Introducing Momentor to Leverage Behavior Change Following Leadership Development

February 24, 2014 by Ken Nowack

“My therapist told me the way to achieve true inner peace is to finish what I start. So far I’ve finished two bags of M&Ms and a chocolate cake. I feel better already.”

 Dave Barry

Momentor for Training Revised

ASTD, in their 2012 industry report, estimates that U.S. organizations spent approximately $156.2 billion on employee learning in 2011. Of this total direct learning expenditure, 56 percent ($87.5 billion) was spent internally.

However without follow-up, 90% of new skills are lost within a year (Salas, 2012). Only 10% of what’s invested into training programs results in employees transferring what they’ve learned back to their jobs (Knyphausen-Aufsess, Smukalla, & Abt, 2009).

Envisia Learning introduces Momentor for Training to facilitate learning transfer and successful habit/behavior change following workshops and training programs. Momentor for Training will not only support learning transfer back to the job but it provides important ROI metrics for both training participants and the organization.


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Research by Taylor & Taylor (2009) reported on just how effective management training really is for organizations1.

The effect size for each of the rater groups was: Self (.72), Boss (.53), Peers (.33) and direct reports (.11). For training focused on just goal setting and performance appraisal skills: Self (1.55), Boss (no studies), Peers (no studies) and direct reports (.33). Except for self-reports by program participants, these effect sizes would be considered small and direct reports, in particular, so little behavior transfer back to the job following training.

In a special analysis of 14 studies that had ratings from the participant, his/her manager, direct reports and peers found the following effect sizes (small effect size is about .2, moderate about .5 and large about .8 or higher) for training focusing on enhancing interpersonal skills:

  • Self Ratings .50
  • Boss Ratings .33
  • Peer Ratings .34
  • Direct Report Ratings .04

Martin (2010) found a positive effect on learning transfer for peer support in a corporate field environment, with peer support and encouragement mitigating a negative work climate2. This finding supports the use of peer coaches and colleagues to help reinforce and recognize successful behavior change following training programs.


Several studies suggest that the personality and actions of those attending workshops can maximize both learning and skill acquisition.

In a study of seven companies, training participants were asked if they intended to apply what they learned on the job—nearly 100 percent said “yes” but 30 percent of direct reports said their bosses did absolutely nothing3. When leaders who attended training programs did little or no follow-up with their direct reports (e.g., asking for additional feedback, sharing information about what skills they were trying to develop further) there was no perceived change in the leaders overall effectiveness

Learners who possess more conscientiousness, more emotional stability, less extroversion and a goal orientation style are most likely to maximize training success in terms of knowledge acquisition and skill improvement4.


What trainers/facilitators do or don’t do in the classroom can obviously maximize learning, retention and motivation to try new behaviors when the program is over. For example, trainers who match the learning styles of students and incorporate more experiential approaches in their courses increase skill acquisition and overall learning5.


Leaders who play an active role in supporting talent attending training programs can help to facilitate and reinforce new learning back on the job. Managers who follow-up with talent who have taken 360-degree feedback assessments are more likely to set specific goals, solicit ideas for improvement, and subsequently receive improved performance ratings6. In our own research and work, we have also found that involved managers help leverage the impact of feedback and training7.



  • Momentor helps transfer training program goals to on-the-job skills.
  • Momentor reminds participants of their goals on a regular basis, a key aspect of successful behavior change.
  • Momentor allows participants to involve their professional network to increase accountability around training goals.
  • Momentor allows participants to: 1) Request feedback on their progress and their goals; 2) Give your clients measurable ROI on training investments; 3) Roll-up usage reports show how many people are making progress and what goals they are working on.

MOmentor elements


Momentor for Training is available 24-7 for your clients to access and review their goals and action items even when you’re not around.

Momentor for Training helps you to measure your clients’ improvement and your effectiveness/ROI through its powerful goal evaluation system. Contact me directly at for an online demo or to learn more about this learning transfer system.

  1. Taylor, P. J., Russ-Eft, D. F., & Chan, D. L. (2005). A meta-analytic review of behavior modeling training. Journal of Applied Psychology, 90, 692–709 []
  2. Martin, H. J. (2010). Workplace climate and peer support as determinants of training transfer. Human Resource Development Quarterly, 21, 87-104 []
  3. Goldsmith, M. & Morgan, H. Leadership is a contact sport: The “follow up” factor in management development. Strategy+Business, 36, 71-79 []
  4. zu Knyphausen-Aufseß, D., Smukalla, M., & Abt, M. (2009). Towards a new training transfer portfolio: A review of training-related studies in the last decade, Zeitschrift für Personalforschung, 23, 4, 288-311 []
  5. zu Knyphausen-Aufseß, D., Smukalla, M., & Abt, M. (2009).Towards a new training transfer portfolio: A review of training-related studies in the last decade, Zeitschrift für Personalforschung, 23, 4, 288-311 []
  6. Smither, J., London, M., Flautt, R., Vargas, Y., & Kucine, I. (2003). Can working with an executive coach improve multisource feedback ratings over time? A quasi-experimental field study. Personnel Psychology, 56, 23–44 []
  7. Nowack, K. (2009). Leveraging Multirater Feedback to Facilitate Successful Behavioral Change. Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice and Research, 61, 280-297 []

Kenneth Nowack, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist (PSY13758) and President & Chief Research Officer/Co-Founder of Envisia Learning, is a member of the Consortium for Research on Emotional Intelligence in Organizations. Ken also serves as the Associate Editor of Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice and Research. His recent book Clueless: Coaching People Who Just Don’t Get It is available for free for a limited time by signing up for free blog updates (Learn more at our website)

Posted in Leadership Development, Relate, Wellness

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