Corporate Training & e-Learning Blog


Training Is Useless Unless...

T&D magazine published an interesting article titled "Why (Most) Training Is Useless: Start Developing Skills; Stop WASTING Time." David H. Maister offered some compelling insights that I would like to share with you:
  • True long-term changes in any organization need to begin with changes at the top - in managerial behavior.

  • Training should not be used as a first (or stand-alone) step to long-term change, but as part of a process toward organizational change.

  • Training is a waste of time and money if what is taught is never put into practice.

  • Too often, companies will train people in new areas but then send them back to their original jobs - where little of what was taught ever gets implemented.

  • "There is no point in offering skills training if there is no incentive for people to engage in the desired behavior."

  • Some business skills can be explained/taught but not effectively learned through mere discussion/lecture, such as being able to manage. You can learn a lot about management, but that doesn't mean you will be any good at doing it. "No amount of understanding, knowledge, or intelligence will help if you are unable to interact with people" and influence them. These kinds of skills need to be learned slowly and by doing/practicing them, not just learning about them.

  • Training should only be scheduled on topics that can be applied immediately - not days, weeks, months, or years before it will applied.

  • Training programs should have mandatory prereading and pretesting, with everyone coming to the session fully prepared.

  • Work groups/departments should be trained together - and with the group's manager present. This way they can immediately begin to discuss how they plan to integrate the training's ideas into their practices.

  • "If it's worth doing training, it's worth doing it in a way that's going to make a difference."


  • So true!!

    By Anonymous Nidhi Gupta, at 4:30 AM EDT  

  • Great Blog posting Jenna!

    I'm sharing this with my training manager as I tyoe this. you're blog is now on my RSS feed.

    By Anonymous XicanoWan, at 12:51 PM EDT  

  • I completely agree with everything you say here. I have watched many of our clients waste money on training that cannot be put into practice. Training for training's sake is completely pointless. I really enjoyed reading this one...

    By Anonymous James, at 1:44 AM EDT  

  • I cpmpletely agree with the fact that most training just happen for the sake of it and never put into practice.........

    By Anonymous geek, at 1:29 AM EDT  

  • I've carried out many SEO training courses for Emarketeers and find that whilst we receive great feedback from delegates, there are times when delegate websites have remained unchanged despite the fact that they could have put learned SEO techniques into practice on their own website(s).

    I can only imagine that it's usually a question of either time, budget or senior management being convinced (or not!) of the end goal. My hunch is that the latter influences both time and budget and is therefore most often to blame.

    By Anonymous Jonathan, at 11:11 AM EST  

  • Very good insights! I was especially struck by your awareness of the frequent disconnect between training and incentives to apply the training!

    I will be back to read more!

    By Anonymous Lindsay, at 9:52 AM EDT  

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