Stakeholders can be defined as “groups or individuals who can affect or be affected by the achievements of a business” (FT Lexicon, 2012). Key stakeholders in training transfer consist of organisations implementing training programs for their workforce, individuals undergoing the training course, and trainer conducting the training course. Each of these stakeholder categories has their roles and responsibilities that impact the outcome of the training in general, and the outcome of training transfer in particular in a direct manner.
Organisations sponsoring training programs for their employees are directly interested in the high level of training transfer. Managers representing organisations have the responsibilities of “participating in the training needs investigation, supporting and briefing participants before, during and after the training, setting measurable objectives and rewarding the practice of learning” (Donovan and Townsend, 2004, p.42). Neglecting these responsibilities might be associated with the risks of wastage of financial resources invested in employee training and development initiatives.
Audi UK, a car manufacturer originated in Germany serves as a good case study illustrating the immense role of organisation as a key stakeholder in the facilitation of training transfer. In Audi UK employees at all levels regularly participate in a wide range of training and development programs that are organised with the participation of highly competent professionals. Moreover, along a wide range of relevant initiatives Audi UK achieves a high level of training transfer for employees through follow-ups with employees to analyse the extent of application of knowledge and skills gained by employees during training courses.
The roles of organisations as a key stakeholder in the provision of training and development programs and contribution to the level of training transfer also depend upon the sector organisations belong to. Specifically, private sector organisations enjoy greater level of freedom in terms of the selection of the training method for employees and training provider, whereas public sector organisation are usually less flexible in that aspect and also there is a greater level accountability for public sector organisations.
Individuals undergoing the training course as a key stakeholder are responsible to be striving to achieve the course learning objectives, duly participating each session of the course, and expressing a proactive approach in terms of applying knowledge and skills gained during the course in practice.
It is important to note that unless employees participating in training course comprehend the necessity of the training and express sufficient level of interest and commitment, the efforts of other key stakeholders such as organisations and tutors are not likely to result in significant positive outcome in terms of achieving training transfer.
Tutors conducting the training course represent another important key stakeholder group and their responsibilities include but not limited to conducting needs investigation for training, devising detailed training plan and schedules, organising and supervising the delivery of session, and conducting post-training evaluations and follow-ups.
There are increasing numbers of individual trainers and training organisations that offer innovative and unusual training programs to deal with various organisational issues. A stark illustration of this statement relates to the management team development program implemented by Halle training firm at Siemens, during which the company managers were required to be singing as a choir, as a technique to promote team working skills.
Donowan, P. Townsend, J. (2004) “The Training Needs Analysis Pocketbook” Pocketbooks
Stakeholders (2012) Financial Times Lexicon, Available at: http://lexicon.ft.com/Term?term=stakeholders