Lots of training fails simply because trainees don’t want to be there. They sit it out, give a smiley on the assessment sheet, get a ‘tick’ for attending, and that’s that.
Or it fails because the training isn’t any good. Or it doesn’t engage. Or it lacks relevance.
It’s understandable when training fails under such circumstances.
But many training programmes fail even when attendees have chosen to go, have invested time and money in it, are eager to learn. And when the training itself is interesting, informative, well-delivered, relevant, and inspiring.
Training fails when a ‘before’ and ‘after’ are not integral to the process. Without this, training is merely a middle without a beginning or end; Act 2 without Acts 1 and 3; an “aim” without a ready or a fire.
Without a ‘before’ & ‘after’, training is designed more for ease of teaching
than for effectiveness of learning.
This applies to any kind of training initiative – from a workforce upskilling programme, through to a one-day course taken by a solo entrepreneur.
How to avoid training failure?
BEFORE training, in the planning include a diagnostic of barriers you’re likely to meet. Barriers are a part of change, and change is at the heart of learning. By preparing for resistance ahead of time, you’re primed for change. Get ready for barriers before you set off, and you’re less likely to come off the rails when you meet them.
AFTER training, put learning into practice consistently, over time. If not, it will go to waste – some say it’s as much as 90% within a year. That’s assuming it’s put into practice at all.
Experiential learning – learning through doing – is the only way to embed theory. Think about playing the piano – or specifically, scales! We can read about scales, we can have them explained to us, see diagrams, watch videos, find out about their structure, their use, their history. But none of that means anything, unless we play the scales.
The before and after aspects of training were always important. But when you’re concerned with developing C21st skills – soft skills – these aspects are essential. Without them, training might give you the theory, but you’ll be incapable of putting anything into practice.
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