I know it’s been a long time since I put a post up here, but I saw this in a journal this morning and it made me really happy to see it.
In about the middle of 2008, some of the top researchers in the training field published a meta-analysis in the APA‘s and I/O psychology’s top journal (Journal of Applied Psychology) about trainee reactions. Basically, a meta-analysis is when researchers take all of the published and unpublished research they can find and pull it together in one big report. Essentially, they’re using some high-level statistics to use all of the participants in all of the studies into one large meta-study. By the time they were done, they had looked at 136 studies which encompassed 27,020 trainees. They looked at a lot of different variables and relationships to see what all affects trainee reactions.
The top predictor of trainee reactions?
Instructor Style, which accounted for about 37% of the variance in trainee reactions, which is over and above the effects of trainee characteristics and organizational support. That’s not to say that organizational support and trainee characteristics aren’t important, but the instructor who conducts the class can be a huge factor in whether or not the reactions that trainees have to a program is positive or negative. And, that reaction can be a big part of whether or not trainees are willing to transfer new knowledge to the workplace.
So, the upshot of this is that if you want to make sure that your training dollars are well-spent, you need to make darned sure that the instructors you use are top notch facilitators. They can’t fix a bad training program, but if you’ve done all of the right stuff to create a good program, instructors with style can be the deciding factor in the color of your training ROI ink being red or black.