Here and beyond training

Last time IECL’s Project Manager Jen Wijono explored the ‘Discover’ stage of IECL’s Partnership Approach, where she looked at key questions to consider before developing a training program. In this piece Jen takes a look at the ‘Design and Develop’ stages, focusing on how these stages contribute to a training initiative’s sustainability and successful transfer of learning.


Have you ever come out of a training course inspired, determined and committed to make changes, but only to find that it’s easier to go back to your same old habits? This is an experience that is common to many of us, and if you have been in the learning and development space long enough, it is something you commonly see in training participants.

Though learning events are important spaces where we can reflect and attain new knowledge and skills, it is of no use if it is not translated into changed behaviours in our day-to-day work.

Why is sustainability hard to achieve?

Though prior knowledge is important and still vital, we know from the 70:20:10 rule that the majority of development occurs in the practical day-to-day environment of the workplace. As the saying goes: “You learn best by doing.” This rule reminds us that 70% of development occurs through on-the-job experience, 20% from others through means such as social learning, coaching or mentoring, and the final 10% from traditional methods of learning such as a course or training event. When we create training initiatives that only take the course itself into account we are missing out on 90% of potential development. This means that we need to consider how we can create programs that go beyond the traditional classroom environment.

Why invest in pre and post training preparation?

The simple answer is: a significantly better ROI. However, the longer answer will bring us to some research conducted by Rob Brinkerhoff in 2006. It reveals a telling story for us about the difference in training application between two different ways of investing resources.

The graphs below display the traditional way that resources are often allocated and the respective training application result:

However, if you look at the alternative way to allocate resources, we see a very different output to training application:

If you take a moment now to reflect on a current program of yours, what would your “Resources Employed” pie chart look like?

The data above gives us a compelling reason as to why investment in pre-training preparation and post-training application follow up is vital to the longevity of any newly attained knowledge and skills. We are often tempted to dedicate all resources to program design, development and delivery. Too often a plan is not put into place for how these skills and knowledge will stick and be put into practice.

This is also the reason why IECL’s approach to any training intervention seeks to look at this as more than just a series of events but rather a blended learning journey for the participant. The end-to-end approach to the implementation ensures that pre-training preparation and post-training application is encapsulated in the whole development and delivery process of the initiative.

This also means that IECL’s learning environments include a variety of elements of input, activities, demonstration, practice and purposeful reflective conversations. We follow the 80/20 rule of 20% input and 80% practice and reflective activities. In doing so, this allows participants to be active contributors to their own and each other’s learnings and also see real life practical cases which they can apply their learnings to immediately.

If you consider partnering with us, we can guide you on how to design a program that takes into account the participant’s whole learning journey. This will ensure that what we create supports the individual or group to continue their development beyond the classroom.

As Project Manager, Jen Wijono provides highly efficient service and sound management of large-scale projects, and is committed to partnering with her clients to support their goals to better their people and workplace.