5 Reasons Most Training Programs are Failing

Posted by Derek Reynolds on November 02, 2017
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Failing training programs man with name tag sleeping in chair“Failures are finger posts on the road to achievement.” - C.S. Lewis

The failures listed in this blog are meant to be just that – guides through the path of learning and development pitfalls. A well-structured program ensures that these challenges are addressed with an effective game plan.


1. Unclear Learning Objectives

Without clearly defined learning objectives, a training initiative is doomed to fail at every stage. The design will not be focused, the implementation won’t be efficient, and the overall success and/or failure will be nearly impossible to track.

Well-defined learning objectives are essential to every training initiative because they: give participants a clear idea of their goals, help define the content and context of the instructional design, and provide a benchmark to determine if the objectives of the program were met.


2. Lack of an Implementation Plan

This ties back to the previous point, learning objectives. Once those are clearly defined, the next step is implementing a plan of attack that is singularly focused on achieving those objectives.

Successfully executing the logistics, content creation, and facilitation of this plan is no small feat. It requires a skilled team of project managers, content creators, individual contributors, facilitators and subject matter experts. All of whom, more than likely, have many other projects, tasks, and obligations on their professional plates. When these pieces work together, it can result in a targeted plan that delivers real results.


3. Content Isn’t Engaging

It’s not enough to use bare bone facts, inserted into a dull power point, and expect participants to latch onto every concept. Studies show that social engagement leads to better knowledge retention and overall employee happiness.

Using creative training methods can mix up the classroom experience and make participants to want to be there. Immersive story-telling, games, group activities, and competition are just a few ways to break down the oppressive walls of disengaged learning.


4. No Sustainability

So, after the training program is designed and implemented all the work is done… right? Wrong! Sustaining the learning objectives and outcomes of a training program is the high-water mark for any learning and development professional.

Action plans and knowledge checks can be useful in monitoring the lasting effect of a lesson. Tools like these are perfect for following up on how much information participants are retaining and using. The feedback gained from these can be used to alter and improve the program. 


5. Where’s the Fun?

That’s right – FUN! It’s not enough to conquer these other pitfalls if, in the end, participants don’t feel like they’re having fun. The American Psychological Association has found that humor in the classroom reduces a learner’s anxiety and increase their performance, motivation and focus.

Humor, games, and unconventional training methods can all add to the fun factor.

When learning and development professionals are aware of and willing to tackle these common challenges, their chances of success are much more likely.

"Failure isn't fatal, but failure to change might be" - John Wooden

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Topics: Business Simulations, Experiential Learning, Learning Development, Value of Classroom Training