75% of managers report dissatisfaction with their Corporate Learning & Development department. 70% of employees say that they don’t have mastery over the required skills. Only 12% of employees apply the new skills gathered from corporate learning programs. Only 25% of the workforce believe that training measurably improves performance -- Harvard Business Review.
If you glance at the above stats, it’s evident that corporate training suffers from huge gaps -- right from the managerial level to deployment, skill development, and performance measurement. In short, there is a severe disconnect between learning and results -- that occurs somewhere on the knowledge transfer curve.
But why this discontinuity? First, your training material is not relevant to your business, the leadership, and target audience. Second, your learners are unable to apply the newly acquired skills and knowledge on-the-job. Therefore, to ensure that your investment in training and development does not go down the drain, you must address this disconnect. How? By avoiding these five deadly corporate learning mistakes.
For effective training, the sessions should be delivered on-time -- as close as possible to the event where the acquired skills will be practically applied. For instance, several companies give sales training when the actual pitch is weeks away. Others train interviewers way before they interview a new candidate. This is a serious mistake. If the new skills are not used immediately, the knowledge gets stale with time -- and enters the forgetting curve. After all, practice makes perfect!
Whenever an employee is recruited to a company or promoted to a position, several L&D practitioners overwhelm them with information. In one corporate learning module, they cram up everything -- including communication, problem solving, decision-making, target setting, learning management system, delegation, and workload management … the list can go on.
Again, this is a mistake. Try to segment your content so that it reaches a targeted audience. Spend some time on researching who needs a certain training session and when. Then, divide the content into manageable chunks -- and disseminate the knowledge, one module at a time. The other name for this format is micro-learning.
If generic corporate learning modules worked in reality, learners would have been able to apply the acquired skills on-the-job. Therefore, the one-size-fits-all concept does not work. In fact, it’s obsolete in the current era. To promote the adoption and application of new skills, your corporate learning sessions must be customized to meet specific individual, team, and corporate goals.
Time and again, we have reiterated that learning is not a one-off process. A culture of learning must be embedded as a continuous practice in your organization. If you conduct a single training session and hope that it will lead to immediate improvement on on-the-job behavior, you are wrong! For effective results, you must treat training as a change initiative -- not a one-time event.
How can you ensure that your training program truly resonates with your learners? You need to measure learner engagement -- defined as the quantity and quality of a learner’s participation in a certain course. Boring sessions often put a trainee to sleep. And a bored learner is not a productive learner.
So, how do you avoid this? Strive for engagement. Make corporate learning a fun and engaging experience. How? Incorporate multimedia: video, pictures, visual aids -- or introduce gamified elements - to enhance the interaction and competitive levels of trainees.
It is important that you do not create a corporate learning program that is bound to fail! We hope that by avoiding the five most important corporate training platform mistakes, you will be able to design and deploy an effective employee development program for your organization.