Why Most Training Doesn’t Work

A large number of UK businesses and organisations send delegates on training and development programmes every year. While some do this simply as a box ticking exercise, most will invest in training and development in the hope that it will benefit both their team members and their operations. Unfortunately, a lot of the time, this training simply doesn’t work. We’re going to look at why.


Going Through The Motions

All too often, businesses send delegates on training courses simply because they’re going through the motions. Managers, L&D departments and HR know that training and development courses are important - however, they’re often not exactly sure what they want to achieve from them.

In many cases, organisations spend their money on training even when they have little idea about what the real problem is. Without fully understanding where improvements need to be made, it’s almost impossible to select the right course and get the best possible outcomes.


If you’ve ever been on a training or development course, you’ll know that engagement can be a real issue. Delegates often feel that training is not designed for them and so arrive with the expectation that they won’t get anything useful or meaningful from the day. And, with much of the training that’s carried out in the UK done to a fairly mediocre standard, it’s hard to blame them.


Most training days involve a variety of presentations, slides and discussions. What they generally don’t include is the opportunity to practise what’s being taught. Practice is an essential part of development as it gives delegates the space to put their training into action, learn from real-life situations and understand how their habits and behaviours impact those around them.

When this practice is carried out during a training session, delegates can receive valuable feedback and really get to grips with the ideas and techniques being taught.

Implementation And Measuring Outcomes

As well as a lack of focus in the lead-up to a training and development event, and often low engagement at the event itself, a lot of programmes fail to encourage any real implementation of learnings back in the workplace.  Furthermore, because it is rare to see any real measurement or success criteria set, the lack of implementation is rarely picked up and rectified.

Though it can be difficult to qualify and measure behavioural change, it’s essential that outcomes are tracked if the training is going to make a real difference.

The truth is, UK businesses, their internal L&D departments, and the external training providers they work with, could do so much more to build commitment, provide inspiring development experiences and ensure far greater application of the things they ‘teach’. With just a few important changes to the before, during and after, outcomes could be transformed and training could become less of a reluctant cost and much more of a positive, worthwhile investment.

To learn more, check out our new guide on why most training doesn’t work and what can be done to improve opportunities for everyone. If you'd like to find out more from our team, click here to contact us today.

Image Source: Canva