No Image Available

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-1705321608055-0’); });

Some of my training failures


I am celebrating 37 years of delivering training this month – the last 22 as a training provider going out to a diverse number of organisations.  So recently I have been having fun looking back on some of the extraordinary experiences I have had with some of my clients.  Let’s start with this one with a HO based in London.

I was delivering a regular Personal Effectiveness workshop when I was asked by this well known corporate if I would be interested in running a number of one day workshops on “How to Give Feedback” for their managers.  The HR Manager explained that none of the managers appeared to have any skills in terms of giving developmental or constructive feedback to their staff.  As a result, staff often had no idea how well or how badly they were doing.  They often didn’t know there were any problems with their performance until they ended up in either a disciplinary situation or a capability interview and this is why the HR director was getting concerned.  Every time a member of the HR department was being brought into the equation, the cost to the organisation rose financially, through loss of staff motivation and loss of potentially useful staff, which of course affected everyone.  Clearly they had identified a need that was stopping them achieving their business goals.  They had measured the ‘gap’ in learning and realised their managers did not possess the skills required.

The HR manager decided that all the first line managers in the organisation needed to attend a one day workshop. This was to help the managers to understand the impact of failing to give accurate and timely feedback and learn how to give it however uncomfortable or difficult it seemed to be.  They needed to understand that despite being challenging, it was beneficial to the person who receives the feedback.   Needless to say they wanted the learning to be achieved in a one day to keep down costs.

We developed a programme with the HR manager and included the values of the organisation which were proudly displayed on notice boards throughout the building.  We also modelled the key steps  of giving feedback against their behavioural competencies which we were led to believe drove everything they did.  Five days before the first workshop was due to start I had a phone call to say that they had decided to cancel it.  And why?  Because not enough people signed up to do the programme so they decided not to run it!

Now my understanding is that if an organisation has a problem with the way their staff or managers are behaving and they identify it as an essential training need then giving people the “choice” to go on that programme seems bizarre.  We need companies to  stop thinking about training as just to “treat” people or give them a “day out” or any other reason but to  provide training specifically as an investment because it is going to enable the organisation to meet its business objectives effectively, keep their staff motivated and improve the bottom line.  If the decision to train, in this case made in the ivory tower of the HR department, had been public and involved the managers it might have helped them to recognise their weaknesses and see how they could recognise the importance of making a change in their behaviour.

No Image Available

Get the latest from TrainingZone.

Elevate your L&D expertise by subscribing to TrainingZone’s newsletter! Get curated insights, premium reports, and event updates from industry leaders.

Thank you!