Want more Bang For Your Training Buck? Then make sure your employees feel supported.

Topic: Training

Publication: International Journal of Selection and Assessment  (JUN 2010)

Article: Social support in the workplace and training transfer: a longitudinal analysis

Authors: D.S. Chiaburu, K. Van Dam, & H.M. Hutchins

Reviewed By: Jared Ferrell

With the extreme amount of money spent on training each
year, researchers are constantly working to understand how to increase the
transfer of the knowledge and skills learned during training back to the
job.  The authors here suggest that perceived organizational support (POS) and supervisor support will indirectly affect transfer of training through the effects it has on trainee perceived self efficacy, goal orientation, and motivation to transfer. 

POS in this case refers to the extent an employee believes the organization cares about his or her well being. 

In this study, researchers found that higher POS and supervisory support led trainees to have higher training self-efficacy (“I can do this!”), a mastery goal orientation (“I am going to set goals for mastering this new skill and reach them!”), and higher motivation to transfer learning (“I really want to learn this!”) – , all directly or indirectly leading to higher transfer learning.   In addition, the authors found supervisor support to show slightly more impact in affecting the individual
factors than POS.  And the researchers suggest POS may become more effective if the support put forth by the organization is restated by training supervisors. 

The bottom line of this article is this:  if you want to get more of a bang for
your training buck, be sure your training participants feel supported by the
organization and most of all, their supervisors.  And this support will do much more than just increase your training ROI, but that’s another study…  

Chiaburu, D.S., Van Dam, K., & Hutchins, H.M. (2010). Social Support in the Workplace
and Training Transfer: A longitudinal analysis. International Journal of Selection and Assessment, 18, 187-200.