Tip #1004: Why Training Programs Fail- and How to Improve Them- Part One

There are ten major reasons why training programs fail. We’ll consider the first five reasons in this Tip.

  1. Training isn’t the appropriate remedy. Training has gotten a bad reputation because it has been used in lieu of good management. There is one poor performer, but all of the employees are forced to attend training they don’t need.

Rather than a training program in this instance, management coaching and active performance management are more appropriate responses.

  • Schedule a training program only if there is a performance issue, skill deficit, or behavioral problem that affects a group of employees.
  1. Training is conducted too early. Some organizations provide training in anticipation of a system or some other change, but they schedule it 6 months or a year before actual implementation. Studies suggest that as much as 90 percent of information is forgotten within 30 days and 70 percent  of  that loss occurs within one day-unless it is intensively reinforced.
  • Schedule training just before implementation, so employees can use their new skills immediately.
  1. Training isn’t geared to the target audience. Technical training often relies on acronyms that are neither familiar to the audience nor explained, so it is easy for participants to lose interest. They will also lose interest if the content isn’t relevant, they don’t see what’s in it for them, or the content is either too easy or too challenging. If there are different shifts, schedule so the participants will be fresh and awake. 
  • Conduct a needs assessment to determine where the skill gaps occur and what knowledge the audience has about the topic, so the trainer doesn’t waste time teaching what they already know. Schedule around shifts.
  1. Training isn’t structured well. If there is no lesson plan, or the lesson plan for the training program lacks specific, observable, and measurable learning objectives, then there is probably not a logical and orderly flow to the content or activities. This can easily confuse the participants.
  • Write a lesson plan around specific, observable, and measurable learning objectives, so the structure of the training program is logical and makes sense.
  1. Training planning does not include management. Supervisors and managers need to be involved in the planning of the training, preparing their employees for what they are expected to learn, and reinforcing the new skills after training so they won’t be lost. 
  • Involve supervisors and managers at the beginning of the training planning process, so they know what their employees will be learning and understand their role in reinforcing their employees’ new skills and holding them accountable.

P.S. Do any of these issues ring a bell?

May your learning be sweet,


#laurelandassociatesltd #training #trainingplanning #whytrainingprogramsfail


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