In this “recovering” economy, training budgets are on lockdown and L&D departments being disassembled or outsourced. This means that you, as a learning professional, have to ensure that your charges are trained with less money and time, to the same high standards. In times like these, you need to review your existing program and assess your methods and options. Making sure your employees have the right skills to do their jobs is no joke, but a lighthearted look at why training fails helps us to maintain perspective and remember that sometimes it’s the little things that can trip up a whole program. Avoid these pitfalls and make a great learning program a touchstone of your corporate culture.
10 Don't get buy-in from employees.
Explaining why the training is critical to their job function, their overall skills, and the health of the company is just wasting time. Don’t support the executives getting the training. By all means, don’t get their boss involved. And while you’re at it, don’t help the boss find ways to get the work done while the participant is “unavailable due to training.”
9 Demand instant results.
The actual lessons imparted by training or skills taught/enhanced are easy to see. The day right after training is complete is the best time to ask people who took the class to show you the ROI for the training.
8 Use metrics. ANY metrics.
Do NOT measure training efficacy; instead, focus on how many people get training and how long it takes. How the training actually applies to the job at hand or empowers the employees is irrelevant, as are surveys, polls and feedback.
7 Reject coaches and mentors.
Once people have had training, they are ready to take on the world. They won’t have questions or need help they can now figure it out on their own, thanks to training! Coaches and mentors are for the new employees, to show them how to make coffee and where the restrooms are located
6 Expect training to solve all your personnel problems.
Especially sexual harassment training. Sometimes being told the right thing to do is enough.
5 Use a vendor with only one option.
“One size fits all” training is the way to go.The training may be too simple for some, too complex for others, but look on the bright side, you can get most of the mandatory training out of the way and get great metrics (see #8).
4 Use a no-name vendor.
Where the content comes from isn’t important, it’s all about the cost. It’s sure to be accurate, it’s from the Internet!
3 Set unrealistic expectations with all constituencies.
Make a lot of promises to both the people receiving training and their supervisors. When the courses have projects attached or deadlines, make sure to ignore sharing that at the outset of the training. Promise a minimum time requirement, and make sure your training vendor doesn’t check in during the training period to make sure participants are getting the most out of their experience. Guarantee that everyone will benefit from the new training series, even if it’s not actually related to their needs/skill gaps/problems.
2 Ignore your company’s culture.
Is your company proactive-central or a procrastination parking lot? Guess what? It doesn’t matter. Pay no attention to previous training failures based on ignoring the prevalent company norms. That’s all in the past!
And the most sure-fire training failure:
1 Brush off employee feedback about training satisfaction.
Find vendors who don’t use surveys or other methods of gathering feedback. Limit reviewing the training outcomes beyond the first day after training ends, and discourage comments from the participants and their bosses. This is supposed to be online learning; there’s NO NEED to talk!