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Why do Trainings fail ?

Training and development is one of the very important functions of the HR department as it is closely linked with the skills and capability building of an organization. Training is meant to help employees ‘sharpen the saw’ and acquire the proficiency to excel at the job. While a lot of training happens on the job, there is also much merit in focused training that helps in developing special knowledge, skills and attitudes (KSAs) or competencies that are required to perform one’s responsibilities effectively.

When it comes to training, billions of dollars are spent by corporate outfits in imparting training to employees. Unfortunately, the result in terms of efficacy of training is quite suspect. There are instances galore of training being conducted, employees enjoying a day or two in a classroom - away from work, and then back to square one as the learning from the training does not see any meaningful transference in the form of improved behavior and skills displayed on the job. A lot of this has to do with the way training is planned in organizations. Employees are sent to training based on training needs assessment (TNA) which is typically based on assessment by the boss in consultation with the employee to address gaps in skills or knowledge. All this if very fine, except for the fact that in many instances, TNA becomes a mere formality and just another tick mark in an appraisal form. TNA is serious business and unless it is done with seriousness, training loses meaning and that’s why trainings fail.

A lot of employees view training as ‘paid holidays’. While they may be physically present at the training center, their attention and mind is often quite distracted. Unless they themselves display diligence to learn and absorb what is being taught, no training session would help. It is certainly no surprise that such trainings fail miserably. Again, training effectiveness is also a lot about transference of learning on to the job. Most often, employees may be wowed by concepts learned in a classroom setting. However, when they come back to work, they find that the ground-reality is far removed from that in the classroom. This makes the employees give up and they do not even try to apply what they have learned.

Effective training needs to be monitored and reinforced at regular intervals of time so that behaviors modified and knowledge applied may lead to permanent changes. However, if the training department is just interested in notching up mere figures on training man-days instead of assessing and reporting training effectiveness, it is no surprise that trainings would fail. It may be better and more profitable to let employees go on days of paid holiday rather than perform a charade in the name of ‘training

Comments Listing
Posted: 17/12/2012 08:39:14

Quite correct. One ought to review the TNA concept... should be directed towards helping employees acquire skills to complete their present tasks ( like reading, meetings, thinking, planning, decision making etc.) faster & more efficiently - so that they can 'generate' or SAVE TIME - which can then be used to implement the Learnings from the various trainings they attend...

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