higher proportion of money is wasted on training which is inappropriate or just
downright poor than almost any other corporate expense. I have seen organisations
make the same mistakes with training all over the world. Here are my top ten.
There is never any follow up! Training which imparts a skill or knowledge
which is not reviewed or used within seven days is remembered by only thirty three
percent of people. After sixty three days it is only 14%. Training which is reviewed
or used directly in a job is remembered by 83% of people after seven days and
70% of people after 63 days. It is the old story, use it or lose it!
Training is boring. Training which includes no interaction between the trainer
and the participants or does not engage the participants is likely to fail. The
first process in memory is ATTENTION! If the participant is not paying attention,
the probability of remembering anything is very low. Training is not solely about
subject knowledge; the trainer must have a personality and be able to talk with
people at their level.
presentation style, was never appropriate in the first place! Often the resources
used for training about theory, including the opportunity cost of participants,
could be used for developing a series of small workshops and mentoring to actually
resolve a problem rather than learn theory. The learning is held for much longer
because people are doing and getting feedback rather than sitting in a classroom
and the organisation gets a better result.
the learning outcomes if they are all knowledge based may be chunked down to a
small enough size to use e-learning technologies.
The training has no goal and no clear benefit for the recipient. Often born
of poor training needs analysis where employees, supervisors and managers are
asked, "What training do you/your subordinates need?" Training built
on a needs analysis that is this shallow is bound to have little impact back at
work for the participants, although it might help build their CV.
Completing training is seen by the organisation as doing enough. Individuals
throughout a organisation who see the mere fact that they completed a course or
a degree as proof of ability are only fooling themselves. Executive teams who
treat training the same way are costing their organisation money.
Lets cram it all in. Training overload is as bad as no training at all. Often
courses are crammed too full of information as managers and human resource personnel
try to make up for a lack of previous training. In the case of training, less
is surely more. People are capable of retaining 7 ± 2 things at a time.
If we want them to remember some things they already have in their head, we had
better leave it at three things to remember in a training day.
The training equipment does not work! If in doubt blame the technology, I
say. It is better than admitting that I did not prepare well enough by testing
the venue, the provided equipment and my equipment for compatibility.
Only measure the "smile sheet". Training evaluation is much more
than the reaction people have to the material and the presenter. The American
Society for Training and Development reports that only 3% of training was evaluated
at Kirkpatrick's "level 4" of training evaluation "results"
where there is an impact on the organisation. In contrast, 95% of training was
evaluated at "level 1" where the participants liked the training.
37% of training was evaluated at "level 2" where participants learnt
the material and 13% of training was evaluated at "level 3" where participants
applied the learning in the workplace. Training measures have to be developed
for the workplace to see if the organisation is getting its money's worth.
Don't do training at all. Organisations think that they can't afford to give
people time to get trained. They need to think again! Well-trained employees are
more capable and willing to assume more control over their jobs and they need
less supervision, which frees management for other tasks. Productivity and job
satisfaction increases and organisations become more effective in reaching their
#10 Training is not reinforced.
For training to be effective, it must be reinforced by policies and processes
which complement the training. For example, training people on giving "excellent"
customer service and having a policy for resolving customer complaints which requires
escalation to general manager level is a waste of time and money.
must also echo the training in their behaviour towards employees and the building
of formal and informal rewards systems.
time its time to train your staff, think carefully whether you are really going
to train them or are just ticking a box on the list of good management practices.
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