Investing heavily in your human capital is vital for the future of your business, yet few company executives find success in their employee training initiatives. Training often produces only lackluster results, or employees show only minimal improvement before slumping back into their old ways. So how can a company ensure its employee training is cost-efficient and successful?
A brief review of the 5 most common reasons why employee training fails offers some serious insight on how to better your own firm’s training regimes. By studying the frequent failures listed below, a savvy manager can guarantee their workers receive the best training possible, and that their improved behavior last well into the future.
Failure to outline clear goals
One of the most frequent mistakes managers make when it comes to employee training is also one of the most simplistic; by failing to establish clear goals, managers doom themselves and their training to failure from the get-go. Your company’s leadership shouldbnn’t just be explicit in explaining why employees are going through training, but also clearly highlight the objectives of the training and ensure employees are reaching their goals.
The results of training to reach an end-point, only to not know what that end-point is, can be disastrous. In the US alone, around $156 billion dollars were spent on employee training in 2011, countless numbers of which were no doubt lost to programs that ended up going nowhere and accomplishing nothing.
Little to no follow-up training
Another frequent mistake made by managers is when they totally forget or shrug off follow-up training. An initial conference call or training workshop can be hugely successful, but ruined in the long-term because employees gradually forget the skills that were instilled in them due to a total lack of training or discussion later down the line. Ensure your company doesn’t waste time, money and effort on workshops only to waste it all by refusing to follow through with your employee’s training.
Another frequent hurdle encountered by business managers when trying to train their employees is the problem of authoritarianism. Employee trainers can be far too harsh with their students, who are adults and expect to be treated as such. Belittling actions in the classroom can lead employees to disengage from the training.
It’s crucial to remember that your employees are adult-learners, meaning you’ll need to explain to them the reasoning behind why they’re studying a particular lesson, and offer them the tools to self-direct themselves towards success. Being a strong leader means understanding when to lay off from chewing out your employees, especially when training them, as harping too much on a mistake can ultimately result in more damage being done.
Too much lecturing, not enough learning
One of the biggest problems faced by employee trainers is one that continues to plague academia in general; when there’s too much lecturing by one person, and not enough time for face-to-face training, little will be accomplished. Rather than waste money training your employees in a massive group, which may seem like a cost-saving measure but ultimately accomplishes very little, your workers should be warranted with personal time face-to-face with their trainer.
Part of this problem stems from when managers rely too much on digital tech for training purposes. While it may seem convenient or even natural to outfit your workers with laptops or other digital instruments to learn digitally, setting apart time for human interaction in small groups will ultimately produce more effective training results.
Not enough mentoring
Employer’s hoping to get the best out of their workers can take another lesson from academia, and employ mentoring programs in their training. By pairing up rookie workers with veteran employees, executives ensure that training is more understandable for workers who haven’t been with the company long, and for those who may be struggling on an individual level.
Of course, there’s no one secret to success when it comes to employee training. Ultimately, it will take a serious commitment from your company, and an understanding that you may err at first, in order to succeed. But by avoiding the most common mistakes made by the more foolish employee-trainers, your company can ensure the loyalty, happiness, and efficacy of your workers for years to come.
A social media marketing executive and entrepreneur, Alex has led the marketing divisions of some of the UK's leading advertising and PR firms. He specializes in usng the power of big data and business analysis to deliver actionable metrics.
As manager of a large team of digital marketers, Alex is responsible for delivering the training and development of his entire department. He emphasises standardizing procedures and creating an immersive on-boarding process as key to bringing new members to your team.
Outside business, Alex is a keen videographer and music producer, living and working in Brighton, UK.