No Image Available

Louise Gelsthorpe

Power Hour


Read more from Louise Gelsthorpe

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

Why Your Training will Fail in 2013


Sorry if this sounds a bit negative, but as we embark on a new year full of great ideas and good intentions, I wanted to share some of the reasons I've seen for training failing. By raising awareness, hopefully you can avoid these mistakes and get real value from your L&D effort this year. So, in no particular order...

1. Timing - Give the training too early (and people forget), too late and... well, its too late!
2. Content - It is tempting to try and give all the content at once, but this causes overload. Its better to concentrate on the 20% of content that will cover 80% of requirements, make this mandatory, and then cover the other 20% later as a masterclass.
3. Synergy - Providing training that isn't directly related to the job or the company priority has limited impact. People are just too focussed on the day to day demands of the role. If the link isn't clear, DNA rates will be high!
4. Method - Too much training is still all about download, whether its in a classroom or online. People need to be actively engaged in training for it to stick. Using a variety of methods appealing to different learning styles, and keeping it active is vital.
5. 'Fit' - Similar to synergy and method, the training has to feel right and be easy to understand and use. Training that feels too far removed from the daily reality will be dismissed. If you buy in generic training, deliver it yourself, or use a trainer who knows your business so that they can tailor the content to fit. using examples about office behaviour is pointless if your audience works in a warehouse for example.
6. Assessment - Just because some has attended doesn't mean they've understood. Just because they understand doesn't mean they can DO. Checks should be built in to measure learning (in a positive way) to provide extra help for people who don't get it first time, or simply need longer to learn.
7. Application - What gets measured gets done. Perhaps the biggest problem I see is complete lack of follow up in the workplace. It doesn't matter what trainers say - what managers say/want is what gets done, so unless people are expected to apply learning back at work, they often won't. 
8. Separation - Training is often seen as something separate to work, and an additional task. Encouraging informal as well as formal training helps to incorporate learning into everyday operations. Develop managers as trainers and coaches and (most importantly) allow them time to train and coach on the job!
I'm sure the TrainingZone Community will come up with another 2 reasons to make this a 'Top Ten'. Take steps to avoid these common mistakes and get the most out of your L&D effort this year!
Louise Gelsthorpe

6 Responses

  1. My thoughts exactly

    This has summed up everything in my head right now. Great article. 

  2. Why Training will Fail

    Your comments are spot on.  In New Zealand the 2 most common reasons training fails are items 6 and 8.  Assessment tends to be asking…"How's it going?"….and Separation is alive and well.  If something is not going as it should, we send folk on courses.  Well Hellooooo.

    Your Top Eight is sufficient.  If the points you raise are taken on board training will be the beneficiary and by osmosis Staff become the beneficiaries.  Well put.

    Cheers.  DonR.

  3. Completely agree – great tips


    Brilliant tips, Louise! I particularly agree with your fourth point, about method. Everyone learns in different ways and training must reflect this or you risk losing the interest and engagement of those who don’t learn in the way you’ve chosen. I think the best approach is a blended one – an approach where the new technologies available to us are used to support and reinforce the seeds sown by the more traditional face-to-face, trainer-to-learner methods. Our learning styles are changing with the progression in technology in terms of the resources we expect to have available to us when learning something new. Traditional methods alone no longer cut it anymore – it’s time to adopt technology, or risk getting left behind.

    For this reason I would suggest ‘Integration of technology’ as a ninth or tenth point to add to the excellent ones already laid down here. I’ll be following with interest to see the other suggestions people come up with! 

  4. Brilliant Article!

    You have summarised here all those things that I really feel strongly about. 

    Love point two focus on the 20% of of content that will provide 80% of the results and then come back to the remaining 20% – brilliant.

    Point three is a must for me, the single most thing that frustrates me about some of my L&D colleagues (as it does operators).

    Point seven too is really important – "what gets measured get done" That follow up piece is an essential piece to the transference jigsaw.

    Thank you.

    Simon Newton

    L&D Consultant


  5. Applicability and Measurement

    A lot of what you say applies to corporate language training.

    Your points 5 (applicability) and 6 (measurement) are lacking in most corporations with respect to language training (esp. English).

    I would add to your point 6, that many corporations here lack a real PLAN or STRATEGY for realizing desired results.

    My blog might be interesting to you:


    Duane March

No Image Available
Louise Gelsthorpe


Read more from Louise Gelsthorpe

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!