Factors affecting Training Transfer

By John Dudovskiy

Factors affecting Training TransferThere is a range of factors related to various stages of the implementation of employee training and development programs that impact on the level of training transfer. Individual differences associated with trainees is a major factor affecting the nature of comprehension of training programs by trainees, and ultimately, training transfer. Trainee individual differences might be based upon personal temperament, cultural background, life experiences etc.


The level of trainee motivation to participate in the training and to gain necessary knowledge and skills is a decisive factor in training transfer. Nevertheless, the impact of this specific factor can be influenced by organisations in a great extend, in a way that managers can communicate advantages of scheduled training courses for employees in professional and personal levels in order to increase the level of their motivation.

Moreover, the level of competency of trainers also plays a significant role in training transfer as highly competent trainers are able to maximise the levels of training transfer through their advanced communication skills and an efficient use of learning materials. Criteria to assess the level of competency of trainers include but not limited to formal qualifications, the years of experience in industry, feedback from other clients etc.

An environment where the training session is facilitated has to be mentioned as a separate factor affecting the level of training transfer. Learning environments where trainees feel comfortable and free of pressure are associated with a positive contribution to the level of training transfer. According to the Principle of Identical Elements discussed above learning environments that resemble the actual working environment for trainees make significant positive contribution on the overall outcome of training program, as well as, on the level of training transfer.

Importantly, organisational culture also impacts the degree of training transfer for employees. Organisational culture can be explained as “shared values and beliefs that help individuals understand organisational functioning and thus provide them norms for behaviour in the organisation” (Herzog, 2010, p.58). The impact of organisational culture on training transfer is evident in a way that unless organisational culture is supportive towards experimentations and new ways of doing things achieving training transfer for employees would be a difficult task to accomplish.

For example, one of the most successful IT companies, Google has an effective corporate culture that is informal and encourages experimentations with new ideas and new ways of doing things. Accordingly, it can be stated that corporate culture in Google contributes to the level of training transfer for employees, because employees are not afraid of making any mistakes and thus they are more motivated to experiment with the new ways of performing their duties.

Furthermore, the amount of financial resources committed by management for employee training and development initiatives represents an additional important factor that affects the level of training transfer. Given this fund is managed in an appropriate manner, as a general rule, the greater level of financial investment can result in a greater level of level of training transfer.



Herzog, P. (2010) “Open and Closed Innovation: Different Cultures for Different Strategies” Springer Publications

Category: HRM