patkua@work

The intersection of technology and leadership

Why Training Fails

I’m a big believer in letting people try things out. Unfortunately, most training programs don’t let people do this enough. In fact, most of the time, training is seen as some way of “fixing problems” or a “all-in-one solution”. I can tell you a simple reason why training fails… people don’t have support to actually use the things they are trained on. They don’t get the essential feedback loop in their real environment and they quickly forget what they learned.

It’s all fantastic when you have an opportunity in class to try what you learned out. What really matters if whether or not you have long term lasting support in your environment to apply it to what you do. Unfortunately most training programs fail to address that, or the trainers don’t feel like it’s something they can influence.

Training lasts a day. True learning lasts a lifetime. If you send people on training, make sure they have a safe environment to apply it as well. Don’t view training as a silver bullet. Use it as a tactical solution as part of a larger strategic initiative.

3 Comments

  1. You posted this just as I was searching for courses for a trainee of mine, and I was debating whether or not to send him to $2400 Oracle courses that we both know aren’t that effective. Forget that!

  2. Hey Pat,
    Nice post. I think one of the points a lot of organizations completely miss the importance of performance coaching and on the job mentoring. The traditional premise of training interventions has been to raise awareness and consciousness about the targeted skills and behaviors. As you mentioned, of late there’s been a tendency to look at training as an “all-in-one” solution.

    I feel there’s a case to also look at training design with this perspective in mind. I recently wrote about this here.
    Sumeet

  3. Hi Sumeet,

    Thanks for your comment. I did read your post as well. I agree that often there are too many things people want crammed into a session. It’s a delicate balance.

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