ShockIn recent times, training has become much more than a chance for employees to develop skills. In fact, track records of effective training and development have become the cornerstones of the most powerful and attractive employer brands. Research from PwC shows that 65 percent of millennials – who will become the largest generation in the workforce this year — cite training and development opportunities as the factor that most influences their decisions to accept job offers.

With learning and development (L&D) becoming such a mission-critical function, those in charge of L&D can’t afford to make mistakes. Of course mistakes do happen, and these mistakes are often costly. This is why we’d thought we’d help you to learn from other’s mistakes by outlining the top four training mistakes that organizations make.

1. Taking the Training Budget for Granted

Even if the L&D budget has been in place for a few years, never assume it is permanent. In hard times, training is one of the first budgets to be cut. For example, research shows that training budgets fell by at least 11 percent during the recession.

Make sure to forge a clear link between training and increased productivity. Your bosses need to know that, if they cut training, they cut productivity. You can demonstrate this to your bosses by evaluating training programs and tracking their results in terms of employee engagement, knowledge gain, and improved performance.  

2. Trying to Do a One-Size-Fits-All Approach to Training Delivery

We have four different generations working alongside each other in the workplace today, and research from the Florida Institute of Technology shows that, while there are many similarities between these generations, there are also distinct differences between the ways in which members of each generation like to receive information.

For example, millennials and Gen. X-ers are more comfortable with e-learning, while baby boomers tend to prefer more tactile, face-to-face learning. It’s a mistake to try to offer a one-size-fits-all approach to training, and that’s why the best organizations utilize a blended approach that combines face-to-face and e-learning delivery methods.  

3. Not Including Enough ‘Real Life’ Scenarios in Training

One of the biggest mistakes in training delivery is using theoretical, dry content that is far removed from the day-to-day issues being face by the learners. The FIT research cited above shows that learners are most engaged when presented with ‘reality-driven’ training that shows how the knowledge they gain will help them in real-life scenarios.

4. Overloading Learners

Today’s learner is often distracted and pressed for time. Thy cannot always be physically or mentally available for intensive, multi-day courses. Such courses can lead to learner overload, which in turn leads to lower levels of engagement and information retention.

Make sure to offer bite-size learning. For example, take an eight-hour course, break it into one-hour chunks, and allow trainees to digest these small units of training via e-learning platforms over longer periods of tim.

We’d love to hear about other mistakes that organizations make and your top tips to avoid those mistakes!

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