The interactive effects of goal orientation and metacognitive instruction on learning outcomes. Personnel Psychology, 56(2), pp.405-429.