Broad and Newstrom in “Transfer of Training” 1992, identify the critical role that managers of participants have in the transfer of learning into the work environment.

Irwin Goldstein at the University of Maryland also found that “organisation climate was just as important to the transfer of information and skills learned in training as the degree of learning that occurred.”

Senior Leader and Manager Sponsorship is a critical component of any training and/or development program as these influential stakeholders have a critical role in “leading by example” and creating a climate where exploration and practice in the transfer of new skills is not only accepted but encouraged.

It is very important to ensure these leaders are engaged in the initial design and development of the program, particularly in confirming the leadership capabilities expected to be developed in line with the Vision, Values and agreed culture of the organization.

Communicating the aims and outcomes of the program prior to it commencing “cements” both the relevance of what is being offered as well as the commitment of the leaders what is being offered.

Once the program is underway, there are a number of ways for the “sponsors” to remain engaged, for example:

  • presenting within the program at relevant times
  • coaching and mentoring participants as during and after the program – where they share insights and their own experiences with participants as well as encourage them to continue to practice and explore as part of their ongoing development
  • providing feedback into the programme through evaluation strategies and other feedback tools