Tip #689: Why Was Classroom Training Rated So Poorly?
“Speaking for myself, I spend a good ten minutes a day deciding whether or not to read the results of new surveys, and, once I have read them, a further five minutes deciding whether or not to take them seriously.” Craig Brown
In “The Changing Nature of Organizations, Work, and Workplace,” Judith Heerwagen of J.H. Heerwagen & Associates and Kevin Kelly and Kevin Kampschroer of the U.S. General Service Administration note that work is now more: cognitively complex; team-based and collaborative; dependent on social skills; dependent on technological competence; time pressured; mobile and less dependent on geography. http://studylib.net/doc/8493490/the-changing-nature-of-organizations–work–and-workplace
Managers and employees need new skills to effectively manage these challenges- and they require learning and skill development options that go beyond traditional classroom training or e-learning sessions.
This is validated by the results of a 2017 survey of Learning in the Workplace conducted by Jane Hart, the Founder of the Center for Learning & Performance Technologies. Over 5,000* managers and employees were asked to rate the importance (value/usefulness) of 12 work-related learning methods as either: NI = Not Important; QI = Quite Important; VI = Very Important; or Ess = Essential.
The results of that survey are identified in the table that follows. The methods are ranked by their combined VI+Ess (Very Important and Essential) scores. The red figures indicate the ratings that received the largest number of responses.
Results of the 6th Annual Learning in the Workplace Survey (8/8/17)
|Learning Methods||NI %||QI %||VI %||Ess %||
|1||Daily work experiences (i.e., doing the day job)||1||6||26||67||93|
|2||Knowledge sharing with your team||1||9||30||60||90|
|3||Web search (e.g. Google)||5||16||27||52||79|
|4||Web resources (e.g. videos, podcasts, articles)||4||20||37||39||76|
|5||Manager feedback and guidance||7||19||39||35||74|
|6||Professional networks and communities||4||24||41||31||72|
|7||Coach or mentor feedback and guidance||7||28||43||22||65|
|8||Internal resources (e.g. documents, guides)||8||32||35||25||60|
|9||Blogs and news feeds||10||34||33||23||56|
|10||E-learning (e.g. online courses for self-study)||20||39||25||16||41|
|11||Conferences and other professional events||17||48||32||3||35|
The survey results reveal that the least valued ways of learning in the workforce are classroom training and e-learning. http://c4lpt.co.uk/litw-results/
We don’t know why the respondents give classroom training such a low rating. There can be many reasons, such as:
- Content focused on theory rather than on practical application.
- Too general one-size-fits-all examples difficult for the participants to translate and apply to their own work situations.
- Ineffective training methods, such as a predominance of lecture with PowerPoint.
- Lack of useful job aids.
- The wrong people received the training, due in part to a need to ensure a sufficient number of butts in seats.
- Inconvenient scheduling.
- The time commitment and high cost of registration and travel for off-site classes.
- Poor content, either outdated or irrelevant to real work needs.
- Poor instructors, lacking effective presentation skills and/or classroom management skills.
- No follow up by supervisors to reinforce the learning.
- A lack of support for implementing any new learning.
Since I design and deliver classroom training, I would like to believe that it is not classroom training per se that the respondents rate so negatively- just poor curriculum design, delivery and facilitation.
What do you think?
May your learning be sweet.
* Breakdown of Survey Demographics:
Countries: 63 countries around the world, including USA 25%, UK 25%, Australia 9%, Canada 7%, New Zealand 6%, Germany 5%, and Netherlands 3%.
Industries: Education 25%, Financial Services 10%, Government 9%, Healthcare 6%, and Technology 6%.
Organization size: 250+ people 66%, and 51-250 people 13%.
Function: HR/L&D 59%, IT 5%, and Marketing 4%.
Job type: Non-managerial 39%, Senior manager 22%, Middle manager 18%, Line manager 10%, and Other 10%.
Age: 41-50 36%, 51-60 25%, 31-40 24%, <30 6%, and >60 6%.
Sex: Female 62%, and Male 38%.