Transfer Initiation and Maintenance of Training: Employees’ Perception of the Relative Influences of Transfer Intentions, General Self-efficacy (GSE) and Supervisor Support
Allocating money and resources to improve employees' performance can be costly. The 2008 Industry Report of ASTD (formerly the American Society for Training and Development) showed that U.S. organizations spent $134.39 billion on employee learning and performance. Because learning and development are expensive, time consuming and often disruptive for workflow, training professionals need to show credible and sustainable methods for proving the value of their training programs.
This research study examines the effects of employees' perceptions of transfer intentions, General Self-efficacy (GSE) and supervisor support to better identify the conditions for actual transfer. An increased understanding of the conditions of transfer provided a new perspective for a county government agency. Data were collected immediately after training and later in the work environment from 36 subjects who participated in a three-day Employee Leadership Institute (ELI) in December 2007. The study built upon and extended existing data collected in December 2006, March 2007, and September 2007. The data analysis approach consisted of Chi-square computation, Analysis of Variance (ANOVA), bivariate correlation and hierarchical regression analysis. SPSS was used to conduct the data analysis.
The results suggest that General Self-efficacy (GSE) was the most important influence on transfer intentions up to six months after ELI. Then, transfer intentions was a better predictor than supervisor support and GSE to significantly influence the actual initiation of skills on the job obtained from ELI at six, nine months and one year. Once employees actually attempted to apply skills on the job, transfer intentions was a better predictor at six months for maintaining those skills over time (transfer maintenance); however, transfer initiation was a better predictor at nine months and one year. Due to a small sample size and self-reported data, the study results should be interpreted with some caution.