Thought for the week

Why Do Personal Development Training Programmes Fail? 7 Causes to Look Out For

For nearly 30 years, Serenity in Leadership has transformed organisational cultures and successfully trained CEOs and teams in leadership development and strategy interventions. We understand how beneficial a training programme can be for an organisation, but unfortunately, many programmes fail to provide long-lasting results. Why do training and development interventions fail?

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A survey found that 90% of the skills learnt in a training programme are forgotten after a year.

There are various reasons as to why this happens, from a lack of post-training support, to a clash between the new skills learnt and the old practices still in place. Here we examine these issues further and highlight what the best training programmes have that make the difference.

Why do corporate training programmes fail?

1. Training is perceived as a single event

A two-day workshop can act as a fantastic refresher or offer some vital skills on handling post-mergers or communicating effectively while remote working. But changing attitudes and behaviours requires a deeper analysis and a longer-term offering.

Many employers send their staff on mini workshops, expecting the information they have learnt to instantaneously be put to good use.

2. Employees do not understand the value

It is not uncommon for training programmes to be met with discontent from employees. Staff may perceive the training as additional work and something else to add to their weekly tasks. This is why it is crucial that leaders find out exactly what their staff are struggling with, and then seek training that provides a solution.

We know that employees want to work for companies that prioritise development and learning, but they need to feel confident that the training they take on will offer real benefit. Research has found that “70% of employees would be somewhat likely to leave their current job to work for an organization known for investing in employee development and learning.”

3. The training programme is not tailored

Each programme at Serenity in Leadership is customised for every client we work with because we understand that the remodelling required for an energy corporation will not meet the exact requirements of a pharmaceutical brand or a banking firm. Each business has their own needs that require bespoke support.

Many programmes today use a blanket generic approach where the same tools and tips are taught to every client. As consultants, we are guided by agile learning principles and not frameworks.

4. There is no post-training continuation

Applying the lessons taught through training requires time, space and support. It is very easy for staff to go back to the office and lose focus of what they have learnt because they are too busy dealing with current tasks. Managers need to be genuinely interested in what their people need and have learnt and implement training into KPIs and feedback, without overwhelming employees.

5. Internal consultants may not have the resources to train efficiently

As external consultants, it might sound too obvious for us to state that training delivered with internal resources has many disadvantages. In-house training can increase the burden on administration and increase the pressure on employees to balance training with work.

External consultants bring a fresh, outside perspective. The facilitators and coaches at Serenity have spent their careers honing their skills and finding unique ways to demonstrate their knowledge. We have a long history of managing focus groups, teams and leaders. Our experience means we can deliver a depth of recommendations that are cost and time effective.

6. The training does not align to the culture

Training should never be implemented as a trend or tick-boxing measure. Sadly, this happens all too often in business, particularly around diversity and inclusion. For instance, an organisation invests in training to promote their D&I credentials with no measurements in place to track results, or real buy-in from senior management.

Corporate training programmes will fail if staff are not in an environment where they can put their training to use. Before choosing a programme, leaders need to plan how any training will align to the organisation’s aims and values. Executives need to be fully involved and plan how they can support their staff to ensure training is part of a businesses’ strategy.

7. The training lacks excitement

One in three employees believe uninspiring content is a barrier to their learning. People are more-likely to care about what they are being told if they find the information engaging. This is why at Serenity in Leadership; we carefully select the most cutting-edge training methods such as CQ® (cultural intelligence) and use a range of techniques to help employees retain what they are taught.

Corporate training programmes, when effective, can help leaders achieve better talent management, improve leadership development, equip managers with the skills needed to navigate uncertainty, increase employee retention and satisfaction at work, enhance performance standards and identify company weaknesses.

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Tuesday, January 25, 2022
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