Why Does Your Training Fall Flat?

th12Does the training in your company seem to lack what it takes to engage learning?  Do you wonder what is causing your training efforts to fall flat?  After conducting several Training Physicals with companies of all shapes and sizes, there are some common areas you may want to evaluate sooner than later.

I would have to point 90% of the time to the individual that is leading the training effort within your company.  If your training falls flat, it is most likely that the training leader lacks the competencies to manage your training function.  They may have all of the best intentions, but they simply lack the skills.  If you want to keep this person, AND they want to learn how to perform their job correctly, then hire an Executive Coach to train them on the job.  Training Leaders must know how to evaluate needs, match good performance solutions and engage management and the learner into applying what they learn.  These are all skills that can be developed over time.

The next groups to look at are your facilitators and if you are designing your own training programs, the instructional designers.  Again, lack of the right competencies can make your training fall flat.  The difference here is probably the quality of your facilitator.  A great facilitator can take a well designed course and make it sing.  A great facilitator can also take a poorly designed course and pull out a win by modifying the activities to engage adult learners.

A poor facilitator can screw up a well designed course by not following the design, and if the design is also poor, well you have a major disaster on your hands if your facilitator is also unskilled.

The next item on my list will be in the support that management gives to the training efforts.  If the training is not supported, or worse, discounted by management, it was a total waste of time to even attend the event.  I’ve seen some of the best training programs, designed and trained by some of the best facilitators, fall flat when management says something brilliant like, “well we don’t do it that way in our office” after someone returns from training.

While there is a list a mile long for what can cause training to fall flat, fixing only one area will not make your problems go away.  You must conduct and audit (Training Physical) and list what isn’t working along with what is, and then make the appropriate changes to improve your training results.  It is not hard, but it does require effort!